Showing posts from May, 2014

"Micronesian" Solidarity

For "Sindalu" the Guam Humanities Council Exhibit that I am working on, one of the tasks I did was to collect as many of the articles about Chamorros that have died in Afghanistan and Iraq as possible. Part of the problem with collecting these articles is that many of the Chamorro soldiers who have died lived elsewhere and were recruited outside of the Marianas. Sometimes these soldiers will show up in lists of dead from the Marianas, sometimes they don't. These lists are also more complicated by the fact that some of them will include the deaths of soldiers who were deployed but not killed in combat and others will exclude them.

What makes it even more convoluted is that the metrics for counting the dead has changed as well. During Vietnam, the number was strictly Chamorros, even though there were a handful of soldiers from other islands in Micronesia who did serve. But in the Wars on Terror, the fights in Afghanistan, Iraq and the Horn of Africa, more and more non-Cha…

Language Pockets

Next week I'll be starting my Chamorro summer classes, and so those who are on Guam and interested in attending need to get in contact with me to learn the meetings dates and times. I've had these Chamorro classes for four years now, and they are alot of fun for me, and a good way to test out things that I eventually use when I teach Chamorro in a more formal setting. Below is a narrative I put together to shed light on how the classes evolved.
************************* I did not grow up speaking Chamorro. I am what is referred to as a “non-native” Chamorro language speaker. I only learned to speak Chamorro after taking classes at the University of Guam and also convincing my grandparents to speak to me in Chamorro. My experience in learning Chamorro was difficult. While I was supported by some, too many others were not supportive and were very counter-productive in my learning. The Chamorro language has come to the point where it is not quite dead, but clearly dying. Those who …

Asia Pacific Pivot Points

Published on Tuesday, May 27, 2014 by Common Dreams From Jeju and Afghanistan, an Asia Peace Pivot by Hakim
Mi Ryang, standing with Gangjeong Village Association members and Gangjeong’s mayor, outside the Jeju Courts, to refuse paying fines for protests against the U.S. naval base construction. (Courtesy of the author)“Don’t you touch me!” declared Mi Ryang.
South Korean police were clamping down on a villager who was resisting the construction of a Korean/U.S. naval base at her village.  Mi Ryang managed to turn the police away by taking off her blouse and, clad in her bra, walking toward them with her clear warning.  Hands off!  Mi Ryang is fondly referred to as “Gangjeong’s daughter” by villagers who highly regard her as the feisty descendant of legendary women sea divers.  Her mother and grandmother were Haenyo divers who supported their families every day by diving for shellfish.
Since 2007, every day without fail, Mi Ryang has stood up to militarists destroyi…

White Fright

The Santa Barbara Mass Shooting, Elliot Rodger, and Aggrieved White Male Entitlement Syndrome

When an entire social structure has been erected to reinforce the lie that white folks are "normal" and "Others" are "deviant," it can be very difficult to break out of denial.  By Chauncey DeVega Alternet May 24, 2014

As I often ask, "what shall we do with the white people?" 
When an "Arab" or "Muslim" American kills people in mass they are a "terrorist". When a black person shoots someone they are "thugs". When a white man commits a mass shooting he is "mentally ill" or "sick". 
Whiteness and white privilege are the luxury to be an individual, one whose behavior reflects nothing about white people as a group. 
There will not be a national discussion of a culture of "white pathology" or how white Americans may have a "cultural problem" with their young men and gun violence. …

We Are Comments

To be very honest I used to hate the comments on the Guam PDN website before. Every couple of weeks someone would tell me something someone was saying about me on in the threads. I wouldn't often check it out, but when I did it was never pleasant. It was like a no-reality zone there for most people. I would be called all sorts of names and people would make up some pretty insane things about me. The PDN comments were filled with so many people who had left Guam behind, but their disdain for the people of the island or disgust for the island burned brighter than ever. That disconnect was very intriguing for me. How the people who took that space the most seriously in terms of dominating it with their ideas were those who probably at the least to gain or least actual investment or connection to what they were arguing over.

Since the PDN changed their comments over to Facebook and requiring that people be signed into Facebook in order to comment the dialogue has cleaned up quite a b…