理性探讨敏感种族课题

我们坚信,在讨论新加坡的种族问题时,应该避免把国外的一些思潮和概念,照搬套用。(档案照片)
我们坚信,在讨论新加坡的种族问题时,应该避免把国外的一些思潮和概念,照搬套用。(档案照片)

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就本报6月9日社论《扩展公共空间 促进种族和谐》,本地有学者联署公开信表达失望之意,并希望本报回应。种族和谐是国人致力的共同目标,我们相信联署的学者秉持相同的理念,也欢迎就问题理性公开地讨论。

作为新加坡的华文报,我们通过社论,明确地公开谴责最近发生在本地的几起涉及种族歧视的事件,共同捍卫公共空间里得来不易的种族和谐。新加坡是个多元种族的国家,我们真心相信信约所表达的理想,也珍惜得来不易的种族和谐,但并不表示我们就认为种族关系不存在矛盾。本报对维护各族平等,主张族群之间应该相互了解,是一贯的立场,长期阅读本报的社论、新闻报道、特稿、副刊,都可以看到这点。在疫情之下,我们看到更多涉及不同种族之间的矛盾一触即发,这正是为什么本报在过去一年半里,共发了七篇与此有关的社论。

我们希望读者能完整地看待6月9日的社论。社论从三个方面分析问题,尝试说明冠病疫情、社交媒体的推波助澜以及国外流行思潮均加剧了种族矛盾。在谈到外来思潮影响时,社论举了批判性种族理论(CRT)为例。有学者以起源于美国1970年代的CRT框架,来解释本地的种族课题,因而批判本报轻忽了新加坡所存在的“系统性和结构性种族主义”,我们注意到这一点。与此同时,学术界对CRT也存在不同的解读,很难用“美国极右派观点”来轻易否定严肃学者对CRT的批判。

我们坚信,在讨论新加坡的种族问题时,应该避免把国外的一些思潮和概念,照搬套用。每一个社会都存在种族歧视的现象,其中有共通处,也有特殊处,基于外国情况所产生的理论和概念,未必都适用于新加坡,有时候不但不会加深我们对问题的理解,促进共识,反而还会让问题复杂化。但我们也清楚并接受,有一些人并不同意这样的观点和立场。

《联合早报》


Discussing sensitive racial issues rationally

A group of scholars in Singapore wrote an open letter in response to our editorial "Expanding Public Space to Promote Racial Harmony" on June 9. They expressed their disappointment and hope for a response from Lianhe Zaobao. Racial harmony is a common goal for all Singaporeans. We believe that the scholars who signed the letter share the same philosophy and welcome rational and open discussions on the issue.

As the anchor Chinese newspaper in Singapore, we have publicly and unequivocally condemned several recent local incidents of racial discrimination, and jointly defended the hard-won racial harmony in public space through our editorials.

Singapore is a multi-racial nation. We truly believe in the ideals expressed in the national pledge and cherish the hard-won racial harmony, but that does not mean that we believe that there are no tensions in racial relationships.

Lianhe Zaobao has always taken a consistent stance on upholding equality among all races and advocating that there should be mutual understanding among ethnic groups, and this is evident from our editorials, news reports and feature articles. In the midst of the pandemic, we have seen more racial tensions simmering, which is why we have published a total of seven editorials related to this issue in the past year and a half.

We hope our readers will see the June 9 editorial in its entirety. The editorial analyses the problem from three aspects, attempting to show that the pandemic, social media, and popular ideological trends from abroad have all exacerbated racial tensions. The editorial cites Critical Race Theory (CRT) as an example of the influence of foreign ideas. We note that some scholars have used the CRT framework, which originated in the 1970s in the United States, to explain local racial issues, thus criticising us for downplaying the "systemic and structural racism" in Singapore. At the same time, there are different interpretations of CRT in academic circles, and one should not easily dismiss the critique of CRT by serious scholars as a "far-right American perspective".

We strongly believe that when discussing the issue of race in Singapore, we should not be applying foreign ideas and concepts without adapting to local conditions. Racial discrimination exists in every society, and there are commonalities as well as specificities. Theories and concepts based on foreign situations may not always be applicable to Singapore. Sometimes, instead of deepening our understanding of the issue and promoting consensus, they may complicate it. But we are also aware and accept that there are those who do not agree with such views and positions.

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