种族主义的沉重代价 Heather C. McGhee: Racism has a cost for everyone

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演员: Heather C. McGhee


台词
I am a public policy wonk.
我是一个公共政策狂人。
I investigate data that points to problems in the American economy --
我研究美国经济问题背后的 指向性数据——
problems like rising household debt,
这些问题包括 家庭债务增长,
declining wages and benefits,
工资福利缩减,
shortfalls in public revenue.
和公共收入下滑。
And I try to pinpoint solutions
我在寻找一些解决办法,
to make our economy more prosperous for more people.
让我们的经济更欣欣向荣, 造福更多的民众。
I geek out about tax policy
我对税收政策和基础设施投资
and infrastructure investments,
非常感兴趣。
and I get really excited
一套设计精巧的管理制度
by a gracefully designed regulatory regime.
更是能让我无比激动。
(Laughter)
(笑声)
These are the kinds of topics that I was talking about
这些都是 2016 年 8 月, 我在公共电视台
on a public television live call-in show in August of 2016.
录制现场来电谈话节目时 所讨论过的话题。
I was about halfway through the program
节目进行过半时,
when a man called in,
我接到了一位男士的来电,
identified as Gary from North Carolina
他自称盖里,来自北卡罗来纳州。
and he said ...
他说:
"I'm a white male, and I'm prejudiced."
“我是一个白人男性, 我对黑人有偏见。”
He then went on to detail his prejudice,
接着,他详细地描述了这种偏见,
talking about black men and gangs
谈论了黑人群体、帮派、
and drugs and crime.
毒品和犯罪。
But then he said something that I'll never forget.
然后,他说出了令我 终生难忘的那句话。
He said, "But I want to change.
他说:“但是我想改变。
And I want to know what I can do to become a better American."
我想知道如何成为 一个更好的美国人。”
Now remember, my career is about economic policy,
提醒你们一下, 我是研究经济政策的,
as translated into dollars and cents
也就是实实在在的金钱,
not personal thoughts and feelings.
不是个人思想或感受。
But when I opened my mouth to respond to this man on live television,
但是当我在电视直播节目上 回答这位男士的时候,
the most surprising words came out.
一个最令我意外的词吐口而出。
I said ...
我回答说:
"Thank you."
“谢谢你。”
I thanked him for admitting his prejudice,
我感谢他承认自己的偏见,
for wanting to change and for knowing, somehow,
并且希望改变,
that that would make him a better American.
也认识到这会让他成为 更好的美国人。
The exchange between Gary and me went viral.
我和盖里的对话 在网络上被疯狂传播,
It's been viewed over eight million times
获得了超过 800 万的播放量,
and inspired waves of social media commentary
引发了社交媒体评论
and news coverage.
和新闻报道的热潮。
And I think people were surprised
我觉得人们肯定惊讶于
that a black woman would show such compassion
一位黑人女性竟然会 对一位持有偏见的白人男性
for a prejudiced white man,
表现出同情,
and they were surprised that a white man would admit his bias
而一位白人男性竟然愿意 在国家电视台上
on national television.
公然承认自己的偏见。
Not long after Gary and my viral moment,
在这段对话发生之后不久,
we met in person.
我和盖里见面了。
He said that he had taken my advice.
他说他听从了我的建议,
He said that my words had been like someone wiped the dust from a window
他说,我的一番话对于他来说, 如同擦亮蒙尘的窗户,
and let the light in.
让阳光照了进来。
Over the years, Gary and I have become friends.
这几年里, 我和盖里成为了朋友。
And Gary would tell you that I've taught him a lot
盖里会告诉你, 我让他了解到许多
about systemic racism in America and public policy.
存在于美国社会和公共政策里的 系统性种族主义。
But I've learned a lot from Gary, too.
但是盖里也教会我很多。
And the biggest lesson for me
对我而言,最大的收获是,
has been that Gary's prejudice has caused him to suffer.
我意识到盖里的偏见 也在折磨着他自己,
Fear, anxiety, isolation.
让他感到恐惧、焦虑,和孤立。
And it's made me rethink
这也使我重新思考了
many of the economic problems I've been focusing on
在我的整个职业生涯里所研究的
my entire career.
许多经济问题。
I wondered,
我不禁自问,
is it possible that our society's racism
我们的社会里所存在的种族主义
has likewise been backfiring on the very same people
是否也同时正在伤害着
set up to benefit from privilege?
那些本来应从这种特权中获益的人群?
Driven by this question,
这个疑问驱使着我,
I've spent the past few years traveling the country,
在过去几年里辗转全国,
researching and writing a book.
一边研究,一边写书。
My conclusion?
我的结论是什么呢?
Racism leads to bad policymaking.
那就是:种族主义催生了糟糕的政策。
It's making our economy worse.
它正在伤害着我们的经济,
And not just in ways that disadvantage people of color.
而且损害的不只是有色人种的利益。
It turns out it's not a zero sum.
事实证明,它并非一场零和博弈,
Racism is bad for white people, too.
种族主义同样伤害了白人。
Take, for example,
举个例子,
America's underinvestment in our public goods,
美国对于公共设施的投入不足,
the things that we all need, that we share in common --
例如,那些被大众所需要、 所共享的设施——
our schools and roads and bridges.
包括我们的学校、公路和桥梁。
Our infrastructure gets a D plus
美国土木工程师学会
from the American Society of Civil Engineers,
给我们的公共设施的评级为 D+。
and we invest less per capita than almost every other advanced nation.
在发达国家中, 我们的人均公共设施投资几乎垫底。
But it wasn't always this way.
然而,情况并非一贯如此。
I traveled to Montgomery, Alabama,
我去了阿拉巴马州的首府 蒙哥马利市。
and there, I saw how racism can destroy a public good
在那儿,我见识到 种族主义如何摧毁了
and the public will to support it.
公共福利以及支持它的公共意志。
In the 1930s and '40s,
在 20 世纪 30 至 40 年代之间,
the United States went on a nationwide building boom of public amenities
美国掀起了一阵以税收为支撑的
funded by tax dollars,
修建公共设施的热潮,
which in Montgomery, Alabama, included the Oak Park pool,
其中,阿拉巴马州 蒙哥马利市的橡树公园里
which was the grandest one for miles.
建成了一座方圆几英里内 最大的泳池。
You know, back then, people didn't have air conditioners,
要知道,在那个时候, 人们的家里没有空调,
and so they spent their hot summer days
所以,在炎热的夏日,
in a steady rotation of sunning and splashing
人们到户外晒太阳、游泳,
and then cooling off under a ring of nearby trees.
然后去公园附近的 一圈大树下乘凉。
It was the meeting place for the town.
那是大伙儿交流聚会的好地方。
Except the Oak Park pool,
除了橡树公园里的游泳池,
though it was funded by all of Montgomery citizens,
即便修建它所使用的税金 来自全城的公民,
was for whites only.
能使用它的只有白人。
When a federal court finally deemed this unconstitutional,
当联邦政府终于宣布 这种规定违宪后,
the reaction of the town council was swift.
市议会随即做出了迅速的反应。
Effective January 1, 1959,
政府决定从 1959 年 1 月 1 日起,
they decided they would drain the public pool
排干公共泳池里的水。
rather than let black families swim, too.
他们宁愿这样做, 也不愿与黑人共享泳池。
This destruction of public goods
类似的对公共福利的破坏
was replicated across the country
不仅在美国南部发生,
in towns not just in the South.
也在全国各地上演着。
Towns closed their public parks, pools and schools,
各个城市都关闭了公共公园、 游泳池和学校,
all in response to desegregation orders,
来应对取消种族隔离的命令,
all throughout the 1960s.
这些举措贯穿了整个 60 年代。
In Montgomery, they shut down the entire Parks Department
在蒙哥马利市, 整个公园管理部门
for a decade.
关闭了长达 10 年。
They closed the recreation centers,
政府关闭了所有休闲中心,
they even sold off the animals in the zoo.
甚至变卖了公园里的动物。
Today, you can walk the grounds of Oak Park, as I did,
今天,橡树公园已经变得人迹罕至,
but very few people do.
虽然你还是可以 像我一样去那儿走一走。
They never rebuilt the pool.
他们再也没有重建那个游泳池。
Racism has a cost for everyone.
种族主义让所有人都付出了代价。
I remember having that same thought on September 15, 2008,
后来,当我在 2008 年 9 月 15 日 得知雷曼兄弟宣告破产时,
when I learned the breaking news that Lehman Brothers was collapsing.
同样的想法萦绕在我的脑中。
Now Lehman was,
雷曼兄弟以及随后几天里 陆续倒闭的金融公司
like the other financial firms that would go under in the coming days,
之所以破产,
done in by overexposure to a toxic financial instrument
是因为过度发放了一种 有毒金融产品,
based on something that used to be simple and safe --
而它的出现是基于 一种曾经便利安全的产品——
a 30-year fixed-rate home loan.
30 年期固定利率房屋贷款。
But the mortgages at the center and the root of the financial crisis
而处于金融风暴中心, 也是其根源的房屋贷款
had strange new terms.
被赋予了奇怪的、新的还款期限。
And they were developed and aggressively marketed for years
这种贷款面世后, 在之后的数年里,
in black and brown middle-class communities,
开始面向非裔和拉丁裔 中产阶级群体进行大肆宣传。
like the one that I visited when I met a homeowner named Glenn.
我曾拜访过一位叫格伦的房主。
Glenn had owned a home
格伦的家坐落于克利夫兰市
on a leafy street in the Mount Pleasant neighborhood of Cleveland
普莱森特山社区的 一条郁郁葱葱的街道上,
for over a decade.
他在那儿住了十几年。
But when I met him, he was near foreclosure.
但我见到他时, 他的房屋即将被强制拍卖。
Like nearly all of his neighbors,
他的邻居们几乎都 陷入了这样的状况。
he'd received a knock on the door
一个经纪人敲门而入,
from a broker promising to refinance his mortgage.
向他们承诺可以进行重新贷款。
But what the broker didn't tell him was that this was a new kind of mortgage.
但是经纪人却对这种 新房屋贷款的细节三缄其口。
A mortgage with an inflated interest rate,
这种贷款的膨胀式利率最终导致了 (因累计还款额积压造成的)
and a balloon payment
巨额的尾款,
and a prepayment penalty if he tried to get out of it.
借款人如果想提前终止借贷, 还不得不缴纳预付罚金。
Now, the common misperception,
大众对此存在一种常见的误解——
then and still today,
过去如此,现在还是如此——
is that people like Glenn were buying properties they couldn't afford.
即,格伦这些人购买了 他们无法支付的房产。
That they themselves were risky borrowers.
他们本来就是 一群高风险借贷者。
I saw how this stereotype made it harder for policymakers
我明白,这样的刻板印象 使政策制定者们
to see the crisis for what it was
更加难以洞悉危机的本质,
back when we still had time to stop it.
从而在爆发之前 阻止其进一步恶化。
But that's all it was.
但问题就在于
A stereotype.
这种刻板印象。
The majority of subprime mortgages went to people who had good credit,
大部分次级贷款购买者的 信用等级都不错,
like Glenn.
比如,格伦。
And African Americans and Latinos were three times as likely --
但是,即便非裔和拉丁裔的 信用等级很好,
even if they had good credit --
他们被推销高风险信贷的概率
than white people, to get sold these toxic loans.
仍然是白人的三倍。
The problem wasn't the borrower --
问题不在借贷者——
the problem was the loan.
问题在于贷款本身。
After the crash,
次贷危机过后, 美国的大部分贷款巨头,
most of the nation's big lenders, from Wells Fargo to Countrywide,
从富国银行, 到美国国家金融服务公司,
would go on to be fined for racial discrimination.
都因涉嫌种族歧视而被罚款。
But that realization came too late.
但这样的觉醒已经为时过晚。
These loans, superprofitable for the lenders
这些为贷方谋取暴利,
but designed to fail for the borrowers,
但借方注定无法偿还的贷款,
spread out past the confines
已经越过像格伦这样的
of black and brown neighborhoods like Glenn's
非裔和拉丁裔族群,
and into the wider, whiter mortgage market.
流入了更广大的、面向其他族裔的 房屋贷款市场 。
All of the nation's big Wall Street firms bet on these loans.
华尔街的巨头们 都在这种贷款上压下重注。
At its peak,
在巅峰时期,
one out of every five mortgages in the country was in this mold,
每 5 笔房屋贷款中 就有 1 笔是次级贷款,
and the crisis,
至于危机,
the crisis that my colleagues and I saw coming ...
我和同事们所预见的 近在咫尺的危机······
would go on to cost us all.
将会让所有人都付出代价。
Nineteen trillion in lost wealth.
全国财富损失将高达 19 万亿美元,
Pensions, home equity, savings.
包括退休金、房屋净值和储蓄。
Eight million jobs vanished.
800 个就业岗位已经消失不见。
A home-ownership rate that has never recovered.
住房拥有率再也没有 恢复到从前的水平。
My years of advocating in vain for homeowners like Glenn
数年来,为格伦这样的房主 徒劳无果的奔走
left me convinced:
使我最终相信:
we would not have had a financial crisis if it weren't for racism.
若非种族主义, 金融危机就不会发生。
In 2017, I traveled to Mississippi,
2017 年, 我去密西西比州出差,
where a group of auto-factory workers was trying to organize into a union.
一群汽车工厂的工人们 正在组织工会。
Now the benefits they were fighting for --
他们所争论的各种福利——
higher pay, better health care coverage,
更高的工资,更好的医疗保险,
a real pension --
实实在在的退休金——
they would have helped everybody at the plant.
有利于工厂里的每一个人。
But in person after person that I talked to --
但是,同我讨论的 一个又一个工人——
white, black, for the union, against the union --
白人、黑人、支持工会的、 反对工会的——
race kept coming up.
种族一次又一次地 被他们提起。
A white man named Joey put it this way.
一个叫乔伊的白人这样总结,
He said,
他说:
"White workers think I ain't voting yes if the blacks are voting yes.
“白人群体认为,如果黑人投赞成票, 我们就要投反对票。
If the blacks are for it, I'm against it."
黑人同意的,我统统都反对。”
A white man named Chip told me,
一个叫齐普的白人告诉我:
"The idea is that if you uplift black people,
“白人的想法是,
you're downing white people."
帮助黑人相当于损害白人的利益。”
It's like the world's got this crab-in-a-barrel mentality.
就好像全世界都陷入了 一种零和心态。
Now, the union vote failed.
结果,工会投票失败。
Wages at the plant are still lower than their unionized peers',
工厂支付的工资仍然 低于其他工会的工人,
and people there still worry about their health care.
工人们仍然为医保焦心。
You know, it's tempting, perhaps,
我知道,或许人们更愿意
to focus on the prejudiced attitudes
把目光聚焦在 人与人之间的偏见上,
of the men and the workers that I heard in Mississippi.
比如那群密西西比州的 工人对彼此的敌视。
But I'm more interested in holding accountable
但是我更愿意归咎于
the people who are selling racist ideas for their profit
那些通过贩卖种族主义而获利的人,
than those who are desperate enough to buy it.
而不是那些绝望到 不得不信奉这种想法的人。
My travels also took me to places
然而我走访过的其他一些地方
where I saw, however, that it doesn't have to be this way.
也让我看到,种族之间的关系 不必如针尖对麦芒。
I went to Maine, the whitest state in the nation,
我去了全国白人比率最高的缅因州。
the oldest,
也是人口老化最严重的州,
where there are more deaths every year than births,
每年的死亡人口比出生人口还多。
and I went to this dying mill town called Lewiston
我去了刘易斯顿市, 一个正在凋零的工业城,
that is being revitalized by new people --
因为新来人口而焕发了生机——
mostly African, mostly Muslim,
大部分是黑人和穆斯林,
immigrants and refugees.
还有一些外国移民和难民。
There, I met a woman named Cecile,
在那儿,我遇见了一位女士, 名叫塞西尔,
whose parents had been part of the last wave of new people
她的父母是最后一波
to come to Lewiston.
搬到刘易斯顿市的新移民。
These are French-Canadian millworkers at the turn of the century.
他们是世纪之初来到这里的 法裔加拿大工人。
Cecile is retired, but she had found a new purpose in life,
虽然塞西尔退休了, 但她找到了新的人生目标。
by organizing Congolese refugees
她在佛朗哥文化遗产中心
to join with the white retirees at the Franco Heritage Center.
组织刚果难民和 白人退休人员的联谊活动。
(Laughter)
(笑声)
These men and women from the Congo
这些来自刚果的移民
were helping these retirees remember the French
在帮助当地退休人员,
that they hadn't spoken since their childhoods.
鼓励他们说从幼年时期 就不再说的法语。
And together, these two communities helped each other feel at home.
两个群体其乐融融,亲如一家。
You know, for all the political talk
尽管,许多政治言论都强调
about the newcomers being a drain on the town,
新移民会榨干一个城市。
a bipartisan think tank found that the local refugee community there
一个两党派智库的研究表明, 当地的难民群体
created 40 million dollars in tax revenue,
创造了四千万美元的税收,
and 130 million in income.
和一亿三千万美元的收入。
And I talked to the town administrator,
当地的行政官 非常自豪地告诉我,
who was boasting about the fact that Lewiston was building a new school,
刘易斯顿市正在 建设一所新学校,
when all the rest of towns like theirs in Maine
而与此同时, 缅因州的其他城市,
was closing them.
正在关闭学校。
You know, it costs us so much to remain divided.
分裂的代价是如此之大。
This zero-sum thinking,
这种认为“一群人的收益
that's what's good for one group has to come at the expense of another,
将是另一群人的损失”的零和思维,
it's what's gotten us into this mess.
就是让我们陷入困境的元凶。
I believe it's time to reject that old paradigm
我们应该立即摒弃这种 过时的思维模式,
and realize that our fates are linked.
承认我们的命运彼此息息相关。
An injury to one is an injury to all.
陷一人于不义, 就是陷整体于不义。
You know, we have a choice.
选择就摆在你我面前。
Our nation was founded on a belief in a hierarchy of human value.
我们的国家建立于 一系列人类价值的等级制度之上。
But we are about to be a country with no racial majority.
所谓的多数和少数种族之分 即将成为历史。
So we can keep pretending like we're not all on the same team.
我们可以继续 一叶障目,彼此离间。
We can keep sabotaging our success
我们可以继续挑唆内部矛盾,
and hamstringing our own players.
亲手葬送自己的前程。
Or we can let the proximity of so much difference
又或者,我们可以借助 多元文化的彼此靠近,
reveal our common humanity.
展现出共同的人性。
And we can finally invest in our greatest asset.
最终,我们得以赋能于 这个国家最伟大的财富。
Our people.
我们的人民。
All of our people.
全部的人民。
Thank you.
谢谢大家。
(Applause)
(掌声)