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  • "Where are you from?" said the pale, tattooed man.

    「你是哪個國家來的?」 一個紋身白人男子問。

  • "Where are you from?"

    「你是哪個國家來的?!」

  • It's September 21, 2001,

    這一天是 2001 年 9 月 21 日,

  • 10 days after the worst attack on America since World War II.

    是美國自二次大戰以來 所遭遇最駭人的恐怖襲擊後第 10 天。

  • Everyone wonders about the next plane.

    每個人都擔心下一架飛機會怎樣。

  • People are looking for scapegoats.

    大家都在找替罪羔羊。

  • The president, the night before, pledges to

    美國總統,在前一晚誓言:

  • "bring our enemies to justice or bring justice to our enemies."

    「將敵人繩之以法, 或以公義之名嚴懲!」

  • And in the Dallas mini-mart,

    而在達拉斯的一家超商,

  • a Dallas mini-part surrounded by tire shops and strip joints

    周圍滿是車胎行和脫衣舞廳,

  • a Bangladeshi immigrant works the register.

    有一個孟加拉新移民,在這裡做收銀員。

  • Back home, Raisuddin Bhuiyan was a big man, an Air Force officer.

    在家鄉,Raisuddin Bhuiyan 是個有身分地位的空軍軍官,

  • But he dreamed of a fresh start in America.

    但他夢想來美國展開全新的人生,

  • If he had to work briefly in a mini-mart to save up for I.T. classes

    即使得暫時屈就超商的收銀工作, 存錢上電腦課程、

  • and his wedding in two months, so be it.

    為兩個月後的婚禮籌措資金,他也甘願。

  • Then, on September 21, that tattooed man enters the mart.

    然後,在 9 月 21 日這一天, 那名紋身白人男子闖入了這家超商,

  • He holds a shotgun.

    手裡拿著一把霰彈槍,

  • Raisuddin knows the drill:

    Raisuddin 知道該怎麼做,

  • puts cash on the counter.

    就把現金乖乖擺在收銀台上。

  • This time, the man doesn't touch the money.

    不過這一次,男子並沒有拿錢。

  • "Where are you from?" he asks.

    「你是哪個國家來的?」男子問。

  • "Excuse me?" Raisuddin answers.

    「您說什麼?」Raisuddin 回問,

  • His accent betrays him.

    他的口音洩漏了種族背景,

  • The tattooed man, a self-styled true American vigilante,

    這個紋著身、自以為在 捍衛美國治安的男子,

  • shoots Raisuddin in revenge for 9/11.

    以為 9/11 事件復仇為名, 開槍射了 Raisuddin,

  • Raisuddin feels millions of bees stinging his face.

    Raisuddin 突然感覺好像 幾百萬隻蜜蜂刺著他的臉,

  • In fact, dozens of scalding, birdshot pellets puncture his head.

    其實,是好幾十顆小鉛彈 打爛了他的頭,

  • Behind the counter, he lays in blood.

    他在收銀台後倒下,躺在血泊中。

  • He cups a hand over his forehead to keep in the brains

    他一隻手壓住額頭, 硬把腦漿壓回去,

  • on which he'd gambled everything.

    畢竟這腦子是他花了一輩子心血培養的。

  • He recites verses from the Koran, begging his God to live.

    他誦唸著可蘭經的經句, 祈求他的真主讓他活下去。

  • He senses he is dying.

    他感覺到自己快要死了。

  • He didn't die.

    可是他並沒有死。

  • His right eye left him.

    他失去了左眼,

  • His fiancée left him.

    未婚妻也離開了他。

  • His landlord, the mini-mart owner, kicked him out.

    他的房東,也是那家超商的老闆, 把他趕走。

  • Soon he was homeless and 60,000 dollars in medical debt,

    他一下子無家可歸, 還欠了 6 萬美金的醫藥費,

  • including a fee for dialing for an ambulance.

    包括叫救護車的電話費。

  • But Raisuddin lived.

    但他終究還是活了下來。

  • And years later, he would ask what he could do to repay his God

    幾年以後,他一直自問, 可以做什麼才能報答他的真主,

  • and become worthy of this second chance.

    也才配得這個重生的機會。

  • He would come to believe, in fact,

    他逐漸相信,事實上,

  • that this chance called for him to give a second chance

    他的重生,是要教他 也給別人第二次機會──

  • to a man we might think deserved no chance at all.

    給那個絲毫不配的暴徒。

  • Twelve years ago, I was a fresh graduate seeking my way in the world.

    12 年前,我大學剛畢業, 正在尋找自己的出路。

  • Born in Ohio to Indian immigrants,

    我在俄亥俄州出生,爸媽來自印度。

  • I settled on the ultimate rebellion against my parents,

    我做了一個最忤逆父母的決定,

  • moving to the country they had worked so damn hard to get out of.

    就是搬回到他們費盡千辛萬苦 才逃離的國家。

  • What I thought might be a six-month stint in Mumbai stretched to six years.

    我本來想在孟買待 6 個月, 結果待了 6 年,

  • I became a writer and found myself amid a magical story:

    我開始寫作, 而且置身一個不可思議的故事中:

  • the awakening of hope across much of the so-called Third World.

    希望,正在所謂的第三世界中 甦醒過來。

  • Six years ago, I returned to America and realized something:

    6 年前我回到美國,發覺:

  • The American Dream was thriving,

    美國夢正在壯大,

  • but only in India.

    但只有在印度。

  • In America, not so much.

    在美國本身,並沒有。

  • In fact, I observed that America was fracturing

    事實上,我看到美國正在分裂,

  • into two distinct societies:

    變成天壤地別的兩個社會:

  • a republic of dreams and a republic of fears.

    一個夢想共和國,和一個恐懼共和國。

  • And then, I stumbled onto this incredible tale of two lives

    然後我發現這兩個生命的驚人故事,

  • and of these two Americas that brutally collided in that Dallas mini-mart.

    和在那個達拉斯超商裡 殘忍對撞的兩個美國。

  • I knew at once I wanted to learn more,

    一開始我就知道,我想追蹤這個故事,

  • and eventually that I would write a book about them,

    最後,寫成一本書。

  • for their story was the story of America's fracturing

    因為他們的故事,就是美國分裂的故事,

  • and of how it might be put back together.

    更透現著美國如何能重新癒合的曙光。

  • After he was shot, Raisuddin's life grew no easier.

    被槍襲後,Raisuddin 的生活更加艱困,

  • The day after admitting him, the hospital discharged him.

    送醫後第二天,醫院就請他出院。

  • His right eye couldn't see.

    他的右眼失明,

  • He couldn't speak.

    他無法說話,

  • Metal peppered his face.

    滿臉都是鉛彈,

  • But he had no insurance, so they bounced him.

    但是因為沒有保險,所以醫院不收留他。

  • His family in Bangladesh begged him, "Come home."

    他在孟加拉的家人央求他: 「快回家吧!」

  • But he told them he had a dream to see about.

    但他告訴他們,他要完成夢想。

  • He found telemarketing work,

    他找到了電話行銷的工作,

  • then he became an Olive Garden waiter,

    接著到橄欖園高級餐廳當服務生,

  • because where better to get over his fear of white people than the Olive Garden?

    因為,哪裡比這更適合克服 對白人的恐懼呢?

  • (Laughter)

    (觀眾笑聲)

  • Now, as a devout Muslim, he refused alcohol,

    他虔信穆斯林教,所以不喝酒,

  • didn't touch the stuff.

    滴酒不沾。

  • Then he learned that not selling it would slash his pay.

    但他發現,不賣酒會影響收入,

  • So he reasoned, like a budding American pragmatist,

    所以他學得像個美國實用主義者那樣 自我推論:

  • "Well, God wouldn't want me to starve, would he?"

    「上帝不會希望我餓肚子,不是嗎?」

  • And before long, in some months, Raisuddin was that Olive Garden's

    很快地,短短幾個月後, Raisuddin 變成那家餐廳

  • highest grossing alcohol pusher.

    業績最好的酒品促銷員。

  • He found a man who taught him database administration.

    他找到一個人,教他資料庫管理,

  • He got part-time I.T. gigs.

    兼差做資訊科技工作。

  • Eventually, he landed a six-figure job at a blue chip tech company in Dallas.

    最後,在達拉斯一家績優股科技公司 獲得年薪百萬美金的工作。

  • But as America began to work for Raisuddin,

    但是當 Raisuddin 在美國開始順利,

  • he avoided the classic error of the fortunate:

    他沒有犯許多成功者的典型錯誤:

  • assuming you're the rule, not the exception.

    把成功視為理所當然,而不是少數人的偶然。

  • In fact, he observed that many with the fortune of being born American

    其實,他看到許多幸運土生土長的美國人,

  • were nonetheless trapped in lives that made second chances like his impossible.

    卻生活困頓,毫無像他那樣的第二次機會。

  • He saw it at the Olive Garden itself,

    他在橄欖園餐廳就親眼看到,

  • where so many of his colleagues had childhood horror stories

    很多同事經歷過可怕的童年,

  • of family dysfunction, chaos, addiction, crime.

    充滿了家庭失和、混亂、成癮、犯罪。

  • He'd heard a similar tale about the man who shot him

    那個開槍襲擊他的人,也有類似的背景,

  • back when he attended his trial.

    Raisuddin 是在出庭時聽到他的故事。

  • The closer Raisuddin got to the America he had coveted from afar,

    Raisuddin 越靠近他曾經夢想的美國,

  • the more he realized there was another, equally real, America

    就越發現另一個同樣真實的美國,

  • that was stingier with second chances.

    一個不給第二次機會的美國。

  • The man who shot Raisuddin grew up in that stingier America.

    槍擊他的人,就是在這一個嚴酷的美國長大。

  • From a distance, Mark Stroman was always the spark of parties,

    表面上看來,Mark Stroman 總是派對焦點,

  • always making girls feel pretty.

    很會把妹。

  • Always working, no matter what drugs or fights he'd had the night before.

    不管前一晚吸毒或幹架,隔天照常上班。

  • But he'd always wrestled with demons.

    但他一直擺脫不了心魔。

  • He entered the world through the three gateways

    他的成長背景,有三條徒徑,

  • that doom so many young American men:

    每一條都注定了 許多年輕美國男子的厄運:

  • bad parents, bad schools, bad prisons.

    不良父母、不良學校、不良監獄。

  • His mother told him, regretfully, as a boy

    小時候,媽媽懊悔地跟他說,

  • that she'd been just 50 dollars short of aborting him.

    若非當時缺 50 塊美金, 早就把他墮胎了。

  • Sometimes, that little boy would be at school,

    有時候,這個小男孩在學校,

  • he'd suddenly pull a knife on his fellow classmates.

    會突然對同學拔刀。

  • Sometimes that same little boy would be at his grandparents',

    有時候,同樣這個小男孩, 會在祖父母家,

  • tenderly feeding horses.

    溫柔地餵馬。

  • He was getting arrested before he shaved,

    他還沒長鬍子,就坐過牢。

  • first juvenile, then prison.

    先是少年感化院,然後又進監獄。

  • He became a casual white supremacist

    他相信白人比較優越,應該掌權,

  • and, like so many around him, a drug-addled and absent father.

    而且,像周遭許多人一樣, 他也變成了毒蟲、缺席的父親。

  • And then, before long, he found himself on death row,

    再過不久,終於面臨死刑。

  • for in his 2001 counter-jihad, he had shot not one mini-mart clerk,

    因為在他 2001 年自詡反聖戰行動中, 他不只射殺一個超商店員,

  • but three.

    他槍襲了三個人。

  • Only Raisuddin survived.

    只有 Raisuddin 活了下來。

  • Strangely, death row was the first institution

    奇異的是,死囚監獄是第一個

  • that left Stroman better.

    真正改變 Stroman 的地方。

  • His old influences quit him.

    他戒掉壞習慣,

  • The people entering his life were virtuous and caring:

    在這裡遇到的人 品德好,且關懷別人:

  • pastors, journalists, European pen-pals.

    牧師、記者、歐洲的筆友。

  • They listened to him, prayed with him, helped him question himself.

    他們傾聽他的心聲,

  • And sent him on a journey of introspection and betterment.

    跟他一起禱告,

  • He finally faced the hatred that had defined his life.

    幫助他自我探索,

  • He read Viktor Frankl, the Holocaust survivor

    展開自省和成長的旅程,

  • and regretted his swastika tattoos.

    他終於面對挾制了他一生的仇恨意識。

  • He found God.

    他讀大屠殺倖存者 Viktor Frankl 的書,

  • Then one day in 2011, 10 years after his crimes,

    後悔自己有納粹黨十字記號刺青。

  • Stroman received news.

    他找到了上帝。

  • One of the men he'd shot, the survivor, was fighting to save his life.

    然後 2011 年,他犯罪的 10 年後,

  • You see, late in 2009, eight years after that shooting,

    有一天 Stroman 聽到了這個消息:

  • Raisuddin had gone on his own journey, a pilgrimage to Mecca.

    當年他槍襲的其中一人, 正在爭取讓他活命。

  • Amid its crowds, he felt immense gratitude,

    原來,2009 年底, 槍擊事件 8 年後,

  • but also duty.

    Raisuddin 也展開了生命旅程, 前往麥加朝聖。

  • He recalled promising God, as he lay dying in 2001,

    在朝聖人潮中,他深深感恩,

  • that if he lived, he would serve humanity all his days.

    也體悟到使命感。

  • Then, he'd gotten busy relaying the bricks of a life.

    他想起 2001 年生命垂危時 曾經答應過上帝,

  • Now it was time to pay his debts.

    如果他能存活,他將奉獻餘生服務人類。

  • And he decided, upon reflection, that his method of payment

    後來,他忙於重建自己的生活。

  • would be an intervention in the cycle of vengeance

    現在,該是還債的時候了。

  • between the Muslim and Western worlds.

    深思後,他決定 他回報上帝的方式,

  • And how would he intervene?

    是介入報復的惡性循環──

  • By forgiving Stroman publicly in the name of Islam

    穆斯林和西方國家之間的冤冤相報。

  • and its doctrine of mercy.

    那麼,他要怎麼介入呢?

  • And then suing the state of Texas and its governor Rick Perry

    他決定公開原諒 Stroman, 以伊斯蘭的聖名

  • to prevent them from executing Stroman,

    和其慈悲的教誨。

  • exactly like most people shot in the face do.

    然後對德州和州長 Rick Perry 提告,

  • (Laughter)

    以制止他們處死 Stroman,

  • Yet Raisuddin's mercy was inspired not only by faith.

    正像大多數被槍襲的人會做的事。

  • A newly minted American citizen, he had come to believe that Stroman

    (觀眾笑聲)

  • was the product of a hurting America that couldn't just be lethally injected away.

    Raisuddin 的慈悲不只是因信仰的教導,

  • That insight is what moved me to write my book "The True American."

    剛成為美國公民的他相信

  • This immigrant begging America to be as merciful to a native son

    Stroman 是受傷美國的產物, 不是處死刑就能癒合的傷痛。

  • as it had been to an adopted one.

    這個洞見,啟發了我寫 "The True American" 這本書。

  • In the mini-mart, all those years earlier,

    這位新移民,懇求美國能夠 對親生兒子發慈悲,

  • not just two men, but two Americas collided.

    如同對他這個養子一樣。

  • An America that still dreams, still strives,

    當年在那家超商,

  • still imagines that tomorrow can build on today,

    不只是兩個男子, 而是兩個美國的撞擊,

  • and an America that has resigned to fate,

    一個美國依然懷抱夢想、持續茁壯、

  • buckled under stress and chaos, lowered expectations,

    相信明天建構在今日的基礎之上;

  • an ducked into the oldest of refuges:

    另一個美國接受宿命、

  • the tribal fellowship of one's own narrow kind.

    被壓力和混亂壓垮、失去盼望、

  • And it was Raisuddin, despite being a newcomer,

    只能躲進歷史最悠久的避難所:

  • despite being attacked,

    遁入一個狹隘的、想像的族群。

  • despite being homeless and traumatized,

    然而卻是 Raisuddin── 儘管是個新移民、

  • who belonged to that republic of dreams

    儘管被襲擊、

  • and Stroman who belonged to that other wounded country,

    儘管無家可歸、歷經創傷──

  • despite being born with the privilege of a native white man.

    才屬於這個夢想共和國;

  • I realized these men's stories formed an urgent parable about America.

    而 Stroman 卻屬於受傷的 那個美國,

  • The country I am so proud to call my own

    儘管他有幸生為白皮膚的本國人。

  • wasn't living through a generalized decline

    我體認到,他們的故事是關於美國的 迫切寓言。

  • as seen in Spain or Greece, where prospects were dimming for everyone.

    這個我驕傲歸屬的國家

  • America is simultaneously the most and the least successful country

    並不是正在全面的衰微,

  • in the industrialized world.

    不像西班牙或希臘 全國人民都在受苦。

  • Launching the world's best companies,

    美國是工業化世界裡最成功、

  • even as record numbers of children go hungry.

    同時也最失敗的國家。

  • Seeing life-expectancy drop for large groups,

    創立全球最佳企業,

  • even as it polishes the world's best hospitals.

    挨餓的兒童人數卻打破紀錄。

  • America today is a sprightly young body,

    大批族群國民的壽命縮短,

  • hit by one of those strokes that sucks the life from one side,

    縱使擁有世界一流的醫院。

  • while leaving the other worryingly perfect.

    今日的美國,是個年輕有活力的身體,

  • On July 20, 2011, right after a sobbing Raisuddin

    半身中風,

  • testified in defense of Stroman's life,

    癱瘓無力,

  • Stroman was killed by lethal injection by the state he so loved.

    另外半身卻完美無暇到 令人憂心的地步。

  • Hours earlier, when Raisuddin still thought he could still save Stroman,

    2011 年 7 月 20 日, 就是在 Raisuddin 哽咽陳情──

  • the two men got to speak for the second time ever.

    為 Stroman 請命不久之後,

  • Here is an excerpt from their phone call.

    Stroman 死於死刑藥劑之下, 由他鍾愛的州行刑。

  • Raisuddin: "Mark, you should know that I am praying for God,

    行刑前幾小時, Raisuddin 還抱持一線希望,

  • the most compassionate and gracious.

    兩人在槍襲事件後第一次對話。

  • I forgive you and I do not hate you.

    以下是他們通電話的一段內容:

  • I never hated you."

    Raisuddin:「Mark,我要你知道 我在向上帝祈禱,

  • Stroman: "You are a remarkable person.

    最悲憫仁慈的神,

  • Thank you from my heart.

    我原諒你,也不恨你。

  • I love you, bro."

    我從沒有恨過你。」

  • Even more amazingly, after the execution,

    Stroman:「你真了不起。

  • Raisuddin reached out to Stroman's eldest daughter, Amber,

    我打從心裡感激你。

  • an ex-convinct and an addict.

    我愛你,我的兄弟。」

  • and offered his help.

    更動人的是,行刑之後,

  • "You may have lost a father," he told her,

    Raisuddin 連絡上 Stroman 的 長女 Amber,

  • "but you've gained an uncle."

    一個有前科和毒癮的女孩,

  • He wanted her, too, to have a second chance.

    他想幫助她。

  • If human history were a parade,

    「妳雖然失去了父親,」他對她說,

  • America's float would be a neon shrine to second chances.

    「卻得到了一個舅父。」

  • But America, generous with second chances to the children of other lands,

    他希望她也能有第二次機會。

  • today grows miserly with first chances to the children of its own.

    如果人類歷史是一個遊行,

  • America still dazzles at allowing anybody to become an American.

    美國花車就像 第二次機會的霓虹神龕。

  • But it is losing its luster at allowing every American to become a somebody.

    然而美國,雖然 大方給予移民之子第二次機會,

  • Over the last decade, seven million foreigners gained American citizenship.

    今天卻連第一次機會都 吝於給予親生之子。

  • Remarkable.

    美國仍然以開放移民 成為美國人而令人炫目,

  • In the meanwhile, how many Americans gained a place in the middle class?

    卻無法扶植本國人順利成功, 因而漸失光彩。

  • Actually, the net influx was negative.

    過去 10 年,有 7 百萬移民 成為美國公民。

  • Go back further, and it's even more striking:

    很了不起。

  • Since the 60s, the middle class has shrunk by 20 percent,

    同時,有多少美國人成為 中產階級?

  • mainly because of the people tumbling out of it.

    事實上,淨流入量是負值。

  • And my reporting around the country tells me the problem is grimmer

    再往前追溯,統計更驚人:

  • than simple inequality.

    從 60 年代到今天, 中產階級縮減了 2 成,

  • What I observe is a pair of secessions from the unifying center of American life.

    大多是因為人們掉出這個階級。

  • An affluent secession of up, up and away,

    我的國內研究報告顯示, 這個問題的嚴重性

  • into elite enclaves of the educated and into a global matrix

    不單只是因為不平等。

  • of work, money and connections,

    我觀察到的是從美國中心 分裂開來的兩個社會:

  • and an impoverished secession of down and out

    一個是飛黃騰達的富裕社會,

  • into disconnected, dead-end lives

    教育菁英的上流圈子,

  • that the fortunate scarcely see.

    擁有全球的事業、財富和人脈關係;

  • And don't console yourself that you are the 99 percent.

    另一個是潦倒不堪的窮困社會,

  • If you live near a Whole Foods,

    孤立無援、永無翻身之日,

  • if no one in your family serves in the military,

    人生勝利組看不到的社會。

  • if you're paid by the year, not the hour,

    但不要以為你屬於那 99% 而感到欣慰。

  • if most people you know finished college,

    如果你住的社區 有健康有機超市,

  • if no one you know uses meth,

    如果你家族沒有人從軍,

  • if you married once and remain married,

    如果你賺的是年薪而不是時薪,

  • if you're not one of 65 million Americans with a criminal record --

    如果你認識的人學歷幾乎都是 大學以上,

  • if any or all of these things describe you,

    如果你的親友沒有吸毒,

  • then accept the possibility that actually,

    如果你一結婚就不曾離婚,