We ask Alan Billups to answer the difficult question; What does it mean to be Black and Buddhist? Are we trying to be Japanese, are Black people trying to be Japanese? What about those African/Americans who seek a cultural relationship? Alan takes on these questions.
The religion of Nichiren Daishonin's True Buddhism has not manifested itself or integrated itself into the African/American community. There is not one noted or respectable African/American Buddhist scholar in America. African/Americans have achieved the absolute highest stations in the world. Ask this question? Why is it that no African or African/American hold a respectable station in these religions? The answer is simple there does not exist a "cultural pathway" in Nichiren Shoshu Buddhism in America that develops the growth, faith and interaction of the Buddhist teachings. Alan Billups and most Buddhist in America learned their faith in a lay orientated environment. The growth and development of a Nichiren Shoshu lay oriented body needs to be developed.
While Alan is a Buddhist scholar who we respect and his being 45 years of age a Japanese child who is "Called a Priest" who could not speak English and have no idea of American or Black Culture is given more respect respect than Alan. It does not matter how much this Black man may know or how sincere he or skillfull he may be. He would have no place as a true leader in Nichiren Daishonin's Buddhism in America. Imagine, if a young Barack Obama was a Buddhist in America he would have not had the opportunity to develop. The reason that we do not see Black scholars in Buddhism in American, because Black people are not respected or allowed to develop into leaders or authorities in Buddhism. A Japanese although he may be a Priest is not an absolute leader in America. While at the temples in Japan the Priest are the masters however outside of the temples they are not the best communicators of Buddhism in America. An independent Nichiren Shoshu lay organization in America would solve the issue of Culture and Buddhism.
Let me make the point clear it is not Alan Billups who is Challenging the Nichiren Shoshu Priest. The man who is calling for reforms is Anthony "Amp" Elmore. The Black Liberator Fredick Douglass wrote "Power concedes nothing without demand, never have and never will." Until Black people stand up with the courage of Nichiren Daishonin this injustice will continue in America. We are the leaders and teachers of Buddhism to Black people. We must teach this this wonderful religion. While I am a Black Revolutionary so was Shaykamuni Buddha. Shaykamuni Buddha was Black. Black people in America are suffering the worst and they need Buddhism the most. We can teach listen to Alan he and other like him are great teachers. It it he Japanese who are holding you back.