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专栏 - 日月谈

一个白人在感恩节的反思

莫拉·法伦 2013年12月03日

莫拉·法伦,财富中文网专栏作家,曾经担任联信及霍尼韦尔亚太分公司学习发展部主管;她在“软技巧”领域的真知灼见引人入胜。“日”和“月”,两者互为对立。一个热烈似火,一个冷清如水。在汉字里,又恰好组成了一个“明”字。公司和人的问题亦是如此:对立起来,两者都有缺憾;唯有相辅相成,才能阴阳调和。点击查看莫拉的过往作品。
我是一名爱尔兰天主教徒,因此我也能看到其他人因为我的人民被屠杀而获得好处,就跟我因为美国的美洲土著人口被屠杀而获得好处的情形如出一辙。我对我们的人犯下的罪行以及我跟他们沆瀣一气深表迁移,应为深表歉意

    随着美国最重要的一个节日——感恩节即将到来,近来我一直在思考,特权给我带来了哪些好处?身为一个白人,殖民主义,以及美洲土著遭受的压迫和屠杀都给我带来了好处。(殖民主义的其他方面同样也给我带来了好处,那些我们以后再谈。)

    我在纽约州莫西干湖长大,那片土地曾经属于莫西干人/阿尔贡金人(美洲土著国家)。如今在莫西干湖附近,人们时而还能从土里刨出箭头,能够证明在这片土地上曾经生活过那些勤劳的人们。

    小时候,我知道了种族屠杀和强迫美洲土著迁徙的那段历史。那段历史是我们学校课程的一部分。上大学时,我选过一门美洲土著历史和文化的课程。

    我的学校位于纽约州安默斯特旁边的一个小镇。安默斯特的得名源于杰弗瑞•安默斯特男爵,这位英国将军在18世纪中期曾主张对美洲印第安人实施细菌战。这个地区的白人死于天花时,他怂恿士兵们将带有天花病菌的毯子送给美洲土著人,结果导致很多土著人死于天花。

    我因为美洲土著人、特别是阿尔贡金人的大批死亡和被迫搬迁而获得了好处。我从我生活的这片美丽的土地得到了好处。我从这片土地的“经济发展”——农场,工厂,学校和住房得到了好处。我消费的产品,我使用的服务,我住的地方以及我接受教育的地方,我得到了所有这些好处。

    我是一名爱尔兰天主教徒,因此我也能看到其他人因为我的人民被屠杀而获得好处,就跟我因为美国的美洲土著人口被屠杀而获得好处的情形如出一辙。我对我们的人犯下的罪行以及我跟他们沆瀣一气深表迁移,我也为其他人失去的东西或者从未获得的东西感到悲痛。我很感谢我拥有的生活以及有机会应对这些感受。我正在思考采取什么行动,比如了解美洲土著人以及美洲土著的历史和文化。我希望能让更多人知道感恩节不那么为人所知的这一面。

    我很幸运拥有来自不同种族、国家和社会阶层的很多朋友,但尽管如此,我发现自己从未结交过一个美国土著人。哪怕是在我从小长大的地方曾经住着的阿尔贡金人/莫西干人,就我所知,同校没有这样的人。(当然,有些人可能隐藏了自己的族裔身份。)

    在美国,很多关于感恩节的故事都是美洲土著人如何帮助白人拓荒者渡过第一个严酷的冬天,为他们提供食物,教他们如何寻找和种植食物。我们忘了接下来白人拓荒者对美洲土著人实施的种族屠杀和压迫。一些美洲土著人希望人们在感恩节期间不要忘记这段黑暗、但不可抹杀的历史。因此,今年感恩节我在反思自己作为个人以及白人群体的一员与美洲土著人的关系,这些人们如今在自己的家园里已经变成了“少数民族”。(财富中文网)

    译者:早稻米

    As we near Thanksgiving, one of the most important holidays in the US, I’ve been thinking about where I benefit from privilege. As a white person, I have benefited from colonialism and the oppression and genocide of Native Americans. (I benefit from other aspects of colonialism, but that’s something to explore later.)

    I grew up in MoheganLake, in New York state, on land that once belonged to Mohegan/ Algonquin peoples (Native American nations). In the area around MoheganLake people digging the earth would sometimes find arrowheads - proof of the indigenous people who used to be there.

    In my youth I learned about the genocide and forced removal of Native Americans. That history was part of our school curriculum. I took a course on Native American history and culture in college.

    I went to a college in the town next to Amherst in the state of New York. Amherst is named after Lord Jeffrey Amherst, a British general who called for germ warfare against American Indians in the mid-18th century. When white people died of smallpox in that area, he encouraged the smallpox-infected blankets to be taken by soldiers and given to local Native Americans, who then died of smallpox.

    I have benefited from the deaths and forced removal of Native Americans, particularly Algonquins. I benefited by being on that beautiful land. I benefited from the 'economic development' of that land -- farms, factories, schools, houses. Products I consumed, services I used, where I lived, where I was educated -- I received all these benefits.

    As an Irish Catholic, I can also see how others benefited from the genocide of my people, just as I have benefited from the genocide of Native Americans in the US. I am sorry for what my people have done and been complicit in. I grieve for what others have lost or have never had. And I am

    thankful for the life I have and the opportunity to deal with these feelings. I am figuring out what action to take, such as getting to know Native Americans and Native American history and culture. I also want to raise awareness among others of this less-known side of Thanksgiving.

    I’ve been fortunate to have friends of many races, nationalities and social classes, but I’ve realized that for all the diversity in my life that I haven’t even had acquaintances who are Native Americans. And even though Algonquins/ Mohegans used to live on the land where I grew up, there were none in school with me as far as I knew. (Of course some may have hidden their ethnic identity.)

    In the US, much of the mythology of Thanksgiving is about how Native Americans helped white settlers survive their first harsh winterby providing food and teaching themhow to find and grow it. We forget the subsequent acts of genocide and oppression of Native Americans by white settlers. Some Native Americansdon’t like the neglect of this dark but undeniable side of history during Thanksgiving. So this Thanksgiving I am reflecting on my relationship, as an individual and as a member of the white community, to Native Americans who have become 'minority peoples' in their homeland.

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