Petition update

籲請《明報》更正錯誤 Letter to the editor of the Mingpao requesting correction

Jon Solomon
France

Mar 22, 2020 — 

感謝諸位大德支持者,Dear Supporters (English below):

由於您們寶貴的支持,在下日前發起的連署活動已經引起了當地媒體的注意!

https://news.mingpao.com/pns/%E8%A6%81%E8%81%9E/article/20200322/s00001/1584815367527/%E6%B3%95%E5%9C%8B%E5%AD%B8%E8%80%85%E7%A8%B1%E6%96%87%E7%AB%A0%E6%B6%89%E6%AD%A7%E8%A6%96-%E4%BF%83%E6%B8%AF%E5%A4%A7%E6%9F%A5%E8%A2%81%E5%9C%8B%E5%8B%87

遺憾的是,該報導有藏頭露尾之處,不但剝奪了中文讀者知的權益,而且有刻意隱瞞事實、扭曲事實、抹黑本人之嫌。

一、《明報》雖然忠實轉述了連署的訴求即是反對殖民歧視復甦的問題,可是對於袁、龍一文哪一點具體構成了殖民歧視言論的部分,《明報》的報導完全失準了。連署內文清楚地將焦點放在袁、龍一文涉及「劣根性民族性」的部分,其具體表現為「中國人的劣質文化」與「陋習劣根」等字眼。但是《明報》對此隻字不提,等於是將新聞重點藏起來,導致讀者無法瞭解真相,對於新聞事件無法自行判斷。

二、對於連署提出的要求,《明報》轉述上的錯誤則構成了第二度失準的案例,頗有誤導讀者之嫌。本人發起的連署活動提出了兩個具體的要求,如下:一、呼籲校方針對其聘用教職員在校外發表殖民歧視言論一事公開說明校方的立場與觀點。We ask: 1) the President's Office of the University of Hong Kong should provide a public explanation for the extent and basis of its support for faculty members like Dr Yuen whose public persona outside the university promotes the resurrection of colonial racism. 二、呼籲校方建立諮詢委員會,其旨在查究與紀錄這間具有殖民根源且受人敬重的學府當中,殖民歧視的活生生的歷史2) the establishment of a panel of inquiry to investigate and document the living history of colonial racism in this venerable institution with colonial roots。《明報》聲稱連署「要求校方成立委員會調查袁國勇」,顯然與事實不符。

最後,在連署結尾之處,而並非在具體訴求之內(具體訴求均以羅馬數字1、2列出),連署補充了此一句:「我們呼籲校方,假設有需要的話,在尚待進一步探查的前提下,重新思考袁博士的聘任案。」If need be, pending further investigation, we ask that HKU reconsider its appointment of Dr Yuen.。以上文字重點在於*限定的條件*的意義上,與《明報》聲稱連署「要求重新考慮其聘任」之間有很大的出入。

媒體對於事實真相如此藏頭露尾並混淆視聽,讓人非常遺憾。籲請貴報即時更正,以免造成進一步的傷害。

耑此敬致 《明報新聞網》編輯

蘇哲安 敬上

請大家繼續廣為分享,一起反對假借專業之名去散播歷史歧視詞彙。

若干說明補充:

一、在新自由主義撙節政策的影響下,專業的社會地位備受挑戰。特朗普任命毫無教育界經驗可言的富豪—伊莉莎白·「貝琪」·戴弗斯(Betsy de Vos)擔任教育部長一事頗有象徵性的意義,代表專業泛政治化的當代窘境。一方面,隨著互聯網業餘「專家」班門弄斧現象的崛起與專業資格取得過程的商品化,專業原有的知識訓練與道德內涵等多重意義均產生了丕變,導致專業的意義盡失,專業墜入谷底。另一方面,一些別有用心的人,假借專業之名,去摻雜各種非科學的歷史概念,讓一些我們以為早已被淘汰的歷史糟粕重新浮出檯面。專業治理(rule of experts)固然是民主的威脅,專業的貶低與濫用亦復如是。甚至可以說,整個全球社會當前處於一種廣義的專業知識危機的狀態中,是個亟需正視的問題。

二、種族歧視研究領域早已創造了「橫向種族歧視」(horizontal racism)的新詞彙來描述「同一」族群或民族內部的歧視現象。此一概念在學界流傳許久,其事實根據跟理論基礎均不容置疑。

中文世界對於美國生物學專家史蒂芬·傑伊·古爾德(英語:Stephen Jay Gould,1941年9月10日-2002年5月20日)的名著—《人的错误量度》 (The Mismeasure of Man, 1980年出版 )相關的介紹甚多,對於「劣根性」(inferior stock, inferior species) 這個概念在科學、社會與政治等等領域的歷史意義與當代威脅,不可能全然無知,也不可以假裝不知。

三、各國右派勢力秉持言論自由之名去行使各種歧視言論之實,是個冰東三尺的問題,不能掉以輕心。

Dear Supporters,

Thank you for your kind support. Together we can make a difference and defend against racism while supporting expertise and the public use of reason. 

After only two days, the petition that I started on change.org against colonial racism in institutions of higher education with a colonial history has gained media attention in the Chinese-language Mingpao (HK).

Unfortunately, this report in the Mingpao, an influential legacy newspaper in Hong Kong, is filled with factual errors and half-truths that distort the issue and prevent Chinese-language readers from understanding the petition.

Although the report mentions that the petition was initiated to call against colonial racism, it doesn't report the concrete instance of colonial racism to which the petition calls attention, namely the use of the terms 劣根、劣質文化 and 陋習 (variously, inferior root stock, inferior culture, and degenerate customs). This omission is not only untruthful, it is also deeply misleading.

The second serious error concerns the two concrete demands of the petition, which were explicitly numbered and placed in order:

"We ask:

"1) the President's Office of the University of Hong Kong should provide a public explanation for the extent and basis of its support for faculty members like Dr Yuen whose public persona outside the university promotes the resurrection of colonial racism.

"2) the establishment of a panel of inquiry to investigate and document the living history of colonial racism in this venerable institution with colonial roots."

The report in the Mingpao writes: 要求港大校長辦公室對外交代有多大程度支持袁教授,並要求校方成立委員會調查袁國勇,及要求重新考慮其聘任 "The petition called for the President's Office of the University of Hong Kong to publicly explain the extent of its support for Prof. Yuen and called for the University to establish a panel of investigation to investigate Kwok-Yung Yuen, calling for a reconsideration of his employment."

As can be seen, this summary of the two demands posed by the petition is inaccurate and highly misleading. It also completely misconstrues the meaning of the final sentence of the petition, which reads, "If need be, pending further investigation, we ask that HKU reconsider its appointment of Dr Yuen." The whole point of this phrase is to make it clear that an investigation of Dr Yuen would be conditional only upon the needs determined by a larger general inquiry, not investigation, into the colonial history of the University and its present-day legacy. It was not numbered and was hence not included in the petition demands.

A generous reading of these errors and omissions would be that the journalist who prepared the report did not understand fully the English text. In the current climate in Hong Kong, however, which is permeated by a wartime-like sense of campism, it is impossible not to suspect that the errors and omissions were deliberate, rather than inadvertent.

In either case, it is irresponsible.

Please continue to share the petition widely. Thank you!





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