中国是亚洲病夫?美国华人社区给《华尔街日报》等媒体的公开信

 

中国农历新年前夕,当有关冠状病毒爆发地武汉的消息在中国互联网上疯传之时,美国许多华人社区开始担心回到中国的家人的安全,开始担心要采取怎样的预防措施防止和限制病毒的传播。他们也同样对反华污华及仇外情绪感到紧张,恐惧和错误信息助长了他们的担忧,这些有害情绪在一夜之间变成了现实。

尽管截至2月6日,美国只有12例确诊的冠状病毒病例,但许多华裔美国人及其子女却成为被回避和被歧视的所谓无伤大雅的玩笑目标。一位华裔美国人上班时被同事取笑,因为同事认为“所有的中国人都在躲起来”; 另一个人则在准备更换新的徽章时被告知旧的徽章可能含有病毒; 孩子们则被同班同学告知他们应该被隔离,因为他们有中国血统。

更有不负责任的媒体选择使用带着口罩的亚洲人的图片,或使用带有贬义的种族主义标题来大做文章,即便这些图片与故事内容毫无联系,但在这种渲染下情况变得更糟了。2月3日,《华尔街日报》还推波肋澜发表了一篇题为《中国是真正的亚洲病夫》的评论文章。作者试图用一个“聪明的比喻”来说明中国金融市场可能比野生动物市场更危险,而野生动物市场是冠状病毒尚未证实的来源。其标题“亚洲病夫”一词揭开了全体中国人民在19世纪末20世纪初被西方列强剥削、侵略、掠夺,对当时中国的软弱无能嘲笑的痛苦回忆的伤疤。《华尔街日报》竟容忍这种种族主义和麻木不仁的语言是不可接受的。

不幸的是,有色群体被污蔑、被嘲笑,并被与疾病联系在一起并不是什么新鲜事,但似乎只有某些疫情是带有种族歧视的。无论是起源于北美的禽流感(H1N1),还是主要影响英国的疯牛病,都没有产生如此大规模的种族或民族沟壑。在过去的一年里,流感已经导致美国1万人死亡。然而, 非典型肺炎等疾病和新冠状病毒出现在中国, 或埃博拉病毒出现在非洲, 总是跟仇外扯上关系,而且受害者总是被缺少同情心。
我们在美的华裔美国人和亚裔美国人社区敦促媒体,务必将人们从病毒的起源中分离出来,避免造成种族歧视、仇外心理以及使用缺乏同情心的麻木语言。我们特别要求《华尔街日报》撤回那篇专栏文章,并向亚裔美国人社区道歉。我们不是一个给你的故事增色添彩的自以为聪明的标题。我们是人类,由于你们的无知,我们的生活可能会被彻底打乱。

Co-signed by:共同签名机构:

Ohio Chinese American Association
俄亥俄州美国华人协会
Society of Chinese American Professors and Scientists,Cincinnati
辛辛那提美国华人教授和科学家协会
Asian Pacific Islander American Public Affairs, Ohio State Chapter
亚太岛民公共事务俄亥俄州立大学分布
Mason Huaxia Chinese School
Mason华夏中文学校
Westlake Chinese Culture Association
西湖中国文化协会
Greater Cincinnati Chinese Cultural Exchange Association
大辛辛那提华人文化交流协会
Cincinnati Sichuan-Chongqing Friendship Association
辛辛那提川渝友协

 

Media contact:

媒体联络人: Felicity Tao

 

When news of the coronavirus outbreak originated from Wuhan, China caught fire on the Internet before the Chinese New Year, many Chinese American communities were concerned about the safety of their families back in China and the precautionary steps they could take to prevent and limit the spread of the virus. They were equally nervous about anti-Chinese stigma and xenophobia fueled by fear and misinformation, which became a reality overnight.

While there were only 12 confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S. as of February 6, many Chinese Americans and their children, became targets of “harmless jokes”, intentional avoidance, and discrimination. One Chinese American was teased by a colleague when he showed up at work because his colleague thought “all Chinese were hiding”; another was told that his badge might contain the virus when he attempted to renew it; children were told by their classmates that they should be quarantined because of their Chinese heritage.

The situation is made worse by irresponsible media outlets that choose to use images of Asian people wearing facemasks or derogatory racist titles bearing little connection to the contents of the story. On February 3, Wall Street Journal published an opinion article titled: China is the Real Sick Man of Asia penned by Walter Russel Mead. The author was trying to use a “clever metaphor” to make a point that the Chinese financial market may be even more dangerous than its wildlife markets, which were an unconfirmed source for the coronavirus. The term “Sick Man of Asia” evokes painful memories of China and the Chinese being exploited, invaded, and looted by the western colonial powers in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. It mocks Chinese people as being weak and unable to defend themselves. Wall Street Journal’s tolerance for this type of racist and insensitive language is unacceptable.
Communities of color being stigmatized, mocked, and associated with diseases is unfortunately nothing new, and it seems that only some outbreaks are racialized. Neither swine flu (H1N1), which originated in North America, nor mad cow disease, which primarily affected the United Kingdom, generated a racial or ethnic backlash of this magnitude. The flu has resulted in 10,000 deaths in the U.S. in the past year. Yet, diseases like SARS and the new coronavirus that emerged in China, or Ebola in Africa, consistently correlate with xenophobia and a lack of compassion for victims.

We in the Chinese American and Asian American community urge the media to decouple people from the origin of the virus and take care to avoid insensitive language that contributes to racial profiling and xenophobia. We demand that Wall Street Journal in particular retract that op-ed and issue an apology to the Asian American community. We are not a clever title that adds color to your stories. We are human beings whose lives can be profoundly disrupted because of your ignorance.

Co-signed by:

Ohio Chinese American Association

Society of Chinese American Professors and Scientists, Cincinnati

Asian Pacific Islander American Public Affairs, Ohio State Chapter

Mason Huaxia Chinese School

Westlake Chinese Culture Association

Greater Cincinnati Chinese Cultural Exchange Association
Cincinnati Sichuan-Chongqing Friendship Association

Media contact:
Felicity Tao

俄州亚太联盟编者按:2020年2月3日,《华尔街日报》刊登了一篇文章,标题是“中国是真正的亚洲病夫”,并称目前国内深受其害的新冠病毒为“共产主义病毒”。不少美国华人对这样的标题感到不舒服,联想到以前中国人被称为“东亚病夫”的历史,认为媒体在挑起对华人的歧视。陶晴女士起草了一份给华尔街日报和其它主流媒体的公开信,并得到了多个美国华人组织的支持。这封信已于2月7日发给了如下媒体:New York Times 《纽约时报》, Washington Post《华盛顿邮报》, Wall Street Journal(《华尔街日报》, and all Cincinnati local and regional media outlets(辛辛那提地方和区域媒体)。

来源:俄州亚太联盟 2020年2月9日

《世界华文媒体》编译中心:吕芳翻译

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