Thursday, August 28, 2014

Exceptional Ways


I've spent quite a bit of time this past week talking about the term native inhabitants. It is something which is at the crux of how decolonization law is written in Guam, but is confusing since it is different than the way that most people feel or talk about decolonization. There is a spiritual and human movement and process which is wide-reaching and brings together anger, resentment, dreams, hopes, practical concerns and justice. This is decolonization in general, and it is something that more and more people on Guam accept as being an important and necessary part of life. It has not been an easy conversation, many people resisted it in certain forms, such as cultural for a long time. But we can thank the last two generations of Chamorro/Guam activists for helping create the conditions whereby "self-determination" is an acceptable and positive part of daily discussion, wrapped up in the feelings that people have for an improved, more prosperous and better respected community. 

All this is different than decolonization as a political process and on political process in particular, the self-determination plebiscite or vote. This process is not as free-forming and not as inspirational. It is something guided by old Government of Guam rules, current Government of Guam commissions and is being challenged in a mass of contradictory and self-serving legal decisions. This is a process that can be changed, as laws change, but the wishes and dreams of people don't necessarily change it, although they can influence it. There are aspects of this that have to be attended to, even if people don't immediately understand it. 

There is a requirement that 70% of people who are eligible to vote in a decolonization plebiscite be registered for it, before the Guam Election Commission can set the date for a vote. There is the issue that this vote is written into law as being "non-binding" meaning that it isn't the action that will effect change or determine things, but just the expression of a wish. Finally there is the term "native inhabitant" which in general is used to mean Chamorro, but is actually much more complicated than that. 

While you could argue that Chamorros are the native inhabitants, the legal definition is not cultural and based on blood, but is determined based on the presence of one's family in Guam when the  United States took over, or when they passed the Organic Act. This includes mainly Chamorros, but is also filled with non-Chamorros. This legal category is the group of people who, according to international law and based on the decisions and laws the US as passed or agreed to, have been historically denied their right to self-determination. International law is clear on this issue, but US law, like many national legal mazes, is denied to protect the interests of the wider nation, not necessarily make the right decisions or act in order to right historical wrongs or even seek obvious forms of restitution. 

A case over whether the self-determination law and plebiscite is "unconstitutional" has been going on for years, with an appeal being heard now in the 9th Circuit Court of Guam. There are so many frustrating things involved with this case, most of them so obvious that anyone who isn't a manipulative, selfish child could see them. A self-determination plebiscite by definition isn't supposed to follow national laws, but international laws. But the US like many large powerful nations, only likes international laws when they conform to their interests, the rest of the time international laws are nothing but distant irritants. To have a "decolonization" vote follow the rules of the colonizer is so mind-bogglingly stupid it should make people go cross-eyed simply by thinking about it. All of this connects to the unfair and unjust nature of being a colony. As a colony, you are expected to play by the rules of another and follow all of their orders, while not being allowed to help make any of those rules. You are an exception, whereby the colonizer gets to pick and choose what applies to you. The colonizer has named you an exception, and so naturally, you should be treated in exceptional ways, especially in terms of fixing your colonial situation. 


********************

 
Thursday, 17 Oct 2013 03:00am
BY MAR-VIC CAGURANGAN
VARIETY NEWS STAFF 



SO, who exactly are the “native inhabitants” of Guam? Who are eligible to be listed in the Decolonization Registry?

As discussions on Guam’s quest for self-determination start taking center stage again, the recurring question as to who are eligible to vote in the self-determination plebiscite remains a hotspot of confusion, if not alienation.

Some refer to the decolonization process as a “Chamorro-only plebiscite.” This is pure misconception, according to University of Guam professor Michael Lujan Bevacqua, a columnist for Variety.

“The native inhabitants are maybe 95 percent Chamorros and maybe 5 percent non-Chamorros. If you look at the Decolonization Registry, you will find people with no Chamorro blood in them that are registered,” Bevacqua said, speaking before members of the Young Men’s League of Guam yesterday.

“If you look at all the laws, there’s nothing that says this (plebiscite) is for Chamorros only,” he said.

Under the Guam Decolonization Registry law, “native inhabitants” is defined as “those who became U.S. citizens by virtue of the 1950 Organic Act and their blood descendants.”

But what exactly the definition means remains elusive to some.

“Is ‘native inhabitant’ the same as ‘native American Indian?’” one of the group members asked.

Bevacqua explained that “native inhabitants” has a specific application in the context of Guam decolonization.

Lawsuit

The exclusive provision of the plebiscite law is among the key issues raised by Guam resident and Variety columnist Dave Davis in his lawsuit currently pending appeal in the Ninth Circuit Court.

Davis is challenging the Guam law, which he said is “racially discriminatory.”

“But what Dave Davis is complaining about is something that the United States created. Everything that the Guam law uses is what the United States created. The Chamorros have nothing to do with it,” Bevacqua said.

Complexity

And yet, the “native inhabitant” reference can be more complex than it seems.

In an Aug. 12, 2012 letter to President Barack Obama, the U.S. Commission on Human Rights cited more plebiscite exclusions based on the Organic Act.

“The pertinent section of the Organic Act extended U.S. citizenship only to people who resided on Guam on April 11, 1899 and their descendants,” the commission wrote.

“Therefore, a person who was a resident of Guam in 1950 but who already held U.S. citizenship is excluded from registering. A person who moved to Guam between 1899 and 1950 and acquired American citizenship is excluded from registering.”

Likewise, the commission added, “a resident of Guam who acquired U.S. citizenship after June 27, 1952, when Section 4 of the Organic Act was repealed, is excluded from registering.”

By this definition, the commission said, “an American citizen soldier who fought to liberate Guam from Japanese occupation during World War II and who has continuously resided on Guam since the end of World War II would be ineligible to register to vote in the political status plebiscite.”

All-inclusive

While the political status vote is restricted to native inhabitants, the process that will complete the decolonization of Guam will ultimately be an all-inclusive exercise, according to Ed Alvarez, executive director of the Guam Decolonization Commission.

“A lot of people don’t understand, but I have made it crystal clear: The plebiscite is reserved for native inhabitants, but everyone gets a chance to vote in the ratification of the Constitution, no matter where they are from,” Alvarez said.

“It is embarrassing that in this day and age, there are still colonies in the world. The list is increasing instead of decreasing,” Alvarez said, noting the recent inclusion of Tahiti that brought to 17 the number of colonized territories in the world.

While the commission’s awareness campaign has been gaining ground, Alvarez said the panel can do more if funding resources were available.

Education arm

Tony Rabon, public affairs officer of the Young Men’s League of Guam, said the organization is seeking to contribute to the government’s plebiscite education campaign.

“We are actually looking at the possibility of becoming an organization, whose efforts (the government) could use to promote awareness,” Rabon said. “We will decide what type of role we would like to play in furthering the decolonization effort.”

In the yet-to-be-scheduled plebiscite, voters will be asked to choose among three political status options: statehood, independence or free association.

Rabon said his organization will have to reach a consensus on what option it would seek to advocate.

“We will be making our official position known once we get a better gauge of where we stand as a group,” he said.


Sunday, August 24, 2014

Colonial Privileges or Why Chinese People Don't Visit Guam


“Guam, Where America’s Day Begins” has always been a slogan that doesn’t sit right with me. When I was in school and learned the slogans or nicknames or different states, I was always struck at how different the others were from the one I would hear on Guam. New Mexico is the Land of Enchantment. New York is the Empire State. Then there’s the Volunteer State, the Granite State, the Show-Me State, etc.

For those communities that are full and real parts of the United States, their mottos are a commentary on how they entered the union or what they bring into the American family. With the exception of Maryland, which sometimes is referred to as “America in Miniature” none of them use the word “America” in their nickname. In an interesting way, the 50 states are the real pieces that make up the American whole, they don’t have to say they are America’s this or America’s that. They are included. Guam on the other hand, which is “foreign in a domestic sense” isn’t really a part of the United States, but something that belongs to it. The inclusion of the 50 states is an assumed fact, no one needs to be reminded about it (except sometimes in the case of Hawai’i). But for the colonies, you always have to find some way of asserting that you belong, or reminding your colonizer that you are a distant and regularly forgotten part of them.

I always found it intriguing that this slogan “Where America’s Day Begins” is used as a selling point for Guam, a marketing mantra to bring others, such as tourists here. But the truth of it is, that this mantra exists just as much for ourselves, in order to help convince ourselves that we exist as more in relation to the United States than we really do.

Guam is a colony. Calling it where America’s Day Begins doesn’t change that fact, but it does provide a means of helping people forget the colonial truth. Perhaps if we say we are “Where America’s Day Begins” enough times, and put it on enough t-shirts, throw it into enough videos or speeches, we might actually become a part of America! This is not how the world works, but rather a convenient means of allowing one to obscure the truth and accept a wishful patriotic fantasy instead.

I am currently working on an academic article about the relationship between Guam’s colonial status and the development of its tourism industry. The “Where America’s Day Begins” slogan plays a big role in providing the theoretical framework for understanding how Guam’s relationship to the United States has both stimulated the growth of tourism, but also inhibited it at times.

As a colony of the United States, Guam has gotten to market itself as “America in Asia” so travellers from Asia can travel just a few hours, for just a few hundred dollars and experience this lovely 212 sq. mile sliver of America. Guam is able to promote itself as an exotic location that can provide an American sense of stability, which other “exotic” and faraway locations may not be able to pull off. Traveling to some paradisical third world country might get you stuck in the middle of a coup, but not if you come to Guam, where you can rely on good old American consistency!

The downside to this however is that, the relationship to the United States comes with military bases and is based heavily on strategic importance. The United States has been involved in more wars and more conflicts than any other country since World War II, and this does have an affect on our tourism industry. US involvement in conflicts in Vietnam, the Middle East and even 9/11 all affected visitor arrivals. Increased visibility as a military bastion can inevitably lead to decreased viability as a tourist destination. We have been fortunate thus far in this regard, but even the Guam Visitor’s Bureau in 2010 admitted to the possibility that a significant increase in the size of US military bases on Guam and the number of military personnel could have severe effects on Guam’s desirability as a tourist destination. Jet skiing next to amphibious assault training tends not to make treasured memories. 

While people are always quick to point to how the relationship to the United States supports and sustains and stimulates, we should never forget the ways it also constricts and inhibits. Being a colony means that basic elements of self-governance are absent here, or as we were reminded recently by the Obama Administration, things such as having a local government or citizenship or being able to benefit from US Federal programs are privileges, not rights. We find examples of this in the realm of tourism both in the past as well as today.

Most people today don’t remember that after World War II, everyone coming in and out of Guam required clearance by the US Navy. Even Chamorros returning to their homeland required the permission of the US Navy for entry. This restriction, which fell into the hands of the US Navy and was not under local control, limited economic development on the island, included any tourism. It was eventually rescinded in 1962 after the recently appointed governor of Guam, Bill Daniels complained.

What we find today is that Guam’s ability to grow certain new tourist markets is severely hampered by the lack of local control over immigration. Local leaders have been seeking a Guam only visa waiver for mainland Chinese for decades, but have been unable to get anywhere because of the conflict with national and diplomatic interests. Some may point to the fact that in 2012 Homeland Security exercised its parole authority to allow Russian citizens to visit Guam without a visa, as an example to how things are not that bad. But this only ignores the fundamental issue, namely that it was not our decision and it is a privilege that can be taken away. The basic rights and abilities that a community needs to develop itself are not in our control. 

Friday, August 22, 2014

The Machete That Never Needed Sharpening

When I have my students do oral history projects with elder Chamorros, they often times groan and moan. They knew that Chamorros suffered in World War II and don't need to interview an old person to know it. They know they speak Chamorro fluently and don't need to ask them about it. I generally have my students focus their questions on certain things that elders may have heard or been exposed to when they were very young, which wouldn't necessarily be the things an ethnographer or anthropologist or historian would ask them.

For example, one topic I am always interested in hearing about are legends or children's stories. What were the stories that the elders of today were told when they were kids? My students often groan about this because they assume that the stories that were told then were probably the same stories we tell today. So kids today can hear stories about Sirena, Gadao, Fu'una and Puntan and Duendes, these must be the same stories that people told their kids 100 years ago?

One of the reasons I have my students do this is because this is hardly true. Many of the stories that we take for granted today as being a central part of how Chamorros tell creative or mythical stories are not tales that Chamorros have been telling continuously for centuries. Some of these stories survived in fragments, but not in the comprehensive ways we understand them today. Some remained in the culture only in particular words, or in particular villages. Many legends that we accept as "Chamorro" today, were really only told by a certain Chamorro, usually from a certain part of the island. Or different parts of the island tell the same story in radically different ways. The White Lady from Ma'ina is the most infamous of all the potential white lady stories on island, and tends to hegemonize the possibilities, but the white lady of Tumon, the white lady of Malesso, the white lady of Umatac are all very different. Some of them have no back story. Some of them are more like omens than anything else. Some of them are nastier than others. Some of them are simply looking for someone to hear their stories.

What is very interesting about the stories that some of my students have been able to collect is the harshness of them. Some of them are very violent and very casually violent in the way some old fairy tales are. They are also at times very patriarchal and misogynistic. This meaning that women do not fare well in them and this means that the tales probably aren't from ancient times, or were at least drastically altered during the Spanish colonial period. Some of these tales were adaptations from legends brought in from Europe, such as Sirena or Cinderalla. Interestingly enough each of these stories differs wildly from the way the legends are generally conceived elsewhere. Sirenas in other parts of the world are Sirens who tempt sailors, and are not to be messed with. They are a metaphor for so many of the dangerous things (human, natural, animal, chemical) while traveling that can lure men into situations they can't escape from. Guam's story of Sirena is very different, focusing on family drama and how children should obey their parents or parents should be nicer to their kids. I should note that there are local versions of the Sirena story that do focus on them as being a race of mythical creatures that sing and tempt people, but this isn't the one that is most told or well known.

Cinderella holds a similar difference. The Disney version that so many people are accustomed to features meanness from the step-family of the protagonist, but is not particularly violent. The Chamorro version of Cinderella is quite violent. One that was recorded in the CNMI decades ago included the step-family of Cinderella being boiled alive in tar.

On his blog Pale' Eric Forbes featured one tale he titled "I Kadidok na Machete," which I've included below. I was very excited to see this because it was a story that one of my students have collected in their oral history research. Most of the stories that I've come across are unique, meaning it was most likely something invented from the storyteller or particular to that family. It is always exciting when you find more than one elder who shares the same tale. It means there may be some larger significance to it. The one my student recorded however was a bit longer, and went into the machete being magical, and able to cut through anything. Both tales however have the same anti-women theme unfortunately.

***********************


An old Chamorro tale.

Un taotao matåtå'chong gi pettan iya siha,
(A man was sitting at the door of their place,)

ya ha li'e mågi i asaguå-ña na ginen umo'mak.
(and he saw his wife coming who had bathed.)

Ya ma sosotta i gapunilu-ña* ya ma såsådda' i lipes-ña.
(And her hair was hanging down and her skirt lifted up.)

Nina' bubu i taotao ya ilek-ña :
(The man got angry and said :)

"Tai mamahlao!  Håfa na un bebende hao!"
("Shameless! Why are you selling yourself!")

Ya ha hakot i gapunilu-ña ya ha utot todo ni macheti-ña,
(and he grabbed her hair and cut it all off with his machete,)

ya ayo na machette tåt nai ha nesesita ma guåssa' desde ayo.
(and that machete never had to be sharpened since then.)

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Insular Empire Screening

Come this Thursday for a screening of the Insular Empire organized by the Hope for Guam Committee. Check out the flyer below for details:


Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Echoes in Okinawa

From "Ten Thousand Things"

An informative and touching article on Okinawa and the way the traumatic past weaves its way into the present. This is one of the dynamics that Avery Gordon refers to so poetically and so aptly as "ghostly matters." The way in which boats off the coast of Okinawa today don't simply remind people of the horrors of the past, but keep that past and all the injustice that comes with it, alive. Protestors of the past and those of today can have the same ghostly threads about them. They represent stories, memories and dreams that refuse to die, even if governments do their best through force, through coercion, through tokens, to make sure they are forgotten.

The article is below:

************************


Henoko on August 14, 2014. (Photo: Chie Mikami on FB)

Film director Chie Mikami on August 14, 2014, on location at Henoko : "I saw so many boats in the sea around 7a.m. It reminds me of the history of Okinawa, year: 1945."

Today the Japanese government sent a military flotilla to Henoko, Okinawa, to put up buoys and patrol an "exclusion zone" in their plan to force drilling, dredging, landfill, and construction of another US military base at the beautiful Okinawa dugong and coral reef habitat.  Observers say there were so many vessels, they were uncountable.

Local residents have been protested and staved off repeated attempts at drilling for 18 years.

They are led by the Henoko elders, child survivors of the Battle of Okinawa, the Pacific War's worst battle, and the only battle fought on Japanese territory. The Japanese government used Okinawa as a sacrificial pawn in a battle of attrition, in an attempt to garner better surrender terms. The fighting destroyed all the material culture on Okinawa Island and killed around 140,000 Okinawans, one third of the Okinawan population.

The islands have been a part of Japan only since the late 1800s, when the Meiji government seized the Ryukyu Kingdom and renamed it Okinawa Prefecture. After the San Francisco Peace Treaty and the U.S.-Japan Security Treaty were signed in 1951, Okinawa Prefecture was under U.S. military rule until 1972.  Even after reversion to Japanese rule, the military bases remained.  While Okinawa constitutes only 0.6 percent of Japan's land area, more than 70 percent of U.S. military bases in Japan were built there.

Okinawans are comparing the forced expansion at Henoko to the traumatic "Bayonets and Bulldozers" period of the 1950's, when the US military used coercion and violence to seize  entire villages, the best farmland, the best coastland, utaki (sacred sites), and cemeteries throughout Okinawa prefecture to make way for base expansion and new bases. Both Futenma in the middle of Ginowan City and Camp Schwab next to Henoko were built on forcibly acquired Okinawan private property. This was also the period that the all-Okinawan nonviolent movement began. The ongoing struggles are not new "anti-base" protests, but, instead, part of the latest chapter in a seventy-year struggle for property rights, human rights, environmental protection, democracy and peace in the islands of Okinawa.

Between 1954 and 1955, US military forced owners from homes and rice farms in 
the former village of Isahama, to make way for the construction of Futenma, a weapons training base. 
(Photo: Okinawan Prefectural Government)

Okinawan author Tatsuhiro Oshiro has written about Okinawa as a "sacrifice zone" where state power imposes sacrifice upon the weak.  In 2011, Oshiro published Futenma yo (To Futenma), a book of short stories. In the first story, Oshiro addresses the history of Futenma through a family whose home and land was taken to expand the training base. The story ends when the musical accompaniment to a traditional Ryukyu dance is drowned out by the noise from U.S. aircraft training, but the heroine continues to perform. Her determination symbolizes the local culture that refuses to be defeated by the heavy burdens of military bases. At the same time, the heroine's grandmother's plan to find a family heirloom buried on ancestral lands taken by the U.S. military ends in failure. Oshiro explains. "My intention was to write about the identity of the Okinawan people who want to weave our history together and regain the land that's steeped with memories."


Okinawan women protest US military seizure of their homes and land in Isahama (Ginowan) in July 1955.
(Photo: Okinawa Prefectural Government)
Oshiro's story reflects the roots of the fierce struggle over Henoko, which may be viewed as a continuation of the post-1945 battle against the civilian Okinawans, a traditionally pacifist culture, over land and local determination.  Postwar U.S. military rule followed the Imperial Japanese pattern of using force to impose a militarist culture upon the islands.  After the Pacific War's destruction of almost all material culture, all that was left was the natural environment and intangible culture.

Okinawans are fighting for their soul at Henoko, a place steeped in what little of traditional Okinawan culture survived: the living sea and the living Okinawa dugong, a cherished, sacred icon. The Henoko sea fed the elders during the Battle of Okinawa, when there were no other food sources. The dugong and the sea both reflect and symbolize the Okinawan core value of Nuchi du Takara: the sanctity of life and the right to life for nature that nurtures life, and human right to live in peace.  This has been the Okinawan message to the world for 70 years, their unstoppable witness for Nuchi du Takara was borne out of the devastation they suffered.

Like Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Okinawa has become a focus for the study of peace because of the Battle of Okinawa, and  because Okinawans continue to appeal for relief from U.S. military bases and US military expansion in their prefecture. Former Governor (1990-1998) Masahide Ota, a child survivor of the battle, created  Okinawa International Peace Research Institute to study war and peace,  to introduce traditional Okinawa peace culture to the world, to lead Okinawa's transformation to "islands of peace" and build a global peace network, and to promote positive peace, peace education, and a peace economy.

Upper House Member of Parliament, Ms. Keiko Itokazu, 
protesting the Japanese government's installation of buoys to create an exclusion zone 
for drilling into and landfilling over live coral and dugong habitat at the Sea of Henoko.

Henoko residents had been supported by an all-Okinawa political coalition until late last year, when under claimed duress by the Japanese government, the governor broke his 2010 campaign promise to protect Henoko, and signed an approval for landfill that was predicated on environmental protection information certified by engineers, not marine biologists or ecologists.  The engineers admitted their lack of expertise.  This is one example of the long, corrupt road to today's flotilla invasion of Henoko.

Henoko residents have been supported by global peace, democracy, faith-based, and especially environmental advocates who repeatedly praise the wetlands, mangrove forests, rivers, unique and delicate biodiversity of the Sea of Henoko's ecoregion. Its coral reef, the best in Okinawa, is renowned among marine biologists for its vitality and unique species. Most of the coral reefs on Okinawa are dead from landfill, pollution, and disease. The Sea of Henoko also has the largest and best sea grass beds, thus habitat, for the Okinawan dugong.
The dugong, a sacred icon, is of great cultural and historical significance in Okinawa.
(Image: Ryukyu Postal’s stamp to commemorate the Okinawa dugong's designation 
as a natural monument in 1966 (Via Save the Dugong Campaign Center)


In 2004, the American environmental law firm, Earthjustice, on behalf of Okinawan, Japanese, U.S. environment protection groups, and Okinawan residents filed a federal lawsuit , the "Okinawa Dugong versus Rumsfeld," in San Francisco, asking for protections for the dugong. The case  is still open; after a 2008 ruling that the defendants must negotiate with the plaintiffs regarding environmental issues and protection of dugong habitat. The plaintiffs are still waiting for this discussion. Therefore on August 1, Earthjustice filed a new lawsuit in the same court,  asking the US government to halt construction plans.  The critically endangered Okinawa dugong is a protected natural monument under the National Historic Preservation Act.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

The Salaita Case

The Salaita case and Cary Nelson’s use of “academic freedom” to silence dissent

14 August 2014
 
Books and papers lie amid rubble at the Islamic University of Gaza on 2 August, after it was hit by an overnight Israeli air raid.
(Ashraf Amra / APA images)
 
Cary Nelson, retired University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) English professor and past president of the American Association of University Professors, has been busy.

From the moment that the story broke of Chancellor Phyllis Wise’s underhanded nixing of Steven Salaita’s de facto hiring in my department, Nelson has rushed forward as the administration’s biggest cheerleader and defender against condemnations, protests and what amounts to a growing boycott of UIUC from scholars and academic associations.

In the interest of disclosure, I co-chaired the search committee that recommended Salaita’s hiring.
In live media and in an 8 August essay for Inside Higher Ed, Nelson has argued that Salaita’s case is not about academic freedom after all, but about bad scholarship and poor qualifications. This, I should stress, by an individual who is not himself credentialed in comparative indigenous studies, the area in which Salaita was hired.

But the unqualified Nelson is not merely overreaching, as we might say of certain external letter writers on a candidate’s dossier, but is stretching to the point of perverting and undermining the very meaning of academic freedom. Sloppy and contorted to the point of nonsense, Nelson’s thinking would also be comical were it not predicated on racist, calloused and morally reprehensible views toward Palestinians and toward other indigenous peoples and the political and analytic claims on which they stake their existence and survival.

Certainly when it comes to the issue of criticism of Israel, Nelson cannot be trusted to furnish neutral, dispassionate analyses. If anything, his pretense to objectivity, especially through a forced argument about the “exceptionality” of Salaita’s case, to which I will return shortly, barely conceals his political motives or his zeal to take center stage in this huge story.

A weapon to silence dissent

Ultimately, Nelson’s involvement in this case shows more than an assault on Salaita; when it comes to Palestine and Israel, he is selective and hypocritical in his views about academic freedom, transforming it instead into a weapon to silence dissent.

While Nelson may have refined it, this is a tactic that has been widely deployed before. We have seen it, for instance, from university presidents who rushed to issue condemnations of calls to boycott Israeli academic institutions while remaining silent about the systematic violations by the Israeli occupation of the academic and other freedoms of Palestinians.

Hence, I say, let’s do what we academics are supposed to do with letter writers who either have an axe to grind, or who lack standing on the subject matter, or who are less than forthright and honest in their evaluations; in short, I say we disqualify — set aside, to be more civil — Cary Nelson’s assessments of this case.

I did not know Steven Salaita personally (nor do I know Cary Nelson beyond familiarity with his scholarship of the late 1980s and his more recent record of activism against the call to boycott Israeli universities). I had heard Salaita present at academic conferences, and had read a handful of his academic articles prior to the search process. I also followed him on social media. Like many scholars inside and outside our respective areas of expertise — his in comparative American Indian and Palestinian indigeneity, mine in the Pacific Islands — Salaita and I share a somewhat unpopular analysis of Israel as a modern occupying settler and military state, seeing it in large part as an expression of Zionist ideology that does not represent all Jewish people outside or inside Israel.
I should stress that such a view is also widespread in critical studies outside Native Studies proper. In our case, this shared critical analytic owes to our overlapping research interests in topics like linkages between colonial and religious discourses, and US colonial discourse on indigeneity in particular.

Hiring process duly followed

Upon reading Salaita’s dossier, we (the search committee, and the American Indian Studies Program) were convinced that his research interests not only complemented but also strengthened our unit’s profile in the area of comparative global indigenous studies and in a growing movement that treats indigeneity as an analytic category itself. Indeed, we were convinced and excited that his hiring would strengthen any claim we might have to program leadership in these two areas.
On Salaita’s “extramural utterances” — those tweets, blogs and other public opinion statements that are explicitly protected by specific conventions of academic freedom — the committee was fully aware of their controversial nature and regarded them appropriately: not as part of his record of academic productivity but in relation to questions of collegiality and teaching.

On this point I should add that we sought guidance and approval from our college. But my principal purpose here is not to defend Salaita’s scholarship and academic credentials, or his fitness as a colleague, or the excellence of his teaching record, or to justify our decision. That process was duly followed and completed. It was approved and “confirmed,” meaning all it lacked was the “technicality” of the UIUC Board of Trustees rubber-stamping that the chancellor preempted with her decision.

Sloppy and self-serving

Instead, my aim is on the tenuousness, suspiciousness and tellingness of Nelson’s argument and assertions. Here’s how I see them:

Axes to Grind. Nelson had a history and reputation for defending the rights of faculty that have been violated, but it is not consistent. This sketchy record is especially evident when the issue at hand concerns Israel, particularly in the context of the global call to divest, boycott and sanction Israeli universities and other institutions.

Where he once defended the underdog, Nelson now defends the corporate entity. Even if one doesn’t endorse academic boycotts, one can readily see how Nelson’s vociferous opposition in the name of academic freedom cannot so easily be detached from his apparent defense of Israel.

Of course, Nelson is entitled to his own political views; the trouble is that his argument is both predicated on and motivated by protecting them in a thinly veiled attempt to objectively evaluate the case before us. In fact, his is a twisting and contorting logic of invoking academic freedom and academic excellence to exercise censorship and legitimize punishment of dissent and difference.
Sloppy, Self-Serving and Disingenuous Thinking. In summary, Nelson’s argument goes like this: the University of Illinois is correct in its actions because at the end of the day, Salaita’s case is about scholarship and qualifications, not about academic freedom. More specifically, Nelson asserts that Salaita’s tweets and blogs — the “extramural utterances” — are not only repulsive and hateful in tone, but cross over to incite violence, thereby justifying the university’s action.

Moreover, Nelson argues that Salaita’s is an “exceptional” case in this regard: when read alongside his academic record, the tweets help demonstrate that Salaita’s scholarship doesn’t rise and actually casts doubt on his qualification for the job. This is why he is calling to include the tweets as part of the academic record.

But really, just what is it that impels Nelson to declare that this case is exceptional, an anomaly? What is it, other than a rhetorical move to posture total command over the topic, or underscore the exclusivity of his interpretation over and against those of his opponents or detractors? The force, clearly, is criticism of Israel. To put it another way, the threshold of his logic on academic freedom is Palestinian and Palestinian-supported criticism of Israel, which for him, as for Zionism, equates to anti-Semitism.

This faux neutrality betrays itself in some sloppy and nonsensical thinking that is no less insidious. For example, and again, as if to be faithful to the principle of academic freedom, Nelson insists that, while this is not a case of academic freedom, he would without reservation defend Salaita’s academic freedom had he in fact been hired.

For Nelson, Salaita is not deserving of such protection because he was not yet hired, technically speaking. Technically speaking? We know how lawyers and politicians spin technicalities to their favor. We know that it is “technicality” that permits the chancellor to operate so secretively and why she did not furnish specific reasons for her action. We know that the case will turn on technicality — Cornell University law professor Michael Dorf has argued that the university’s termination of Salaita is in all likelihood illegal under state and federal law.

Nelson himself may end up a paid consultant, if he hasn’t already been advising the university on how to build an academic case against Salaita. We need to stay tuned on this count, because in fact Nelson is on record as saying he has not been in conversation with the administration.
At the level of process, then, Nelson hides disingenuously behind hiring technicalities to skirt the real spirit and intent of measures to safeguard academic freedom. The upshot of this logic is the nonsensical idea that academic freedom can only obtain through its violation, in this case, after Salaita is rubber-stamped.

Only then would Nelson defend Salaita, but defend him from what? From Chancellor Wise’s refusal to send Salaita’s case up for board approval? But academics aren’t supposed to spin technicalities; we are supposed to be precise and honest, not willfully circular in our thinking, or do logical acrobatics with technicalities when it suits us.

We are in fact held to higher, more rigorous standards. Salaita’s case was duly vetted; for all intents and purposes, meaning, with regard to the scholarship on hand, it was done. Period. In clear disregard for the process, Nelson seizes on the university’s gross violations to insert himself into the fray, call attention to his own idiosyncratic viewpoints for his own purposes and politics, to legitimize taking pot-shots at Salaita and at our vetting process.

For instance, Nelson opines that American Indian Studies was not sufficiently “equipped” to assess the lines around scholarship and politics, and has since gone on to question the process itself.
In fact, the evidence of Nelson’s disingenuous, self-serving antics are present from the get go, when the story first broke, that concerns timing and deception rather than truth. In a remarkable instance of sloppy and careless thinking that also raises the question of academic fit and scholarly sensibility (if judging scholarly fitness is the game he wants to play), Nelson rushed to the defense, the “correctness,” of the administration’s actions when the administration had not even, and still has not, furnished its reasons for why it did what it did.

How can someone defend another’s actions as correct in the absence of the reasons for that action? Ulterior motives pop up again. An opportunity presented itself for Nelson to take center stage and to legitimize his own agenda. Salaita clearly has his politics, but he’s not mobilizing it to police academia. Nelson has his politics, and uses academia to lock out the likes of Salaita.

Let’s play ball

If in fact Nelson is serious about protecting academic excellence and the processes and conventions that safeguard them, then let’s play ball: Nelson has no qualifications in this case; he has no research or teaching or published record in comparative native studies, of indigenous cultural and historical studies. I know of no colleague or scholar in my field who cites his work for how it helps us better understand the complex and fraught histories, struggles, perspectives, expressions of indigenousness as a category of existence and category for analyses, or as a category for analyzing the fraught line between power, politics and academic inquiry.

Nelson is not credentialed to be evaluating Salaita’s qualifications. Ultimately, Nelson’s zeal to delegitimize Salaita, and in the process salvage his own radical reputation or one-up his contenders or detractors, ends up itself doing the work of disqualifying Cary Nelson altogether.

Besides not being trained in American Indian Studies or comparative Native studies, and therefore not qualified to evaluate Salaita’s scholarship, Nelson’s own insistence that the case is not about academic freedom but about Salaita’s scholarly credentials unwittingly removes him from commenting on matters he would typically be qualified to discuss and evaluate, and plops him squarely into a domain over which he has no proven standing.

At the end of the day, it is not surprising that Nelson chooses to aid and abet the administration, joining it in a very dangerous disregard for academic freedom and integrity and continued erosion of academic governance. In fact, academia guards against such gross and brazen violations and there’s nothing exceptional or special about the Salaita case, at least not in the sense that Nelson argues.
What we have in Nelson’s sloppy, contorted, disingenuous and self-serving argument are plenty of red flags, too many, in fact, for us to not do the appropriate thing, which would be to set aside, once and for all, anything Cary Nelson has to say on this, or any other case involving academic freedom and faculty governance.

Vicente M. Diaz is Associate Professor of American Indian Studies and Anthropology, Affiliate Faculty, History and Asian American Studies, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Ginen Guaha Ga'-na Kabayu Siha

Someone special to me got me a book of poetry by Joy Harjo, a Native American poet. I've been going through them and some of them are really profound. Fehman hafa ma na'sieisiete yu'. The collection spans over 30 years of her work and so there are incredible shifts in her tone and her content. Though after going through them all, I still find the ones towards the beginning were deeper, or touched something greater. A case in point is this poem "She Had Horses." Kalang ti nahong i palabras-hu para bai hu eksplika este. Si eksplikayon taimanu ha pacha' yu' yan hafa gi hinasso-ku ha deka'. Ti dumangkolu yu' gi un kuttura ni' mismo gaikabayu. Ayu na klasin metaphor taigue gi minagahet gi lina'la'-hu. Hu tungo' put taimanu na gof gaige ayu gi i irensian otro kuttura yan i hinasso siha gi haga' (put hemplo i Natibu Amerikanu siha pat kontodu i manapa'ka na taotaogues gi i "wild west), lao taya' nai ma'u'dai yu' gi kabayu.

Lao achokka' estrana este na metaphors siha nu Guahu, ma sen afekta yu'. I palabras ha ayek, ma chuda' i meaning-na i po'ema gi huyong i chi-na i kuttura-na. Makilili i betsu-na esta ki i isla-ku gi i Tasin Pasifiku.

Kao un tungo' i poetry Joy Harjo? Estague un tinana':

 ********************

She Had Some Horses



She had horses who were bodies of sand.
She had horses who were maps drawn of blood.
She had horses who were skins of ocean water.
She had horses who were the blue air of sky.
She had horses who were fur and teeth.
She had horses who were clay and would break.
She had horses who were splintered red cliff.


She had some horses.


She had horses with long, pointed breasts.
She had horses with full, brown thighs.
She had horses who laughed too much.
She had horses who threw rocks at glass houses.
She had horses who licked razor blades.


She had some horses.


She had horses who danced in their mothers' arms.
She had horses who thought they were the sun and their bodies shone and burned
like stars.
She had horses who waltzed nightly on the moon.
She had horses who were much too shy, and kept quiet in stalls of their own
making.


She had some horses.


She had horses who liked Creek Stomp Dance songs.
She had horses who cried in their beer.
She had horses who spit at male queens who made them afraid of themselves.
She had horses who said they weren't afraid.
She had horses who lied.
She had horses who told the truth, who were stripped bare of their tongues.


She had some horses.


She had horses who called themselves, "horse."
She had horses who called themselves, "spirit." and kept their voices secret and to
themselves.
She had horses who had no names.
She had horses who had books of names.


She had some horses.


She had horses who whispered in the dark, who were afraid to speak.
She had horses who screamed out of fear of the silence, who carried knives to
protect themselves from ghosts.
She had horses who waited for destruction.
She had horses who waited for resurrection.


She had some horses.


She had horses who got down on their knees for any savior.
She had horses who thought their high price had saved them.
She had horses who tried to save her, who climbed in her bed at night and prayed
as they raped her.


She had some horses.


She had some horses she loved.
She had some horses she hated.


These were the same horses.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

The Infamous Watch Story gi Fino' Chamoru

For my CM 102 class or Beginners Chamorro Language 2, I've been experimenting with different assignments. I heard last year about a Navajo Star Wars, or the project to translate Star Wars into the Navajo language. For me, somehow who thinks that everything should be translated into Chamorro and is hoping to create a lexicon for playing 'Magic: The Gathering" in Chamorro, taking such an iconic nerdy movie and translating it into a native language is the height of awesome. I decided to incorporate something on a much smaller scale into my class. 
 
Each student had to pick five minutes from a different movie and translate that portion into Chamorro. I told them to make sure that the segment wouldn't be too difficult for them to translate, because certain genres like sci-fi for example, might be a bit difficult for a lowly 102 student to translate effectively. They had to then record themselves or others reading the scene in Chamorro and then dub it into the film itself. Lastly, these scenes were shown to the class. Students picked all sorts of scenes, such as the famous blue and red pill scene from the Matrix, the "Fish are Friends" scene from Finding Nemo, the scene where the girl is first taken in the movie Taken and even Batman's interrogation of The Joke in the Dark Knight. One of my favorite scenes that a student presented, caught me totally off guard, but it was the infamous watch story from the film "Pulp Fiction." Is it the story of how a certain watch survived multiple generations of war and even the not too pleasant way it was kept safe in a prisoner of war camp. 

Here is my student's translation below:


Buenas boi, hu hungok bula put Hagu. Gof ga’chong yu’ yan i tata-mu.
Singko anos ham giya Hanoi giya Vietnam gi duranten i Geran Vietnam.

Puede ti un chagi este na eksperensia. Este dos na taotao yanggen ma chagi i pinadesin-mami!

Anggen Guahu matai, siempre Si Major Coolidge kumuekuentos yan i patgon-hu.

Lao matai i tata-mu ya gaige yu’ guini pa’go nah u kuentutusi hao pa’go ha’ na ora.

Este na relos finahan ni tatan tatan bihu-mu. Ha fahan i relos gi i fine’nina na geran mundo giya Knoxville, Tennessee. Finahan Private Doughboy Ryan Coolidge antes ha dingu Tennessee para Paris. I relos i tatan tata bihu-mu ginen i kompania ni fuma’tinas i primet ilos para i kannai. Antes ma kakatga i relos gi botsa. Lao i bisaguello-mu ha katga este kada diha gi gera.

Esta monhayan i tiempo-na gi gera ya ha bira gui’ tatte para u asagua i bisaguella-mu. Ha laknos i relos ya ha po’lo gi un guntan kafe’. Sumaga’ i relos guihi esta ki ma agang si tatan bihu-mu para i geran Aleman, pa’go ma a’agang i geran mundo mina’dos. I bisaguello-mu ha na’i I tatan bihu-mu ni relos para suette gi karera-na.

Lao ti suette i tatan bihu-mu taiguihi si tata-na. Marine i tatan bihu-mu, lao matai gui’ yan i pumalu na Marines giya Wake Island. I tatan bihu-mu ha tungo’ na po matai. Ma tungo’ todu i sindalu na ti u ma dingu i isla la’la’la’. Tres dihas antes di ma konne’ i isla i Chapones, ha faisen un taotao paki gi un batkon aire i na’an-na Winocki. Taya’ nai umasodda’ este na dos. Lao i tatan bihu-mu ha gagao gui’ na u na’i i gof hoben yan nuebu na patgon lahi, este na ora na relos. Tres dihas maloffan yan matai ha’ i tatan bihu-mu, lao Si Winocki ha cho’gue i malago’-na i tatan bihu-mu. Anai makpo’ i gera ha bisita i nana-mu biha, ya ha na’i i relos.

Este na relos i tata-mu ha usa gi kannai-na anai ma paki gui’ gi aire gi hilo’ Hanoi giya Vietnam. Ginacha’ ni Vietnamese ya ma pega halom gi un tribunat gera. Lao anggen ma li’e i relos ni Vietnamese, siguru na ma chule’. Gi hinasson tata-mu, ilek-na na este na relos hagas ha’ iyoyo-mu na relos, i irensia-mu. Lanya siha este na Vietnamese anggen para u ma pacha’ i relos i lahi-na!

Ha pega i relos gi un lugat na ha tungo’ na taya’ sina ma sodda’…i galabok-na. Singko anos na gaige i relos gi daggan-na. Ha na’i yu’ i relos antes di matai-na ni dysentery. Dos anos hu na’atok este na relos gi galabok-hu. Siette anos maloffan ya ma sotta yu’, ya ma bira yu’ tatte para i familia-ku.

Pa’go na ora lahi, hu na’na’i hao este na relos.


Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Chamorro Hath Ten Thousand Several Doors

People take different approaches the language revitalization and preservation. You can often divide these interventions into either which segment of society they are focusing on, and whether their efforts deal with past, present or future forms of the language. For instance, when designing a language curriculum, which audience are you focusing the structure of your curriculum to satisfy or to appeal to? This is one thing that I have regularly been critical of in terms of how curriculum or language learning materials are created on Guam. As most people creating the curriculum are native speakers for whom Chamorro is their first language, they may struggle in understanding what it is like to learn Chamorro as a second language. Their interests in the language will be very different than someone who does not speak it but wants to learn. Their feel of the language will be drastically different than someone who is very unfamiliar with it. What will appeal to them or make them happy is not necessarily what would appeal to or interest a younger non-speaker. 


A case in point deals with words or sayings that have been recently conceived in order to capture the identity and cultural politics of today. Languages are always changing, although in some contexts the changes are more readily apparent than others. Language change because of "outside" influences, meaning a language may incorporate new vocabulary, new ways of saying things, new grammar in order to accommodate pressures from another language that is entering into a speech community. This is usually the way people see language shifts. For example, someone who speaks Chamorro today and someone who spoke Chamorro 100 years ago, will most likely be able to understand each other, but there were will various differences that may make things interesting to analyze. A Chamorro who speaks today will most likely use grammar that has been influenced by English and may not be immediately obvious to someone 100 years ago. The word choices may change as well. Someone today may use words someone 100 years ago might not. For instance, a Chamorro today might say very casaully "gof mata'pang hao!" but to someone 100 years ago this might be very offensive, since the word might have had a greater and more serious social stigma, than simply meaning "silly."

But languages also change, to a limited extent because people want them to change. Although in a general way you can point to languages being a structure, a system where changes take place at a level above human intervention. "Si Yu'us, Yu'us. I taotao, taotao ha'." is one way of communicating this conception of language. Languages shift at the "Yu'us" level, meaning we don't control it, it all takes place in some structural nexus, where you can see and understand things in a macro way, from a longview, but not really when you are in the thick of it. In other words, one can see the changes in a language when one looks back over time, but you cannot really detect them as they are happening. And furthermore, you can't really use any knowledge you would gain from analyzing language in the moment in order to change or shape things. 

This is only partially true however, as language shifts can be felt and detected all the time. In fact, if you speak to any Chamorro, you'll find plenty of theories about how the language is changing. Even people who don't speak Chamorro at all have plenty of theories. Many of these lamentations are tied to the external influencing the internal, or how people are using English influenced Chamorro or Chaminglish. But some of them are tied to the ways Chamorro is changing in order to conform to the changing of Chamorro identity and politics. For example, on Facebook there is a group called "Hinasso" which is a huge proponent of the Fino' Haya' movement, or an effort to return Chamorro to its Austronesian roots and use as little as Spanish as possible. People who are part of the Fino' Haya' movement propose that instead of using certain Spanish-derived words, we should use older, sometimes recovered or archaic terms. For example, "familia" is used by most Chamorros today, but an older term was recorded but lost long ago, and that is "mangafa." Mangafa is used by some nowadays, but has not received wide acceptance. Other reformulations are receiving more attention though, such as "Saina Ma'ase" which is used by very few older people, but is very very common amongst cultural artists and dance groups. 

Many people, as a structural understanding would dictate, resist these changes as being "invented" or "fake" and not part of the real natural flow of language. There is some truth to this, but the larger truth is that language, in its natural form always contains elements of invention. A language is a structure, it is a building, but it is a building which, to borrow a metaphor from Webster's The Duchess of Malfi, hath ten thousand several doors, through which people can use their language, and each door goes on such strange geometrical hinges, you can open them both ways. In other words, a language is a structure in which people have choices, regular, everyday choices. Doors to open, and choices over which way the doors will swing. 

The issue however is that spending too much time doing your own exploration can get you lost. People will have trouble understanding you, your pathways through the building will confusing, and in fact irritate others. You are still using the same doors, the same routes that others do, but the differences may be enough to make people doubt you are in the same building as they are. But, before we get too mired in this metaphor, the inverse of this is that sometimes you can create new pathways, open the doors in new ways, that eventually become the norm for everyone, even if within a generation no one realizes it. A case in point is two terms which were introduced just a generation or two ago, but have become so normalized in Chamorro culture that people both old and young use them, "inafa'maolek" and "taotao tano'." It is possible in both instances that these terms were used by Chamorros before, but we can actually trace their genesis and see how they were recently invented and introduced. You can saw this makes them not real, but the lack of invention and human intervention of language, the naturalness of it, is frankly not natural and not truth, there is plenty of invention and manipulation, the naturalness exists because of a lack of knowledge, not because of it reflecting reality.

Language is a tapestry of tradition, but every generation takes different breaths than the one before. Some things are lost, some things are not, there will always be change. In terms of designing curriculum, this question comes up because of the difference in conceptions and politics over the Chamorro language. For older people, for whom notions of tradition often seems to fuel them with authority and power, there are often feelings that language must be comfortable to them, what is normal to them, what they grew up with and what they expect. Even if throughout their life, they had participated in language shifts, created their own variations and adore the inventions that they accept, there is still an aura of appropriateness and naturalness which has to be defended. It is different for those who are younger and may not speak the language, for them, the politics of invention may be more important because the language is not something they are receiving "naturally" but rather through an "artificial" and "second hand" intervention. For them, the facets of tradition and appropriateness don't mean as much because they get very little identity from them. Of course very few people want to learn a language that they feel is "invented" or "fake" but at the same time, there can be more flexibility with new learners, because they are not looking back at a long list of choices they have made, but confronted with a new frontier that they are about to traverse and discover for themselves.

Monday, August 11, 2014

We Still Have the Same Soil


Guam’s relationship to the United States begins in 1898 when the island is take as part of the Spanish American War. The Spanish had ruled for 230 years and during that time economic development had been nil. The Spanish governor of the island controlled the economy, severely restricting private enterprise, and many used their power to ensure what little money on the island ended up in their hands through their personal ventures.

The arrival of the United States represented the chance for new economic openness and so many Chamorros applauded their new colonizers. Although the United States represented itself as a nation of liberty, freedom and democracy, none of these things were allowed to exist on Guam for the first 50 years of American rule. In 1899 a Naval government was established. A single Naval governor held control over both civilians and military on the island, and was tasked with benevolently civilizing the Chamorro population.

Chamorros at this point in history lived in subsistence lifestyle, primarily bartering for things that they needed but did not grow or produce on their own. Money was primarily ceremonial and used for interactions governments and the church. 

Although economically little changed structurally from the Spanish to the United States, a single man still had total control over the island, the rhetoric was markedly different. The Naval Government advocated for Chamorros to embrace new ideals of free markets and capitalism. Through speeches, through education and through public programs they encouraged Chamorros to stop growing food to feed themselves and instead grow crops, such as kapok or copra that they could sell to export merchants. They also encouraged Chamorros to stop farming, but work for wages and instead growing food, buy it from the store.

Chamorros to varying extent accepted these new possibilities. Elite Chamorros who were already land-rich, were able to invest their resources into making small commercial kingdoms, such as the Martinez family, the Calvos, the Butlers, the Bordallos and others. These families took advantage of Navy contracts and the money that was making its way into the hands of more and more Chamorros, by creating construction companies, commercial farming, entertainment venues, restaurants, general stores and taxi services. Even lower class Chamorros, were able to leverage their families’ participation in the employment the US Navy offered and use the money to invest in small businesses, such as mom and pop stores. Many of these smaller business failed however due to the fact that Chamorros did not invest everything in these business, but continued to live according to their subsistence lifestyle. Imported goods slowly trickled in and began to replace locally made goods, but this nonetheless helped to support the numerous small general stores Chamorros were opening.

By 1941, Chamorros had created an interesting hybrid of their own beliefs on economic sustainability and the models proposed by the United States. They began to invest more and more and become an island full of entrepreneurs, but always anchored by the fact that their extended families still farmed for a living, feeding and providing goods to barter. 

One perfect example of this can be found during the famous trip of BJ Bordallo and FB Leon Guerrero to Washington DC in 1936-1937 in order to secure increased political rights for Chamorros. Both of these men were critical for their days, even if their critiques might seem tame compared to those that Chamorro activists take today. They represented not a rejection of the United States but both a demand that the United States set a better example for Chamorros than the hypocrisy that it exhibited on Guam, but also that the Chamorro was capable of more and could be more than just the pathetic colonial caricature the US Navy liked to propose. 

Take for instance this exchange during Senate hearings on political status change bill for Guam:
Senator Reynolds: Is your island self-supporting?

Bordallo: It has not been self-supporting during the Naval Administration and never will be self-supporting under the Naval Administration.

Senator Clark: Was it ever self-supporting?

Bordallo: Yes, sir. During the Spanish time we have more exports going out of Guam, and we only have to refer back to the history of Guam to find definite information in that respect…

Senator Reynolds: Do you think that the people of Guam will ever become self-supporting?

Bordallo: I believe so, yes, if given the proper cooperation from the Federal Government.

Senator Reynolds: Why do you believe that?

Brodallo: Because, we have been self-supporting during the Spanish time.

Senator Reynolds: That has been 30 years ago?

Bordallo: We still have the same soil.

This would change however, and this balanced perspective would be shattered during World War II, and the Chamorro who emerges from the rubble of a bombed out Hagatna, seemed all too ready to abandon or sell off the land instead of seeing themselves as connected to it.

LinkWithin

Related Posts with Thumbnails