[中英版] The Taiwanese American Conversation about #BlackLivesMatter

[ 英文版] ENGLISH ARTICLE HERE: The Taiwanese American Conversation about #BlackLivesMatter

Note: 我知道很多人有可能不了解這些示威的目標;但是它們有明確的政治訴求. We realize that a lot of our audience may not understand the specific demands of this movement. While we are still looking for/working on Chinese translations, this resource might be helpful. Please help us communicate to our community that the protests have both meaning and intent: https://m4bl.org/policy-platforms/

Taiwanese American yuppies, we’ve got some work to do.


This is a long-overdue reckoning. A conversation is not a solution, but a critical place to start. And we believe that showing up imperfectly – with our unsure language, blind spots, and all – is better than not showing up at all.


I thought a lot about the role of Taiwanese Americans in civic society when many who identified as such were trying to distance themselves from Chinese and Chinese Americans in order to deflect COVID-related racism. You can read our full statement here, but the point is this: comprehensive respect for the ways we are different – in immigration histories, in average socioeconomic status, in access to resources – creates more accountability for us to do right by each other, to approach each other with acute understanding.  Evoking our differences does not give us permission to walk away.


Our dignity is not a zero sum game, but rather takes root in our belief in democratic values. As we continue to fight for our dignity, we must not forget to support others in their fight for the same things, especially if they’ve laid the blueprint – and Black Americans have.


Solidarity, I’ve once written, might look like this: using our own histories and stories to deepen our compassion for those of others. In our language, we call this 概念 (gai nian / kai liam): how we conceptualize another’s suffering by finding its likeness within ourselves.


In the past, I’ve tried to make sweeping connections that would root us in a culture of activism: how Taiwan’s colonized history may help us recognize colonialism everywhere, from Mauna Kea to Hong Kong; how being third-culture children can make us insightful allies for other immigrant communities. How a recent history of state-sanctioned violence in Taiwan or Hong Kong can help us understand police brutality in the United States.


But frankly, the reality is that much of the Taiwanese American experience is suspended in a liminal zone of privilege.


We benefit from the efforts of working-class Chinese Americans in the United States, from the 1960s Civil Rights Movement – led by Black Americans, and from martial law-era democratization movements in Taiwan. It is interesting to note that many of the Taiwanese martial law era democratization activists were actually inspired by the Civil Rights protests. But all of this might be part of an unacknowledged heritage; many young, professional-class Taiwanese Americans today may not intimately understand the San Francisco State strike for ethnic studies or the 228 Incident in Taiwan. To put it bluntly, we probably assume the benefits of their outcomes but haven’t actually participated in their struggles; as such, our conversation needs to start with our unacknowledged privilege.


“When we identify where our privilege intersects with somebody else’s oppression,” writes Ijeoma Oluo, “we’ll find our opportunities to make real change.”

「當我們意識到自己的特權與他人的苦難有所交集時,」,Ijeoma Oluo曾經寫道,「我們就會找到能真正做出改變的時機。」

Taiwanese Americans, in general, are part of the secure American middle class, with life patterns that tend to be stable, conventional, and non-confrontational. In many ways, our lives have been largely shielded from real civic engagement or political friction in the United States. (To note – we’re not at all saying that Taiwanese American experiences can’t be hard! Or that our race, our ethnicity are not sources of tension. We see and honor our community’s complexities – but we want to establish wider context.)


Ask yourself: without getting defensive, can I own up to that?


So if we have the privilege of lacking personal context, the 概念 for #blacklivesmatter- the way forward for our community requires deep self-reflection, dialogue, and learning. We will find it hard to extend support when we haven’t truly wrestled with the ways in which we are complicit.


Drawing similarities between 228 and the Black Lives Matter movement, for example, while meaningful – still does not address the ways Taiwanese Americans today benefit from hundreds of years of systemic racism in this country. Comparing the events in Hong Kong with those in Minneapolis might be helpful, but only if we’ve bothered to mobilize against police brutality on behalf of either.


And Taiwanese Americans, have we truly?


Some conversation starters we’ve put together:


Can I support ‘black lives matter’ while condemning violence?

我可以一邊支持 #Blacklivesmatter,一邊譴責暴力嗎?

This is an important question – and one asked often in our community – because it challenges us to take self-inventory: why do I distinguish supporting Black lives from condemning violence? Doesn’t supporting Black humanity fundamentally mean that I will not accept the violence inflicted on their community?

這是一個很重要的問題,相信大家也常常聽到類似的論調。讓我們重新審視一番,為什麼要區分支持Black Lives Matter的社會運動跟譴責暴力呢?難道支持黑人不正是意味著拒絕任何加諸于非裔美人社群的國家暴力嗎?

Perhaps the question really being asked is:  why are we not acknowledging that the rules of civility had already been broken by those in power – namely the law enforcers themselves? And can we support Black lives while disagreeing with how their protests have violently escalated? Let’s sit with that for a bit: are we confining ourselves to a justice system that values goods and services over human life? Is it because the model minority myth – our deepest experience of race in the US – is equally a function of capitalism as it is of white supremacy? We defer to this 2015 TIME article explaining MLK’s oft-invoked statement that a “riot is the language of the unheard”:

或許真正該問的是:為什麼我們不正視公民社會的法制早被那些知法犯法之徒破壞?亦即那些以公權力為名,卻一再違法的執法人員。常常聽到這樣一個論述:我支持Black Lives Matter的運動,卻不能認同一些較為激烈或是暴力的抗議行為。先靜下來想想這句話,其中吊詭之處在於,我們是否把自己侷限在一個將法制淩駕於人命之上的思維之中?又或者,是否模範亞裔的迷思本身即是資本主義與白人至上主義下的產物呢? 再此,我們引用一篇2015時代雜誌的一篇文章,文中解釋了金恩博士(Martin Luther King)的一句廣為討論的名言:「暴動是不被傾聽的語言。」

“…I think America must see that riots do not develop out of thin air. Certain conditions continue to exist in our society which must be condemned as vigorously as we condemn riots. But in the final analysis, a riot is the language of the unheard. And what is it that America has failed to hear? It has failed to hear that the plight of the Negro poor has worsened over the last few years. It has failed to hear that the promises of freedom and justice have not been met. And it has failed to hear that large segments of white society are more concerned about tranquility and the status quo than about justice, equality, and humanity. And so in a real sense our nation’s summers of riots are caused by our nation’s winters of delay. And as long as America postpones justice, we stand in the position of having these recurrences of violence and riots over and over again. Social justice and progress are the absolute guarantors of riot prevention.”


We also stand by Yolanda Renteria (@thisisyolandarenteria), who writes that “it is not your choice to determine how an oppressed group protests; when as a [non-Black] person you say ‘violence is not the answer,’ you are saying ‘peaceful protests and negotiation are the answer.’ You are denying the fact that marginalized groups often aren’t heard. Implying there are other ways minimizes the frustration and provides no answers, or solutions. It just points, with privilege, to do things a different way that doesn’t disturb your comfort.”

我們也同意Yolanda Renteria的觀點。她曾經寫道,「沒有誰可以評斷底層人民該以什麼樣的方式抗議;當一個不是非裔美人的人指責說暴力不能解決問題,並理直氣壯的說和平的抗議和協商才是解決之道。此翻論調否定了長期以來社會對底層人民的忽視,盲目的相信有其他管道可以讓訴求被聽見,對問題的解決也毫無幫助。再再顯現出既得利益者正是那些擁有不同選擇,卻又不用擔心害怕結果的人。」

To each other, we ask: at any step of the movement – peaceful or otherwise – have we tried to help?


What does “yellow peril supports black power” mean for us?

我們該如何解讀 “Yellow Peril(黃禍)挺 Black Power(黑潮) ” ?

“Yellow peril supports Black power” is currently used as a social justice slogan – a stirring one, at that – to demonstrate AAPI solidarity with Black lives, but, in our opinion, risks being performative/virtue-signaling if used without context/understanding. We recommend reading up on the history of yellow peril and its intersection with the Black power movement (some really good readings here).

“Yellow Peril(黃禍)挺 Black Power(黑潮) ”是當代社會運動下的一個產物,這聽起來十分鼓舞人心,也能表明亞太裔與非裔美人團結一致的決心。然而,就我們認為,若單就字面上意思解讀而不加以深入討論的話,會有一定的風險。建議讀者們細讀一些黃禍的歷史,並瞭解其中黃禍是如何和黑潮運動有所交織的。【更多豐富內容,請參照】

I also fear that we might misinterpret “yellow peril supports Black power” as a suggestion that we empathize because we’ve equally suffered. This isn’t true. To be specific, Black-Taiwanese solidarity shouldn’t rely on an interchangeability between the Black and Taiwanese American experience. In a Huffington post article, op-ed columnist Dan Truong wrote that “this sense of camaraderie and brotherhood Asian Americans can give to Black Americans stems from the recognition that [individuals like] Trayvon Martin could just as easily have been ‘Tranh Van Minh’ [and that] any Asian could easily have fallen under the historically ingrained system of ‘othering’ George Zimmerman clearly used to make his decision.”

我也擔心我們會對“Yellow Peril (黃禍) 挺 Black Power (黑潮) ”的意涵有著錯誤的解讀。我們同理非裔美人的處境,但不代表我們認為亞太裔受的苦難和非裔美人是同等的。這是個錯誤的認知。更明確地說,非裔美人和臺裔美人團結的基礎,不應單單仰賴我們之間類似的經歷。在Huffinton Post的一篇社評寫道,亞裔和非裔美人之間的同袍之誼,若單單建立在認為 Trayvon Martin (一位17歲的非裔青年慘遭George Zimmerman射殺) 可以是任何亞裔青年的話,我們仍落入制度性白人排他主義的思維,犯了和兇手George Zimmerman 一樣的錯誤,認為有色人種即是外來的且可疑的。

This doesn’t necessarily resonate with us. To suggest a Taiwanese American today faces similar or equal threats as a Black American does continues to prove that we are not listening to the plight of Black Americans, or that we are still centering our own narratives above those of Black Americans, creating fraternal conditions for their humanity.


“Yellow peril supports Black power” is powerful and necessary; but more importantly, it signals a promissory bias for action. We can use it, but are we saying it to deflect accountability for white supremacy, or are we saying it because we really, truly intend to change our hearts and communities?

“Yellow Peril (黃禍) 挺 Black Power (黑潮)” 的口號響亮有力,但是更重要的是,它象徵了一種帶著偏見的承諾。當我們接受這樣一個想法時,是否也應該思考如何不弱化問題的本身──白人至上主義?或是,當我們接受這樣一個想法時,我們是否是真正希望可以藉此改變我們的思想和社群?


What can I do about it?


In addition to well-researched lists currently in circulation, here are additional ways for Taiwanese Americans to be helpful:



“The word my mother had used, “鬧事” (naoshi) – “to create a disturbance, to make trouble” values harmony and peace. However, it also seemingly holds the connotation of creating something out of nothing—which is not true. African Americans in the United States have faced decades of structural oppression and violence that did not just suddenly culminate into one verdict. By using this word, we erase history. We fail to acknowledge historical injustices.

引文: 「我媽媽用鬧事一詞來概括現在的抗議活動。鬧事強調了平和,認為現在這些抗議只不過是無中生有,破壞現有秩序。很明顯的,鬧事具偏頗意味,誤帶風向。非裔美人面對的是幾百年來體制上的壓迫和暴力,絕非單一事件的偶然。若使用鬧事一詞,大大抹殺了非裔美人歷代面臨的壓迫,斷絕了還原歷史真相和訴求轉型正義的目標。」

In contrast, the word: “抗議” (kangyi) is a verb that means “to protest, to express strong opposition to the speech, actions, or measures of someone, a country, or a unit”. The verb in its function often takes a direct object. By having the ability to take a direct object, the word prompts us to find a reason. We start asking ourselves: what are people protesting? Is there a reason for their anger?” 


Share resources, time, capital, space: Taiwan Bento, for example, a Taiwanese American casual restaurant in Oakland, shared on their Instagram on May 29 that “starting 8pm tonight, there will be a demonstration over the police killing of George Floyd. If any protestors need a surgical mask[,] come by Taiwan Bento before we close at 7 and we will provide one. Let’s all stay safe and keep our community safe.”

樂捐資源,時間,財力和空間。比如,臺灣便當,一個位在美國奧克蘭的一個臺式快餐店,於3月29日在他們的社交媒體上分享了這麼一則訊息:「自今晚八點開始,將會有抗議員警濫殺George Floyd的遊行活動。如果抗議群眾中,有人需要口罩的話,請歡迎在七點打烊前到店內索取。讓我們一同確保彼此和社區的安全。」

  • Professional/affinity groups can sponsor or host “learning sessions” with trained diversity and inclusion counselors

同業工商會或是同鄉會等等團體可和專業的多元化(diversity and inclusion)講師協辦或舉辦公益講堂。

Taiwanese Americans are capable of civic participation. We’ve been campaigning for census participation and representation for years. We’ve recently seen community efforts to direct Taiwan’s commendable PPE (personal protective equipment) production towards hospitals in the US, and fundraising initiatives to provide lunches for essential workers. Today and moving forward, can we summon the same spirit to hold ourselves accountable for our role in #blacklivesmatter? To focus more on inward, intergenerational change than routinely performing our sympathies? Who will we be, online and offline?




(h/t Izzy 穆戈



We know the conversations aren’t easy. We know it gets messy, that we’re confronting intense flaws within ourselves and the people we love. But keep doing the work. Keep learning and sharing and donating and calling. It matters so much. Original post from @taitsai in FB subtle taiwanese traits of a mom sharing support for her daughter attending a #justiceforgeorgefloyd event. #asians4blacklives #taiwaneseforblacklives #taiwaneseamerican #taiwanese

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#BlackLivesMatter 的簡單說明。因為有看到一些人在網路上說All Lives Matter,但不知道大家有沒有搞清楚差別在哪,所以我翻譯了個人覺得說得最好的兩個圖案,第一張是有人拿著的海報,我把它翻成中文,其他的9張的是一個漫畫,但因為字太小了所以我是分開發的,這樣更好讀。如果翻錯請大家多多指導,我會把原圖上傳到story。 其實all lives matter這句話在國外算是跟black lives matter有衝突的一句話,曾被種族歧視者拿來攻擊黑人的想法還有攻擊black lives matter這個集團,所以你如果是支持這個 #JusticeForGeorgeFloyd 的活動,最好不要搞錯然後說 all lives matter,這樣做會導致誤會。 我也承認這些歧視大部分都是有權利的白人在做的,華人也受到了不少歧視,我自己也有北美洲原住民血統,但我們必須記得這個活動是大家vs種族歧視者,不是某一個民族對某一個民族。 最後,雖然這次的抗議活動主要是在美國發生的,但全球的城市都在辦抗議活動支持,包括台灣這個禮拜六也會舉辦活動(資訊一樣會放在story裡)。畢竟我們現在住在地球村啊,科技發達更讓全球都成為一個大家庭,那我就發這些圖片讓台灣朋友更了解這個活動、更能參與地球村兄弟姐妹的活動因為我目前沒有看到中文翻譯的版本。 Stay safe ❤️

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最近全球有一些人權相關的事件及紀念日,可以藉機思考我們每個人是如何無形中參與及改變社會中種種現象。其中,Black Lives Matter 運動引起了全世界的關注,很多人在社群網站及現實生活中紛紛表述關心,網上也有很多資料提供援助或分析此事件。 各地亞洲人也開始討論 #BLM 跟亞裔群體的關聯及相似點 — 如香港、新加坡、印尼巴布亞等地的情況,但單純從台灣的角度討論 #BLM 的文章似乎少之又少。 種族歧視一直以來都是一個全球性的問題。就算台灣是個種族同質性很高的國家,排外 (xenophobia)、種族歧視 (racism)、膚色歧視 (colourism)、白人至上 (white supremacy) 等等問題在台灣文化中仍十分顯著 — 對國外審美標準的執著、崇洋媚外的舉動、對不同文化跟語言背景的人產生偏見… 都是現實生活中很常見的例子。 台灣雖然與 #BLM 距離比較遙遠,但還是可以關心這個持續上百年的議題及從中檢視自己的行為及所在社會中相似的問題。 @muyinc 跟我只是貢獻小小的力量彙整這個簡單的FAQ,網路上還有許多詳細的資訊以便深入了解更多BLM及相關人權運動的消息。我們兩個並不是完全土生土長的台灣人,所以文化理解上不一定完全正確,但我們也都還在學習,所以也歡迎跟我們分享討論哦! #blacklivesmatter #blm #taiwan

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An important message for the Chinese-speaking community from me: (approximate English translation of the above text) The long-standing racism in the US directed at the black community is being examined right now. So many black people live their lives in fear every day that a routine traffic stop or a simple visit to the store could have disastrous consequences. Black people in our society are treated differently and are held to different standards; this is a fact. The death of George Floyd by a police officer has outraged us all — it is the latest incident in a long history of racism towards the black community. We must take this time in our world’s history to listen, understand, and educate ourselves on what is happening. We have to stand up for our black brothers and sisters. Each of us has to find our own way to help. We need to try our best. . . . Please find ways you can help. And of course that will look different for everyone, but we need your best effort. I know you can do it. All of you in my community here and around the world are kind, good people filled with love and that’s why I love YOU all so much— now is the time for us to do our part! ❤️ Black Lives Matter. They matter so much… they are all around us as loved ones, as family, as friends… Black Lives Matter.

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還記得去年的 6 月,我們為了香港的朋友們擔憂,為了我們共同信仰的價值遭踐踏而生氣。這一年來,我們迫切地轉發文章、閱讀資訊、寫信連署、出錢出力,我們盡自己所能地想要告訴身邊的人、告訴世界,香港這塊土地發生了什麼事,那裡的人正遇到什麼樣的困難。這件事還沒結束,還是進行式,但此時此刻,又有另一個被迫害的族群正在勇敢地為自己發聲,而他們的聲量需要世界各地的人一起幫助擴音。 我好像不只一次,從亞洲朋友的口中聽到以下這些言論:「每次走在倫敦路上都好怕遇到黑人」、「黑人他們是不是都是幫派搶匪」、「我跟黑人男生擦肩而過時,都會緊緊抓住自己的包包,深怕被搶」。每一次聽到我都好驚訝。 無論你對於非裔族群之前有多麼深的誤解,現在是個好機會透過不同的方式理解這些跟你我一樣值得被平等對待的人,並好好瞭解這場 Black Lives Matter 事件。 我知道身處在遙遠台灣的我們,由於成長過程及生活環境的關係,多數人很難與這項議題產生情感上的連結(跟香港相比的話),但如果你願意,可以從現在開始認識這個議題,特別是許多台灣人從小就對美國帶有崇敬心態,多少人懷抱著美國夢,更尤其我相信這個粉專的讀者很多人是同志,請記得,世界上第一場爭取同志平權的遊行,就是由黑人族群主導的,有了這些先鋒,我們如今才能在世界各個角落享受現在的權利。 如果我們無法試著去理解這個與我們關係友好的國家,內部正在發生的事情,無法去試著瞭解他人所受的苦難,往後我們又有什麼資格去要求別人在乎我們? 好了,如果你還願意讀下去,那麼馬上進入正題。面對這個議題,我列了幾個我們可以閱讀資訊的管道,無論你是住在海外每天待在家裡,或是在台灣過著朝九晚五的生活,都可以利用一些零碎時間,讀文章、看書、看電影看劇,一起用我們能力所及的方式,支持這項議題。 #如何當一個反種族歧視的人: #入門文章:理解 #黑人的命也是命 美國遍地烽火:我們該如何理解美國的種族不平等 by US Taiwan Watch: 美國台灣觀測站 連結:http://tiny.cc/mne8pz 如何理解 Black Lives Matters?暴動是不被傾聽者的語言 by 陳啟睿&周永康 連結:https://bit.ly/2U5AWe1 #書單: 來到英國後,我才開始閱讀這方面的書籍,一方面是本來就對種族議題有興趣,一方面也是在認識南亞裔和非裔朋友後,想要多多瞭解英國人怎麽對待這些有色人種的。 你或許很難想像,我們以前在學校裡學英國殖民香港、殖民印度、殖民全世界許多國家的這件事情,對於許多英國人來說其實相當陌生。而這跟英國教育的歷史課綱有很大的關係,許多英國人甚至不知道,香港、印度曾經是英國殖民地,天啊,你能相信嗎?更別提他們以全世界第一個解放黑奴的國家為傲,而忽略了許多應該傳授給下一代的重要史事。這也是為什麼,英國每年都有很多關於殖民、種族、南亞裔、非裔這些議題的書。因此以下很多本雖然都是沉重到不行的種族議題,卻都是書店裡或亞馬遜上的常年暢銷書,看完後真的會開拓以前從未打開的視野,應該也會打破許多人對英國的美好想像。在台灣,我們經常從媒體或娛樂影視上接受到過度美化的英美形象,這邊當然指的是「白人形象」,但如果從以下這些非白人作家的觀點來看,可就不是這麼一回事了。台灣買不到實體書,買電子書就好,我自己也是用iPad看的,過幾天我再來講講我已經讀完的幾本的心得。 首推我自己有讀完或正在讀的: Natives: Race & Class in the Ruins of Empire by Akala Girl, Woman, Ohter by Bernardine Evaristo Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race by Reni Eddo-Lodge Inglorious Empire: What The British Did To India by Shashi Tharoor The Good Immigrant by Nikesh Shukla Lovers And Strangers: An Immigrant History of Post-War Britain by Clair Wills 我還沒開始讀,但之後會想看的: White Fragility: Why it’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism by Robin Diangelo Don’t Touch My Hair by Emma Dabiri #Netflix: 別人眼中的我們 When They See Us 憲法第十三條修正案 13th
流行大百科:種族間的貧富差距 Explained: The Racial Wealth Gap
親愛的白人 Dear White People
轉動光陰 See You Yesterday 在 6 月 4 日這天提醒自己,永不停止地關心那些受到迫害的人。有一天,我們都可能是少數。 #請分享出去讓更多人可以看見 #倫敦男子日常 #blacklivesmatter #黑人的命也是命 #種族歧視

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Friends and Family of the TAFF Community and beyond – Black Lives Matter.
 Here’s an open letter to family members and loved ones to share and encourage us to stand together as one.

Thanks to the original text from Letters for Black Lives (Link in bio for further letter translations & resources) & @tsztime for the graphics. A brief list of local film festivals & advocacy groups for more resources (DM us with any others we can include):
@lafilmfestivals @filmindependent @arraynow

Check out our stories this week for more highlights of Black cast and crew in our industry. Let’s amplify their voices. #asiansforblacklives #blacklivesmatter #blacklivesmattertaiwan #taiwaneseforblacklives #taiwan #taiwaneseamerican

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