公民権運動を振り返ってみる – Reflecting on the Civil Rights Movement

公民権運動の時代と現在を比べた場合、黒人差別・人種差別の勢いが強いのはどちらか?一般的には黒人差別が少なくなったと思う。

公民権運動のおかげで、進歩は明らかだと思います。ただ、諸民族がみんな平等な立場になったということではない。黒人、白人、中国系、中近東系の人の中では、幅があります。先のラストベルトの失業した白人、金融界でぼろ儲けの白人、様々な人がいます。黒人の中でも同様で成功した黒人企業家もいる。この幅が広くなって下層が増えて、トップがぼろ儲けだ。皮膚の色はそれほど関係ありません。

Compared with the period of the Civil Rights Movement (1954-1968), racial discrimination as a whole has weakened. Discrimination was extremely widespread and violent then; now it still exists, but it is not as strong among the general public.

I believe that there has been clear progress as a result of the movement, but that does not mean that all minorities stand on an equal footing. There is considerable difference between blacks, whites, Chinese-Americans, and people of Mid-East origins. There is a huge gap between whites in the Rust Belt who have lost their jobs and whites in the financial world who are making enormous sums of money. There is a similar gap between successful black entrepreneurs and black laborers who cannot find a job. There is an overall gap between whites and blacks, but there is a huge gap within each group respectively.

 

「ラストベルト地帯」での人種差別 – Racial discrimination in the Rust Belt

West Virginia, western Pennsylvania, Ohioとそれより北のRust Beltでは、blue-collar workers が働いた工場や炭坑が閉鎖されていました。怒りを管理職、政府、無力だった労働者組合に向けても、どうしようもない。では、どこで働くか? 近くには同様の職場は無く、新しい仕事を他の地域で得ようとしても、工場は海外に移転しているかオートメーション化されています。結局仕事はありません。では、生活保護を受けるしかないと絶望感で溢れ、誇りが消え、場合によってはドラッグに手を出すことになってしまう。

それで "I am your voice!"と言っている大統領候補が出てきます。「もう、今まで国会も、政治も、オバマも、何もやってくれなかったから、何でもいい。トランプに一票」ということになったのだと思います。

Blue-collar workers in the factories and mines of West Virginia, western Pennsylvania, Ohio and the other Rust Belt cities to the north, found little support when their workplaces closed permanently. They were angry at the company management, the government and the powerless unions, but no one could do anything about jobs that disappeared. Where else could they work? There were no similar jobs nearby; it was futile to go looking for a new type of job in a completely different place; and automation was taking over a lot of work. With no work, they had to swallow their pride and go on welfare. They lost all sense of hope for the future and pride from a job well done. Some even took up drugs.

Then along came someone saying “I am your voice!” and he’s running for president. They responded to this. The government had not helped them, nor the politicians, nor President Obama, as far as they could tell. “Anything is better than this!” they seemed to say. “So I’m voting for Trump. At least he’s different from everybody else.”

 

白人至上主義者のイメージ - Images of "white supremacists"

「白人至上主義者」がおそらく考えるのは、「どうして、私は尊敬されなくて将来性も無いのか。他の人にはいつも良いことが起こる。不公平だ!」しかし、自分だけで思っていても、それはただの「不平」に過ぎない。そんな時に自分と同じような不満を持っているグループを発見したり、SNSやサイトを見つければ、「ああそうだ、これに参加しよう!」と簡単に入り込むだろう。

You will have to ask each individual in this category why they believe in the supremacy of whites. Behind recent events, I believe they are thinking, ‘Why don’t I get any respect? Why is my future so dark? Why is everyone else getting attention? It’s not fair!’
When they are by themselves, they get little attention. But when they find others with similar frustrations on websites and SNS, they say to themselves, ‘Hey! I want to participate in this!” They can be easily drawn in.
 
今回のように暴力的な行動を起こすグループは一般的に「嫌われ者」なのだと思います。一般の社交場や職場では、そういうことを言うと、周りは引いてしまいます。一般的にはタブーです。しかし、トランプの登場によって、そういう考え方をより言いやすくなったのだと思います。

Those groups who take violent action, like that in Charlottesville, are disliked. If they talked about their ideas in the workplace or in social activities, other people would avoid them, because such talk is socially taboo. But with the arrival of Trump, that is not as strong a taboo as it used to be. When Trump talks about “fine people” on “both sides,” they believe he is referring to them. So, it becomes acceptable to come out and say exactly what you think. What was once under the surface is now visible and it can be heard plainly.
 

 

「白人至上主義者」とはどのような人々か ー What kind of people are “white supremacists"?

多くは男性ですが、必ずしも下の階級だけではないかもしれません。1950年代〜1960年代の公民権運動の時代を見ると、上の階級の白人の多くは「私達は白人至上主義者ではない」と言ったり思ったりしていたと思います。「私達はいい人です。黒人に暴力だなんて、とんでもない。」と。ですが、至上主義者を止めようとはしていませんでした。そういう意味では、活動している暗黙の協力者という「白人至上主義者」。白人のいわゆるエリート階級は下の階級の白人を軽視しました。自分たちとは違う人間だと思ったのです。

それは(日本の)学校でのいじめ問題に似ています。いじめを黙認して、止めようとしない。やられている人がかわいそうだからやめなさいと言ったら、今度は自分がいじめの対象になりかねない。

The media tend to show mostly men, but there are women who share the same views. And these people are not just lower-class whites. If you look at the period of the Civil Rights Movement (roughly 1954 to 1968), you find that the upper-class whites often wanted to say, “I’m not racist. I’m not a white supremacist. I’m a good person, and I don’t use violence on black people.”

However, these same people did not try to stop the white supremacists. In that sense, they unconsciously cooperated with the racists. At the same time, these so-called white elites looked down on the lower-class whites, too. 

Their motivation has often been similar to the kids who observe bullying in Japanese (and other nations’) schools. ‘I’m not a bully, because I don’t pick on anyone. But I don’t want to be bullied. So, I’ll just stand back and do nothing to help the poor kid who is being picked on.’

白人至上主義について - Regarding “white supremacists”

今回のバージニア州での事件をどうとらえているか?

歴史的な背景に詳しくない方は、白人至上主義の時代は終わっていると思い、社会現象の表面を見てびっくりしているかもしれませんが、実際には今まで潜んでいた「恨み」が出てきたかと思います。おそらく、これで終わりではないと思います。

Those who do not understand the history of the United States—both those who live in America and those who do not—tend to assume that “white supremacy” ideas are a thing of the past. However, that kind of white racism has continued under the surface for close to 400 years, in America alone. Unfortunately, it will probably never disappear.

「オバマ政権への反動だ」という説  Is this a reaction to Obama’s policies?

そういう見方はあまりにも簡単すぎるではないかと思います。問題の原因はもっと複雑です。オバマ政権のせいにすることで「一件落着」となって便利ですが、オバマ大統領の政策で黒人の方々の状況がすごく進歩したとは言い難い。オバマ本人の tweet (8月17日のブログ参照)のように、「皆がすべての人のために」「生まれつきの racismはない」とは彼の個人の立派な立場ですが、例えばアメリカの黒人、マイノリティだけに特別なものを与えたとは言い難い。ただし、今の白人至上主義者は違う見方を取っています。Black Lives Matter 運動に反抗して White Lives Matter のように主張することになっています。

Taking such a view is, to my mind, much too simplistic. The causes of the recent events in Charlottesville, Virginia, and other places is much more complicated. The policies of the Obama administration were definitely a step forward for America. However, the progress was for blacks and whites, and many of the lower-class blacks and whites made no progress at all. Obama’s recent tweet about how no one is born racist is absolutely true. We learn to be racist. We learn how to hate other people, often for reasons that are hard for other people to understand. What I think we can say is that certain minorities did not receive “special treatment” under his administration, and those “minorities” were not limited to minorities of color. White supremacists, however, believe “the others” got more benefits than they did, and they are angry about it. Therefore, when one side says “Black Lives Matter,” the other side counters with “White Lives Matter.” The people who say the latter are completely missing the point that “All Lives Matter,” regardless of skin color, gender, class, occupation, and religion.

Where Does Racism Come From?

President Barack Obama has recently tweeted that children are not born racist. Unfortunately, in America some learn to become racist.

One might assume that the people of America would share a collective memory. They should remember the prejudice and violence aimed at black Americans from 1619 through the Civil Rights Movement to the present day. For black people, this collective memory includes the images of night-time torches, burning crosses, and KKK rhetoric about protecting the "purity of the white race" and the supposed "inferiority of the colored races." Donald Trump clearly does not share this collective memory when he suggests that there is "racism on both sides."

On NPR NewsHour, Leonard Pitts, Jr., an excellent journalist for the Miami Herald put it very well: White Americans think that being called a "racist" means they are not nice people. They want to be thought of as nice, so if you call them racist, it affects the quality of their day.

To black Americans, however, racism affects not just the quality of their day but the quality of their lives. In fact, as we have seen in police shootings of black men, it may even cost them their lives.

渡辺由佳里さん - アメリカの今を知る情報源

最近はアメリカの大統領選や新大統領就任のニュースを見る様になりましたね。それでも、日本に入ってくる情報は限られていると感じます。

そんな中、ボストン在住のエッセイストで翻訳家・作家の渡辺由佳里さんの記事やツイッターは貴重な情報源なのではないかと思います。とてもリサーチされていて情報を発信していらっしゃいます。最近では「偽ニュース」についてとても良い記事を書かれました。ぜひ、たくさんの方に読んでいただきたいと思います。

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