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卡拉 09-02-2014 16:18

华裔美国人:不要再叫我们"模范族裔"

来源:侨报网
作者:庞克
2014-09-02

【侨报网编译庞克9月1日报道】《美国之音》(VOA)近期就“美国公众对华裔美国人的看法”这一话题进行了连续三篇报道,分析了华裔在美国的生活状态,并对“模范族裔”、歧视等现象进行了剖析。三篇报道分别是《华裔美国人:不要再叫我们“模范族裔”》、《华裔亚裔混为一谈 美民众难区分个中差异》、《华裔坦承美国仍有歧视:永远的外国人》。以下是该系列报道第一篇。

对于在美的中国移民,美国人的一个共同的印象是:在美国这个多元种族的国家,华裔美国人是“模范族裔”。这种看法看似褒奖,但对于许多华裔来说,这是一个极具攻击性的标签,是他们几十年来一直试图摆脱的身份。

什么是“模范族裔”?

据《美国之音》报道,在以前的调查报告中,美国人对华裔美国人的普遍态度是:华裔“受过良好教育、有强烈的家庭观念,勤劳、智慧,比其他族裔犯罪率低”。该结论出自美籍华人精英组织百人会(Committee of 100)的报告,报告称,57%被调查人士认为亚裔美国人学历高,比其他美国人更易成功。而尼尔森公司最近对亚裔消费者的调查也显示,亚裔美国人“富裕、受过良好教育、人口集中以及精通技术”。

费城拉萨尔大学(LaSalle University)社会学教授查尔斯•加拉格尔(Charles Gallagher)说,传统意义上,白人认为他们和华裔及亚裔美国人有着共同的价值观,且因为肤色较浅,相较于黑人和其他族裔,白人与华裔及亚裔群体关系较为密切。2012年,皮尤研究中心也曾就的华裔美国人与白人的关系做过调查,69%的被调查者表示“很好”,17%的人表示“非常好”。

但这是所有一切吗?不是。

被歧视的历史

最早来美的中国移民是19世纪中叶来到美国西部修建横贯大陆铁路(transcontinental railroad)的中国华工,尽管这些人对美国经济有着卓越的贡献,但许多白人仍然认为中国人是竞争对手和低等民族。

“华裔美国人被谴责为不能融入美国社会文化的贱民,”历史学家威廉•魏(William Wei)说,这种观点以美国通过1882年“排华法案”(Chinese Exclusion Act)为高潮,该法案禁止中国人移民美国并成为公民,成为美国历史上第一部禁止特定族群的法律。

现在,华裔美国人达到了约1830万,约占美国总人口的6%(2012年美国人口普查局数据),这一数字在1960年仅为不到1%。

“正面”印象下的弊端

加州大学哈斯丁斯法学院院长(University of Californiap~ps Hastings College of the Law)弗兰克•H•吴(Frank H. Wu)说,一些华裔美国人以“模范族裔”为豪,“他们自称‘虎妈’,并呼吁其他人跟他们一样严厉教育子女,”吴说,社会不应该接受一个含有怨恨的形象。

弗兰克•H•吴还说,“想象一下,一个人站在你面前说,‘我的民族更优秀,你应该学习我,’在美国这样的多元化民主社会很难想象。说自己是模范族裔,你的小孩子很可能会招来其他小孩们的一顿暴揍。”

费城拉萨尔大学(LaSalle University)社会学教授查尔斯•加拉格尔(Charles Gallagher)说,“当一名亚裔儿童进入我的课堂,一些学生会想,他会不会数学很棒?这一点对于部分亚裔学生来说很对,但并不是每一名华裔或者亚裔儿童数学都很好,如果你是华裔学生,而恰巧你的数学成绩又不那么好,该怎么办呢?”

加拉格尔说,人们会质问,“你是不是中国人啊?!”

著有《亚裔美国梦》(Asian American Dreams: The Emergence of an American People)的华裔作家谢汉兰(Helen Zia)说,“模范族裔”的印象对华裔民众来说有害无益。

“这会使美国的政策制定者认为他们不需要担心亚裔美国人的健康和贫穷问题,因为我们太勤奋了,可以自己克服一切困难。”谢汉兰说。

“模范”印象也损害非亚裔人群

历史学家威廉•魏还说,这种刻板印象也损害了美国的非亚裔人群。

“一些美国人会说,‘看看我们对中国人做的吧,我们歧视他们,对他们拳脚相加,将他们排除在美国之外,可他们照样成功了。因此,如果你们没能在美国这片土地取得成功,那一定是你的错。’”

魏说,这种想法会导致人们指责种族偏见和歧视的受害者----华裔美国人,而不是罪犯。

谢汉兰也补充道,华裔美国人这种可以克服一切逆境的特性给整个华裔社区带来了第二个偏见:华裔美国人是带有难以捉摸意图的“外国人”。

“如果我们被认为能够忍受一切,那么也意味着我们可以掌控一切,”她说。

http://news.uschinapress.com/2014/0902/990799.shtml

卡拉 09-02-2014 16:48
Source: VOA
Michael Lipin
August 30, 2014 10:10 AM

[attachment=74941]
People watch the 14th Annual Chinatown Lunar New Year Parade, New York, Feb. 17, 2013.

WASHINGTON—
In this segment of VOA’s continuing report on What Americans Think About China, we turn our focus to Chinese immigrants in the United States and their descendants. A common U.S. stereotype is that Chinese Americans are a "model minority" in a nation of diverse ethnicities. That perception may seem flattering. But for many Chinese Americans, it's an offensive label, one that they have been trying to dispel for decades. – Editor

What is a 'model minority'?

In the last major U.S. survey of attitudes about Chinese Americans, a 2009 report said their fellow Americans viewed them as "educated, having strong family values and [being] hardworking, intellectually bright and committing less crime than other ethnic groups."
[attachment=74942]
Chinese American Student Association members at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York

The opinion poll by the Committee of 100, a New York-based organization of prominent Chinese Americans, also said 57 percent of those surveyed believed Asian Americans "often or always achieve a higher degree of overall success than other Americans."  It said those perceptions were unchanged from a 2001 poll.

A more recent study of Asian American consumers collectively described them as "affluent, well-educated, geographically concentrated and technologically savvy."

The December report by Nielsen, a U.S. market research firm, called Asian American consumers a "powerful economic force that can represent significant growth opportunities for the nation’s businesses."

These flattering characterizations are a major factor behind stereotyping Chinese Americans as a "model minority” group.

But there is more.

Charles Gallagher, a sociology professor at LaSalle University in Philadelphia, says white Americans typically see themselves as embodying the same values as Chinese and other Asian Americans. He says whites, who make up about three-quarters of the population, also feel an affinity with Chinese Americans because both have lighter skin relative to African Americans and other minorities.

"Whites and Asians cluster together," Gallagher says. "Since they regard each other as alike, they want to share 'social space' by living in a neighborhood, going to school, riding the bus or working together."

In a 2012 study, the Pew Research Center asked Chinese Americans how their community gets along with white Americans.  It reported that 69 percent of respondents said "pretty well," and an additional 17 percent said "very well."

[attachment=74946]
Gallagher says whites and Chinese Americans also are predisposed to gravitate to each other when it comes to romance. The Pew survey estimated that 26 percent of Chinese American newlyweds in the years 2008 to 2010 married a non-Asian American.
[attachment=74943]
Taipei native Catherine Judson (née Chang) and Virginian Mark Judson at their wedding in Virginia, October 2013

​"Chinese Americans marry out at a very high rate, and when they marry, they marry into the dominant ethnic group," Gallagher says.

The acceptance of Chinese Americans in contemporary U.S. society contrasts sharply with American attitudes toward the first Chinese immigrants in the 19th and early 20th centuries.

History of discrimination
[attachment=74947]
The first significant immigration from China to the United States began in the mid-19th century, when Chinese laborers came to the American West to build the transcontinental railroad and work in other industries, such as mining and agriculture.

Despite those contributions to the economy, many white Americans viewed the Chinese as competitors and racial inferiors.

William Wei, a history professor at the University of Colorado in Boulder, says Chinese workers suffered exploitation and violence at the hands of whites, who forced the migrants to live in ghettos and pursue low-skilled occupations such as laundry and restaurant work.

"Chinese Americans were condemned as social pariahs incapable of ever becoming culturally assimilated into American society," Wei says.

Those attitudes culminated in the U.S. government adopting the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882, which barred Chinese people from migrating to the United States and becoming citizens. It was the first and only U.S. law to ban a specific ethnic group.
[attachment=74944]
A Chinese immigrant is interrogated at a detention center on Angel Island in San Francisco Bay, Calif., in the 1920's. (AP Photo)

The United States made the ban permanent in 1902. When China became an American ally in fighting imperial Japan during World War II, Washington passed another law repealing the immigration ban.

The 1943 law established quotas that initially permitted only 105 Chinese migrants per year. In 1965, Washington abolished the quota system with the Immigration and Nationality Act, ending an eight-decade barrier to Chinese immigration.

Valuing education

Frank H. Wu, chancellor of the University of California's Hastings College of the Law, says the selective nature of Chinese immigration to the United States in the initial post-war decades is one reason why Chinese Americans have gained a reputation as highly educated.

"The Chinese people who were able to immigrate were talented, they were students on scholarships, they were people who had great potential," Wu says.

"Both of my parents came from China via Taiwan to the United States in the late 1950s and early 1960s because they won scholarships," he says. "They represented the 'cream of the crop.' So some of this [reputation] is what happens when you take the most educated, most promising young people of China and invite them here."
[attachment=74945]
Four Chinese American girls carrying ice skates in Chinatown, New York City (April 27, 1965)

Wu, who blogs about Asian American issues for the Huffington Post, says even after U.S. immigration laws were relaxed in 1965, the new wave of Chinese migrants continued to have high rates of college attendance.

"So there is truth to this notion that Asian Americans value higher education," Wu says.
[attachment=74948]
Asian Americans – foreign and U.S.-born – number at least 18.3 million, accounting for almost 6 percent of the U.S. population as of 2012, according to the Census Bureau. That’s up from less than 1 percent in the 1960s.

The nation's 3.7 million Chinese Americans have led the modern immigration wave from Asia for the past 60 years.

Wu says some Chinese Americans take pride in being seen as a "model minority."

"They proclaim that they are 'tiger mothers,' " who impose traditional strict parenting on their children, "and call on others to follow their lead," he says.

But, Wu says his community should not embrace an image that also tends to contain resentment.

Drawbacks of a ‘positive’ stereotype

"Imagine someone standing up and saying, 'my race is better, you should be like me,’ " Wu says. "In a diverse democracy like the United States, I can't think of a worse way to invite other kids to beat your kids up than to say, 'yes, we really are the model minority.' "

LaSalle University's Gallagher says the idea that Chinese Americans are overachievers also creates problems for those who do not live up to that image.

"When an Asian kid enters my class, some students will think, is he going to be good in math? That is true for a subset of the Asian population, but it is not true for everyone that is Chinese or Asian American. So what happens if you are a Chinese American and you don't do well in school?"

He says people may wonder, "Are you not Chinese?"

Helen Zia, a Chinese American former journalist and author of Asian American Dreams: The Emergence of an American People, says the "model minority" stereotype has another harmful consequence for less fortunate ethnic Chinese citizens.

"It leads American policymakers to think they do not need to worry about the health problems or poverty of Asian Americans, because we are seen as so diligent that we will overcome everything on our own," Zia says.

Other impacts of the ‘model’ image

Historian Wei says the stereotype also is damaging to non-Asian minorities in the United States.

"Some Americans say: ‘Look what we did to the Chinese. We discriminated against them, committed violence against them, excluded them from the country, yet they still have achieved (success). Therefore, if your minority has not succeeded in our land of opportunity, it is clearly your fault.' "

Wei says such thinking leads people to blame racial prejudice and discrimination on the victims themselves, rather than the perpetrators.

Zia says the notion that Chinese Americans can overcome adversity feeds into the second key stereotype of the community: that ethnic Chinese U.S. citizens are "foreigners" with sinister intent.

"If we are perceived as being able to endure everything, it also means that we can be perceived as being able to take over everything," she says.

http://www.voanews.com/content/chinese-americans-dont-call-us-model-citizens/1955111.html


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