Friday, March 24, 2017

Nuclear Nothingness

Last month we organized a forum at the University of Guam on nuclear dangers to Guam, both from the nuclear weapons of others, but also accidents involving the nuclear weapons kept on Guam by the US military or the nuclear-powered vehicles that are docked here. It was somewhat disappointing when in a room meant for close to 200 people at the UOG CLASS Lecture Hall, we only had about 40 people in attendance. As one of the speakers on the panel remarked, this is a critical issue, which few people seem to care about. That is one reason why it is so critical. It looms around us, as threats from others or dangers from within, but we don't seem to take it very seriously at all. Robert Underwood once said that living in a colony and not taking decolonization or colonialism seriously is like running a hospital without taking seriously issues of illness and treatment. I would argue a similar thing on Guam in terms of the dangers our heavily militarized existence presents.

In 2010 I traveled to Japan, most specifically to Hiroshima and Nagasaki to represent Guam at an annual conference against atomic and hydrogen bombs. This conference was first started in Japan in their postwar era, after their sovereignty had been returned and the memories of the nuclear blasts in their country was still raw and real. The conference began as part of the shifting national trajectory for Japan, where they were once an imperial aggressor, imbibing in the nectar of imperialism and militarism, but now a loser, a weakened victim of war, looking to create a new identity for itself. The leftist and liberal elements of Japan took it upon themselves to help ensure that there were no more Hiroshimas and Nagasakis, and no more victims of nuclear blasts. This conference was part of that commitment, and each year delegates come from around the world discussing nuclear threats, whether in terms of weapons, energy, testing or contamination in their part of the world.

I still receive regular emails from the organization that organizes this conference Gensuikyo. Some of them are pasted below:

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We Call on the Japanese Government to Participate in the Forthcoming Negotiation Conference and Make Serious Effort to Achieve the Treaty to Prohibit Nuclear Weapons
March 8, 2017
Japan Council against A & H Bombs (Gensuikyo)

1.  In December 2016, the 71st Session of the U.N. General Assembly adopted the resolution “Taking forward multilateral nuclear disarmament negotiations," to convene a U.N. conference to negotiate a treaty to prohibit nuclear weapons with a large majority of 113 votes in favor, 35 against and 13 abstentions.  The conference will be held under the rules of the U.N. General Assembly from March 27 to 31 and from June 15 to July 7, 2017.
As is well known, in the wake of the two world wars, the United Nations was founded for the purpose of saving succeeding generations from the scourge of war.  The abolition of nuclear weapons was set as the primary goal of the U.N., as stated in the very first resolution adopted in its first General Assembly session.  
Above all, Japan, the only atomic-bombed nation in human history, has a historic mission to bear witness to the inhuman damage and sufferings caused by the use of nuclear weapons which are incompatible with human survival, and to call for banning and eliminating nuclear weapons all over the world, as the Hibakusha (A-bomb survivors) have done by telling their A-bomb experiences and appealing to the world through anti-A and H bomb movements.      
 
During these years, the movements of global civil society have worked together with many governments and helped create a new momentum for banning and eliminating nuclear weapons.  Building on the undertaking of the nuclear weapon states to “accomplish the elimination of their nuclear arsenals” in the NPT Review Conference of May 2000, the governments of the NPT states parties, including nuclear weapons states, agreed in the 2010 Review Conference to achieve the “peace and security of a world without nuclear weapons”, and that “all countries should make special efforts to create and maintain a framework” for that purpose.  Today, nearly 80% of the world governments agree on the humanitarian consequences of nuclear weapons, and virtually no countries would dare to deny the need for banning nuclear weapons.   
 
At various U.N. conferences and nuclear disarmament forums, the government of Japan has repeatedly declared that it would “take the lead in abolishing nuclear weapons” as the “only country to have suffered from nuclear weapons in wartime.”  In order to prove this pledge, the Japanese government should participate in the forthcoming negotiation conference in March and June.  We urge it to encourage all countries to join the conference, work together with overwhelming majority governments of the world and endeavor to establish the treaty to prohibit nuclear weapons, which is the only realistic path leading to their abolition.
 
2.  However, the Japanese government, while claiming to act as a “bridge” between nuclear weapon states and non-nuclear weapon states, changed its “abstention” and voted against the U.N. resolution to hold the negotiation conference.  It was also absent in the organizational session on February 16, which drew much attention of the world.
We are concerned that this attitude of the Japanese government is closely linked to the U.S. “commitment” to protect its allies by using “nuclear and conventional forces”.  It is totally impossible to take any international leadership in achieving the abolition of nuclear weapons while depending on nuclear deterrence, including use and threat to use nuclear weapons.
The result of adoption of recent U.N. resolutions shows that the overwhelming majority of countries in the world are seeking security through achieving the prohibition of nuclear weapons to prevent the terror of nuclear catastrophe, in spite of resistance of nuclear-armed states and the “nuclear umbrella” states.  In fact, in Asia, it was only Japan and the Republic of Korea that voted “No” to the resolution for starting the negotiation conference for the nuclear weapon prohibition treaty.
 
We urge the government of Japan to support the present world momentum for a total ban on nuclear weapons and to make a drastic shift from dependence on nuclear deterrence to the resolution of international conflicts through peaceful means and the prohibition and elimination of nuclear weapons, as mandated by the Constitution of Japan.

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Dear friends,
A Happy New Year!
2017 will be a decisive turn for advancing a total ban and the elimination of nuclear weapons.  We welcome the adoption of a historic resolution by the UNGA in 2016 to convene the conference to negotiate a treaty prohibiting nuclear weapons in March 27 to 31 and June 15 to July 27, 2017.
In order to bring this historic opportunity to a successful conclusion, we call on you to take actions during the sessions in March and June in your cities, towns and villages all over the world to build up public support for the prohibition and elimination of nuclear weapons.  In particular, we call on you living in nuclear weapon states and nuclear umbrella states to make effort to enhance public support enough to change their government pro-nuclear policies.  Our actions are the key to ensuring this first step towards a world without nuclear weapons.  International joint actions are also planned around the UN in New York.
We propose you to include in your actions: 1) Learning of the testimonies of A-bomb survivors (Hibakusha),  2) Holding of A-bomb photo exhibition and 3) Collecting signatures in support of the Appeal of the Hibakusha for the Elimination of Nuclear Weapons (attached).
We, Japanese movement are determined to take the lead in this action by having the Hibakusha’s testimonies heard, holding A-bomb photo exhibitions at all municipalies in Japan and collectign the Hibakusha Appeal petitions nationwide.  We are going to submit millions of collected petitions to the UN conference in June.  Let’s collect petitions together and jointly submit them to the UN.
In order to promote the action, we ask:
*Please send to us your ideas/messages and action plans.
*If you want to invite a Hibakusha to your actions or get Hibakusha’s testimonies and the A-bomb photo sets, please contact us.
*Please send us your collected signatures.
Thank you.
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September 16, 2016
At the Opening of the 71st Session of the U.N. General Assembly:
We Urge the Japanese Government to Devote All Its Energy to Achieve a Total Ban and Elimination of Nuclear Weapons
The 2016 World Conference against A and H Bombs was convened in Hiroshima and Nagasaki from August 2 to 9. With the participation of 92 overseas delegates from 27 countries as well as Japanese delegates representing a broad range of organizations, the conference concluded successfully after adopting the “Declaration of the International Meeting” on August 4, “Call from Hiroshima” on August 6, and “Letter from Hiroshima to All Governments of the World” on August 9.
We have sent these documents, including the “Letter from Nagasaki” to the heads of states of the 193 member states of the United Nations, and as the collective will of all the participants of the conference, we call on them to make the utmost effort to achieve a total ban and elimination of nuclear weapons.
Hereby we set out our request to the Japanese government:
1. To make every effort to achieve a start of negotiations on a treaty to prohibit and eliminate inhuman nuclear weapons, and especially to make the forthcoming disarmament debate at the U.N. General Assembly an important watershed for this end.  And to deepen the awareness of policymakers on the impact and aftereffects of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and make the inhuman nature of nuclear weapons known broadly to their people.
As is already known, last year the U.N. General Assembly adopted a resolution on taking forward multilateral nuclear disarmament negotiations. The Open-ended Working Group convened in Geneva this year adopted by a majority vote Chair’s Report, which includes a recommendation for the U.N. General Assembly to convene a conference in 2017 “to negotiate a legally-binding instrument to prohibit nuclear weapons.”
All the 5 nuclear weapon states boycotted the meeting from the standpoint of regarding nuclear weapons as useful for “security”.  Although the Japanese government attended the meeting, it cast an abstention vote to the Chair’s Report.    
Prohibiting and abolishing nuclear weapons is a task that the government of Japan should rightly support and promote, in light of the first resolution of the U.N. General Assembly which called for “elimination from national armaments of atomic weapons and of all other major weapons adaptable to mass destruction”, of the Constitution of Japan that prohibits the use or threat of military forces in solving international conflicts, and also as the government of the only nation that has experienced the atomic bombing in human history.   
We call on the Japanese government to play a leading role in securing the start of negotiations on a treaty to prohibit and eliminate nuclear weapons and act in concert with this international initiative in the current 71st Session of the UN General Assembly.
2. To stop relying on the use or threat of nuclear weapons and to pursue prohibition and elimination of nuclear weapons, peace and the resolution of conflicts through diplomacy based on the Constitution of Japan
We are concerned that the government of Japan, while claiming to “lead the efforts for abolishing nuclear weapons” as “the only A-bombed country in wartime”, is actually dependent on the U.S. nuclear strategy and running counter to both the global trend seeking prohibition and elimination of nuclear weapons and the aspiration of the people of the world, including the Hibakusha. It is a striking instance that when the US government indicated the review of its long-held “first use” policy of nuclear weapons, the Japanese government opposed it, saying that it would “weaken nuclear deterrence”.     
Given the ongoing conflicts and current nuclear threat policies and proliferation, it is clear that a total ban on nuclear weapons has now become an urgent task for international community. Selfish argument of nuclear possessing states to keep nuclear weapons as guarantee of security has actually driven nuclear proliferation.  
We urge the Japanese government to stop its reliance on “nuclear deterrence” and make efforts to achieve peace, a total ban and elimination of nuclear weapons and the resolution of conflicts through diplomacy for the sake of the security of Japan, East Asia and world and for the credibility of Japan’s diplomacy. (end)
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Statement of Protest against North Korea’s Nuclear Test

September 9, 2016
YASUI Masakazu, Secretary General
Japan Council against A and H Bombs (Gensuikyo)
Today, North Korea (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea) conducted its 5th nuclear test. It is a serious challenge to the international community, posing grave threat to peace and security of not only Northeast Asia but of the entire world. It betrays the earnest desire of the Japanese people for the abolition of nuclear weapons, and we file our strong protest against it. 
During these years, in response to the nuclear tests and ballistic missile launches by North Korea, the U.N. Security Council has adopted a series of resolutions (No. 2087, 2094 and 2270) to expand and strengthen sanctions, clearly expressing its will to stop North Korea’s provocative actions. If it wants to stay as a member of the international community, North Korea should accept all these UNSC resolutions, immediately terminate its nuclear and missile development and make a sincere effort for the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.
At the same time, we urge the countries concerned to redouble their effort to settle this problem by peaceful means, resume the Six-party talks, and increase efforts to achieve a nuclear-free Korean Peninsula. We especially call on the government of Japan to stop attempting to strengthen nuclear deterrence = “nuclear umbrella” through the Security-related laws. Instead, as the government of the A-bombed nation, it should propose a total ban on nuclear weapons and take a leading role in achieving the peaceful settlement of the problem. 

Thursday, March 23, 2017

The Saga Begins

Ti hu tungo' sa' håfa, lao gi halacha na tiempo, sigi ha' hu egga' este na video/ya hu ekungok este na kånta. Gof na'chalek i kanta, lao guaha tinahdong na hinasso lokkue', achokka' parody ha' na kånta.

Buente, gof malago' yu' na bei egga' i "prequel" na mubi siha ta'lo ginen Geran Estreyas.

Hekkua'.

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"The Saga Begins"
by Weird Al Yankovic

A long, long time ago
In a galaxy far away
Naboo was under an attack
And I thought me and Qui-Gon Jinn
Could talk the federation into
Maybe cutting them a little slack
But their response, it didn't thrill us
They locked the doors and tried to kill us
We escaped from that gas
Then met Jar Jar and Boss Nass
We took a bongo from the scene
And we went to Theed to see the Queen
We all wound up on Tatooine
That's where we found this boy...

Oh my my this here Anakin guy
May be Vader someday later - now he's just a small fry
And he left his home and kissed his mommy goodbye
Sayin' "Soon I'm gonna be a Jedi"
"Soon I'm gonna be a Jedi"

Did you know this junkyard slave
Isn't even old enough to shave
But he can use the Force, they say
Ah, do you see him hitting on the queen
Though he's just nine and she's fourteen
Yeah, he's probably gonna marry her someday
Well, I know he built C-3PO
And I've heard how fast his pod can go
And we were broke, it's true
So we made a wager or two
He was a prepubescent flyin' ace
And the minute Jabba started off that race
Well, I knew who would win first place
Oh yes, it was our boy

We started singin' ...
My my this here Anakin guy
May be Vader someday later - now he's just a small fry
And he left his home and kissed his mommy goodbye
Sayin' "Soon I'm gonna be a Jedi"
"Soon I'm gonna be a Jedi"

Now we finally got to Coruscant
The Jedi Council we knew would want
To see how good the boy could be
So we took him there and we told the tale
How his midi-chlorians were off the scale
And he might fulfill that prophecy
Oh, the Council was impressed, of course
Could he bring balance to the Force?
They interviewed the kid
Oh, training they forbid
Because Yoda sensed in him much fear
And Qui-Gon said "Now listen here"
"Just stick it in your pointy ear"
"I still will teach this boy"

He was singin' ...
My my this here Anakin guy
May be Vader someday later - now he's just a small fry
And he left his home and kissed his mommy goodbye
Sayin' "Soon I'm gonna be a Jedi"
"Soon I'm gonna be a Jedi"

We caught a ride back to Naboo
'Cause Queen Amidala wanted to
I frankly would've liked to stay
We all fought in that epic war
And it wasn't long at all before
Little Hotshot flew his plane and saved the day
And in the end some Gunguns died
Some ships blew up and some pilots fried
A lot of folks were croakin'
The battle droids were broken
And the Jedi I admire most
Met up with Darth Maul and now he's toast
Well, I'm still here and he's a ghost
I guess I'll train this boy

And I was singin' ...
My my this here Anakin guy
May be Vader someday later - now he's just a small fry
And he left his home and kissed his mommy goodbye
Sayin' "Soon I'm gonna be a Jedi"
"Soon I'm gonna be a Jedi"

We were singin' ...
My my this here Anakin guy
May be Vader someday later - now he's just a small fry
And he left his home and kissed his mommy goodbye
Sayin' "Soon I'm gonna be a Jedi"

Righting Wrongs and Wronging Rights


Judge Frances Tydingco-Gatewood recently ruled in favor of Dave Davis in his lawsuit alleging that his constitutional right to vote is being violated by him not being able to register for Guam's decolonization plebiscite. The past few weeks have been difficult with plenty of debate and discussion about what to do next and how something like this could have happened. How a country supposed based on ideas of freedom and liberty could care so little about such ideas when it comes to the very people it has colonized for more than a century?

A decolonization plebiscite is not the same as voting for senators, mayors or presidents. It is a vote that comes once in a lifetime and is about righting a historical wrong. In a decolonization plebiscite those who have long been denied basic human rights in their own lands, are given the chance to express their preference for what future political status they want to pursue. Most plebiscites feature three basic options for a future political status, integration, free association or independence. The fact that a court might somehow pretend that they are the same is both incredibly laughable and terribly tragic.

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Correcting a 'wrong' from 1950
by Juan Flores
The Guam Daily Post
3/24/17
What if ... the U.S. were to right a wrong from 1950? How could future actions regarding political self-determination make up for the colonization imposed by Spain and the United States? Why should the pre-Organic Act Guam residents and their descendants have a legitimate right to determine the island's political future?

Chief Judge Frances Tydingco-Gatewood did her due diligence in deciding on the Davis case based on federal laws. She is a federal judge and is expected to honor the letter and intent of the U.S. Constitution. It's natural to have an emotional and negative reaction to her ruling but our issue should not be toward the judge's decision but to question the premises on which the lawsuit and the ruling were based when it comes to the island's political self-determination.

Foreign 'ownership' of Guam

There has to be some acknowledgement that the Treaty of Paris that led to the exchange of "ownership" of our island and other territories from Spain to the U.S. after the Spanish-American War was perverse at best. It went against respect for what a group of people who live in a particular place can and should expect from other entities. Treating people as if they were commodities, regardless of benevolent intentions, was and is wrong and should not be perpetuated. The United states has exercised those actions often and Guam just happens to be one of the instances in which that exercise of power ruled the day.

In 1950, the United States Congress and the president enacted the Organic Act of Guam, setting the stage for establishing the island as a U.S. territory, U.S. citizenship for the residents of Guam and changing the rule of the island from the military to another federal bureaucracy. While the passage of the Organic Act was requested by the Guam congress and a few honorable men personally lobbied for its passage, there was no plebiscite or islandwide vote to determine that the majority of the residents in 1950 supported the act.

For emphasis, the Organic Act was written to determine what was to be true for the "residents" of Guam at the time. If the residents at the time were not given the opportunity to decide on the island's political status, it is those residents and their descendants that should be given the opportunity to make the determination of the island's political status today. The residents in 1950 could have included my grandfather, who came to Guam from the Philippines to work for the Navy at the beginning of the 20th century. It could include military personnel who chose to live on Guam after their tour of duty or who chose to move to the island. It could include our neighbors from other Micronesian islands who found their way to Guam at the time. And, of course, it includes the native Chamorros, most of whom lived through and were subjected to the atrocities of the Japanese occupation during World War II.

Not an issue of race

This does not have to be a racial issue. If Mr. Davis' father or grandfather were living on Guam before the enactment of the Organic Act, he could claim a right to participate in a vote for political self-determination, not because of Chamorro heritage but because his ancestors were residents of the island when Guam's formal association with the United States was enacted and put into effect. The Decolonization Registry should include those who could document that they were residents of Guam before Aug. 1, 1950, or document that they are descendants of those residents.

This perspective does not violate the intent of the 15th Amendment to the U.S. constitution. While it may be argued that the Decolonization Registry and the rights of the Guam residents and their descendants may exclude some from the opportunity to make a critical decision for the island, it should be noted that the 15th Amendment was enacted 50 years before the 19th Amendment, giving the women in the U.S., the right to vote. The move to established the registry and the eventual vote is based not on exclusion, but on the sole inclusion of those who were denied that opportunity as residents of Guam in 1950 and to pass on that right to their descendants.

The United States of America, as an imperfect union, should correct a wrong that was imposed on the residents of Guam in 1950. It should not ask the surviving residents and their descendants just to move on and ignore history, the way our country has ignored the genocide of the Native Americans, the centuries of enslavement of Africans, the internment of the Japanese during World War II and the current targeted immigration bans.

The right to decide

Many who question the premise that U.S. laws will prevail and, once again, the rightful residents of Guam will be denied an opportunity to determine the island's political status, may openly and proudly declare that they are in favor of the current or stronger, better-defined ties with the United States. Many will proclaim their desire to hold on to their U.S. citizenship. What we may be calling for right now is the legitimate right to make that decision rather than having that decision imposed on us. We will honor our ancestors and we will honor the international rights of all human beings if we are afforded that opportunity.

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 Decolonization Never Easy or Fair
by Michael Lujan Bevacqua
Pacific Daily News
3/17/17

Judge Frances Tydingco-Gatewood’s decision last week in favor of Dave Davis and against the rights of Guam’s indigenous people was not surprising. For those familiar with the U.S. court system, it has long been designed to take rights away from indigenous people of the U.S., and instead develop nonsensical, self-serving arguments that force incorporation of the indigenous people and their lands/resources into the union.

For your average federal judge, the particularities of Guam’s status or the quest of Chamorros for decolonization are trivial and mean little. As a Chamorro herself, we might have hoped that Tydingco-Gatewood would have taken this decision as a chance to expand American notions of justice.

This would mean to take seriously its history and its contemporary responsibilities as a colonizer, and simply follow its obligations as a signatory to the United Nations charter. To also take seriously the notions that the U.S. and its court system are based on issues of justice or liberty, and what that would mean in terms of how to guide the decolonization of the sites of American-made injustice and liberty deprived in the name of American interests. 

She had a chance to make a very courageous intervention into a web of legal decisions that has long been hostile to indigenous people, Chamorros included — to make her decision in the name of American ideals that people often speak of proudly but are suddenly rare and impossible to find when the territories are concerned. 

Tydingco-Gatewood instead chose to act like nearly all her brethren of the U.S. court system might, to simply erase the indigenous people, their rights and pretend that the answer to American colonialism, is more American colonialism.

Tåya’ tininas na chålan gi hilo’ tåno’. For indigenous people in the United States and other countries, this is sadly the way our tale tends to unfold. The struggle for justice in the name of self-determination or decolonization is never straight, clear or fair. Part of the reason is because our fights take place within legal systems that are built on indigenous injustice and rife with delusions of American exceptionalism and sinlessness.

These court systems and the decisions that comprise them are mazes. They are created through convoluted, often insane legal paths, the blazing of which result in the sovereignty of an indigenous people disappearing and only objects of American power remaining.

Almost two centuries ago, the infamous Marshall Cases represented one such magical maze. Native American tribes went into those legal cases as independent nations, recognized through the U.S. Constitution and various treaties, but were under assault by those wishing to displace them or possess their lands. When those same tribes emerged, their sovereignty and rights had been lost in the legal labyrinth and henceforth the U.S. court system has referred to them as domestic dependent nations.
This is a familiar, cruel and degenerative alchemy, where the precious inalienable right to self-determination or sovereignty is transformed into dead weights meant to further chain the indigenous people to their colonizer.

The more a country is convinced of its greatness, the more difficult it is for its colonies to be decolonized in any meaningful way. Decolonization, in order to mean anything, requires an admission that a possession and the indigenous people attached to it demand or deserve more than what the colonizer is willing to give.

It is a process that should not be controlled by the colonizer, as such amounts to continuing colonization. It should not be something that must follow the rules of the colonizer, as that as well simply means further colonization.

Michael Lujan Bevacqua is an author, artist, activist and assistant professor of Chamorro studies at the University of Guam.

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US federal court ruling 'frustrating' for Guam decolonisation
 Dateline Pacific
Radio New Zealand
3/13/17

A long-time campaigner for Guam's independence says a federal court ruling last week is frustrating, and misses the point of decolonisation.

The island's push for plebscite on its political status was dealt a setback when a judge ruled the law limiting a vote to native inhabitants was unconstitutional, violating the rights of non-native residents.
The case was brought to the US federal court on Guam by Arnold Davis, a white, non-native resident, who sued the government after he claimed his constitutional rights were violated by the limits.
But Victoria-Lola Leon Guerrero, who is the co-chair of the Independence for Guam committee, told Jamie Tahana the vote should be limited to native inhabitants, as it's their rights that were taken away.

Transcript

VICTORIA LOLA LEON GUERRERO: This is not actually a civil rights issue. In fact a decolonisation vote is not a right that should be extended to all because it is a vote that is intended to restore a right that was taken away from a very specific group of people. And that is the human right of sovereignty, and in this case this specific group of people are the Chamorro people are the native people of Guam. And through colonisation, the island's community has become very diverse and we have a huge settler community here. And so Dave Davis is arguing that all who have settled in Guam as a result of colonisation should be equally entitled to this vote. That really misses the genuine intent of decolonisation to right the historical wrong of colonisation in the first place. The judge's decision was that the plebiscite in particular was race-based discrimination and not allowing Dave Davis who is not a native inhabitant of the island to register to vote in the plebiscite that that was race-based discrimination and violated the fourteenth and fifteenth amendments of the constitution. But we are regularly reminded, and as enforced by the insular cases, that the constitution doesn't entirely apply to the unincorporated territories.

JAMIE TAHANA: Ok, so the argument here that it's unconstitutional has a certain irony, considering you can;t actually vote (in the US) or anything like that?

VLLG: Exactly. And this idea that the constitution applies only when the United States wants it to, right when it benefits their interests and not ours, you know, that is incredibly ironic. And the irony also of classifying this plebiscite as a racist action, when colonisation itself was a form of racism that we continue to live with the effects of. In (the case of) Downes v Bidwell, they literally called us an alien race not deserving of the same rights as Americans, and that the constitution does not apply. And so in that tone, that is where the racism actually occurred. And so it is deeply problematic that the judgement and now the community rhetoric around this notion that a native people seeking self-determination is racist is very destructive to our community, to our sense of identity and also to the decolonisation process as a whole. We are simply saying that this particular decision, this particular remedy to a historical wrong should be done by those who were wronged. And in that, we are not using a racist classification or denying people their basic, everyday human rights. But the Chamorro people have been denied their right to sovereignty and therefore the Chamorro people should determine and exercise that right.

JT: The settler community has been there for a long time. Do they have a right to any kind of say in all this?

VLLG: Well not in the initial plebiscite which is really an expression of indigenous desire, right, what is the desire of the indigenous group that was colonised in moving forward? What type of political status would we desire as an indigenous community that was colonised? After that desire is expressed and fought for in congress, whatever political status is chosen would essentially need a constitution, would essentially need to design a government around that political status. And in that time, you would open up to the entire community because it would form the new government of Guam.
JT: What does this ruling mean for the current process towards a plebiscite?

VLLG: Well Judge Frances Tydingco-Gatewood basically banned the government of Guam from having a plebiscite with the definition of native inhabitants, right, so having this type of plebiscite. What it means is the government itself and the people of Guam, particularly the Chamorro people of Guam will have to figure out how will we proceed? Do we have to draft a new law, create a new decolonisation process? But the judge's decision does not allow for the plebiscite to occur as it is currently dictated by law. So then this will be a matter that our lawmakers will have to address, 'how then shall we proceed'. The Governor has said that he wants the Attorney-General to appeal to the highest court. But he's also said that he's willing to have a plebiscite that everybody will vote in, and that there will be two separate boxes - they identify whether they are native or non-native. I think that right now, it's so fresh in our community. We still need to strategise, we still need to come together and find out what are the next steps. But for us, the next step is not to cower or stop in our efforts, but rather to work harder.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Independent Guåhan March General Assembly

LEARN MORE ABOUT RECENT THREATS TO CHAMORRO RIGHTS AT INDPENDENT GUÅHAN’S MARCH GENERAL ASSEMBLY THURSDAY

Educational Presentations will focus on the Davis vs. Guam case, the Chamorro Land Trust and moving forward towards self-determination

For Immediate Release, March 20, 2017 – Independent Guåhan invites the public to its monthly General Assembly (GA) on Thursday, March 23rd from 6 – 7:30 p.m. at the Main Pavilion of the Chamorro Village in Hagåtña.

This month’s educational presentations will focus on the need to respect the Chamorro people in their quest to self-determination in light of current actions on behalf of the US Federal Government deeming the decolonization plebiscite and Chamorro Land Trust, “race-based discrimination”. In honor of Mes Chamoru, the meeting will be bilingual in both English and Chamorro.

Eartlier this month, Federal Justice France Tydingco-Gatewood ruled that a non-binding decolonization vote for Guam’s native inhabitants is unconstitutional and cannot take place. Also, the Chamorro Land Trust, which provides land leases to landless Chamorros, has come under the scrutiny of the US Department of Justice, which has suggested the program is unconstitutional and racist. Both of these programs exist as forms of restorative justice meant to remedy acts of colonization, which have denied Chamorros their ancestral lands and sovereignty.

The educational discussion for this month’s GA will provide an overview of these and other threats to Chamorro rights and the movement to self-determination, with an eye towards developing strategies to ensure that the Chamorro people are respected and protected in their home islands.

This GA will honor the late Clotilde “Ding” Castro Gould as Independent Guåhan’s monthly Maga’taotao. Tan Gould was a war-survivor, an educator, author, song-writer and a master story-teller. She is best known for her creation of the Chamorro language comic strip Juan Malimanga, which appears in the Pacific Daily News six times a week and her role in helping develop the bilingual and bicultural education program in Guam’s public school system.

Tan Gould was also a member of PARA and OPI-R, and as a political activist fought hard for the right to self-determination of the Chamorro people.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Learning Chamorro Website Launches!

For several years I have been assisting Siñora Rosa Palomo and Professor Gerhard Schwab who are my colleagues at the University of Guam with the development of an amazing, new, free language learning website built around the learning of the Chamorro language.

Humuyongña i na'ån-ña "Learning Chamorro." 

After years of tirelessly working on building the site, it was launched last week. A Pacific Daily News article about it, was picked up by USA Today and shared several thousand times on social media. The website would not be possible without the love labor of GuamWebz and Rhaj Sharma. Some media on the launch can be found below.

Sen magof hu na put fin in baba este na website.

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

Date: March 12, 2017

We take this opportunity to thank everyone of you for registering and continuously visiting our website. All of us together have visited our website more than 1.7 million times. It is your continuous encouragement and support that has kept us going. THANK YOU !

We are delighted to officially launch our website on Monday, March 13, 2017 at the University of Guam. Dr. Robert Underwood, President, and Dr. Anita Enriquez, Senior Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs of the University of Guam will be the main speakers at the launch.

We are committed to continue the development of our website in order for all of us to continue to enjoy learning Chamorro.

Sincerely;
Señora Rosa S. Palomo, who teaches Chamorro at the University of Guam,
Mr. Rhaj Sharma from GuamWebz, and
Drs. Michael Bevacqua and Gerhard Schwab also from the University of Guam

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LearningChamorro.com launched to keep language alive
by Isa Baza
March 13, 2017
KUAM

The 2017 Chamorro Language Competition kicked-off at the University of Guam today, celebrating storytelling and also announcing the launch of a new website that aims to help people of all ages learn Chamorro.

UOG professor Dr. Michael Bevacqua said, "Nowadays to learn Chamorro you have to be brave, hardworking, courageous - you have to basically be willing to put in a lot of work because you don't hear the Chamorro language as much anymore around the island, and so a website like this is very important for those who didn't get a chance to learn it as a child, to try to learn it as an adult."

You can visit the website at learningchamorro.com.

Meanwhile the Chamorro Language Competition continues tomorrow with a focus on categories including storytelling and poetry.

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

 University of Guam Launches Online Chamorro Language Resources
by John Borja
Pacific Daily News
March 3, 2017
The Chamorro language is now more accessible than ever, thanks to a locally made website that teaches the native tongue. 
LearningChamorro.com is an online, learner-driven resource geared towards teaching the language, whether you’re from Guam or abroad. Gerhard Schwab, website founder and University of Guam social work professor, gave an online tour during the website’s launch Monday at the university.
The website’s mission is to further advance the Chamorro language and help people improve language fluency.

“The whole emphasis behind learning Chamorro is a very pressure-packed movement,” UOG President Robert Underwood said at the website’s launch.

Underwood recalled how, in his younger days, others spoke Chamorro more fluently than him and he sometimes found it difficult to keep up with them. The language will be easier to learn now with the website’s resources, he said.

The website is free and easy to navigate through, Schwab said. To begin, a user must create an account that requires a name, email address and password. The user then has access to the various teaching materials, which are a combination of audio, visual and interactive text. The user gains skill levels as they engage in more of the website’s features, Schwab said.
Schwab explained that the website has five main features:
  • a dictionary with more than 12,000 Chamorro words and their English meaning;
  • Chamorro lessons that teach various words and phrases in the language, depending on skill level;
  • a grammar section that explains Chamorro sentence structure and various pronouns;
  • basic conversations in Chamorro that are useful at home, work, school and more;
  • and a media section that gives the user access to audio clips, video and real-life documents to use as learning tools.
A significant feature of the website is the integration of the dictionary in the Chamorro lessons and dialogue. As Schwab explained, users just need to hover over a Chamorro word to find out what it means in English. Another option allows the reader to see a breakdown of a Chamorro sentence, detailing its structure and meaning.

The website is still growing and more content will be added to enhance the Chamorro learning experience, Schwab said.

LearningChamorro.com began as a class assignment four years ago in UOG’s Chamorro Studies program, Schwab said. As a student in the program, Schwab was inspired by the language and decided to pursue it outside the classroom. Schwab said he received help from web developer GuamWebz and the contributions of more than 100 people to put the website together.
UOG Chamorro professors Michael Bevacqua and Rosa Palomo are the main contributors, with the latter as chief editor, according to Schwab. Rhaj Sharma from GuamWebz provided technical support, Schwab added.

Schwab said there currently are more than 2,900 users on the website. Fifty percent of them are from Guam, 40 percent are from the U.S. mainland and the rest are international users living in countries such as Japan, Afghanistan, Australia and France.

“Learning Chamorro means different things to different people and poses particular challenges,” the website states. “It is much more than learning words, you participate in and shape cultural and historical processes."

Pacific Daily News
 
Copyright © 2017 Guam Pacific Daily News. All Rights Reserved

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Center for Racial Erasure

I have heard in the media, and seen on-line that some on Guam (and elsewhere) are referring to Dave Davis as a hero. Eiii na kinalakas.

Davis recently won a case in US Federal court striking down the Guam decolonization law as being "unconstitutional" or potentially opening up this sacred, albeit symbolic vote to any resident of Guam. When I saw/heard this, it scared me in so many ways, perhaps even more so than the actual losing of this round of his case. I wrote my column in the Pacific Daily News this week about the friends that Dave Davis currently keeps, who have bought into his racist rhetoric and weaponized it, targeting the Chamorro people of Guam and their aspirations for decolonization.

Davis was just an angry racist in Guam for a long time, but it wasn't until he signed up with the group called The Center for Individual Rights that he actually began to affect the world more directly with his vile ideas. I plan to write more about this group, which has made a name for itself primarily by attacking affirmative action, especially in terms of college admissions in certain states. For now though, below is an article from the 1990s, when the CIR was first emerging and their role in disrupting programs designed to increase admissions of previously or currently marginalized ethnic groups.

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The Journal of Blacks in Higher Education (Spring 1999, Number 23)


African-American Opportunities in Higher Education:
What Are the Racial Goals of The Center for Individual Rights?

Dressed in the traditional garb of a citizen reformer, the Washington-based Center for Individual Rights projects itself as a champion of the persecuted, a white knight whose goal is to expunge the cancer of affirmative action that is eating away at our nation's academic standards. But this group of racially conservative lawyers has used staged litigation, deceptive public statements, and incitements of racial fears for the purpose of ethnically reengineering college admissions procedures in a way that would remove most African Americans from our leading colleges. The goals of the Center appear to be far less concerned with equal treatment of the races than with guarding the interests of segregationists and protecting the established economic and class advantages that enable whites to maintain their superior access to the leading colleges in the United States.

by Theodore Cross

Cross, Theodore. "African American Opportunities in Higher Education: What are the racial goals of the Center for Individual Rights?" Journal of Blacks in Higher Education. Spring 1999. Not on site (2006--). http://www.jbhe.com/ Avail JSTOR, Ethnic News Watch

There is a self-described public interest law firm in the District of Columbia known as the Center for Individual Rights (CIR). Working through lawsuits as well as through a host of extralegal pressures, this group has been highly successful in stamping out the use of affirmative action in the admissions offices of a number of our major universities. As a result of litigation led by the CIR, and successful lobbying efforts by some of its legal and political allies, race-conscious admissions procedures are now outlawed in the states of California, Texas, and Washington. Moreover, CIR's threats of litigation appear to be directly responsible for drastic cutbacks in affirmative action admissions procedures at the University of Massachusetts and the decision of officials at the University of Virginia and the University of North Carolina to "reexamine" their admissions policies.

Already the classrooms of the schools that have come under the guns of the CIR are far whiter than in past years. This year there are only eight black students at the University of Texas law school. This is fewer than the number of black students at the law school almost 30 years ago in 1970. Immediately after the ban on race-conscious admissions went into effect at Berkeley's prestigious Boalt Hall law school at the University of California, the number of blacks admitted suffered a huge decline to a level of only 14 students. A year earlier, in 1996, a solid cadre of 75 black students had been admitted to Boalt Hall. In 1999, the first year in which the University of Washington law school operated under a race-neutral admissions system, African-American applications were down 41 percent. At the Berkeley campus of the University of California, the number of blacks admitted rose slightly in 1999. But black admittees are still down 54.5 percent from 1997 when race-conscious admissions were permitted at state-operated universities in California.



"There was always a Moses crying out in loud and noble terms, 'Let my people go.' But there also was always a Pharaoh with a hardened heart."
– Martin Luther King Jr.
speaking in 1958 at the chapel of
Bennett College in Greensboro, N.C.



In view of the broad swath that CIR and its allies have cut through the ranks of African Americans seeking higher and postgraduate education, the questions arise: Who are these people at the CIR? What are their tactics and what do they want to accomplish? Do they simply seek to establish a nationwide system of admissions that is color-blind to race? Or do they have an unstated agenda whose purpose is to defend the interests of racial segregationists and protect the social, economic, and racial advantages that enable nonblacks to hold superior access to the leading colleges in the United States?

Last fall, educators who feared a nationwide demise of affirmative action in college admissions were buoyed by the publication of an influential statistical study completed by two former Ivy League college presidents, William G. Bowen of Princeton and Derek Bok of Harvard. This work was a powerful reaffirmation of the virtues of existing systems of race-conscious admissions. The New York Times called the book "a striking confirmation of the success of affirmative action in creating a whole new generation of black professionals."

Before the publication of the Bowen-Bok study, the litigators at CIR believed that their efforts were about to bring down a final curtain on affirmative action. But instead the Bowen-Bok book confronted them with carefully researched evidence showing that many of their most important charges against affirmative action had turned out to be absolutely false.

The CIR's January Ambush
on College-Bound Blacks

Soon after the publication of the Bowen-Bok study, the CIR sprung into action. Departing from its previous practice of bringing about change through courts of law, the CIR embarked on a nasty extralegal campaign to wipe out affirmative action on a nationwide scale.

Starting with a widely trumpeted kickoff publicity meeting held at the National Press Club this past January, CIR placed a barrage of highly inflammatory full-page advertisements in the student newspapers of 14 major colleges and universities. In two-inch banner headlines the advertisements screamed:

"ALMOST EVERY UNIVERSITY IN THE COUNTRY VIOLATES FEDERAL LAW"

In this new national campaign, CIR's notices threatened university trustees and administrators with dire legal penalties if they persisted in their current affirmative action practices. The CIR advertisements urged students to sue their colleges for racial discrimination. The CIR offered free handbooks describing how to start a lawsuit. Students were instructed on how to uncover information to back up their legal claims. The CIR told students how to find lawyers who would be willing to sue the colleges. CIR urged students to go forward with lawsuits even if they had no proof that they were being discriminated against.

This nationwide publicity campaign on the part of CIR lawyers to foment litigation without proof at hand and to whip up passions against young blacks raised serious questions of legal ethics. In this orchestrated attack on race-conscious admissions, the CIR struck solid gold. The CIR boasted that its ads in student newspapers quickly produced about 100 requests for its booklet and about 100 hits on CIR's Web site. In the first 50 days after the CIR's National Press Club ceremony, JBHE counted 162 newspaper reports on the CIR's campaign to stamp out affirmative action. CIR was jubilant. Its strategies had quickly converted CIR from a relatively unknown public litigator to a national poster boy for racial conservatives, as well as for southern segregationists and anti-black partisans.

CIR's barrage of threats was an exquisitely timed calculation to do maximum harm to young blacks. For college-bound high school students, the days surrounding college applications and the mailing of acceptance notices are periods of intense personal stress. Appearing as it did in late January, CIR's publicity delivered a cruel psychological blow to many hundreds of this year's black high school seniors already anxious over whether they could make the grade into a competitive college.

It was clear that CIR had timed its scare campaign to coincide with the onset of the 1999 admissions process at the nation's most prestigious universities. By widely broadcasting its threats that the colleges were guilty of breaking the law, the CIR was successful in persuading many admissions officers that if they chose to continue to use race-conscious admissions they would do so at great peril to themselves and to their universities.

A Naked Effort to Mislead

But the most reprehensible of the new extralegal tactics of the CIR was its publicized charges that private universities were violating federal law. The CIR created this false impression by planting its charges of university lawbreaking in student newspapers at some of the nation's most prestigious private universities such as Columbia, the University of Pennsylvania, and the University of Chicago.

On the campuses of the nation's most prestigious private institutions the damage potential was doubly severe. For it was these institutions whose longstanding affirmative action admissions policies have been responsible for drawing many thousands of young blacks into highly regarded colleges where they are then introduced into valued positions in the general society. 



"Private institutions have always had the unchallenged option to adopt affirmative action procedures." 



 It is true that the affirmative action admissions policies of some public universities have been successfully challenged in the courts. But private institutions have always had the unchallenged option to adopt affirmative action procedures. Without facing any legal claims, hundreds of private colleges and universities such as Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Stanford, Columbia, Brown, Amherst, Williams, Duke, Emory, MIT, Swarthmore, Wellesley, and Northwestern have pursued policies of affirmative action for 30 years or more. Hundreds of these private universities have operated under the protective umbrella of the crucial legal factor that they are private institutions. Yet the CIR indiscriminately levels its misleading threats with no regard to the key issue of whether the university it attacks is a private or a public institution.

Clearly, the CIR advertisements were not designed simply to inform the public as the CIR self-righteously assures us. These newspaper insertions had the clear purpose of increasing racial animosities and fears on college campuses. Not content to await the result of the standard legal processes, the CIR had discovered a crude and highly cost-effective way to cut back on the college admissions of young blacks without the necessity of actually bringing a lawsuit.

The CIR appeared to be so obsessed with its determination to overcome compelling data produced in the Bowen- Bok book that it leveled some wildly irresponsible charges. Attorney Michael S. Greve, executive director of the CIR, drew a parallel between its accusations of race-conscious admissions on the part of American college presidents and the government's charges of racism made a few years ago against Texaco. Greve wrote: "Were we to demand of university presidents the honesty and candor on diversity policies that we demand of, say, the management of Texaco, they'd all be in jail." [Italics added.] The reader will recall that the charges against Texaco vice presidents involved the willful destruction of incriminating documents showing egregious acts of racial bigotry directed at Texaco's black employees. Only the most obsessed ideologue could conceive of putting the presidents of Harvard, Stanford, or Duke in jail for the sin of adopting affirmative action in their admissions policies.

The CIR Attack on Bowen-Bok

The attack on the universities was accompanied by a completely unwarranted assault on the quality of the Bowen-Bok research. Instead of preparing a traditional brief showing possible flaws in the Bowen-Bok study, the CIR published snide and outrageous insults. In the January 1999 issue of its newsletter, CIR head Michael Greve writes: "The education elite is seeking shelter behind William G. Bowen and Derek Bok's disingenuous diversity manifesto." [Italics added.] Clearly the word "manifesto" was used by CIR to insinuate the Bowen-Bok book was an insubstantial polemic when in fact the study was widely praised on both sides of the affirmative action issue. Although there are sharply opposed views on the issue of race-conscious admissions, the critics agree that the Bowen-Bok book is a meticulously prepared vision of the impact of affirmative action policies on American society. The distinguished Harvard professor Nathan Glazer, who in 1975 wrote the first treatise in opposition to affirmative action, enthusiastically praised the "perspicuity, insight, thoroughness, and balance of the Bowen-Bok presentation and analysis. The book honestly conceded many of the harms attending policies of racial preferences. In no way could the Bowen-Bok study be characterized as a "manifesto." 



"CIR's barrage of threats was an exquisitely timed calculation to do maximum harm to young blacks." 



The CIR next writes that the Bowen-Bok book is "a surprise attack launched behind a pile of unsold copies." Once again the charge is false. JBHE has checked with Princeton University Press, the publisher of the Bowen-Bok book. Despite the fact that the book is a highly complex and academic tome (it contains 472 pages of tables and calculations), the volume has already sold more than 25,000 copies - an extraordinarily large sale for a study of this magnitude and complexity. Princeton University Press further advises JBHE that because of the unusual success of the book it will be reprinted shortly in a paperback edition. It is true that the sales of the Bowen-Bok book are not as great as Charles Murray's The Bell Curve, which the reader will recall contends that black people generally have an inferior intelligence to whites. But one must remember that, as most book publishers know, an inflammatory book that defends racist views will almost always sell better than a carefully researched argument for racial justice.
It now appears that CIR has taken leave of all notions of good taste. The January 1999 issue of the CIR newsletter compares the American educational establishment's commitment to affirmative action with Bill Clinton's attachment for Monica Lewinsky. As to the supporters of affirmative action, the CIR newsletter states: "We've found that our esteemed opponents' activities provide as much (and more wholesome) entertainment as the thong and cigar stuff. [Italics ours.] The establishment's earnest diversity show, says the CIR, 'Springtime for Hitler. . . . ' "

Funding the CIR Crusade

CIR's claim that it is simply interested in broad civil libertarian principles and in protecting equal treatment for all citizens is refuted by its sources of funding. Laura Flanders of the Center for Democracy Studies in New York City is conducting research on opponents of affirmative action. She has determined from the CIR's income tax returns that CIR on at least three occasions received funding from the notorious white supremacist foundation the Pioneer Fund. The Pioneer Fund was founded in New York City in 1937 by textile industrialist Wickliffe Draper to support the use of eugenics to restrict the births of Negroes and thereby "better the lot of mankind." For more than 60 years the chief purpose of the Pioneer Fund has been to support research that seeks to prove the genetic superiority of white people.



"CIR had discovered a cost-effective way to cut back on the college admissions of young blacks without the need of actually bringing a lawsuit."



Here is a partial list of academic racists whose efforts have been funded by the Pioneer Fund:
•  J. Philippe Rushton of the University of Western Ontario: He teaches that Caucasians have larger brains, smaller penises, and lower sex drives than blacks.
•  Robert Gordon of Johns Hopkins University: Gordon advocates government payments to blacks to encourage them not to breed.
•  Daniel Vining Jr. of the University of Pennsylvania: He contends that the human race is becoming less intelligent because blacks breed more often than whites.
•  Garrett Hardin, University of California at Santa Barbara: Hardin argues for the sterilization of blacks and lower classes.
•  Richard Lynn, professor emeritus of the University of Ulster: He calls for the phasing out of inferior cultures.
•  Arthur Jensen of the University of California at Berkeley: He believes social spending on blacks is a waste of money because their problems stem from genetic inferiority.

It is true that racist motives on the part of one organization cannot be proved by the fact that it keeps company with, or receives money from, another demonstrably racist organization. On the other hand, it is important to note that the CIR has received three grants from the openly racist Pioneer Fund. Surely this tells us a lot about the underlying racial agenda of CIR.

Of course, CIR is free to represent any group or individual that it chooses. But CIR's racial sympathies are further confirmed when one notes that it provided legal help to Professor Michael Levin in his dispute with his university, CCNY. Levin is an infamous advocate of the biological inferiority of black people and the reintroduction of the chain gang for black prisoners. A Michigan college professor who has monitored the activities of academic racists for many years reports that the CIR provided legal help to Levin in connection with his advocacy of the segregation of young blacks in guarded subway cars. Levin is also a grantee of the white supremacist Pioneer Fund.

Other donors to the CIR are the standard hard-line racial conservatives: The Bradley Foundation, the Carthage Foundation, the American Standard Foundation, the John M. Olin Foundation, the Randolph Foundation, and the Scaife Family Foundation. These foundations have a long history of pursuing repressive racial agendas. And when they send money they are accustomed to getting their money's worth.

Major Law Firms Supporting the Objectives of CIR

It is a mystery why a number of highly respected U.S. law firms are lending their attorneys on a pro bono basis to the work of CIR. Almost all of the firms that CIR's annual report identifies as supporters are generally believed to have strong affirmative action policies in place within their own firms. Yet these firms are said by the CIR to be providing personnel support and expertise to the CIR, a hard-line partisan with the goal of striking down affirmative action at any institution in which it occurs. Even more surprising is that these law firms that are seemingly dedicated to affirmative action appear to be supporting the work of the CIR despite its concurrent funding by white supremacist organizations such as the Pioneer Fund, a foundation that explicitly advocates the genetic superiority of white people.

Here is a partial list of major law firms that the CIR claims as pro bono supporters: Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld (Washington, DC); Covington & Burling (Washington, DC); Davis, Polk & Wardwell (New York, NY); Dilworth, Paxson, Kalish & Kauffman (Philadelphia, PA); Faegre & Benson (St. Paul, MN); Hogan & Hartson (Washington, DC); Kirkland & Ellis (Chicago, IL); Mayer, Brown & Platt (Chicago, IL); Nutter, McClennen & Fish (Boston, MA); Sidley & Austin (Chicago, IL); Simpson, Thacher & Bartlett (New York, NY); Steptoe & Johnson (Washington, DC); Stroock, Stroock & Lavan (New York, NY); Wilmer, Cutler & Pickering (Washington, DC); Winston & Strawn (Chicago, IL)

The legitimacy of the work of CIR has been further credentialized too by the fact that some of the most prominent corporations in the nation support some objectives of CIR. According to CIR's public reports, corporate donors and contributors to CIR include Pfizer, Philip Morris, Chevron, Archer Daniels Midland, Texaco, Brown Forman, and UNOCAL.

Conclusion

Let's now summarize the tactics that tell us much about the goals, ethics, and values of the CIR.
•  On three occasions the CIR has accepted funding from the Pioneer Fund, a self-proclaimed white supremacist organization that specializes in supporting research attempting to prove the biological superiority of the white race.
•  In an effort unrelated to affirmative action, the CIR has protected efforts of a leading academic racist in his advocacy of legislation requiring "criminally inclined" blacks to use separate subway cars in New York City.
•  In its published newsletter the CIR makes an outrageous charge that college presidents who follow race-conscious admissions policies may belong in prison for violating U.S. laws against race discrimination.
•  CIR press releases were calculated to attack the academic credentials of college-bound black teenagers at the very time in their lives when they are most anxious about their ability to get into college.
•  While embarking on a campaign of systematic removal of black students from the application pool of competitive colleges, the CIR partners show no sense of compassion or regret for the human beings whose life chances they have damaged.
•  Without having secured a court order ending racial preferences at a particular institution, the CIR accomplishes precisely the same result by the extralegal device of threatening admissions officers at schools where it showed no evidence of an intention of bringing a lawsuit.
•  CIR appeals are aimed at the racial stereotypes and biases of university alumni in order to persuade them to place financial pressures on their admissions officers, administrators, and trustees.
•  As licensed lawyers, the CIR is subject to strict ethical rules against fomenting litigation. Yet the CIR has embarked on a nationwide mission of inciting young, and often impressionable, college students to sue their universities.
•  The CIR has used underhanded tactics to end affirmative action admissions procedures at private colleges and universities by falsely suggesting that these schools are law-breakers when, as the CIR well knows, court decisions have not been applied to private institutions that have adopted race-conscious admissions policies.

Many of the most powerful intellects in our country have made a strong case against race-conscious admissions in higher education. Important conservative thinkers such as Glenn C. Loury, Nathan Glazer, Richard A. Epstein, Thomas Sowell, James Q. Wilson, and Abigail and Stephan Thernstrom have produced carefully researched and persuasive papers and briefs explaining why affirmative action is bad policy for black people and for the country as a whole. In the end it may turn out that the serious and well-reasoned arguments made by these and other conservative scholars will bring an end to affirmative action in the United States. But the public crusade mounted by CIR lawyers is beyond the pale of acceptable professional behavior. CIR, by reason of its aggressive tactics and its association with proclaimed racists and advocates of white supremacy, stands apart from the other conservatives who are striving to end, or moderate, affirmative action by traditional policies of argument and debate.

Because of the conservative mood in the country, CIR will probably get away with its malevolent campaign to frighten and whip up passions of white students against young college-bound blacks. But whatever the final outcome on the perplexing issue of affirmative action in higher education, the nation will look back on this January ambush on college-bound young blacks as an act of enormous evil.
JBHE


Professor Michael Levin on Why Race Matters
He has an ally in the Center for Individual Rights

Surely the Center for Individual Rights has the right to represent anyone it chooses. Yet the ideology of any public interest firm tends to equate with the character of its clients. CIR represented CCNY professor Michael Levin in a dispute over Levin's charges that young blacks should be segregated in guarded subway cars in New York City. Professor Levin, a strong advocate of the moral and intellectual inferiority of black people, is funded by the extreme white supremacist Pioneer Fund which has also made at least three grants to the Center for Individual Rights.
Here are a few statements from Levin's 1997 book, Why Race Matters:
•  [The worst black criminals] "display viciousness almost unknown among whites. The most effective step might simply be a return to now-discredited practices like the chain gang."
•  "The labor of many blacks is not valuable to most people."
•  "Any multiracial society will find blacks less law-abiding than whites."
•  "Blacks today enjoy full access to a system of public schools supported primarily by whites."
•  "Blacks are less intelligent than whites and more impulsive, for largely biological reasons."
•  "The limited interest in blacks shown by conventional historians is best explained by the belief that further interest was unwarranted."
•  "No amount of training and childhood enrichment can shrink the race gap." 



According to the Center for Individual Rights, a Number of Law Firms That Presumably Adhere to Affirmative Action Policies Within Their Own Firms Have Provided Support to Various Litigating Activities of the Center for Individual Rights

The Following Major National Law Firms Are Listed as Pro Bono Litigation Aid Supporters of the Center for Individual Rights

Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld (Washington, DC)
Covington & Burling (Washington, DC)
Davis, Polk & Wardwell (New York, NY)
Dilworth, Paxson, Kalish & Kauffman (Philadelphia, PA)
Faegre & Benson (St. Paul, MN)
Hogan & Hartson (Washington, DC)
Kirkland & Ellis (Chicago, IL)
Mayer, Brown & Platt (Chicago, IL)
Nutter, McClennen & Fish (Boston, MA)
Sidley & Austin (Chicago, IL)
Simpson, Thacher & Bartlett (New York, NY)
Steptoe & Johnson (Washington, DC)
Stroock, Stroock & Lavan (New York, NY)
Wilmer, Cutler & Pickering (Washington, DC)
Winston & Strawn (Chicago, IL)

The Following Major National Law Firms, All Ranked Among the Nation's 25 Largest Law Firms, ARE NOT Listed as Supporters of the Center for Individual Rights

Morrison & Foerster (San Francisco, CA)
Pillsbury Madison & Sutro (San Francisco, CA)
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (New York, NY)
Morgan, Lewis & Bockius (Washington, DC)
Foley & Lardner (Milwaukee, WI)
McDermott, Will & Emery (Chicago, IL)
Weil, Gotshal & Manges (New York, NY)
Latham & Watkins (Los Angeles, CA)
Jones, Day, Reavis & Pogue (Washington, DC)
Vinson & Elkins (Houston, TX)
Cleary, Gottlieb, Steen & Hamilton (New York, NY)
Shearman & Sterling (New York, NY)
Fulbright & Jaworski (Houston, TX)
White & Case (New York, NY)
Bryan Cave (Washington, DC)

Sources: CIR's Report of Activities 1993-1994 and CIR's Statement of Mission, Principles, and Governance.

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