【雙語】歧視亞裔爭議,哈佛博士生投書美國媒體:請校方正視招生過程中的種族刻板印象

【雙語】歧視亞裔爭議,哈佛博士生投書美國媒體:請校方正視招生過程中的種族刻板印象

編輯導言:美國常春藤名校哈佛大學(Harvard University)的「歧視亞裔申請者」爭議與相關法律訴訟,近期在校園內外、國際學生與美國亞裔社群中,引起了廣泛的討論。(詳見《以多元之名,行種族歧視之實?——哈佛大學的亞裔學生錄取政策》一文)

本文作者目前就讀於哈佛大學博士班,亦與同學投書美國媒體發表評論,並呼籲校方重視此議題。《換日線》獲作者授權,翻譯與編輯此文,並以中英雙語刊出:

在近期那宗受人矚目的訴訟案中,哈佛大學被發現在招生流程的「正面人格特質」評量上,給予亞裔美國人的評分,總是大幅低於其他族裔。身為哈佛的亞裔美國學生,我們認為此事十分令人擔憂,也強烈認為有必要進行完整調查,檢視隱含偏見和種族刻版印象,是否真的會影響招生流程。我們相信,如此方能確保招生流程健全,打造真正具包容性的校園環境,並在這個學生組成多元的環境中,認可並尊重每一位哈佛學生的經驗。

低人一等的「正面人格特質」,等於間接污辱了整個族群

一個人的特質,直直觸及「何謂人」的核心,也有著遭到濫用、剝奪邊緣族群社會參與權的不幸歷史。因此,認定整個種族群體在「正面人格特質」上低人一等不但傷人,也汙辱了亞洲人和亞裔美國人社群。

明確來說,我們對各個申請者群體之間的差異抱持開放態度,但我們堅信,由於其影響層面和遭到誤用的可能性皆十分重大,哈佛大學負有道德上的義務,應以精確嚴密又透明的方式,證明其評量流程,並未受到種族偏見影響。

上週,法庭文件公開前夕,哈佛大學校長佛斯特(Drew Faust)發出公開信,強調哈佛大學「致力於捍衛多元性」,並否認哈佛招生人員歧視亞裔美國申請者。此外,她亦警告,此訴訟案的原告將試圖曲解哈佛招生流程,以推動具分裂性的議題。

然而,這封細節有限的公開信,並未提及或提出足以服人的說法,解釋為何哈佛招生人員在「討人喜愛」、「親切仁慈」、「廣受尊敬」等「正面人格特質」上,總是給予亞裔美國人較低評分。

圖/TomoNews台灣 Youtube 截圖

強調包容,但校長公開信仍隱含令人毛骨悚然的「對決氣氛」

我們支持多元化價值,亦理解哈佛大學有權捍衛自身價值,但我們認為,佛斯特校長的做法有其問題,且漠視許多亞洲人和亞裔美國社群成員的經驗。我們和我們的先人之中,許多人是從審查處處可見的國家移民美國,有些人甚至曾遭受政治迫害,只因為他們說出了自身想法或是爭取自身權力。

佛斯特校長在公開信中使用的激昂言詞,或許是為了凝聚對校方的支持,但那也有種毛骨悚然之感,讓人不禁聯想到極權政權用以激起異議者內心恐懼的政治宣傳。

確切來說,暗示任何擔心種族刻版印象可能影響招生流程的人,無論他們的疑慮多麼合理,都得「面對哈佛大學社群、甚至是真理本身的全力打擊」(編按:意指公開信中“I am committed to ensuring that veritas will prevail.”該段文字),不但令人心寒,亦違背了形塑民主基石的價值。

我們相信,唯有聆聽並尊重社群所有成員的聲音和經驗,真正的包容性才有可能。唯有如此,我們方能實現佛斯特校長在公開信中描繪的夢想,兌現那個承諾:「一次又一次地回頭檢視假設、擴充理解、質疑真相,讓世界變得更加美好」。

中文編譯:黃維德
以下為作者原文:

Harvard needs to address concerns of racial stereotyping in its admissions process
 -- Jun-Han Su and Hao Wu (Harvard University)

In a recent high-profile court case, Harvard University was found to have consistently marked Asian-Americans significantly lower on metrics of “positive personality” compared to other racial groups in its admissions process. As Asian-American students at Harvard, we find this revelation alarming and strongly believe a thorough investigation is warranted to see whether implicit bias and racial stereotyping may have played a role. We think this is essential to ensuring the integrity of the admissions process, as well as creating a truly inclusive campus environment where the experiences of every member of Harvard’s diverse student body are acknowledged and respected.

A person’s character gets at the core of what it means to be human and has the unfortunate history of being abused to deprive marginalized groups of rights to participate in our society. By suggesting that an entire racial group is inferior in “positive personality” is hence not only hurtful, but insulting to the Asian and Asian-American community. To be clear, we are open to potential differences between various applicant groups, but we firmly believe the University has a moral obligation to demonstrate in a rigorous and transparent manner that its marking process was free of racial bias due to the gravity of its implications and potential for misuse.

Last week, in advance of the release of relevant court documents, President Drew Faust sent an open letter stressing the University’s commitment to defending diversity and denying that Harvard admissions discriminates against Asian-American applicants. In addition, she warned that the plaintiffs in the forthcoming lawsuit will seek to misconstrue Harvard’s admissions process in order to advance a divisive agenda. However, the letter, which was light on details, failed to mention or provide a convincing explanation as to why Harvard admissions officers has been consistently rating Asian Americans lower on metrics of "positive personality traits” such likeability, kindness, and being widely respected.  

While we appreciate the value of diversity and understand that the University has the right to defend its values, we find President Faust’s approach problematic and insensitive to the experiences of many Asian and Asian-American members of our community. Many of us and our forebears immigrated from countries where censorship is commonplace, and some were even politically persecuted for simply voicing their thoughts or fighting for their rights. The impassioned language used in President Faust’s letter may have been intended to rally support for the administration’s cause, but is eerily reminiscent of the political propaganda used by authoritarian regimes to invoke fear in dissenters. In particular, suggesting that anyone who is worried about racial stereotyping playing a part in the admissions process, however legitimate their concerns may be, has to deal with the full force of the University and even veritas itself - is chilling and antithetical to the values that form the cornerstones of our democracy. 

We believe that true inclusion is only possible when the voices and experiences of all members of our community are heard and respected. Only in this way, can we realize the dream pictured in President Faust’s letter, where we fulfill ‘the promise a world made better by an assumption revisited, an understanding expanded, or a truth questioned—again and again and again.’’

執行編輯:張詠晴
核稿編輯:張翔一

Photo Credit:Harvard University/Wikipedia

畢業就出國