Prejudice and Discrimination
Buddhist Attitudes to Racial Harmony
Buddhists regard racism as unskilful because: All human beings have the potential to achieve enlightenment regardless of skin colour or ethnic origin, so thinking that one race is better or worse than another is a mistake.
The concept of anatta means that there is no fixed, permanent self. Outward differences like race or nationality are therefore impermanent and irrelevant.
The concept of samsara means that Buddhists believe that each person has been born many times as many different beings. Again, this suggests that physical differences are impermanent and unimportant; we have all been born as members of different races and nationalities.
Buddhists aim to cultivate an attitude of metta (loving kindness) towards all sentient beings. Discriminating against someone on the grounds of their race would contradict this.
The Fourth Precept says, “I undertake to abstain from wrong speech.” Using racist language or insults would break this precept.