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匹兹堡枪案动摇了我对美国的信念

更新时间:2018-10-29 19:05:43 来源:千亿千亿国际娱乐官网 作者:佚名

Shaking My Faith in America
匹兹堡枪案动摇了我对美国的信念

WASHINGTON — I grew up in Pittsburgh’s Tree of Life synagogue. My parents taught Sunday school there. I learned to read Hebrew (sort of) there. I was a bar mitzvah there. My mother sewed a fancy velvet jumper for my little sister to wear there.

华盛顿——我在匹兹堡的生命之树犹太会堂长大。我的父母在那里的主日学校教书。我在那里学会了读希伯来语(一点点)。我在那里举行了犹太成年礼。我的母亲在那里为妹妹缝了一件漂亮的天鹅绒套头衫。

On Saturday morning — the Jewish sabbath — Jews at prayer were slaughtered at Tree of Life because and only because of who they were. It was possibly the deadliest anti-Semitic attack in this country’s history, according to the Anti-Defamation League.

周六早上——犹太人的安息日——祈祷的犹太人在生命之树遭到屠杀,只因为他们是犹太人。根据反诽谤联盟(Anti-Defamation League)的说法,这可能是这个国家历史上最致命的反犹袭击事件。

My response is grief, of course, and the immediate realization that this horror is part of a larger pattern of mayhem and hatred in America and around the world. Churches, minority communities, gay nightclubs, politicians and journalists are threatened. We live in an age of assault rifles, pipe bombs and bone saws.

当然,我的反应是悲伤,并且立刻意识到,这种恐怖是美国乃至全世界更大的混乱和仇恨模式的一部分。教会、少数群体社区、同性恋夜总会、政治人士和记者受到威胁。我们生活在突击步枪、管式炸弹和骨锯的时代。

But I also have to admit — and am grieved to admit — that the mass murder at Tree of Life has shaken my perhaps naïve faith in this country, one that I began developing as a boy growing up in Pittsburgh.

但我也不得不承认——并且是很伤心地承认——生命之树的杀戮动摇了我对这个国家可能有些天真的信念,这信念是我从小在匹兹堡长大时产生的。

The predominantly Jewish Squirrel Hill neighborhood has a bucolic-sounding name, and it fits. It is bounded on two sides by huge, wooded parks. The streets of mostly single-family homes are lined with lush trees; there is easy access to universities, civic institutions, playing fields and excellent schools.

主要是犹太人居住的松鼠山有个充满田园风光的名字,而它实际也是如此。它的两边环绕着树木繁茂的巨大公园。绿树成荫的街道两旁大都是独栋住宅;这里可以方便地去往大学、公民机构、运动场和优秀学校。

I was reared in a Jewish paradise — a.k.a. America, my Promised Land. Not the one God gave us (though I love that one, too), but the one we chose for ourselves.

我在一个犹太人的天堂里长大——这个天堂又名美国,是我的应许之地。不是由上帝赐予我们的(虽然我也喜欢那个说法),而是我们为自己选择的土地。

I was taught in Squirrel Hill that we were in the one country that was an exception to the history of the human race in general and the Jews in particular. Founded on Enlightenment principles of individuality, freedom, tolerance and justice, the United States was the only place besides Israel where Jews could live at one with their nation, unburdened by fear or confusion about identity.

在松鼠山,我被教导我们身处这样一个国家,对于整个人类历史,特别是犹太人的历史来说,它是一个例外。美国建立在个体、自由、宽容和正义的启蒙原则之上,除了以色列,美国是唯一一个犹太人能与族人生活在一起而不感到恐惧、或对身份感到困惑的地方。

Now I must wonder: If Pittsburgh isn’t safe for Jews, if Squirrel Hill isn’t safe, if the Tree of Life isn’t safe, what place is? Without diminishing anyone else’s suffering and death, it’s a sad fact that the Jews often are the canaries in the coal mine of social and political collapse. So, what does the bloodshed in the Tree of Life mean?

现在我必须思考:如果匹兹堡对于犹太人来说不安全,如果松鼠山不安全,如果生命之树不安全,那还有什么地方是安全的呢?不是贬低其他人的苦难与死亡,但犹太人的境遇往往成为社会和政治崩溃的早期信号,这是一个可悲的事实。那么,生命之树中的流血事件又意味着什么呢?

It is a sign that hatred of The Other is poisoning our public life. It’s always been a vivid strain in America, stimulated by the stress of immigrant waves, but one we have overcome time and again. Although we often honor it in the breach, our founding idea remains: that each person here is precious and born with unalienable rights. Now, political enemies in America deny each other’s humanity.

这表明对“他者”的仇恨正在毒害我们的公共生活。在移民浪潮的压力刺激下,它在美国一直是一种醒目的紧张情绪,但我们已经一次又一次地克服了它。虽然我们经常通过违背它来彰显它,但我们的创始理念仍然是:这里的每个人都是宝贵的,并且生而拥有不可剥夺的权利。现在,在美国,政治敌人否认对方的人性。

It is a sign that communications can foster something less than understanding. Social media allows us to be connected but also caricatured as propaganda in campaigns of dehumanizing division.

这表明沟通可以滋养出一些并非谅解的东西。社交媒体使我们能够联系起来,但也会被丑化成非人化分裂运动的宣传。

It is a sign that President Trump’s remorselessly cynical, jungle-style vision of how to conduct business and politics is ripping apart a society already under the stress of generational, demographic, technological, economic and social change.

这表明特朗普总统对于处理商业和政治的无情的、弱肉强食式的愿景,正在撕裂已经处于代际、人口、技术、经济和社会变革压力下的社会。

In physics, the arc of a swinging pendulum diminishes over time. That has been my perhaps too-comfortable view of American history: that the swing of our political pendulum would always slow and find an equilibrium closer to a more perfect union.

在物理学中,钟摆的摆幅随着时间的推移而减小。这一直是我对美国历史所持的一种可能过分轻松的看法:我们的政治钟摆的摆动总会放慢,并找到一个接近更完美联盟的平衡点。

In pursuit of that theory, as a reporter in Kentucky for six years and later across the country for decades, I chronicled the rise of the populist right as just another swing of the pendulum.

我在肯塔基州做了六年记者,后来在全国各地工作了几十年,遵循这一理论,在记述民粹主义右翼的崛起时,我把它当做钟摆的又一次摆动。

I covered Ku Klux Klan rallies, court-ordered busing, “dirty tricksters” of the right from Richard Nixon to Paul Manafort, and Trump rallies across the country. None of that shook my belief that the country could somehow harvest the energy of protest against “elites” for some eventual good.

我报道过三K党集会、法庭裁决下的校车行动、从理查德·尼克松到(Richard Nixon)到保罗·马纳福特(Paul Manafort)的右翼“黑招”,以及全国各地的特朗普集会。这些都没有动摇过我的信念,即这个国家可以某种方式收获抗议“精英”的能量,得到一个圆满结局。

Now I am not so sure. The pendulum seems to be swinging more wildly and widely every day. The whole machinery feels in danger of racing out of control.

现在,我变得不是那么确定了。钟摆似乎每天都变得更加疯狂、幅度更大。整个机器有失控的危险。

But even as I begin to doubt that my Pittsburgh was the Promised Land, I remain guided and inspired by it. My late parents, Morton and Jean Fineman, were teachers who loved America even as they fretted about its shortcomings. They always reminded me that, in a democracy — and only in a democracy — people get the government they deserve, and that each new generation must work hard to win anew the rights and blessings that we take for granted.

但即使我开始怀疑我的匹兹堡是否是应许之地,我还是受到它的指引和启发。我已故的父母莫顿和让·法恩曼是热爱美国的教师,尽管他们也为这个国家的缺点感到担忧。他们总是提醒我,在一个民主国家,也只有在一个民主国家里,人民才能得到他们应得的政府,而且每一代人都必须努力工作,重新获得我们认为理所当然的权利和福祉。

I only hope that the martyrs of the Tree of Life — like those in Charleston, Charlottesville and other mass shootings motivated by hate — did not die in vain. America’s gifts are not easily preserved — even, I now know, in Squirrel Hill.

我只是希望,“生命之树”的殉道者,跟查尔斯顿、夏洛茨维尔和其他因为仇恨引发的大规模枪击事件的受害者一样,不会白白死去。要维护美国得到的恩宠并非易事——我现在知道,哪怕是在松鼠山都是如此。

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