Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Act of Decolonization #10: Breaking the Circle of American Greatness

Not a lot of time right now to post, my battery is running low and the wireless at the hotel where I'm at sucks.

I'm in New York for the next few days, scheduled to testify either tomorrow or the day after before the 4th Committee at the United Nations on the question of Guam.

It is an understatement of Mount Lamlam size proportions to say that I am excited and nervous about this. The United Nations as an institution has this incredible reputation for being almost completely useless, and yet at the same time so incredibly inspiring. Chamorros and others from Guam have been testifying before the UN for years seeking its help in pushing the United States to support the decolonization of Guam. As should be obvious to all and expected by all, this has not been very successful.

To date the United States' official position on Guam and its other insular "possessions," territories or colonies, mungga' maentaluyi! To be put politely, the political statuses or needs of the territories of the United States, are domestic concerns, and the United Nations has no right to interfere. This position, for anyone who knows anything put i guinifen decolonization or what hope decolonization is supposed to offer, is sen mampo kaduku yan taibali!

Decolonization, in this formal sense is not something which is to be limited by the willingness or comfort zone of the colonizer, nor is it a process meant to cram the lives, hopes, dreams, cultures and rights or colonized or indigenous people into some corner of a nation-state where they won't bother anyone. It necessarily requires that the colonizer give up the claim that they are the benevolent or necessarily limits that define and make possible the colonized. They must abandon the self-aggrandizing claims that they give life and possibility to the colonized, whether through their modern gifts of education, democracy, capitalism, or through the civilizing, whitening or militarizing of their lives and lands. Decolonization is all about life beyond the colonizer, about the life that he sought in so many ways to keep from you, and to hide beyond his back and told you did not exist, or only existed through him.

But the position of the United States is precisely a refusal to admit to the fact that it might not be the greatest thing to ever happen to the world and to Guam. Not only does it refuse to admit to anything beyond its borders or its control, but it also refuses to accept that the indigenous people or the colonized people it holds in check, have any rights which it does not give to them, or any rights which supersede or compete with the claims of the United States.

Because the United States, in dealing with its indigenous groups and its colonial citizens refuses to even if at least temporarily break the circle of its greatness, there is basically no hope right now for any formal forms of decolonization to take place for Guam.

These are the sorts of things that I'm hoping to discuss in my testimony. Wish me luck! I'm writing it tonight, while mampos sinagu yu' ya didide' maigo'-hu desde nigapna.


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