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愿我们的“民族感情”彪悍起来  

2011-02-20 23:02:06|  分类: 杂谈 |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

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过去因为参加一个关于中国的集体博客之故,我被列入了一个关于“中国视点”的海外学人邮件组。最近大家在讨论,如何系统地反击海外媒体中对于中国的污蔑,甚至说要像犹太人那样,成立一个反辱华的组织。我建议不要这样,因为一个组织,如果定位是“what we are against", 而非"what we are about", 是很难有多大成效的。

过去我也反击过对于中国餐馆、中国对外汉语教学之类的污蔑,但是基本上都是就事论事,也是处在一个闭塞环境下的一种自保。还有一些,比如说中餐馆里卖鼠肉猫肉的,会危害到在美国中餐馆从业者的切身利益。有人发点声,也可以声援一下这些同胞。对于美国媒体对于中国社会现实的一些批评,我倒觉得批评得还不到位。而更多我听到的是表扬,羡慕和一种威胁感。

经过了过去几年好多事,中国成熟了些。世界对于中国应该有了一个更好的判断。此一时彼一时,这年头,我都觉得媒体在“捧杀”中国了,你还刻舟求剑地满世界找“辱华”证据有什么意思?美国人形形色色什么人都有,有爱中国爱得发狂的,有恨中国深入骨髓的,我不觉得系统地把一个国家,变作中国的迫害者,有任何现实的根据,这样做也不会有实在的影响,除非是在战时。

而今的传播方式和以前已经大不一样,那种系统的宣传和反宣传,如今已经收效甚微。维基百科的泄密,居然掀起了中东的一场革命,这是“美国之音”等电台搞了多少年都没有办成的事,怪不得奥巴马决定要砍掉美国之音了。所以我甚至持有一个极端的观点:绝大部分关于国家形象的宣传工程都是浪费钱财。

我觉得我们身处双重文化中的人,理应介绍两种文化、两种体系中的优势,让有心的人听到,做出观念的革新或者行动上的改变。这是一种撒种,遇到沃土自会开花结果,遇到荆棘石头,则种子白撒,一如圣经中描述的情形。我们写的人,哪能看到所有读者的情形。各位看官看到了,有则改之,无则加勉好了。对于文化交流者来说,我很佩服《民主的细节》作者刘瑜的一个观点,她说不要因为在一个地方呆久了,就骄傲自满,失去好奇心,认为一切的一切,我们都有,甚至比美国更好。

关于外国人的批评,我觉得说得在理的就听,不要以为寡人无疾,社会和谐,形势大好,殊不知我们的毛病太多,可学习的东西太多,尤其是科技与经济之外的很多领域。让他们去批评好了。

批评得没理的,索性就别理睬。蓄意反华的人自然是有,怎么反击也没用,这样的反击像是跟疯子在打架,最后哪知道谁是疯子。

人生苦短,我以后不会再热心于这类的事情。因此,我让他们将我从邮件组中删除。以下是我给其中一位质疑我观点的朋友所写的一些说明(文字略有编辑)。我只能登出我自己的答复,上下文可能有点不清楚,大家凑合着看吧(比如我举例说应该传扬美国教育的优势,有人反击说你说你在美国说哈佛多好有什么用?事实上我根本不是这个意思。)


You are absolutely right in saying that there is a lot of competition going on between the two countries. And I probably need to take a step back by saying that there is indeed a lot of bias in the US media.

But compared to the injustices that happen in China, this is nothing to worry about. China's biggest enemy is herself.

You think that US media shows the worst in China, but I see even worse things in the Chinese blogsphere. Who in a good conscience would think that US media bias is a big issue when back home in China, there are systematic biases against people from other provinces in Beijing and Shanghai, or when people feel it is fine to discriminate against those without "City citizenship"?

I am sure that the US wants to have an upper hand in its competition with China, but we should not deny that it is doing a fairly good job treating its own citizens, not without some struggles that had led to the status today. What is China doing? Bringing billions of dollars of orders every time a leader visits a foreign country, while relying on donations for people needing urgent help back home? What do all such image-building and face-saving amount to when little is done to curb social injustices within, when most resort to "it will take generations" as an excuse for inaction?   The world will never respect a country that doesn't treat its own citizens right, no matter how hard you fight with their smearing and bias.

Why don't we all do a soul searching ourselves? Why do we live and work in the US? Are we learning anything? What are we doing with what we have learned? Just participating in the American discourse about what media says, and why it is right and wrong?

At the end of Qing Dynasty, Wei Yuan wrote that he was interested in "师夷之长技以制夷" (Learning from the strengths of foreign powers so that we can win in competitions against them). I find that to be a more humble and practical approach for responsible citizens, though I'd caution about the winning part. Maybe we can just live with each other without winning or losing. I just hope that we all learn the strengths and advantages of Americans and share these with Chinese so that China can emerge as a better (not just "stronger") country. By learning from its western peers in science and technology China has emerged as an economic power. Now the focus should move to those "softer" issues, which in the cold war years we simply dismissed as ideological differences, things like justice, education, citizenship, community involvement etc. China is still lacking in many of such areas.

When I say "what is good" about American education, I am not saying on the level of how good Harvard is. I am seeing the underlying strength of America in its educational system, though it is also riddled with problems which Americans are debating and deliberating all the time. We all have something to learn from each other, don't we? While America is figuring us out, the things we are doing right, why don't we try to learn from them?

These may not interest you, but I am immensely interested in sharing how an average elementary school in the US cultivate responsible citizenship, how an average college in America encourages its graduates to go out and change the world, how Obama is allocating resources for community colleges when in China the resources are allocated mainly for the Chinese Harvards and Yales, and how the Internet can be used by the government for better government communication, while it is so restricted in China that its biggest growth is in entertainment. Building inner strength and equipping people with the right tools and resources will lift up a nation.

If Obama is saying America needs to have a sense of crisis in education, and folks like Bob Compton kept sounding the wake-up call for America with documentaries such as 2 Million Minutes, why do we think we should be complacent and say China is fine and harmonious (by the way it is it is as harmonious as a volcano) that those who say bad things about us need to be removed, hushed, or confronted?

Thanks for all your feedback. I believe we all want to see China as a better country, but we differ in our perception of how China is doing, and the approaches we take to contribute our share in China's development and a better relationship between the two countries. I just wish you the best of luck with your future effort!
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