Perception determines the properties of what it perceives – for example, whether a breed is threatening or whether a breed is worth paying attention to. Perception determines whether we like someone or something; In an armed confrontation, it is determined whether we shoot someone or stop. Through this practice of questioning my perceptions, I was able to see right away that race is not inherently good or bad, right or wrong. It is our judgment of race – how we have been conditioned to think and perceive – that is problematic. We can do something about that.
From Black and Buddhism: What Buddhism Can Teach Us About Race, Resilience, Transformation, and Freedom, edited by Pamela Ayo Yetunde and Cheryl A. Giles © 2020. Reprinted with permission from Shambhala Publications.