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华人之光引起的辱华风波  IS A CHINK IN THE ARMOR OFFENSIVE ?

来源:加国无忧  2012年2月26日 华人之光林书豪的族裔背景,在西方传媒的报导和热议之中,惹起的争议有多宗,最值得分析的是: CHINK IN THE ARMOR事件,算不算辱华?当事人的意向和处理手法怎样?族裔诽谤Racial Slur 情况严重吗??

 

着名体育频道ESPN在上週五晚,当林书豪的纽约人队不敌黄蜂队,中止7连胜,该网站即时以Chink in the  armor来比喻”盔甲的弱点终告暴露”,放在林书豪比赛图片下面 ,作为headline标题 or caption说明文字。

原文是:”  Chink in the Armor :Jeremy Lin’s 9 Turnovers Cost Knicks in Streaking-stopping Loss to Hornets ”。  体育比赛的术语streaking是an unbroken series of wins or losses, 当中streaking-stopping loss便是指:林书豪这场赛事失水准,是打破纽约人队连赢7场的致命伤,是评语,也是事实。

问题出在CHINK字,使人引起“中国佬”的联想,在英文俚语中,chink=an offensive or derogative slang used as a disparaging term for a Chinese person,正如用nigger称呼黑人,加上chink的裂缝联想,对华人矇猪眼有容貌偏见的定型stereotyping,于是即时使美国亚裔人士 产生直觉的反应,认为是超出玩弄语带相关的文字punning或开玩笑joking的程度,可能有racial slur意图歧视或侮辱华人的成份,若果林书豪本人或亚裔群体感到受伤害,某程度上,已构成体育编辑Anthony Federico的法律责任。

事件的结果 :the on air personality has been suspended for 30 days , while the web producer who wrote the headline was fired。该编辑向报章New York Daily News说:”I ‘loved to tell Jeremy what happened and explained that this was an honest mistake”。他的公开道歉,也得到当事人的谅解,虽然他心心不忿的加上一句, 过去几年,他用过同一句话,不下百次!  又说 :”This had nothing to do with me being cute or punny ”,表示他无意故作俏皮话,卖弄小聪明, 语带相关,只是诚实的失误而已!

我认为问题一切出在CONTEXT。A Chink in the armor离开这个发生争议的环境没有问题,a chink in somebody’s armor是一个很普通的成语, an idiomatic expression meaning a weakness in somebody’s argument, character, etc., that can be used in an attack,指论点、性格等易受攻击的缺陷和薄弱环节,恰似一袭有机可乘,出现裂缝的甲胄,例如牛津成语字典的示范句:“The one chink in her armor is the lack of a sense of humour.  She hates people laughing at her”。

去年我替Collins出版社繙译英文成语字典的中文解释和背境时,也注重到A CHINK IN THE ARMOR这个习用语的来龙去脉,没有见到一个CHINK字,便有不悦的反应:If you say that someone or something has a chink in their armor, you mean that they have a weakness that can be taken advantage of, although they appear outwardly to be very strong and successful,在评论体育比场时,很派用场,跟另一句形容致命伤的习用语somebody’s Achilles hell =a hidden weakness or fault in somebody which may be used to harm them,有异曲同功之妙,近乎电视流行问答比赛节目Weakest Link的涵意。

事件的解决方式总算得体,除了林书豪大方的回应:”They’ve apologized, and so from my end, I don’t care anymore. You have to learn to forgive, and I don’t even think that was intentional  ”。当事人不介意评述员出言不逊,美国的亚裔群体也就只好大方地收货了。况且,ESPN发表的声明,用字遣词,也是public relations公关和damage control危机管理的杰作:“We again apologize, especially to Mr. Lin. His accomplishments are a source of great pride to the Asian –American community, including the Asian-American employees at ESPN. Through self-examination, improved editorial practices and controls, and response to constructive criticism, we will be better in the future 。

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