I often get hateful emails and hateful comments through my blog and other web media that I run. But this morning I received my first official 2008 Democratic National Convention piece of hate-mail!
I'll leave off the person's name, but as is obvious from the email he is not a very intelligent or respectful person. He was directed to my blog from the Pacific Daily News web article and comments on my trip to Denver as Guam's blogger. Here's his comment, a warning though, its not very well thought out:
i learned about your blog from today's pdn article: http://www.guampdn.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080825/NEWS01/808250301/1002 i was impressed that one of my island brothers was going to the DNC to represent us Guam folk so i visited your blog. your blog was way too radical for my tastes, but at least you were a guam islander is what i thought. then i went back to the article at PDN and a commenter posted that you don't even live in guam and is a california guy living in san diego. i was a bit surprised and disappointed.
so i just want to say that you better not be one of those "Guamanian phonies" that i've too often met. when i used to live in the states too often i would meet people who had some connection to guam -- maybe their parents were born and raised on Guam, but they were born in the states or came to the states when they were very young, and they lived in the states their whole life, and so they didn't know the true Guamanian spirit or culture but they were all "I'm from Guam! I'm a Guamanian! Look at me! I'm a Guam guy/girl!" but they were not genuine or sincere and just did it to be different and get some exotic points. but for us true islanders, it's never about being different or getting some exotic points, but about "real" and "true." we are genuine and sincere. so if your a Guamanian phony, i say: knock it off because your hurting the image and reputation of us true Guamanians who show the true island spirit just because and not to earn exotic points. i'm sick and tired of seeing Guamanian phonies.
If you ever want to see the basest sorts of opinions and prejudices then go to the web comments of the PDN. I don't know if this person posts on PDN or not, but this comment is a sad example of that sort of nonsense.
You'll find a few people who are thinking either liberally or conservatively, but the majority of peope use the comment function to simply vomit up some rancid gut opinion, without even reading the article, knowing whats going on. But knowledge or critical thinking are actually things which weaken you in comment wars. What really makes you powerful is stupid mindless attacks on single words, spelling errors or just name calling. The comment sections for websites like the PDN or even Youtube are all about stamina, who can say more dumb things and keep commenting until the other person or people give up.
I was told that on the page for the article there are plenty more ridiculous comments. Once again it seems that the PDN performs admirably its role in nurturing ignorance and stupidity on Guam.
I thought for a few minute over the best way to respond. Should I give him my background, my history, my ties to Guam? Should I try to break down for him the stupidity of the argument that all Chamorros on Guam are more authentic than all Chamorros in the states? Should I ignore him? Is this a possible teaching moment? Or is this person mumamatmos gi i taitiningo'-na?
In the end I decided to take the high road, but in a very simple way. Here is my response:
Ai adai, mampos tairespetu hao. Ginnen iyo-mu email mampos annok na ti un tungo' i espiritun Chamoru, sa' ti taiguenao. Yanggen este i kustumbre-mu, pues ti magahet na Chamoru hao. I magahet na Chamoru, gairespetu todu tiempo, nu i mangga'chong-na, yan nu i manenimigu-na lokkue'. Yanggen ti komprendeyon este nu Hagu, buente Hagu i mismo na "Guamanian phony."
Ti guailaya na bai hu apreda hao hayi yu'. An guaha finaisen-mu, faisen ha'! Lao anggen un duda yu' kontiempo sin rason, pues taitiningo' yan taibali hao.