看华裔反校园种族隔离案如何成为支持种族隔离先例 How a Chinese Family’s 1927 Lawsuit Set a Precedent for School Segregation

如今,布朗诉教育委员会案(Brown v. Board of Education)已经成为美国历史上一个关于校园种族隔离具有标志意义的的诉讼案。然而在此案发生的三十年前,当一个居住在密西西比三角洲的中国家庭向最高法院提起校园种族隔离的诉讼时,他们不仅输了官司,还令人痛惜的成了一个支持种族隔离的先例。

Today, Brown v. Board of Education—with its ruling in favor of equality—is known as the definitive Supreme Court case about the segregation of American schools. But three decades earlier, a Chinese family in the Mississippi Delta region brought their own school-segregation case to the Supreme Court—and not only lost, but set a painful precedent in favor of segregation.

在Water Tossing Boulders:How a Family of Chinese Immigrants Led the First Fight to Desegregate Schools in the Jim Crow South 这本书中,作者Adrienne Berard详细描述了Lum的女儿是如何发现他们受到歧视,以及为什么他们要试图去反抗一个可能带来意外后果的体系。

In a new book about on their case, Water Tossing Boulders: How a Family of Chinese Immigrants Led the First Fight to Desegregate Schools in the Jim Crow South, author Adrienne Berard explores how the Lum daughters found themselves discriminated against in Rosedale, Miss., and why their attempt to fight the system had unintended consequences.


When students learn about the Chinese-American experience, the lessons often focus on “the West Coast, the railroads, the history of the 1882 Immigration Act, the riots,” Berard tells TIME. But the history of Chinese-Americans in the South goes back just as far. Shortly after Emancipation, Chinese migrants were brought in as part of the “Coolie trade” to replace slave labor—a coerced, if not forced, migration of indentured servants.

Jeu Gong Lum也是移民浪潮中的一员。他从加拿大与美国的边境悄悄潜入美国,试图躲避1882排华法案。入境后,他逃亡南部,那里有他的亲戚,也不太容易被巡查官抓到。Lum来到美国时已经成年了,但是他娶了一个年幼的契约女佣工为妻。据Berard猜测,Lum的妻子,Katherine Wong当时可能只有10或11岁。Wong说着一口流利的英语,烹煮南方口味的食物,与白人在教堂社交活动,就像一个本地人一样。

Jeu Gong Lum was part of a wave of immigrants who tried to get around the 1882 Chinese Exclusion Act (which prohibitedChinese laborers from immigrating to the U.S.) by sneaking across the Canadian border. He fled to the South, where he had a relative, and where he was less likely to be caught by patrol officers. He came to America as an adult, but married a woman who had come over as an indentured servant at age 10 or 11, Berard estimates. That woman, Katherine Wong, grew up thoroughly acclimated to the American South, socializing with white southerners at church, cooking southern food and speaking and writing English fluently.

结婚后,Lum和他的妻子开了一个小杂货铺,主要的服务对象为非裔美国人。很多在南方的中国移民都会这么做,这种商人身份可以带给他们中国劳工享受不了的便利。Lum的女儿原先在白人学校上学,然而,当他们搬去Rosedale后,事情发生了改变。当他的两个女儿第一天到达Rosedale的学校时,她们就被告知应该去镇上的黑人学校,她们被认为是有色人种,尽管他的二女儿Martha Lum学习优秀。

After they married, they opened a small grocery store—a popular choice for many Chinese immigrants in the South, as it made them “merchants” and therefore carried special permissions that were prohibited to Chinese laborers. They primarily served an African-American clientele. Their children attended white schools, and when they moved to Rosedale their second daughter, Martha Lum, excelled academically. (She had already been keeping the books for her family’s grocery store since she was 5 or 6.) Still, when she and her older sister Berda arrived for the first day of school in 1924, their second year in Rosedale, they were told to leave and attend the black school in town instead—they were now considered colored.

为了让她的女儿重回白人学校,Lum向法院提起了诉讼,他称强迫亚洲学生去有色人种学校是种族歧视。然而,当律师Earl Brewer开始接手这个案子时,事情不再简单。Brewer满怀雄心壮志的想要从根本上挑战种族隔离法案。

The Lum family sued to get their daughters back into the white school, making the argument that it was discriminatory to force Asian students to attend a school in which “colored” otherwise meant black. But when a lawyer who was passionate about 14th Amendment issues took on their case, it became something bigger: Earl Brewer wanted to strike a blow against segregation laws in general.

Brewer选择Martha,Lum的二女儿做为案件的焦点,因为她是一个模范好学生。“州政府向所有州民征税,” Brewer向最高法院说道:“Martha也是这个州的一员,她有权利享受公立教学体系,这跟她的种族没有关系。”

Brewer chose to make Martha the focus of the case since she was such an exemplary student. “The state collects from all for the benefit of all,” he told the Mississippi Supreme Court. “Martha Lum is one of the state’s children and is entitled to the enjoyment of the privilege of the public school system without regard to her race.”

尽管他们在当地法庭取得了胜诉,但是在州法庭上,他们输掉了官司。Berard指出Brewer的工作并不完美。“他好几次修改了他的发言,他不知道自己究竟应该从哪个角度进行辩驳,他说的一些事带有强烈的种族主义色彩,我不想把他塑造成为一个完美的英雄。” Berard说道:“但是我必须承认他确实做了很多贡献。”

But, though he won the case on a local level, he lost in the state Supreme Court. His work was imperfect, Berard points out. “He changed his argument several times, he didn’t really know what angle he was going at, some of the things he said were really, really racist rhetoric, so I don’t want to paint him as the perfect hero in this story,” Berard says. “But I will say he put a lot on the line.”

Brewer将案子转交给另一位律师,该律师进而把案件提交给了美国最高法院。那里的辩护律师从来没有处理过有关第14修正案的案件,因而没有做出多少努力。1927年,官司输了。这个结果不仅影响了Lum的家庭,还影响了所有美国的有色人种。一个不成文的规定形成了:密西西比的学校可以按照他们想要的方式管理学校,让他们随意划分学生的种族。Berard说:“真正可怕的是, Lum的案例给种族隔离开创了先例,甚至给了它合法的理由。”

Brewer had handed the case to another lawyer by the time it made it to the U.S. Supreme Court, and that attorney—who had never filed a 14th amendment case in his life—put in little effort. He lost in 1927, and the decision was devastating not only for the Lums, but for people of color throughout the country. The unanimous ruling “let Mississippi schools regulate themselves however they want, and define race of their students however they want,” Berard says. “That’s the really horrible thing about this decision: the Lum family aside, this created a precedent for segregation that broadens it, gives it more power.”


By the time Brown v. Board of Ed was fought nearly three decades later, the precedent established in Lum v. Rice was a big challenge for civil rights lawyers to overcome.


Part of the reason Lum v. Rice isn’t better known is that the Lum family lost, Berard says, but their place in history may also be affected by the fact that the family wasn’t fully on the side of civil rights for all. They, like their lawyer, make flawed heroes.


“You want to stand behind the family in one way, because they are making a decision for their children,” says Berard, who interviewed descendants of the Lums for her book. “But at the same time they are clearly making a racist decision. Whether it’s part of what was considered normal at the time or not, I don’t think you can let them off the hook for that very obvious fact that they did not want their daughters going to school with black children.”

Original News: http://time.com/4533476/lum-v-rice-water-tossing-boulders/

Published on : http://wcmi.us/segregation


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