Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Sweet Colonial Lies

A question that more people should ask themselves on island, "Are you down for the movement?"

You shouldn't downgrade this question to simply asking are you on the side of the people singing, or are you a part of an activist group or a chant group. Although the people who will ask you those things may be avowed members of groups, and may be the one to assert very forcefully and openly that they belong to something, este na kinalamten, ti iyon-niha ha'. This movement is larger than them alone. It is something that has been so long in coming, and has always been here as long as Guam has been a colony. It has taken so many forms, but it is always nurtured forth by the discontent of being ruled by another, being lied to by another, being taken advantage by another, and not getting the basic respect or dignity you deserve.

Colonization comes with fictions, it comes with dichicheng na mames na dinagi, it comes with so many sweet little lies. When your house is on fire, colonization comes with lies that can make you feel like everything is alright, you don't have to move, you don't have to lift a finger, someone else will save you, nothing is going to happen to you, because so long as the colonizer is in charge, you will always be ok. Colonization is a process that rids the colonized of the feeling of their own momentum. You wait for cues or signs as if the colonizer is God and you hopes and pray that all will be well so long as you are loyal and faithful. This is why "self-determination" is supposed to be essential to fixing the problems of colonialism. Is that the colonized was prevented from moving during their colonization. They were cut off from their resources, their lands, their culture, their destiny and so on. Self-determination is meant to be an act that will create anew their lost momentum. That is what it ideally is supposed to be, but as history as shown, it doesn't always turn out that way, as newly born countries become easily entangled in neo-colonial frameworks, that work suspiciously just like the colonial ones.

The colonization creates fictions, but it also creates its counter, it creates a movement that moves against it. That is why, even though Guam can be considered one of the luckiest colonies in human history, there can still and should always still be discontent, there should always be a problem with the colonial relationship. The movement that you should ask yourself if you are down with, is the one that is derived from this decolonizing impulse. As people seek to resolve and get past all the trauma of Guam's colonial past, as they seek a better future and not one where they feel hopelessly dependent upon the US, as they seek to be more sustainable and take better care of ourselves, these are all parts of that movement.

The question that every person should ask is whether or not they are down with this movement? Are they ready to accept that Guam's status should change? Are they ready to accept that the current way of life here is not sustainable? Are they down to do something about this, or will they merely consume more of the sweet, comforting lies of colonization?

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