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当今社会种族问题依然令人堪忧

2014-09-02    来源:21世纪    【      美国外教 在线口语培训

Death incites unrest

A media firestorm has swept across the US since Aug 9 when Michael Brown, an 18-year-old black man, was fatally shot by a police officer in Ferguson, Missouri.
8月9日,18岁黑人青年迈克尔•布朗在美国密苏里州弗格森市遭一名警察枪击后身亡,事件引发媒体热议。

Residents in the area took to the streets to protest what they feel is racial injustice in US law enforcement practices. Protests carried on for days and grew so intense in certain areas that the police deployed military-grade armored vehicles, tear gas and rubber bullets.
当地民众纷纷上街抗议,认为这是美国执法中的种族歧视。抗议持续数天,在一些地区愈演愈烈,警察甚至派出军事装甲车,并动用催泪瓦斯与橡胶子弹。

Brown was initially stopped by the officer for jaywalking. When confrontation ensued, the officer, who is white, shot Brown at least six times. The officer claims he acted in self-defense. Brown was unarmed at the time he was killed. An investigation into what really happened is currently underway. But many people are wondering if the same thing would have happened had Brown been white.
起初,布朗因乱穿马路被警察拦住,在随后的双方对峙中,一名白人警察至少向布朗连开6枪。虽然该警察称自己是正当防卫,但布朗被射杀身亡时手中并无武器。目前,事件真相正在进一步调查中。然而,很多人却提出质疑:如果布朗是一名白人,惨剧是否还会重演?

The killing of Brown might be the catalyst of the Ferguson unrest, but as explanatory journalism website Vox.com points out, the underlying cause of the turmoil is years of racial tensions between Ferguson’s minority communities, police, and local government.
布朗之死也许是弗格森骚乱的导火索,但正如解释性新闻网站Vox.com所言,弗格森地区的少数民族群体、警察与当地政府间多年来紧张的种族矛盾才是造成这场骚乱的根本原因。

Prior to the shooting, Americans were already discussing the history of police violence against black men, and general racism as well. In 2012 Trayvon Martin, an unarmed black teen, was fatally shot by a neighborhood watch guard in Florida. The guard, George Zimmerman, was acquitted of all charges related to the killing.
早在枪击案发生之前,关于警察对待黑人暴力执法,以及普遍存在的种族歧视就曾遭到美国民众的热议。2012年,弗罗里达州一名手无寸铁的黑人青年特雷沃恩•马丁被附近社区警卫射杀身亡,而这位名叫乔治•齐默尔的警卫最后却被无罪释放。


An old problem
问题由来已久


But this time in Ferguson, the problems may have been worsened by the lack of black representation in local government. According to the US Census Bureau, Ferguson is about 67 percent black. But both its mayor and police chief are white. Out of 53 commissioned police officers, only three are black, according to the Los Angeles Times.
此次,导致弗格森事件继续恶化的一大原因或许是当地政府中缺少黑人代表。美国人口普查局数据显示,弗格森人口总数中约67%为黑人,但该市市长与警察局局长均为白人。而据《洛杉矶时报》报道,当地雇佣的53名警察中,只有3名为黑人。

The disparities also apply to the number of police actions against white and black residents. A report from the Missouri attorney general’s office found black people made up more than 93 percent of arrests carried out by Ferguson police in 2013.
此外,差异还体现在被警察对白人与黑人居民的执法数量上:来自密苏里州司法部长办公室的报告显示,2013年弗格森警察逮捕人数中,93%以上均为黑人。

US president Barack Obama, in a speech calling for calm in Ferguson on Aug 18, acknowledged the deep racial divisions that continue to plague not only Ferguson but cities across the US, reported The New York Times.
据《纽约时报》报道,8月19日,美国总统奥巴马发表演讲,呼吁弗格森民众保持冷静,并承认:不仅是弗格森、整个美国都存在巨大的种族差异。

“In too many communities around the country, a gulf of mistrust exists between local residents and law enforcement,” Obama said. “In too many communities, too many young men of color are left behind and seen only as objects of fear.”
奥巴马说,“在全国的太多社区,当地居民和执法部门之间都存在着一条不信任的鸿沟,在太多社区,有太多的有色人种青年被社会抛弃,并被视为恐惧的对象。”

Annette Gordon-Reed, writing in the Financial Times, points out that the US has yet to overcome its tortured racial past. Deep-rooted prejudices have made black people, particularly young black men, presumptive criminals outside the boundaries of full citizenship, Gordon-Reed says.
安妮特•戈登•里德在《金融时报》中指出,美国仍未摆脱种族对立的历史阴影,根深蒂固的偏见让黑人群体,尤其是年轻的黑人群体被假定为罪犯,将他们隔离在充分享有公民权的边界之外。

This conclusion can be drawn if one looks at the record of police conduct, says Gordon-Reed —“from instances of brutal treatment of blacks in custody, to racial disparities in drug arrests and sentencing”.
戈登•里德还说,如果查看美国警察执法记录,结论就不言而喻——“从黑人群体在监狱中遭到粗鲁对待,到毒品逮捕与量刑时的种族歧视”,这样的例子比比皆是。


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