Friday, August 15, 2008

Bloggers at the DNC

In just under two weeks I'll be in Denver, Colorado blogging for Guam at the Democratic National Convention.

The DNC has made great efforts this year to provide blogs and bloggers access to the convention. In 2004 they credentialed just 30 bloggers, this time around there will be more than 120. I feel very fortunate to be included in this list, and hope that I can do my part, which might seem like a paradox to some, in first, supporting the Democratic party this year, and second laying bare the hyspocrisies and inconsistencies that Guam endures as an American colony. Sounds, strange, but this sort of bewildering contradiction is the norm in Guam.

Although I was able to vote in California's Democratic primary in February, by virtue of my attending UCSD, by November I will be back on Guam and thus again be unable to vote in the Presidential elections. I will be at the convention first as an expression of the colonial desire in Guam, my presence there is yet another celebrated resolution to the colonial difference on the island, whereby everyone desperately wants to be American, are conditioned from birth to want to be so, but cannot ever truly be. Thus life on Guam is innundated with attempts to find minute forms of evidence, moments or mentions where Guam at least appears to be American, where the difference which always mocks those on Guam is resolved, overcome, surpassed! My going to the convention is part of that cruel game of endless searching for recognition by the colonizer. So in one way, by going to the convention I am continuing the colonization of Guam. I become, in the same way that the primary on Guam in May became, a moment where we can focus in on the small and often tokenistic ways we are included, in order to blur out and make invisible the ways we are not.

On the other hand, it would be pointless to argue that my going can have no positive or critical impact. The Democratic National Convention this year, will be one of the primary grand spectacles of American political power and will, especially because of its potential symbolism of breaking with America's racist past. Although I don't believe that Obama's nomination changes much about the racial logics that operate in the United States, in terms of one party or the other asserting itself as the future of the United States, this really makes 2008 a Democratic year. While the Republican party appears to be clinging to fantasies of a white-male dominated/normative nation, the Democrats are at least making gestures to suggest a more open, multi-cultural and tolerant America. After all, the convention is being held on the 45th anniversary of the day that Martin Luther King Jr. gave his historic "Guaha guinife-hu" speech in Washington D.C.

Whether this year results in significant gains for racialized groups is unlikely, but the Democratic National Convention will be a potent symbolic event, creating a huge emotional bubble amongst people in the United States, built from two very intimate, yet transcendent hopes. The first is the laudable hope that racism in this country can be surpassed and that dream of Martin Luther King Jr.'s is possible. The second is the seflish and self-protecting hope that should America at last elect a black person to its highest office, then white people who never owned slaves or killed Native Americans, will no longer have to feel guilty for the slaves owned and indigenous people that their ancestors killed or profited from.

Therefore, although conventions are often pointless since they are so stage-managed and planned, that nothing new or original ever seems to emerge from them, this year's convention will be historic regardless of whether or not it is dull and dim. This spirit of supposed openess, progressivity and America laying to rest its racial ghosts, is perfect for the questions about the "promise" of America that my island and the history of American colonialism that Chamorros have experienced represent. By going to the convention I will be a colonial citizen, walking amongst those who control the fate of my island, those who determine its future, and determine how much military it will be forced to host. Although we tend to imagine Republicans as the more militaristic and aggressive party, in terms of military expansion there is little difference between both parties, and so on one of the fundamental issues that tie the US to Guam (America's military presence there) Chamorros and others on Guam can expect little from the United States. To those who know, Guam belongs to the US and exists to be militarized by it.

At the convention I will seek allies in the struggle for decolonization on Guam, but the lack of knowledge and overwhelming belief in American greatness will make this difficult. An incredulous "Why would anyone want to leave the United States?" will be mashed together with "America doesn't have colonies" to create a wall of disbelief and indifference. My basic hope for the convention must therefore be to inform those present about Guam, but not in the usual ways that people accomplish this, by reminding people that Guam is American, and then begging for recognition and trying to prove how American the island is. But to inform them about Guam in all its uncomfortable forms, as a site of American imperialism, militarism and colonialism that continues up until today. Tonight, I took a break from dissertation writing, and instead spent some time doing research on who I would like to interview during the convention and what questions I would like to ask them. I have to admit, I am both eagerly anticipating and dreading the blank, perplexed looks on some of the faces of Congressmen when I ask them to comment on how the military buildup in Guam will affect the possibilities for the island's decolonization, which has been mandated by the United Nations.

Be sure to stay tuned on my blog for more updates on the convention. In the meantime, check out the full list of blogs below which are being credentialed for the Convention. Hu gof agradesi este na oppotunidat. Taitai este na lista, ya sina un komprende. Gaige yu' gi halom noskuantos na gof matungo' na blogs. In other words, I'm very excited to be amongst such great company. I've been reading some of these blogs for a while now and I am honored to even be loosely linked to some of them.

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

2008 Democratic Convention Watch
http://demconwatch.blogspot.com/
43rdStateBlues.com
http://43rdstateblues.com/
AFL-CIO NOW Blog
http://blog.aflcio.org/
African American Political Pundit
http://africanamericanpoliticalpundit.com/
AMERICAblog.com
http://americablog.com/
Asian American Action Fund Blog
http://aaa-fund.com/
Badlands Blue
http://badlandsblue.com/
BAGnewsNotes
http://bagnewsnotes.com/
Beliefnet
http://beliefnet.com/
Bitch Ph.D.
http://bitchphd.blogspot.com/
Blogger News Network
http://bloggernews.net/
Blogging For Michigan
http://bloggingformichigan.com/
BlogHer
http://blogher.com/
Blue Hampshire
http://bluehampshire.com/
Blue Indiana
http://blueindiana.net/
Blue Jersey
http://bluejersey.com/
Blue Mass. Group
http://bluemassgroup.com/
BlueGrassRoots
http://bluegrassroots.org/
BlueNC.com
http://bluenc.com/
BlueOregon
http://blueoregon.com/
Buckeye State Blog
http://buckeyestateblog.com/
Burnt Orange Report
http://burntorangereport.com/
Calitics
http://calitics.com/
Campus Progress
http://campusprogress.org/
Celtic Diva's Blue Oasis
http://divasblueoasis.blogspot.com/
Change to Win
http://changetowin.org/
The Colorado Independent
http://coloradoindependent.com/
Cotton Mouth Blog
http://cottonmouthblog.blogspot.com/
CracktheBell.com
http://crackthebell.com/
Crooks and Liars
http://crooksandliars.com/
culturekitchen
http://culturekitchen.com/
Daily Kingfish
http://dailykingfish.com/
Daily Kos
http://dailykos.com/
Dallas South Blog
http://dallassouthblog.com/
DCist.com
http://dcist.com/
Democracy Arsenal
http://democracyarsenal.org/
Democracy for New Mexico
http://democracyfornewmexico.com/
Democratic Party of the U.S. Virgin Islands
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/democratvi
Democratic Underground
http://democraticunderground.com/
Democrats Abroad Argentina
http://yanquimike.com.ar/
DemoOkie
http://demookie.com/
Digby's Hullabaloo
http://digbysblog.blogspot.com/
Disaboom.com
http://disaboom.com/
Doc's Political Parlor
http://politicalparlor.net/
DoubleSpeak
http://doublespeakshow.com/
Eschaton
http://atrios.blogspot.com/
EverydayCitizen.com
http://everydaycitizen.com/
Fired Up!
http://firedupmissouri.com/
Firedoglake
http://firedoglake.com/
Florida Progressive Coalition
http://flaprogressives.org/
Future Majority
http://futuremajority.com/
Georgia Politics Unfiltered
http://georgiaunfiltered.blogspot.com/
Green Mountain Daily
http://greenmountaindaily.com/
Grist Magazine
http://grist.org/
Group News Blog
http://www.groupnewsblog.net/
HispanicTips.com
http://hispanictips.com/
HorsesAss.org
http://horsesass.org/
HummingbirdMinds Blog
http://hummingbirdminds.blogspot.com/
iLind.net
http://ilind.net/
Indianz.com
http://indianz.com/
Jack and Jill Politics
http://www.jackandjillpolitics.com/
Jusiper
http://jusiper.blogspot.com/
Keystone Politics
http://keystonepolitics.com/
KnoxViews
http://knoxviews.com/
Las Vegas Gleaner
http://lasvegasgleaner.com/
Left In Alabama
http://leftinalabama.com/
Left in the West
http://leftinthewest.com/
Michigan Liberal
http://michiganliberal.com/
Minnesota Independent
http://minnesotaindependent.com/
MOMocrats
http://momocrats.typepad.com/
My Left Nutmeg
http://myleftnutmeg.com/
MyDD
http://mydd.com/
New Nebraska Network
http://newnebraska.net/
NewsOne.com
http://newsone.com/
No Rest for the Awake
http://minagahet.blogspot.com/
NorthDecoder.com
http://northdecoder.com/
Obsidian Wings
http://obsidianwings.blogs.com/
Ohio Daily Blog
http://ohiodailyblog.com/
OliverWillis.com
http://oliverwillis.com/
Open Left
http://openleft.com/
Pam's House Blend
http://pamshouseblend.com/
Political Base
http://politicalbase.com/
Political Wire
http://politicalwire.com/
PoliticalLunch.com
http://politicallunch.com/
PolitickerNJ.com
http://politickernj.com/
PoliticsOnline
http://politicsonline.com/
Pop and Politics
http://popandpolitics.com/
Prairie State Blue
http://prairiestateblue.com/
RaceWire
http://racewire.org/
Raising Kaine
http://raisingkaine.com/
Raw Story
http://rawstory.com/
Rhode Island's Future
http://rifuture.org/
Room 8
http://r8ny.com/
Rum, Romanism and Rebellion
http://rumromanismrebellion.net/
RuralVotes
http://ruralvotes.com/thefield
Scholars & Rogues
http://scholarsandrogues.com/
Seeing the Forest
http://seeingtheforest.com/
Sepia Mutiny
http://sepiamutiny.com/
SquareState.net
http://squarestate.net/
Talking Points Memo
http://talkingpointsmemo.com/
TalkLeft
http://talkleft.com/
Taylor Marsh
http://taylormarsh.com/
The Albany Project
http://thealbanyproject.com/
The Center for Emerging Media
http://centerforemergingmedia.com/
The Iowa Independent
http://iowaindependent.com/
The Natchez Blog
http://natchezms.blogspot.com/
The Seminal
http://theseminal.com/
The UpTake
http://theuptake.org/
The Utah Amicus
http://utahamicus.com/
The Washington Independent
http://washingtonindependent.com/
Think Youth
http://thinkyouth.org/
Thought Theater
http://thoughttheater.com/
TommyWonk
http://tommywonk.blogspot.com/
Tondee's Tavern
http://tondeestavern.com/
Towleroad
http://towleroad.com/
Turn Maine Blue
http://turnmaineblue.com/
Under The Dome.com
http://underthedome.com/
Uppity Wisconsin
http://uppitywis.org/
USAmerica Vota '08
http://usamericavota08.blogspot.com/
VivirLatino.com
http://vivirlatino.com/
West Virginia Blue
http://wvablue.com/
What About Our Daughters? Blog
http://whataboutourdaughters.com/
Working Life
http://workinglife.org/
Zennie's Zeitgeist
http://zennie2005.blogspot.com/

3 comments:

dmeinert said...

Seattle's Blue Scholars and Common Market are headed to Denver during the DNC, joining other groups like Rage Against the Machine and Flobots, to take part in the historic progressive demonstrations during the Democratic National Convention. They will be taking part in events put on by the Re-Create 68 Alliance and the Tent State Music Festival. All the info is below (More shows will be announced soon) .

Sunday, August 24:
End the Occupations/End the War March & Rally 9am – 2pm
West Steps of the State Capitol Building to the Pepsi Center (This will be Denver’s largest anti-war, anti-illegal occupations march and rally.)

Speakers (Alphabetical): Ida Audeh – Palestinian Refugee, Kathleen Cleaver – Black Panthers, Ward Churchill – Long-time Author, Activist, and Scholar
Chairman Fred Hampton Jr. – Prisoners of Conscience Committee, Larry Hales – World Worker’s Party, Larry Holmes – Troops Out Now Coalition, Ron Kovic – anti-war activist, veteran and author of Born On The Fourth of July, Cynthia Mckinney – Green Party United States Presidential Candidate, Glenn Spagnuolo – Re-create 68 Alliance

Bands: David Rovic – State Capitol Steps, kicking of the rally
Dead Prez – State Capitol Steps, prior to the march
Blue Scholars & Common Market – Concert at State Capitol, after the march
Jim Page – State Capitol Steps, during the rally

_________________________________________________________

Tuesday, August 26th
Tent State Music Festival
http://tentstate.org/
City of Ceurnavaca Park, 20th St & Little Raven(across from the Skate Park)

In a sea of tents, Tent State University will be erected in City Park, Denver. Tent State will serve as an alternative university, teaching the tactics and strategies necessary to force an end to this war, hosting guest 'professors' such as Ralph Nader and Cynthia McKinney, and hold the Town Halls used to allow everyone the ability to democratically decide the days direction.

Tent State will serve as the music venue for the first radical music festival, the Tent State Music Festival, hosting artists such as Jello Biafra, The Coup, and some very special guests. It will host an unending list of activities and installations, such as the WARGAMES Anti-War Fashion show which aims to highlight the consequences of war on women, and Backbone Campaign's "Funeral for the Past" installation.

Most importantly, Tent State will serve as basecamp for activists and organizations to strategize, stage, and execute actions from throughout the week. It will also house first aid tents by the Colorado Street Medics, drop off points for social media, and other tools.

Tent State University at the DNC is part of the Alliance for Real Democracy which includes local and national groups as diverse as United for Peace and Justice, Iraq Veterans Against the War, Indigenous Support Network, local SDS chapters, World Can't Wait, CODEPINK, and others.

Blue Scholars 9 - 10 pm
Common Market 8:30 - 9pm
P Nuckle 8 - 8:30 pm
David Rovics 7:30 - 8 pm
DJ Russh 7 - 7:30 pm
Kombat 6:30 - 7 pm

hyndm said...

hi! just wanted to say how much i enjoy and appreciate your blog. i found you through google alerts on "decolonization"...i'm also writing a dissertation. my focus is on the struggle for national belonging at the time of decolonization -- looking at the West Indies. your blog has really helped expand the meaning of decolonization beyond the standard "transfer of power"
thanks!

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