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【抗疫专栏】Hodan: A call to humanize people's suffering | 和丹呼吁:全球应同舟共济克服疫情

编者按:新冠病毒疫情爆发后,一场全国范围的大规模抗疫防控工作随即有序进行。国际社会纷纷肯定中国政府的抗疫决心及为此采取的高效行动,充分赞扬中国人民面对困难展现的坚韧品格及对政府决策的高度配合和支持。但少数西方媒体以惯常的傲慢与偏见,选择性忽视客观事实,有关疫情的报道严重失实失真。对此,我院非洲学者和丹博士近日在CGTN撰文Rethinking media coverage of COVID-19: A call to humanize people's suffering (《请予苦难者多些人文关怀——对西方媒体有关新冠肺炎病毒报道的反思》,就西方少数媒体故意抹黑、讽刺中国抗疫防控工作的报道进行反驳,呼吁国际媒体“摒弃偏见,给苦难者多些人文关怀,确实采取行动保护我们用于传播和谐与自由思想的工具,而不是让它们沦为分裂我们的工具。”原文2020215日在中国国际电视台网站(CGTN)首发(https://news.cgtn.com/news/2020-02-15/Rethinking-COVID-19-media-coverage-A-call-to-humanize-suffering-O6AmBdcsKs/index.html),产生了良好的反响。为方便读者,本公众号组织翻译,现转发如下:


Editor's note: Dr. Hodan Osman Abdi is a university lecturer and research fellow at the Institute of African Studies at Zhejiang Normal University. The article reflects the author's views, and not necessarily those of CGTN.
编者注:和丹博士(Dr. Hodan Osman),浙江师范大学非洲研究院讲师、研究员。本文为作者观点,不完全代表中国国际电视台的观点。


COVID-19 exposes media dysfunction

新冠肺炎疫情暴露了西方媒体的失衡

In mid-December 2019, my conversation with Chen Zhaoyun, one of my oldest friends in China was dominated by one topic — how they were going to spend this year's Lunar New Year holidays, where they were traveling to and what they were going to do there. Only a few weeks later, the whole conversation was filled with panic and uncertainty. My friend had to explain to her six-year-old son why they couldn't travel anymore, and why they couldn't even leave home and take him to the playground where he met his friends on weekends.

201912月中旬,我和我的一位中国老朋友陈赵赟聊天,那次我们一直在谈她们一家的春节假期安排,要去哪里旅行和打算做些什么。仅仅几周后,我们再次聊天,对话中却充满了对疫情的恐慌和对未来的不确定。我的朋友不得不向她六岁的儿子解释为什么他们整个春节都不能去旅行了,甚至不能走出家门去操场玩,平时周末的时候他可以在那个操场见到他的朋友。

Moreover, they had to grapple with panic and fear, uncertainties that had suddenly taken over their work-life routines, and most importantly, the insults, stigma and negative sentiments that are being waged against them online.

此外,他们还不得不应对工作和生活中突如其来的恐慌、不安和不确定性,最重要的是,外国网站上还充斥着对他们在内的中国人的侮辱和否定。

Other than the obvious bias prevalent in most Western media reports and the rhetoric of blame and shame defining the narrative, what really struck her was the complete lack of compassion or even sympathy for the thousands infected, and the tens of millions of people under quarantine and confined to the limited spaces of their homes. The stories of foreigners scrambling to find way out of quarantine zones or stranded at sea in large cruise ships seem to get much more exposure and attention than the stories of the sick in China and the medics who are risking their lives treating them.

除了绝大多数西方媒体报道中普遍存在的显著偏见,以及言辞中透露的对中国的谴责和羞辱外,真正令她震惊的是,这些西方媒体对中国成千上万的受感染者以及数百万隔离在家的人完全没有怜悯之意,缺乏同情心。与中国新冠肺炎病人和冒着生命危险救治病人的医务人员的故事相比,西方媒体似乎更关注外国人争先恐后地逃离检疫区或被困大型游轮而滞留在海上的故事。

Speaking to her, I couldn't help but wonder: Where is all this blatant cruelty coming from? Why is the media and technology that are supposed to be connecting us dividing us? In our quest to connect, are we in fact sacrificing our humanity?

与她交流时,我不禁想问:这赤裸裸的残忍从何而来?为什么本应拉近世界人民距离的媒体和科学技术却让人们疏远了?难道在我们寻求联系的时候,真的需要牺牲我们的人性吗?

There are many advantages to living in a world where a tweet I send from home in Mogadishu, Somalia, can be instantaneously viewed and commented upon by someone as far as Mongolia, Antarctica or Haiti. It is extremely empowering to know that with 140 characters, or a one-page blog post, you can actually reach and influence millions of people around the world with your ideas and thoughts. It would appear that in essence, knowledge and knowledge sharing has gained freedom from arbitrary institutions that seemed to hold it hostage.

生活在现在有很多好处,比如我在索马里摩加迪沙的家中发送一条推特,远在蒙古、南极洲或海地的人们可以即时查看和评论。这140个字符或一页的博客拥有极大的力量,可以让全世界数百万人了解你的意见和想法,受到你的影响。看起来,知识和知识共享从本质上已经摆脱各种束缚,获得了自由。

And like a bird released from its cage, information seems to be flying in every direction — unchecked! And here, we see its darker side. Messages that spread and reinforce divisive ideas of racial discrimination, hatred or mistrust have finally found an outlet where all of their hatred could be poured, and in some cases, streamlined and normalized.

信息就像从笼子中放出来的小鸟一样,四处扩散,丝毫不受约束!在这里,我们看到了它的阴暗面。那些散布和强化种族歧视、仇恨或不信任等分裂思想的信息终于找到了一个渠道来倾泄所有仇恨,甚至在某些情况下,这种倾泻方式还是以流水线方式常规存在的。

Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the World Wide Web, wasn't wrong to warn recently that "humanity connected by technology on the web is functioning in a dystopian way. We have online abuse, prejudice, bias, polarization, fake news, and there are lots of ways in which it is broken." And in times of global crisis of this scale, we experience this form of dysfunction first hand.

最近,万维网之父蒂姆·伯纳斯·李(Tim Berners-Lee)发出警告,他说:“通过网络连接起来的人类正在以一种反乌托邦的方式运转。我们滥用网络,网上充斥着成见、偏见、极端化和假新闻,还有很多地方已经烂透了。”在这次大规模的全球性危机期间,我们亲身体验了网络的失衡


Cyber-racism in mainstream media

西方主流媒体中的网络种族主义

A close look at information being circulated online and featured in the media ever since the coronavirus outbreak made the news shows that two strategies dominate the narrative: Denigration and the re-framing of news focusing on negative aspects of Chinese culture and its current communist rule. Both strategies are closely linked to what scholars term "cyber-racism."

如果我们仔细观察自新冠肺炎疫情爆发以来在网络上传播和在西方媒体上报道的信息,就会发现有两种叙事策略占据着主导地位,即聚焦中国文化的消极面和诋毁当前共产党的统治。两种策略都与学者所说的“网络种族主义”密切相关。

In fact, what we find to have resulted from media coverage of the coronavirus outbreak in China is a hostile racial climate, where Chinese people, instead of being sympathized with as humans in suffering, have actually been criticized, blamed and stigmatized worldwide. This is in fact an extremely worrying trend. Because we have now seen several incidents of violent actions perpetrated offline by individuals radicalized by hateful and biased rhetoric consumed and engaged with online.

实际上,我们发现,西方主流媒体对中国新冠肺炎疫情的报道具有敌对的种族主义倾向,在其新闻报道中,中国人民没有因为正在遭受痛苦而得到同情,反而在世界范围内受到批评、指责和侮辱。这实在是一个极其令人担忧的趋势,因为我们已经目睹了多起发生在现实生活中的暴力事件,施暴者往往是被网络上充满仇恨和偏见的言论煽动的。

In France, a front-page headline in Le Courrier Picard, a regional newspaper read "Yellow Alert," while in Australia, The Herald Sun, a newspaper owned by the Murdoch empire published an article "China Virus Panda-monium" over an image of a red mask. And in Germany, Der Spiegel, a popular center-left weekly magazine published a cover featuring an Asian man wearing a protective suit and mask while looking at his phone. The headline read "Made in China: When globalization becomes a deadline danger." All of these outlets were widely criticized and some redacted their content and apologized.

法国当地报纸《皮卡尔信使报》(Le Courrier Picard)的头版标题为“ Yellow Alert(黄色警报)”,而澳大利亚默多克帝国旗下报纸《先驱太阳报》(The Herald Sun)把“ China Virus Panda-monium疫乱中国)”置于一张红色口罩的图片上。德国一本颇受欢迎的中左派周刊《明镜》(Der Spiegel)的封面是一位身穿防护服、戴着口罩、看着手机的亚洲男子,标题为“(新型冠状病毒)中国制造:当全球化成为致命危险”。所有这些媒体都遭到了广泛批评,其中一些媒体删除了相关内容并道歉。

However, as a result of these examples and many more in Western mainstream media, incidents of xenophobia are on the rise and have been reported online from individuals even as young as 10 who have come to associate the virus directly with China and indirectly with the Asian continent. In Georgetown, Ontario, TIME reported children playing a new game of testing Chinese-looking playmates for coronavirus. The New York Times reported car drivers speeding by shouting things like "keep your virus, dirty Chinese" and "you are not welcome in France" at people from Asian descent.

然而,由于上述报道以及西方主流媒体的更多报道,仇外事件的发生呈上升趋势,这些事情也被个人发布在了网络上。甚至仅10岁大的孩子都将这种病毒直接与中国联系起来,或间接地与亚洲地区联系起来。据《时代》周刊报道,在安大略省乔治敦市,孩子们正在玩一种新游戏,即测试他们的中国人长相的玩伴是否感染了新冠病毒。《纽约时报》称,一些汽车司机看到亚裔会快速超车,并大喊“收好你的病毒,中国人”和“法国不欢迎你们”之类的话。

And everywhere around the world, if you look like you're from Asia and happen to cough on a bus or a train without a mask on, you should expect plenty of hostile stares. In incidents such as these, it is extremely difficult to clarify where the line can be drawn between justifiable fear and indisputable discrimination.

在世界各地,如果你长着一张亚洲面孔,碰巧没戴口罩在公共汽车或火车上咳嗽,那你必然会收到充满敌意的目光。在这种情况下,想要分清楚合理的恐惧与无情的歧视之间的界限是非常困难的。

 (A Pakistani student (C) studying in China poses for photos with medical staff after his recovery at Guangzhou No. 8 People's Hospital in Guangzhou, south China's Guangdong Province, February 12, 2020. /Xinhua Photo)

 2020212日,一名在中国留学的巴基斯坦学生(左三)在广东省广州市第八人民医院治愈出院后与医护人员合影。/图片来源:新华网


Wuhan Virus - a catchy, but detrimental name

武汉病毒——一个好记但有害的名称

Several things actively contribute to this growing negativism with regard to China. The most important of which might be related to a name. Calling the virus the "Wuhan Virus," or the "China Virus" directly links the virus with a geographic location and its people. However catchy it is for media practitioners to cling on to, is simply wrong. This practice has exacerbated preexisting xenophobia and racial prejudice against Chinese people. This adds to recent rhetoric of trade wars and accusations of economic espionage against China, and further vilifies and reaffirms negative sentiments with regard to the country and its people.

一些事情导致了中国当前负面的国际形象,其中最重要的因素可能是病毒的名称问题。把新型冠状病毒称为“武汉病毒”或“中国病毒”,直接将病毒与某个地区和该地区的人民联系了起来。不管这个名称对媒体从业者来说有多么好记,这种行为都是错误的。这种做法加剧了国际社会对中国人民的仇视心理和种族偏见,也加剧了近来对中国贸易战和经济间谍的指责,进一步侮辱中国及中国人民,激起了那些负面情绪。

Although this is not the first time a virus was named after the geographic location in which it first emerged, I believe this may prove as one of its worst examples. We all witnessed the discrimination against people from African descent after the Ebola Outbreak in 2014, as well as the increased discrimination against Mexicans and Latinos during the H1N1 Swine flu outbreak in 2009.

尽管这不是第一次病毒以首次出现的地理位置命名,但我认为这可能是最糟糕的例子之一。我们也都目睹了2014年埃博拉疫情爆发后非洲裔所受的歧视,以及2009H1N1猪流感暴发期间,墨西哥人和拉丁裔所受歧视的加剧。


We need to remember the pain

我们需要铭记苦难

The world may be inclined to criticize some of the quarantine measures implemented in China, restricting the movement of people and effectively placing entire cities on lockdown. However, at the rate this infection has been spreading, the world is all the better for the sacrifices my friends and their families back in China have made throughout the past weeks. I cannot even imagine the rates of global infections in the news today had this outbreak happened anywhere other than China.

世界可能倾向于批评中国实施的某些检疫措施,比如限制人员流动,以及强力封锁整个城市等。然而,以本次病毒感染蔓延的速度来看,过去几周内,中国人所做的牺牲使世界范围内疫情传播的情况有所好转。我甚至无法想象如果这次疫情爆发在中国以外的其他地区,那么今天的新闻报道中全球病毒感染率会多高。

A country with enough skilled personnel, manufacturing and agricultural capabilities to enforce preventive measures, provide medical needs, as well as ensure the provision of sufficient food and water for a population no less than the one occupying the African continent as a whole. Before we rush to sit on our high chairs and criticize from the safety of our homes thousands of miles away, let's just ask ourselves what would have happened had this outbreak occurred in any other country, especially one with fragile healthcare and governance systems. It would indeed have been catastrophic.

中国拥有足够多的技术人员,还有足够强的制造业和农业,可以实施预防措施,提供医疗需求,以及确保向数量不低于整个非洲大陆人口的人民提供充足的食物和水。在我们急着坐上高脚椅,从千里之外安全的家中进行批评之前,不妨先问问自己,如果疫情发生在其他任何国家,尤其是医疗卫生系统和治理体系脆弱的国家,又会是怎样的情形?那绝对是灾难性的!

In a conversation with Quartz, former human rights lawyer and citizen journalist who traveled to the epicenter of Wuhan to report on the outbreak the day after the quarantine was instilled, Chen Qiushi, said something that moved me — "you need to remember the pain caused by the virus." And as Edward W. Said mentions in his widely acclaimed book Orientalism: "Most important, humanism is the only, and I would go so far as to say, the final resistance we have against the inhuman practices and injustices that disfigure human history."

在实施隔离措施的第二天,前人权律师、公民记者陈秋实前往武汉报道疫情,在他和美国财经网站Quartz的一次对话中,他的一些话让我动容——“我们需要铭记病毒带来的苦难。”正如爱德华·W·赛义德(Edward W. Said)在他广受赞誉的著作《东方主义》中提到的那样:“最重要的是,人文主义是唯一的,我可以这么说,人文主义是对破坏人类历史的野蛮和不公正行为的最终抵制力量。”

Let's humanize people's suffering, put prejudice aside, and take action to protect the very tools designed to instill harmony and freedom from being used to divide us. The differences that may exist between us as defined by our color, race or ethnicity, cause much more happiness and bliss than to be reduced to a vision of a "clash of civilizations" pushed by notions of racial discrimination.

让我们给苦难者多些人文关怀摒弃偏见,采取行动保护我们用于传播和谐与自由思想的工具,而不是让它们沦为分裂我们的工具。由我们的肤色、种族或族群定义的差异,可以比被种族歧视观念所推动的“文明冲突”,带给我们更多的幸福与喜悦。




发布者:院科研办

发表时间:2020-02-26

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