Dear Chinese American parents:

 

I am a Chinese American parent. The racial events in the past several years, culminating in the recent murder of George Floyd, have swallowed the whole country. These events and protests have brought out a lot of differing arguments in the social media among the Chinese American community.

 

I understand where our impressions of African American are coming from. They come from public media reports of broken families, drug-infested housing, welfare abuses, and violent crimes, and they are undisputable. Put in the broader context, these behaviors are rooted in 400 years of oppression by the rest of the society. The first African slave ship arrived on American soil in 1619. Even after the Emancipation Proclamation of 1863 and the end of the Civil War in 1865, the oppression of African American continued, and continues to this day. One of the often forgotten, yet the most brutal, racial incident was the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre. Up to 300 people in a rich, black neighborhood in Tulsa, Oklahoma were slaughtered by white supremacists; 800 people were wounded and 6000 people illegally interned. 

 

Crime and violence are a direct result of systematic inequality and oppression. Our impressions of African American are outcomes of this 400 years of vicious cycle. The murder of George Floyd is but one of the latest glaring cases. African Americans dying in the hands of police brutality has been considered normal occurrences for quite some time and reflects a structural ill in our society. Nobody deserves what George Floyd got, period. 

 

This historical moment presents a valuable opportunity to listen to our children. Because of our children are growing up in a racially diverse society, they are often less racially prejudiced than we are. Many support Black activism because they want to create a more harmonious and just society. 

 

We need to ask ourselves: As a minority, should we treat other minorities in ways we want to be treated? What kind of society do we want our children and grandchildren to live in? What example are we setting for them to create a better society? 

 

I do not want my children and grandchildren to grow up in a society forever plagued with racial tension. This begins with reassessing our thoughts and actions and having open discussions about racism with our family. 

 

Paul Chan

pchan730@hotmail.com

6-19-2020, Maryland

 

致美国华人家长们的一封信:

 

你们好!我是居住在美国的华人家长。在过去几年,警察暴力导致的黑人命案不断发生。最近乔治·弗洛伊德(George Floyd)的谋杀,终于席卷了整个美国,并在华人群体中引起了不同的反响。

 

我理解大家对黑人的认知从何而来。它来自媒体对黑人家庭破裂、毒品泛滥、滥用福利、和暴力犯罪的报道。这些都无可争议。但从更广的角度来看,这些行为根植于社会对黑人400年来的压迫。第一艘非洲奴隶船于1619年抵达美国。即使在1865年南北战争和奴隶解放之后,美国社会对黑人的压迫,虽然在慢慢缓和,却没有间断过。明年将是Tulsa种族屠杀100周年。1921年Oklahoma州Tulsa市白人在黑人富裕区发动的事件中,近300名黑人被杀,800人受伤,6000人被非法拘禁。

 

不平等和压迫直接导致了犯罪和暴力。我们对黑人的印象是这个400年恶性循环的结果。乔治·弗洛伊德的谋杀不过是最新的事件之一。在很长一段时间,黑人死于警察暴行的事件在媒体已是司空见惯。这反映了社会对黑人的不公平,是个结构性弊病。

 

这个历史时刻提供了我们们与下一代交流的宝贵机会。由于孩子们在一个多元化的社会中成长,他们的种族偏见比我们少。他们中间许多人支持黑人的抗议行动,因为他们想建立一个更加和谐,公正的社会。

 

我们需要自问:作为少数群体,是否应该以自己希望得到的待遇来对待其他少数群体?我们想让后代生活在怎样的社会里?我们如何为后代树立榜样来创建一个更好的社会?

 

我不希望我们的后代在种族偏见笼罩的社会中长大。我们要反思个人对种族关系的想法,并与家人诚恳的讨论怎样的种族关系才会带来更美好的社会。

 

陈灏

pchan730@hotmail.com

2020年6月19日

马里兰州

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