I dream of Asian America #JusticeForAkaiGurley
- Soya Jung
- Translation by Zhou Shuxuan
这个周二（2015年2月10日）纽约（布鲁克林）大陪审团做出了对去年11月过失枪杀28岁青年柯里（Akai Gurley）的新人警官梁彼得（Peter Liang）进行正式指控的裁决。柯里，一名手无寸铁的非裔男子，在他和女友及其两岁女儿居住的公屋的黑暗楼道里被枪杀。案发当时，梁与另外一名警察在执行例行的“逐层巡逻（vertical patrol）”——纽约警察总是这样沿楼层细查公屋以搜寻犯罪行迹。梁开了一枪，子弹击中了柯里，致其死亡。 对梁警官提起指控的裁决激起了大批美籍华人的抗议，他们要求取消对他的指控。但同时也有一些亚裔美籍的声音与柯里的家庭一起并肩支持裁决，他们呼吁对警队进行改革，要求终止充满歧视并时可致命的逐层巡逻。
This February, a grand jury indicted rookie NYPD Officer Peter Liang on charges related to the fatal shooting last November of 28-year-old Akai Gurley. Gurley, an unarmed African American man, was killed when he stepped into the dark stairwell of the public housing building where he and his girlfriend lived with their two-year-old daughter. At the time, Liang and another officer were conducting a vertical patrol, a routine tactic in which police officers sweep public housing buildings in search of criminal activity. Liang drew his gun and fired a bullet that hit Gurley in the torso, killing him. Liang’s indictment has sparked protests from some Chinese Americans calling for the charges to be dropped. Meanwhile, another group of Asian American voices have stood by the grieving Gurley family to support the indictment, and to demand police reforms like an end to discriminatory and deadly vertical patrols.
二十四年前的1991年10月，美籍韩裔店主斗顺子（Soon-Ja Du）因杀害一名15岁的非裔女孩拉塔莎.哈林斯（Latasha Harlines）被判决“意图性过失杀人voluntary manslaughter）”。当年早些时候，在南洛杉矶市的帝国酒类商店，因斗顺子怀疑哈林斯偷窃店内商品，两人发生肢体冲突。当哈林斯生气地把她的果汁放在货台上，握着原打算支付的两美元现金转身离开时，斗朝她的脑后开了一枪。夺去哈林斯的生命，斗被判决支付500美元，而就此躲过一切牢狱之灾。 就在哈林斯死亡的两周前，四名洛杉矶警察残忍地殴打一名名为Rodney King的黑人摩托车驾驶者的视频被曝光。当这些警员在第二年春天被判决无罪时，洛杉矶暴发了民众暴乱。维持五天的洛杉矶暴动，动用了一万名联邦武装人员（federal troops），导致了超过50人的死亡，约12000人被逮捕，大部分死亡与遭捕人员为黑色和棕色人种（Black and Brown people）。暴动也导致了一千万美元的经济损失，大部分损失来自于韩裔所有的商铺。韩裔美国人称这次始于1992年4月29日的暴动为“四二九”。 梁彼得与斗顺子，柯里与哈林斯，这两起相隔二十四年的事件间有着怎样的联系？而它们，在今日这个愈发多种族化的美国，将如何教育我们更好地认识我们是谁，以及我们将会成为谁？
Twenty-four years ago, in October 1991, Korean American storeowner Soon-Ja Du was found guilty of voluntary manslaughter for shooting and killing a 15-year-old African American girl named Latasha Harlins earlier that year. Du had suspected Harlins of shoplifting, and engaged in a physical struggle with her inside Empire Liquor store in South Los Angeles. When Harlins angrily left her juice on the counter and turned to leave, holding the $2 that would have paid for her purchase, Du shot her in the back of the head. For taking Harlins’ life, Du paid $500 and served no prison time. Two weeks before Harlins’ death, four LAPD officers were caught on video brutally beating an African American motorist named Rodney King. When the officers were acquitted that following spring, Los Angeles erupted in civil unrest. The Los Angeles riots, as the five-day event came to be known, involved 10,000 federal troops, resulted in more than 50 deaths and some 12,000 arrests, overwhelmingly of Black and Brown people. It also caused $1 billion in damages, heavily targeting Korean-owned businesses. Korean Americans dubbed the riots, which began on April 29, 1992, “Sa-I-Gu” (meaning 4-2-9, or April 29). What do these two stories, of Peter Liang and Soon-Ja Du, Akai Gurley and Latasha Harlins, 24 years apart, have to do with one another? What can they teach us about who we are – and who we will be – in an increasingly multiracial America?
1991年，在斗顺子的判决裁定后，韩裔美籍联盟（Korean American Coalition）的执行负责人Jerry Yu（以下音译为“余”）注意到并非社群里的所有人都无条件支持斗。他说，“斗是韩裔，我们因此认同我们之间的联系，并愿为她祈祷，希其不受磨难。但是另一方面，这并不意味着，仅仅因为我们都是韩裔，我们就希望她能逃脱罪责。这事必须得公正处理。” 相似地，上个月，作为对一些美籍华人要求取消对梁控诉的反应，CAAAV 的Esther Wang（以下音译为“王）写道，
余和王的话，尽管相隔二十四载，却透着一样的彻底的正直。它们揭示了种族认同，即可以作为一个有力的基点使我们看到包括斗和梁在内的暴力行凶者的共通的人性，更使我们要求对他们进行公正的审判。这样的认识使得他们拒绝错误地将怜悯和问责分置于对立的两端。 种族认同对我们中的很多人都有着极具分量的意义——它是标示相同的符号，是在充满敌意的环境中对彼此认可与赋权的空间。在这样一个时刻欲将我们拒之门外的社会中，与那些和我们长相相似、说着一样语言或有着一样崇拜的人构建团结，的确是一种理性的应对。我们建起了种族协会、寺庙、教堂等，以此来保护我们自己不受歧视与伤害，创造空间来赞美文化与社群。 而另一方面，对于我们中的酷儿、跨性别、深肤色的、残障的、被犯罪化的、或以其他方式被边缘化的人群，我们自己的种族社群也并非总是给予我们安全的避风港。而且，在这个对种族和民主问题认识上越发两极分化的国家里，我们在寻求种族公平时，总是需要在自己的种族社群中与保守势力抗争。 在一些紧要的政治议题上，我们必须要认真思考种族忠诚的含义，谨慎审视那些意图煽动种族暴力冲突的政治行为。在斗和梁的案件中，那些呼吁依靠封闭的种族内团结来保护社群、强化黑人与犯罪连结的种族主义思想的极端保守势力，在社群内外都有着意识形态的来源。
1. When ethnic solidarity is not enough
Following Soon-Ja Du’s 1991 conviction, Jerry Yu, executive director of the Korean American Coalition, noted that not all in the community unconditionally supported Du. “We can relate to her as a Korean and we can pray for her that she not suffer,” he said. “But, on the other hand, just because we are Korean, that doesn’t mean we wanted her to get off. There has to be justice.” Likewise last month, in response to demands by some Chinese Americans that charges against Peter Liang be dropped, Esther Wang of CAAAV Organizing Asian Communities wrote:
“(Their) argument basically boils down to this: If these white officers got off, so should Peter Liang. I understand the sentiment. I look at Peter Liang, and I see someone who looks like my brothers. I can imagine what it must be like for his parents—a garment worker and restaurant worker—to face the terrifying prospect of their only son going to prison. And I get why, when the vast majority of mostly white officers aren’t indicted when they shoot to kill, one might be upset that an Asian cop is the one who is. But at its heart, this argument is deeply flawed. Rather than calling for accountability for all police officers who kill, regardless of their race, this sentiment is rooted in the belief that no officers should be held accountable for their actions. “
Yu’s and Wang’s words are separated by 24 years, yet similar in their painstaking honesty. They reveal how ethnic identification can be a powerful place from which we see the humanity of perpetrators of violence like Du and Liang, while also firmly demanding that they face justice. In doing so, they reject the false divide between compassion and accountability. Ethnic identity holds deep meaning for many of us – as a marker of sameness, a space for mutual recognition and empowerment in the face of hostility. Solidarity with those who look and talk and worship like us can be a rational response in a society that tells us that we do not belong. We form ethnic associations, temples, churches, etc. to protect ourselves from discrimination and harm, and to create spaces for cultural celebration and community. On the other hand, for those of us who are queer, trans, dark-skinned, disabled, criminalized, or otherwise marginalized, our own ethnic communities are not always intuitive places of solidarity and safety. Moreover, in a nation increasingly polarized around questions of race and democracy, those of us committed to racial justice can find ourselves pushing back against organized conservative forces within our own ethnic communities. On key political issues, we must scrutinize ethnic allegiances, and the politics of those who fan the flames of ethnic outrage. In both the cases of Du and Liang, the most conservative positions – calling to close ethnic ranks to protect one’s community, and reinforcing racist ideas about Blackness and crime – have come from ideological forces within and outside the community.
反黑人主义贯穿了斗和梁的案件，而这已不仅仅是个人层面的行为了。去年，数起警察枪杀黑人却免遭刑罚的轻率判决激起了全国关于种族的争论。它使得警察暴力已全面威胁黑人生命这一事实得到了更广泛的关注。抛开警察的个人意愿不说，警队类似“逐层巡逻”在内的根植于“不放过小错（broken window）”的逻辑的措施，使得警察倾向于对黑人社群进行排查；而这些警察多怀着对黑人社群预设偏见的怀疑，而非持有信任或服务的态度。这并非什么新出现的现象，而它也一直对我们所有人产生不同的影响。认清美国警方根深蒂固的种族主义，努力使其成为一个可以承担责任的公共体系，对于美国来说是一个很大的挑战。 除去警方改革的这个问题，还有另一个与反黑人主义相关，将会决定种族境况和民主斗争路线的问题；这个问题在当下的人口结构变动中，依旧迫在眉睫；那就是，我们为了什么团结起来，与谁建立同盟？ 1965年的洛杉矶，由于长期遭受经济排斥和警方屈辱对待，黑人的愤怒终于点燃了瓦茨暴动（Watts Rebellion）。二十五年多之后，1992年的洛杉矶再一次爆发，点燃它的还是一样的导火索。快进到2014年的弗格森（Ferguson），这一轮回变得更加清晰。滥用的警力不断以反黑人的经济排斥和政治忽视的形式呈现。而这已经激起了自民权运动之后三代人的崛起反抗。 Jeff Chang（以下音译为“常”）在他的著作《Who We Be》的令人难以忘怀的结尾章节中，描述了加州兰卡斯特（Lancaster CA）小镇被结构性抛弃后的触目惊心的现状。这个位于洛杉矶北边七十英里的小镇，曾经为白人聚居，而今主要是黑色和棕色人群聚居。这里遍布着空荡闲置的房屋，监狱比校区雇佣着更多的人。正是这种经济和政治的抛弃在1965年和1992年点燃了洛杉矶的怒火，迫使弗格森和其他地区的抗议者们在2014年走上街头；也是这种抛弃使得梁彼得枪杀柯里的建筑里没有可以使用的电梯，只有黑暗无光的楼道。常充满警示意味地简要写道，“从市区内部到人种有色化的城郊，抛弃是一种毁灭的形式，一种有意愿的无视。 1992年的“四二九”唤醒了很多韩裔美籍社群中的人，使他们从种族孤立心态走向寻求对美国种族更深的理解，理解这么多伤痛与失去背后的政治力量。面对媒体将黑人与韩裔之间的关系塑造成根深蒂固的冲突，韩裔美国人的反应横跨了政治谱系的两端。一些人加深了黑人犯罪本性的种族主义偏见，以此来维护韩裔的“模范”移民形象。而另一些人则更努力地致力于建立和黑人社群间的团结。然而，这样的团结如何才能建立呢？
2. Anti-Blackness: “a willed blindness”
Anti-Blackness permeates the cases of both Du and Liang, in ways that extend beyond individual responsibility. Last year’s rash of deadly police shootings and subsequent non-indictments ignited a national debate over race. It made more broadly visible the fact that police violence overwhelmingly threatens Black lives. Regardless of individual officer intent, policies and practices like vertical patrols, rooted in the logic of “broken windows” policing, create deadly incentives for officers to approach Black communities in particular with predetermined suspicion, rather than with trust and service. This is nothing new, and it affects all of us in different ways. It is an ongoing challenge in the United States to understand the deeply racist origins of American policing, and to work diligently to hold the police as a public institution accountable. Beyond the issue of policing, there is another question related to anti-Blackness, one that as demographic changes continue to take hold, will determine the future course of race and struggles for democracy. It is a question of solidarity. With whom will we align ourselves, and for what? In Los Angeles in 1965, the Watts Rebellion was fueled by Black rage at longstanding economic exclusion and police abuse. More than 25 years later, in 1992, Los Angeles erupted again, fueled by similar forces. Fast forward to Ferguson in 2014, and the pattern becomes clear. Anti-Blackness in the form of brutal economic and political neglect, held in place by abusive policing, has fueled uprisings in each of the last three generations since the Civil Rights Movement. Jeff Chang, in the haunting closing chapter of his book, Who We Be, describes in aching detail the effects of structural abandonment in the town of Lancaster, CA, 70 miles north of Los Angeles – a town that was once majority white and is now majority Black and Brown, where empty homes haunt the landscape, and where the prison employs more people than the school district. It is the kind of economic and political abandonment that drove Los Angeles into flames in 1965 and 1992, that drove protesters into the streets of Ferguson and beyond in 2014, and that ensured that the building in which Peter Liang shot Akai Gurley had darkened stairwells and no working elevator. In what resonates as a warning, Chang writes, simply: “From the inner cities to the colorized suburbs, abandonment is a form of destruction, a willed blindness.” This is perhaps the best description of anti-Blackness. Sa-I-Gu in 1992 awakened many in the Korean American community to the need to move beyond ethnic insularity toward a deeper understanding of race in America, to understand the political forces behind so much pain and loss. Korean American responses to the media’s framing of an underlying Black-Korean conflict ran the political gamut. Some reinforced the racist trope of Black criminality in defense of “model” Korean immigrant behavior. Others asserted a commitment to building genuine solidarity with Black communities. But how would such solidarity be built?
亚裔美国人并不是瓦茨暴动中显著的组成，而我们却绝对是叙事中的一部分。1992年，我们既是黑人种族仇恨的对象，也是种族暴力的行凶者。2014年，一部分亚裔美籍人与黑人社群联手，迫使警察总部、高速公路和购物中心停止运转。而另一部分则保持着沉默。二十五年之后，亚裔美国人会处于什么样的位置呢？我们会站出来抵制那借着警力而得以实现的反黑人的有意愿的抛弃，还是我们会维持种族孤立、不加努力地任由过去三代的轮回继续循环？ 从很多方面来说，1992年对于亚裔美国人是一个政治分水岭。从那倒退十年，正是Ronald Ebens和Michael Nitz谋杀了Vincent Chin的那一年；这起谋杀案暴露了白人对于亚裔美国人的经济竞争的焦虑带来的致命的种族影响。1992年之后，我们不再只是白人焦虑的对象，而越来越多地陷入其他更复杂的冲突。这些冲突与人口变动、新自由主义政策和右翼反冲都有关联，涉及平权法案（affirmative action）、移民、邢罪化（criminalization）、社会福利、国家安全、士绅化（gentrification）等其他议题。 亚裔美国人也比之前任何时候都多元化得多。我们占据了经济谱系的两端、政治谱系的两端。在紧要问题上我们的态度越来越少地由我们的种族认同决定，越来越多地由我们的政治立场决定。把这一代组织参与警察问责和种族公正运动的亚裔美籍人政治化（politicize）的正是当年的“四二九”暴动，以及贯穿九十年代的警察对包括黑人、移民、穆斯林、性少数社群、女性、青少年在内的众多社群的侵袭。这些使得他们了解多种族团结的需求以及亚裔美籍人在其中必须扮演的重要角色。 我们要为种族公平而战。在过去五十多年里，亚裔美国人已经被建构成努力工作、顺从的移民种族；通过这种模范移民的故事线，个人主义、反对黑人的行为、对现有政治的顺从被加以固化。当我们仍直接地经历着邢罪化、国家监视和由宗教歧视和恐惧带来的袭击时，我们知道，模范少数族裔终究只是一种虚构的神话，亚裔仍然是被怀疑、不信任以及仇恨的对象。 我们一定不能忘记亚裔美国人的身份最初正是被创造出来以作为奋斗种族公平的一种途径的。亚裔美国人运动的建立正是为了扩张我们的集体容纳性，使我们可以不仅认同与共情那些与我们长相类似的人，也认同与共情那些与我们长相不同、却拥有同样的解放的愿景和梦想的人。作为亚裔美国人意味着我们对哈林斯和柯里家庭的共情，并不比我们对Vincent Chin、Fong Lee、Balbir Singh Sodhi等家庭的共情少。
3. Asian American dreams
Asian Americans were not a visible part of the Watts Rebellion, but we were certainly part of the narrative. In 1992, we were both the targets of Black racial resentment and the perpetrators of racial violence. In 2014, some Asian Americans have linked arms with Black communities to shut down police headquarters, freeways, and shopping centers. Others have remained silent. Where will Asian Americans be 25 years from now? Will we stand up against the willed abandonment of anti-Blackness that policing holds in place, or will we go it alone and get what we can as the pattern of the past three generations continues to play out? In many ways 1992 was a political threshold for Asian Americans, after which we would grapple more and more urgently with this question. It was a decade after the murder of Vincent Chin in Detroit by Ronald Ebens and Michael Nitz, which exposed the deadly racial consequences of white economic anxiety for Asian Americans. After 1992, we would increasingly become not just targets of white anxiety, but more complexly implicated in conflicts related to demographic change, neoliberal policies, and rightwing backlash – conflicts over affirmative action, immigration, criminalization, welfare, national security, gentrification, and more. Asian America is more diverse than ever before. We occupy both ends of the economic spectrum, and both ends of the political spectrum. Where we stand on key issues is less and less determined by our ethnic identities than by our politics. The generation of Asian Americans organizing today for police accountability and racial justice were politicized by Sa-I-Gu, and by the spate of policy attacks that targeted so many communities throughout the ‘90s – Blacks, immigrants, Muslims, LGBT people, women, and youth. They understand both the need for multiracial solidarity and the important role that Asian Americans must play. The fight for racial justice is our fight. For at least the last 50 years Asian Americans have been “raced” as hardworking and obedient immigrants through a model minority storyline that holds individualism, anti-Blackness, and compliance with the status quo in place. This makes our insurgency potent. And those of us directly experiencing criminalization, state surveillance, profiling, and attacks fueled by religious discrimination and fear know that Asians are still subjected to suspicion, mistrust, and hate, regardless of the model minority myth. We must not forget that Asian American identity was created as a means to struggle for racial justice. The Asian American movement formed to expand our collective capacity to identify and empathize not just with those who look like us, but perhaps more significantly, with those who don’t look like us but who share our visions and dreams of liberation. Being Asian American means empathizing with the families of Latasha Harlins and Akai Gurley as much as we do with the families of Vincent Chin, Fong Lee, Balbir Singh Sodhi, and so many others.
这里有一段3月16日CAAAV为柯里组织的纪念活动的现场视频。这，正是我所梦想的亚裔美籍人。我无法猜测梁彼得或其他那些夺去他人生命的警察心中的所思所想，但我清楚地知道那些要求警方为其犯罪行为负责的人们是如何思考与感受的，因为他们在声明中如此坦白地说道： CAAAV：在过去的几十年里，亚裔社群的组织早已成为反对警察滥用权力运动的一部分，因为我们衷心地相信亚裔和亚裔美国社群不能满足于当下有着内在缺陷的刑罚公正系统。我们知道这个国家的政治和经济基础根植于反黑人主义，而我们所执行的刑罚公正系统是对这一根基的延伸。尽管这个国家有着这样的充满种族歧视的根基，它却还常常利用亚裔和亚裔美籍社群来证明种族提升的可能性。比起维持现状，亚裔和亚裔美国人能从寻求公平公正中收获更多。 要想“收获更多”，必须锻造一个跨越种族界限的“我们”。这个“我们”，不仅要把我们不同种族的部分相加，更要在反抗的过程上共建；让可扩张可转化的爱使“我们”紧靠。 我们可以从这里开始共建这种反抗与爱。#还柯里一个公道
Here is a short video of the March 16th vigil that CAAAV organized for Akai Gurley. This is the Asian America I dream of. I cannot speak to what lies in the heart of Officer Peter Liang, or of any other officer who has taken a human life. But I can speak to what is in the hearts and minds of those fighting for police accountability, because they state it plainly: CAAAV: Organizing Asian Communities has been part of the anti-police brutality movement for decades because of our core belief that Asian and Asian American communities cannot be complacent with the current inherently flawed criminal justice system. We understand that the political and economic foundation of this country is rooted in anti-Blackness and that the criminal justice system is an extension of this foundation. Asian and Asian American communities, who are often positioned as proof that racial uplift is possible despite this foundation, have more to gain from seeking justice than maintaining the status quo. That “more to gain” will come from forging a “we” that reaches across racial lines – a “we” that is greater than the sum of our ethnic parts, built through resistance, and held together by an expansive and transformational sense of love. We can start building that resistance, and that love, here. #JusticeForAkaiGurley