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亚裔美国人的未来

更新时间:2018-10-17 18:38:13 来源:纽约时报中文网 作者:佚名

Harvard and the Myth of the Interchangeable Asian
亚裔美国人的未来

“I’ve got your letter here, Christina.”

“这是你的信,克里斯蒂娜。”

My high school guidance counselor gave me a college recommendation for a girl named Christina Chin. I’d been meeting with him for four years. There were fewer than 20 Asian-Americans in my New Jersey public high school of about 700 students, and our teachers frequently mistook us for one another. One of my teachers, who lived near me and had known me since I was a child, received a call during class one day and said I was wanted in the principal’s office. When I arrived, the principal said he’d called for a student named Jane Tawara.

高中辅导员把一封给一个叫克里斯蒂娜·金(Christina Chin)的女孩的大学推荐信给了我。过去四年我常和他见面。在我就读的这所新泽西州的公立高中,约有700名学生,只有不到20名亚裔美国人,而老师们经常把我们认错。其中一位老师住在我附近,从我小时候就认识我,她在课堂上接到一个电话,说校长办公室让我过去。我到了那里,校长说他想找一个名叫简·田原(Jane Tawara)的学生。

“I’m Lisa, not Christina,” I told my counselor, though later I joked that I should have passed for Christina. She had better grades.

“我是丽莎(Lisa),不是克里斯蒂娜,”我告诉辅导员,不过后来我开玩笑说我应该冒充克里斯蒂娜。她的成绩更好。

On Monday, in Federal District Court in Boston, plaintiffs will argue that Harvard discriminates against Asian-American applicants. This lawsuit contends that the school gives these applicants lower scores for personality traits like “humor” and “grit” and that it rejects qualified Asian-Americans in favor of African-Americans and Latinos. The case, which has been supported by the Justice Department and led by an anti-affirmative action group called Students for Fair Admissions and a group of Asian-American applicants who were rejected by Harvard, has the potential to threaten all colleges that consider an applicant’s race in the admissions process. Eliminating race as a consideration in admissions would cause egregious harm to people of color, including Asian-Americans.

周一,在波士顿联邦地方法院,原告将起诉哈佛大学歧视亚裔美国申请人。该诉讼称,哈佛大学在“幽默”和“勇气”等人格特质评定中,给予这些申请人较低的分数,并拒绝合格的亚裔美国人,更倾向于非裔美国人和拉丁裔美国人。该案得到了司法部的支持,由一个名为大学生公平录取(Student for Fair Admissions)的反平权行动小组和一群被哈佛大学拒绝的亚裔美国申请人领导,它有可能威胁到所有在招生中考虑申请人种族因素的大学。而在招生中消除种族方面的考虑,会对有色人种造成严重伤害,包括亚裔美国人。

As I read about this lawsuit, I am reminded of my own college application experience, in the mid-1990s. At the heart of my anger at being seen as interchangeable with other Asian-American students — and later, at being mistaken for other female Asian-American co-workers in every job I’ve had — was that we were seen as lacking individuality, and by extension, humanity. My exchange with the guidance counselor was far from the first time this happened, but it still stung: You are invisible. You don’t matter.

当我读到这起诉讼时,我想起自己在1990年代中期申请大学的经历。在我被视为与其他亚裔美国学生毫无区别时——后来,在我从事的每项工作中,我都曾被人和其他亚裔美国女同事搞混——我愤怒的核心是,我们被视为缺乏个性,而且进一步来说,是缺乏人性。我与辅导员的交流远不是我第一次遇到这种情况,但它仍然令人痛苦:你是隐形的。你根本无关紧要。

This narrative is a familiar one in our Asian-American lexicon. My parents, Chinese immigrants from the Philippines, came to the United States on student visas in the 1960s. The first in their families to attend college, they met in New York City and sponsored their siblings’ migration to North America. They moved from the city to a middle-class white commuter suburb and raised me there. For many children of immigrants who came to the United States as beneficiaries of the 1965 Immigration and Nationality Act, our origin stories have centered on our relationships to whiteness and class assimilation. We’re too American, or not American enough. We’re tired of this story being the dominant one.

这种叙事在我们亚裔美国人的词汇中是熟悉的。我的父母是来自菲律宾的华人移民,在1960年代以学生签证来到美国。他们都是自己家族中的第一个大学生,在纽约市相识,并赞助自己的兄弟姐妹迁移到北美。他们从城市搬到了一个白人中产通勤族郊区,在那里养大了我。对于许多作为1965年《移民与国籍法》受益人来到美国的移民子女来说,我们的起源故事集中在我们与白人的关系,以及阶级同化上。我们太美国了,或者不够美国。我们厌倦了让这个故事占主导地位。

In high school, I internalized anti-Asian stereotypes by rejecting them. I was bad at math and science. I liked art and film. We didn’t all look the same, and I was Not Like Them — not like the Asians who would go to Ivy League schools and be pre-med. But as Mark Tseng-Putterman has written, this fervent insistence at being the “right” kind of Asian is still invested in a preoccupation with how others see us.

在高中时,我通过拒绝反亚裔的刻板印象来把它们内在化了。我的数学和科学都很糟糕。我喜欢艺术和电影。我们并不是都长一样,我不像他们——不像亚洲人那样,会去上常春藤联盟学校并且读预科。但正如马克·曾-普特曼(Mark Tseng-Putterman)所写的那样,这种做一个“正确”的亚洲人的强烈坚持,出发点仍然是一种对他人观感的关注。

The 1965 law gave preference to highly educated Asian immigrants, which then gave rise to stereotypes of Asians as more economically successful than other people of color in the United States because we supposedly work harder and have stronger educational values: the model-minority myth leveraged by both whites and Asians to justify racism against blacks and Latinos. It’s a stereotype that is harmful and myopic, used to erase larger truths about systematic racism and unjust policies. It’s also false. In recent years in New York City, Asians have consistently ranked as the minority group with the highest poverty rate.

1965年的法律优先考虑受过高等教育的亚洲移民,由此产生的亚裔刻板印象是,他们比美国的其他有色人种更富有,因为我们被视为比他们更加努力工作,并且更注重教育的价值:白人和亚裔都利用模范少数族裔的神话,为针对黑人和拉丁裔人的种族主义辩护。这是一种有害和短视的刻板印象,用于消除更大层面上的有关系统性种族主义和不公正政策的真相。同时这也是不符合事实的。在近些年的纽约市,亚裔一直被列为贫困率最高的少数群体。

While Asian-Americans have benefited from affirmative action, we continue to be used as a strategic tool by white conservatives who are opposed to it. The anti-affirmative action lawsuit against Harvard is a result of a campaign by the conservative strategist Edward Blum, who was also responsible for Fisher v. University of Texas, as well as a lawsuit that resulted in gutting the Voting Rights Act.

在亚裔美国人从平权政策中受益的同时,我们继续被反对它的白人保守派用作战略工具。针对哈佛大学的反平权行动诉讼是由保守派战略人士爱德华·布鲁姆(Edward Blum)开展的一项运动的结果,他也促成了费舍尔诉德克萨斯大学(Fisher v. University of Texas)一案,以及导致《投票权法案》(Voting Rights Act)被破坏的诉讼。

When Mayor Bill de Blasio of New York proposed eliminating the Specialized High School Admissions Test to diversify New York City’s specialized high schools — which are generally majority Asian and have relatively few black and Latino students — some Asian-American parents criticized the proposal as anti-Asian.

纽约市长白思豪(Bill de Blasio)提议取消特殊高中入学考试(Specialized High School Admissions Test),以使纽约市的特殊高中多元化,这些学校当中通常是亚裔占大多数,黑人和拉丁裔学生相对较少,当时一些亚裔美国人的父母批评该提议是反亚裔的。

Ethnocentric views of “Asian pride” can be seductive for those who have historically felt disempowered. To acknowledge our collective anger and pain, how we are both targeted by racism from whites and perpetuators of racism against blacks and Latinos, may feel vulnerable and dangerous.

对于那些从历史上感到权力被剥夺的人来说,以“亚洲骄傲”为中心的民族中心观点是诱人的。而承认我们的集体愤怒和痛苦,承认我们如何既受白人的种族主义攻击,又鼓吹针对黑人和拉丁裔人的种族主义,感觉会陷入一种易受攻击的危险处境。

My family’s story is far from being the only kind of Asian-American story, though it’s the one that has largely been told, particularly in mainstream media. That’s partly because of who has access to that media and partly because it’s a story white Americans feel more comfortable with, because it still puts them at the center.

我家的故事远非唯一的那种亚裔美国人故事,尽管这是一个被广泛传播的故事,特别是在主流媒体中。这部分是取决于可以接触到那些媒体的人群,部分是因为,这是一个能让美国白人觉得舒服的故事,因为它仍然把他们放在中心位置。

There are pitfalls to hearing — or investing in — only one type of story. Though the Asian-American population increased by 72 percent from 2000 to 2015 and is continuing to rise, on track to become the largest immigrant group in the United States by 2055, we’ve been here since the 18th century. We have been driven from towns, banned and interned; and we continue to be incarcerated, profiled, murdered and deported at alarming rates. The touted success of the model minority has not resulted in true political or cultural power. Asian-Americans remain scapegoats for economic anxieties, from the immigrants blamed for taking away good-paying jobs from white Americans to the Asian students blamed for taking college acceptance spots away from white students.

只聆听——或者沉浸于——一种类型的故事是有危险的。虽然亚裔美国人口从2000年到2015年增加了72%,并且还在继续增加,有望在2055年成为美国最大的移民群体,但自18世纪以来我们的地位一直如此。我们被赶出城镇、被禁、被强制收容;我们继续以惊人的速度被关押、简单概括、杀害和驱逐。兜售模范少数民族的成功并没有带来真正的政治或文化力量。亚裔美国人仍因经济焦虑而成为替罪羊,包括被指责为从美国白人手中夺走高薪工作的移民,也包括被指责为从白人学生那里夺去大学录取通知书的亚洲学生。

Asian-American, a political identity formed in the 1960s and consisting of Americans with roots in more than 20 countries, is a label that can be both empowering and exclusionary. Asian-Americans aren’t just East Asian, heterosexual and middle class. They’re queer and working class and poor and undocumented;South Asian and Southeast Asian and Filipino and Central Asian. A narrow definition of Asian-American does a disservice to all of us.

亚裔美国人,一个在1960年代形成的政治身份,由来自20多个国家的美国人组成,是一个既能赋权也有排他性的标签。亚裔美国人不仅仅是东亚人、异性恋者和中产阶级。他们当中还有酷儿和工人阶级;穷人和无证件者;南亚和东南亚人;菲律宾和中亚人。亚裔美国人的狭隘定义对我们所有人都是一种伤害。

Asian America is changing. While new immigrants continue to expand our communities, so do the grandchildren of post-1965 immigrants, born to parents who were also born in the United States. Will these third-generation Asian-Americans be less concerned with the white gaze — with the guidance counselors and college admissions officers who refuse to see them fully — than previous generations have been?

亚裔美国人在改变。新移民在继续扩张我们的社区,而1965年后的移民的孙辈也在做同样的事,他们和他们的父母一样从小出生在美国。比起之前的几代人的经历,第三代亚裔美国人会对这种白人凝视少一些担忧吗——当辅导员和大学招生官拒绝将他们作为完整的人来看待时?

Mari Matsuda wrote in 1996 about how important it is for Asian-Americans to resist becoming what she calls the racial bourgeoisie. We can choose, falsely, to believe that if we try hard enough, we’ll be accepted by whiteness and gain its privileges, at the expense of other people of color — the myth of exceptionalism. Or we can work to be in solidarity across racial, ethnic and class differences, to refuse to be used to uphold white supremacy.

松田麻里(Mari Matsuda,音)在1996年写道,对亚裔美国人来说,拒绝成为她所说的“种族资产阶级”有多重要。我们可以错误地相信,如果我们足够努力,我们可以被白人所接受,并以其他肤色的人为代价,获得他们那样的尊崇地位——一个例外主义迷思。或者我们可以共同努力,在种族、民族和阶级差异上团结一致,拒绝被用来维护白人至上主义。

By looking more closely at our history, at what we have gained and at what and whose expense, we can better inform our futures. Bobby Jindal and Nikki Haley may be prominent Asian-American Republicans, but our political histories are shaped by activists like Larry Itliong, Grace Lee Boggs, Yuri Kochiyama and Pauline Park. Our Asian-American future is also informed by our present: all-Asian suburbias; multiethnic Chinatowns; success that’s less defined by Hollywood representation and the breaking of the corporate ceiling and more by pushing for equity for all Americans, not only a select few. As America moves away from whiteness as its norm, it’s crucial to imagine, and fulfill, our own radical futures.

凑近看我们的历史,审视我们所得到的、所付出的、以谁为代价,我们才能更好地走向我们的未来。博比·金达尔(Bobby Jindal)和尼基·黑利(Nikki Haley)或许是出色的亚裔美国共和党人,但我们的政治历史是由拉里·伊特里昂(Larry Itliong)、陈玉平(Grace Lee Boggs)、河内山百合(Yuri Kochiyama)、朴宝琳(Pauline Park,音)这样的活动人士所塑造的。我们的亚裔美国人的未来,也将由我们的现在发展而成:纯亚裔郊区;族裔多元的唐人街;所谓成功,不应该只是通过好莱坞中的代表以及企业天花板的打破来定义,推动全体美国人——不只是选出的某一部分——的平等,才是成功。随着美国逐渐摆脱以白为规范,关键在于要想象和实现我们自己的种族未来。

Home on break from college, where I was receiving a new sort of political education, I told my parents they were wrong about who we were. We were Asian-American, not Asian, and we were definitely not Oriental.

在念大学的时候,我接受了一种新的政治教育,放假回家时,我告诉我的父母,他们弄错了我们是谁。我们是亚裔美国人,不是亚洲人,我们绝对不是“东方人”。

“We’re not American,” they said. “We’re Asian.” At least they didn’t laugh me out of the house for my arrogance.

“我们不是美国人,”他们说,“我们是亚洲人。”至少他们没有因为我的傲慢而把我从房子里哄出来。

“Asian-American,” I said. “Not Asian Asian.”

“亚裔美国人,”我说。“不是亚裔亚洲人。”

That was more than 20 years ago. On a recent visit to New Jersey, I asked my parents, former Reagan Republicans turned staunch Obama Democrats who voted for Bernie Sanders in the 2016 primary, if they felt American now that they’ve been in the United States for half a century.

那是20年前的事情了。在最近一次去新泽西的旅途中,我问两位从里根式共和党人转为坚定的奥巴马式民主党人,在2016年的初选中投票支持伯尼·桑德斯(Bernie Sanders)的父母,既然他们已经在这里生活了超过半个世纪,他们是否觉得自己算是美国人了。

“Of course,” my mother said. “What else would I be? Even though other Americans don’t see me as American.”

“当然了,”我的母亲说。“我还能是其他什么人?即使其他美国人不把我看做美国人。”

“Well, who cares how they see us,” my father said. “They can think what they want, but it doesn’t matter to me.”

“嗯,谁在乎他们怎么看我们,”我的父亲说。“他们想怎么想就怎么想,但跟我没关系。”

I hope he’s right. Regardless of how we are seen by others, we are the ones who can best see ourselves.

我希望他是对的。不管我们怎么被别人看待,我们才是最能看清我们自己的人。

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