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既荒謬又虛偽又無禮 — 李國章的「英雄」論

2015/5/4 — 17:44

行會成員李國章出席明珠台節目《清心直說》時指參與政治抗爭的學生:「很多參與政治活動的學生,學術上並非特別有天賦,而他們喜歡在女友和其他人面前當英雄,所以他們站出來舉標語叫口號,他們就可以看似英雄,不是嗎?我相信這是箇中的吸引力。」( TVB新聞片段截圖 )

行會成員李國章出席明珠台節目《清心直說》時指參與政治抗爭的學生:「很多參與政治活動的學生,學術上並非特別有天賦,而他們喜歡在女友和其他人面前當英雄,所以他們站出來舉標語叫口號,他們就可以看似英雄,不是嗎?我相信這是箇中的吸引力。」( TVB新聞片段截圖 )

教育,縱然有諸多好處,但卻不是良好判斷、道德及禮貌的保證。李國章早前的發言就是印證。上週這位前教育統籌局局長在電視黃金時段,在討論到去年雨傘運動的時候,被問及為何認為香港的學生變得如此熱衷政治,發表了以下言論。

「很多參與政治活動的學生,學術上並非特別有天賦,而他們喜歡在女友和其他人面前當英雄,所以他們站出來舉標語叫口號。他們這樣做就可以看似英雄,不是嗎?我相信這是箇中的吸引力。」

廣告

坦白說,以上言論實在荒謬不堪。

其一,他完全誤解了整件事。

廣告

既然李先生如此無知(或是故意視而不見),就讓我給他說清楚。學生根本不是因為要在愛侶或任何人面前逞英雄才參與佔領行動。你可以透過一句讚賞、一份禮物或一項成就來給對方留下良好印象,但至於花79日上街抗爭,並要承受種種不適、警察的殘暴對待、公眾的指責、刑事責任(包括可能需要坐監)、將來(在包括工作機會及過關可能性上)受到的報復、對學業的影響及以上種種問題帶來的壓力呢?這只會帶及親人就你個人福祉無限量的擔憂!即使以上的壞處並不顯然易見,只要李先生願意在無數學生的感人見證及訪問中選讀幾篇,就可以了解學生與他們的家人都曾因為參與佔領行動及上述風險、壓力及不適而爭論不休。試問如果佔領行動,如李國章所述,能令學生成為英雄,為何這麼多的家人曾苦苦要求子女不要參與其中?

而實情是,筆者從未有看到任何學生的見證或訪問,指自己參與佔領行動是因為要在愛侶前留下好印象又或因為參與佔領而成功留下好印象。正相反,學生如黃之鋒在奪得無數的國際獎項時多次強調他對該等獎項受之有愧,而他認為所有的功勞都應該是屬於佔領行動的參與者。事實上,黃之鋒早前出版的書籍的名稱正正是『我不是英雄』。同樣,岑敖暉亦強調自己「不是英雄」,只是一個「意外地參與雨傘運動的一名平凡大學生」。他亦經常指出外界把自己明星化令他感到不舒服,希望公眾能反而把目光聚焦在學生所關注的議題上。以上種種都不是想要成為英雄人物的言行舉止。

誠然,許多市民確實覺得學生們是英雄,但一個人無私地做一件事而被其他人當成是英雄(事實上所發生的結果),與一個人爲了被其他人當成是英雄而去做一件事(李先生誤以爲所發生的事實)絕對是兩回事。

李先生就學術天賦的評論同樣地不正確。邏輯上而言,很難理解為什麼學業成績比較遜色的學生會比學業成績好的學生有更大可能參與示威活動,而李先生亦沒有就他斷定事實上參與示威活動的學生「學術上並非特別有天賦」提出任何證據。

因此,李先生的言論明顯地存在深深的誤解。更糟的是,該評論從許多方面來說都是極其虛偽。

假若參與政治抗爭的學生只為「喜歡在女友和其他人面前當英雄」,那爲何李先生本人的言論也不可能被說成只為在他家人及盟友面前逞威風?再者,如果舉標語叫口號應收到屈尊的譴責的話,那為何李先生不對周融以及其「保普選、反佔中大聯盟」同樣的活動給予同樣的譴責?再說,如果一些舉標語叫口號的人士能被界定為學術上沒有天賦,想必也可以對那些在沒有邏輯及事實支持下作出指控的人作出同樣的結論吧?

最後,李先生的言論無禮得難以想像、刻薄及根本沒必要性。

學生們把自己置身於以上提及的風險、壓力和不適承担以爭取實現一個不被遵守的承諾及一個更公平的香港的願景,而這某程度源如李先生等成人沒有承担其應份。即使李先生不能同情這些學生,也沒有理由不能單純就他們的行為按其實情作出討論。反而,這位前任大學校長及教育教育統籌局局長選擇對這些學生公開地作出針對個人的嘲弄。這是何等冷漠、何等無情、何等值得受到最強烈譴責的行為。

在大概同一時間,港大教師及職員會發表問卷調查的結果顯示,八成半受訪職員不信任李先生擔任港大校務委員會委員。某些教職員回答時形容李爲「惡霸」(“bully”) 及「誇誇其談的、魯莽的、我行我素不顧後果的人」(“bombastic unreflective loose cannon”),而李先生最近的言論正正與此等形容清楚地呼應。雖然看往史李先生不大可能會理會勸告而作出反省,不過假若在不可能的情况下他能作出反省,他應該立即收回該言論以及對學生作出真誠的道歉。

 

Wrong, Hypocritical and Rude – Arthur Li’s “Hero” Theory

By Alex Ho @ Progressive Lawyers Group (法政匯思)

For all its virtues, education, sadly, is no guarantee of good judgment, good morals, or good manners. Arthur Li (李國章) is a case in point. About a week ago, the former Education Secretary was asked, in the context of the Umbrella Movement, why Hong Kong’s students have become so politicised. This is what he had to say, on prime time TV:

“Many of these students who take part in these political activities are not particularly academically gifted. And they like to be heroes to their girlfriends and so on. And therefore if they can stand out and wave banners and shout slogans, they could look like a hero, couldn’t they? And I think this is the attraction of it.”

This is, frankly, a ridiculous statement.

Firstly, it is entirely misconceived.

Since Mr Li is blithely unaware (or wilfully blind), let me put this bluntly. The students certainly did not occupy to impress girlfriends or indeed anyone. You might impress a loved one with a compliment, a gift, or an achievement. But you do not do so by spending 79 days in great discomfort on the streets and exposing yourself to the risks of police brutality, public condemnation, criminal punishment (including potential imprisonment), future reprisals (from career opportunities to crossing the border), and disruption to studies and all the pressure from all the above. All that does is to make your loved ones deeply concerned about your personal and physical well being. Even if this were not evident, all Mr Li would have to do is read a few of the countless testimonies, and interviews – some deeply moving – of students fighting fiercely with their families over their participation and experiencing these tremendous risks, pressures, and discomforts. If occupation had been so glorious for the students, why would so many of their families have resisted so bitterly?

Indeed, I have not read a single testimony or interview where a student stated that he had taken part to impress loved ones, or that he had successfully impressed someone by doing so. Quite the contrary. Joshua Wong (黃之鋒), for instance, has repeatedly insisted that the many international awards he received following the occupation were undeserved and that the credit belongs to its participants. Indeed, Wong’s earlier book was actually entitled ‘I am not a Hero’ (我不是英雄). Similarly, Lester Shum (岑敖暉) has emphasised that he is no hero, but rather an ordinary university student who accidentally found himself participating in the movement. Further, Shum has often said that he is uncomfortable with the celebrity culture that has developed around him and that the focus should revert to the issues at hand. All this conduct is markedly at odds with that of someone seeking to play the hero.

Certainly, many people do consider the students to be heroes. But it is one thing to do something selflessly and then be regarded as a hero (which is what actually has happened); it is quite another to do something for the intentional purpose of being so regarded (which is what Mr Li, incorrectly, suggests has happened).

As for his comment on academic ability, Mr Li is just as wrong. It is difficult to see any logical reason why a less academically able student would be any more likely to participate in a protest than a more able one. Indeed, Mr Li provided no evidence at all for how he came to conclude that the students who participated in the Umbrella Movement were “not particularly academically gifted”.

So Mr Li’s statement is patently misconceived. But worse, it is also deeply hypocritical (in more ways than one).

If the students were only protesting to impress their girlfriends and others, then could it not also be said that Mr Li’s statement was merely to impress his family and allies? And if banner-waving and slogan-shouting shows are so deserving of condescension, then why has Mr Li not made the same criticisms for such shows by Robert Chow (周融) and his Alliance for Peace and Democracy (保普選反佔中大聯盟)? And if those who wave banners and shout slogans fall by definition into the academically ungifted, then surely those who make allegations that are unsupported by logic or fact must do so too?

Finally, Mr Li’s statement was unthinkably rude, demeaning, and unnecessary.

The students were exposing themselves to immense risks, pressures, and discomforts to fight for a promise that was being broken and for a vision of a fairer Hong Kong – in part because adults such as Mr Li which should have been doing so were not doing so. Even if Mr Li found it impossible to empathise with the students, there is no reason why he could not simply have debated their actions on the merits. Instead, what this former Vice Chancellor and Education Secretary no less chose to do, was to mock the students openly and personally. How cold, how heartless, and how worthy of condemnation in the strongest terms.

At about the same time, the HKU Academic Staff Association released a poll. 85% of the staff polled said they had no confidence in Mr Li’s serving on the HKU Council. Some commented that he was a “bully” and a “bombastic unreflective loose cannon”.

Mr Li’s latest statement echoes this loud and clear. Nothing in Mr Li’s history suggests he will pay heed and reflect. But on the off chance he does, that reflection should certainly include a prompt retraction of his statement and a sincere apology to the students for it.

 

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