Mixed Feelings 五味雜陳

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I took these pictures while strolling around Stockholm, Sweden. The stickers were on many lampposts and bathroom stalls, some accompanied by “F*ck Xi Jinping” graffiti.

這幾張照片是我在瑞典的斯德哥爾摩 (Stockholm) 散步時拍的。不少路燈上貼滿了這些貼紙,甚至在廁所的隔間上,還有「Fuck Xi Jinping」的塗鴉。

As a Taiwanese American, there is a part of me that is glad to see people stand united against authoritarian rule. The Swedish street artist stated that his original intention was “to satire Xi/CCP, NOT to make a racist comment that hurt a lot of people.”

Original work: https://www.instagram.com/p/CGLmsKPJjsj/

Geopolitical tensions have been rising due to the pandemic, human rights violations, and ongoing wars. It’s only natural that people would vent their frustration through artworks such as this.

身為臺裔美國人(Taiwanese American)的我,為人們團結一致地反對獨裁統治(authoritarian rule)感到欣慰,正如貼紙與海報上所表明的那樣。這位瑞典的街頭藝術家表示,他的初衷「只是為了諷刺習與中共」。由於全球的疫情、人權的侵犯、持續的戰爭,當然還有臺灣的處境,致使地緣政治的緊張局勢(geopolitical tensions)不斷上升。人們自然會藉由這樣的藝術作品來宣洩自身的不滿。

As an Asian American, I initially felt a bit uneasy as the poster could incite xenophobia and hostility towards Asians. In fact, while in Sweden, I was accosted by some Swedish lady threatening my brother and I and for taking a selfie while waiting for the subway. We could not understand her except that she was furious and yelled something about “Kina” and “polis,” the only words we understood. Of course, it could be that she was just mentally ill or upset about something else, but from her reaction, it is difficult not to assume it had something to do with our race.

起初,身為亞裔美國人(Asian American)的我有些不安,因為這些海報可能會挑起仇外心理(xenophobia)以及對亞洲人的敵意。在瑞典時,我跟我弟在等地鐵時自拍,卻受到一位陌生瑞典女子的威脅。我們完全無法理解她,當時她非常生氣地大吼大叫,而我們唯一能聽懂的只有「中國(kina)」與「警察(polis)」這兩個詞。也許,她有精神上的疾病,或對其他事情感到不安。但從她對我們的反應來看,似乎是與我們的人種(race)有關。

This was not my only brush with racism as of late. I was in Washington, D.C., for work just a couple of months ago. While waiting for the crosswalk light to change, some guy rode past me on his bike and shouted, “You f*cken Chinese. Go back to China.” Before I could tell say anything, he rode off. However, even if he had stopped, I’m fairly certain he was not interested in a lengthy discussion about geopolitics and the differences between Taiwan and China or the fact that I am an American.

其實,這並不是我近來唯一一次與種族歧視(racism)擦肩而過。幾個月前,我還在華盛頓特區(Washington, D.C.)工作。在人行道等紅綠燈時,一名男子騎著自行車從我身邊經過,大喊「他媽的中國人。滾回中國去(You fucken Chinese. Go back to China.)」,在我還沒來得及回應他時,他就騎走了。,他就騎走了。然而,即便他停下腳步,我也能肯定他不會對地緣政治以及臺灣跟中國政府之間的差異——或者實際上我是個美國人——感興趣。

These occurrences are rare and far between. I have not encountered any noticeable racism apart from these two incidents in the last several years. When prompted about my nationality, I inform people that I am an American with roots in Taiwan. To my astonishment, most are well-informed of the complex interactions and geopolitical struggles of China, Taiwan, the USA, and other global actors. However, it must be said most these people work in academia or for the government.

此類事件很罕見。老實說,在過去的幾年裡,除了這兩起事件之外,我沒有遇到其他明顯的種族歧視。當我被問及國籍時,我告訴他們我是來自臺灣的美國人。令我驚訝的是,多數人都對臺灣、中國、美國與其他國際參與者(global actors)的複雜互動、地緣政治的對抗瞭若指掌,但必須指出的是他們大多在學界或政界工作。

I am aware, of course, that racism and discrimination occur everywhere. However, that does not change the fact that recent geopolitical tensions and populist politics have brought them to the forefront. Moreover, just because racism occurs does not mean I have to accept it. I strive to eliminate it through education, through dialogue, and through the building of trust and understanding.

當然,我也知道種族歧視與不公平待遇(discrimination)無所不在。而近來地緣政治的緊張局勢以及民粹政治(populist politics),已讓這些問題浮上檯面。此外,即便種族歧視無所不在,也不意味著我必須接受它。實際上,我努力試著藉由教育、對話與建立信任、理解來化解它。

When I saw the satirical cartoon in Stockholm, I did have some mixed feelings. Uneasiness, fear, sadness, and even an awkward smile, to name a few. Through reflection, those feelings have transformed into motivation. That is, the motivation to help people build understanding, understanding of the world, understanding of different perspectives, and understanding of who we are as human beings.
Perhaps understanding won’t eliminate racism, but as James Baldwin, the American novelist and political activist, once stated, “Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced.”

當我在斯德哥爾摩看到那幅諷刺畫時,我確實有些五味雜陳(mixed feelings)——不安、恐懼、悲傷,乃至尷尬的微笑。經過反思後,這些感受已轉化為動力——意即幫助人們建立對世界、不同觀點以及身而為人的理解(understanding)。

也許理解無法消除種族歧視,但誠如美國小說家、政治倡議者(political activist)詹姆斯.鮑德溫(James Baldwin,1924-1987)所言:「並非我們面對的所有事情都能改變,但在面對事情以前,什麼都無法改變。」