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更新时间:2017/4/25 18:38:04 来源:纽约时报中文网 作者:佚名

Let’s All Learn About Hawaii

Say “Aloha!” to Hawaii, the 50th state in the United States. Hawaii is a chain of dozens of islands, in the Pacific Ocean. Many of them small and uninhabited, but there are eight main islands. They are Hawaii, Maui, Oahu, Kauai, Molokai, Lanai, Niihau and Kahoolawe.


Hawaii is famous for warm sunshine, beautiful mountains and beaches, and friendly people. Hawaii’s largest city is its capital, Honolulu, which has a population of about 350,000, within a county of about 993,000. By comparison, Birmingham, the largest city in Alabama, has 212,000 people. If you ask, “Where would you like to go on your honeymoon, Honolulu or Birmingham?” many people will not understand why that is a question.


Hawaii has many military bases that keep the United States safe and strong in the world. One base, Pearl Harbor, was bombed by Japan in 1941. Hawaii was not a state then, but the United States fought to defend Hawaii anyway, because it was part of America. Many people from Hawaii served bravely in World War II, and many died. One of Hawaii’s best-known war heroes, Daniel Inouye, lost his arm in combat in Italy. He served many years in the United States Senate.

夏威夷有很多军事基地,它们保卫着美国在世界上的安全和强大。1941年被日本轰炸的珍珠港便是其中之一。夏威夷那时候还没有成为州,但美国还是为了保卫夏威夷而战,因为它是美国的一部分。二战期间,很多来自夏威夷的人英勇作战,不少人阵亡。夏威夷最著名的战争英雄之一丹尼尔·井上(Daniel Inouye,井上建)在意大利的战场上失去了一条胳膊。他曾在联邦参议院任职多年。

Hawaii is well-known for its long tradition of welcoming and love, called the “Aloha spirit.” Alabama used to be famous for a spirit called “Jim Crow,” a system of laws to keep people with darker skin separate from white people.

夏威夷因为好客和友爱的悠久传统而闻名,也就是所谓的“阿罗哈精神”。阿拉巴马过去也因为“吉姆·克劳”(Jim Crow)的态度而扬名,即一种将深色人种与白人隔离开的法律制度。

What does “Jim Crow” have to do with Hawaii? A lot!


Hawaii became the 50th state in 1959, after a long struggle. Many people in Hawaii wanted to join the union, and many people in the mainland United States supported them. But statehood failed for many years in Congress because lawmakers from the South bitterly opposed it.


They thought that Hawaii was too far away, and that it had too many people of Asian and Polynesian descent and not enough Caucasians. Mostly they thought that Hawaii’s new representatives in Congress would support civil rights and vote to end “Jim Crow.”


Civil rights include the right to vote, to go to decent schools, and not be hanged by mobs. The Southern lawmakers who opposed civil rights were Democrats then, though they later changed parties to become Republicans. They were also known as Dixiecrats. Today we call them racists.


Congress, the president and the courts eventually all agreed that “Jim Crow” violated the Constitution, the basic rules of our government, including the one that all people are equal and must be treated that way.


But even though “Jim Crow” was defeated, the battle for civil rights continues, because not everybody in America understands or fully accepts the Constitution. People are still struggling to be able to vote, and to go to decent schools, but also to have clean water to drink and not to be killed by police officers.


Another of the Constitution’s most basic rules is that the government consists of equal parts — the executive, legislative and judicial branches. None is supposed to have power over the other, so that a tyrant cannot take control, and make the laws himself. The Constitution applies in every state, even Hawaii, and if there is disagreement over what the Constitution says, judges get to decide.


This is a very simple idea. But one famous Republican, Jeff Sessions of Alabama, said recently that he was “amazed” that a judge in Hawaii, which he called “an island in the Pacific,” could issue a decision that stopped President Trump from doing what he wanted. Mr. Trump issued an order to ban Muslim people from entering the country, but the judge blocked it, because it may have violated the Constitution. That is how the Constitution works. Mr. Sessions is the attorney general, the top law-enforcement officer in the United States, so why was he amazed at that?

这个道理非常简单。但著名的共和党人、来自阿拉巴马州的杰夫·塞申斯(Jeff Sessions)最近表示,他对夏威夷州,也就是他口中“太平洋上的一个岛屿”的一名法官作出裁决,叫停了特朗普总统想做的事情感到“非常惊讶”。特朗普颁布了一项命令,禁止穆斯林入境,但这名法官叫停了该命令,因为它可能违反了宪法。这本就是宪法的工作原理。塞申斯是司法部长,是美国的最高执法官员。他为什么会对此事感到惊讶?

You will have to ask him. But he is not the first Southerner to have this problem.