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亚裔美国人的时代

更新时间:2018-9-4 19:40:10 来源:纽约时报中文网 作者:佚名

The Asian-American Age
亚裔美国人的时代

This past week the Trump Justice Department threw its weight behind a high-profile lawsuit against Harvard University, in which a group of Asian-American plaintiffs claim — with a great deal of evidence — that the famous Ivy school discriminates against them as it once discriminated against Jews. This happened in the same moment that the No. 1 movie in America is “Crazy Rich Asians,” a guilty-pleasure romantic comedy about a young female Chinese-American economist in love with a Singaporean heir.

上周,特朗普的司法部鼎力支持了对哈佛大学的一起引发广泛关注的诉讼,本案中一组亚裔美国人原告——凭借大量证据——提出主张,称这所著名的常春藤名校歧视他们,就像它曾经歧视犹太人一样。在这起诉讼发生的同时,美国票房第一的电影是《疯狂的亚洲富人》(Crazy Rich Asians),一部让人有负罪快感的浪漫喜剧,讲的是一位年轻的华裔美国女经济学家与一位新加坡豪门继承人相爱的故事。

The convergence illustrates an underrated reality about Trump-era America. Our polarizing immigration debate revolves around the Wall and the border because we’ve just experienced a long wave of immigration from our southern neighbors. But that surge is diminishing, and for almost a decade the United States has taken more Asian than Hispanic immigration. So after the Trumpian moment passes, our ethno-political fights will be gradually reshaped by how Asians relate to American culture, how American politics relates to them, and how they (because "Asian" contains multitudes) relate to one another.

这两件事的交汇,反映了特朗普时代美国的一个被低估的现实。我们截然对立的移民辩论围绕的是墙和边界,因为我们刚刚经历了来自南方邻国的一波旷日持久的移民浪潮。但这个移民潮正在消退,近十年来,美国接受的亚洲移民数量超过了西语裔移民。因此,在特朗普时代过去之后,我们的种族政治斗争将逐渐被亚裔如何理解美国文化,美国政治如何理解他们,以及他们(因为“亚裔”中包含了许多族群)之间如何相互理解而重塑。

The term “model minority” often gets thrown around (and deplored) in discussions about Asian-Americans, and what’s interesting is that both narratives I’ve just described traffic in versions of that trope. The older narrative portrays Asians as the hard-working, industrious natural conservatives who don’t need handouts (in contrast with other immigrants, other minorities). The newer narrative casts them as the liberal coalition's noblest group — willing to put solidarity with fellow minorities above the economic concerns that might tempt them rightward, and willing to accept, for the greater good, a system of racial preferences that benefits others more than them.

在关于亚裔美国人的讨论中,“模范少数族裔”被时不时提起(并饱受谴责)。有意思的是,我刚刚描述的两个故事都在贩卖这种说法的某个版本。里根时代的故事将亚裔移民描绘为勤奋、努力工作的自然保守派,(与其他移民、其他少数族裔不同)他们不需要施舍。克林顿时代的故事则把他们塑造成自由派联盟中最高尚的群体——愿意把与少数族裔的团结放在可能会诱使他们右倾的经济担忧之上,而且,为了更大的利益,他们愿意接受一种更有利于其他人而非他们自己的族裔优待体系。

This idea informs a lot of liberal arguments about the Harvard lawsuit, which tend to portray conservative critics of affirmative action as tempters invading the multicultural Eden, and urge Asian-Americans to maintain their model-minority purity and resist the lure of mere meritocratic self-interest.

这种想法对许多关于哈佛诉讼案的自由派观点有影响,这些观点往往把平权行动的保守派批评者描绘为入侵多元文化伊甸园的引诱者,并敦促亚裔美国人保持自己模范少数族裔的纯洁,抵制只不过是精英利己主义的诱惑。

But in addition to the whispering conservative serpent, the Harvard lawsuit’s liberal critics increasingly have an Asian scapegoat too — specifically recent Chinese immigrants who hang out on WeChat, the popular social-media app, which a Vox writer complains has “become an echo chamber for stories of anti-Asian discrimination.”

但是,除了指责悄声暗示的保守派毒舌外,哈佛诉讼案的自由派批评者们也在越来越多地把亚裔作为对象——特别是经常在流行社交媒体应用微信上交流的那些近年来美的中国移民,一位Vox作者抱怨说,微信已“成为针对亚裔的歧视故事的回音室”。

For liberals these are the Bad Asians, putting their tribal resentments ahead of the racial-progressive cause. Which makes it striking that they are also the demographic being celebrated in “Crazy Rich Asians,” a movie that begins with a sequence in which Chinese-expat gossip spreads from New York to Singapore via, you guessed it, WeChat.

对于自由派人士来说,这些人是坏亚洲人,他们把自己的部落仇恨置于种族进步事业之上。让人惊讶的是,他们也是《疯狂的亚洲富人》中备受推崇的人群,该篇的一组开场镜头是:华裔侨民中的谣言从纽约通过(你猜对了)微信传到了新加坡。

The only certain takeaway from this complexity is that the new liberal model-minority image, like the old conservative one, is likely to break down with increasing Asian numbers, influence, diversity and power.

从这种复杂性中唯一可以得到的是,新的自由派的模范少数族裔形象,就像旧的保守派的模范少数族裔形象一样,很可能会随着亚裔人数、影响力、多样性和权力的增加而瓦解。

Where strong Asian support for affirmative action endures in this new landscape, it will probably be as part of a more consciously ideological progressivism — one adopted by some second-generation Asian-Americans, as Reihan Salam suggested recently in The Atlantic, as a distinctive means of assimilation to the American cultural elite.

亚裔对平权行动的强有力支持将在这种新形势下受到考验,如果得以持续的话,那就可能会成为一种更自觉的进步主义意识形态的一部分,一些第二代的亚裔美国人已经接受了这种意识形态,正如赖汉·萨拉姆(Reihan Salam)最近在《大西洋月刊》(The Atlantic)上指出的那样,这是与美国文化精英同化的一种独特方式。

Where Asian support for racial progressivism breaks down, meanwhile, there are two possibilities. There could be a real swing back rightward among some Asian voters — a possibility that the Trump White House obviously entertains, but which can only happen if the Republican Party finds a way to lose its Trumpian aura of white identity politics and bigotry.

同时,如果亚裔对种族进步主义的支持破裂的话,有两种可能性。亚裔选民中有些人可能真的转向右翼——特朗普的白宫显然很希望这种可能,但这只有在共和党找到一种摆脱特朗普气氛的方法后才会发生,特朗普代表的是白人身份政治和偏执。

Perhaps more plausibly, Asian-Americans who reject affirmative action could begin to form their own centrist bloc within the Democratic Party, one that pulls the party back toward a kind of 1990s-style Clintonism, in the opposite direction from Bernie Sanders and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

或许更有可能的是,那些拒绝平权行动的亚裔美国人,可能会开始在民主党内部形成自己的中间派阵营,这个阵营将把民主党拉回到某种20世纪90年代的克林顿主义,与伯尼·桑德斯(Bernie Sanders)和亚历山德里娅·奥卡西奥-科尔特兹(Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez)所代表的方向相反。

Or both things could happen, within different parts of the Asian-American community — with Chinese-Americans tilting more Republican and Indian-Americans staying firmly on the center-left.

或者这两种情况在不同的亚裔美国人社区里都可能发生——华裔美国人将倾向于共和党,而印度裔美国人则坚定地坚持中间偏左的立场。

But no matter what, this week’s multiplex-courthouse convergence isn’t an anomaly. It’s a hint of both Asian-American influence and Asian-American divisions yet to come.

但无论如何,本周影院与法院的事件交汇并非反常现象。这暗示着亚裔美国人的影响力和亚裔美国人的分裂即将到来。

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