This blog is dedicated to Chamorro issues, the use and revitalization of the Chamoru language and the decolonization of Guam. This also blog aims to inform people around the world about the history, culture and language and struggles of the Chamorro people, who are the indigenous islanders of Guam, Saipan, Tinian, Luta and Pagan in the Mariana Islands. Pues Haggannaihon ha', ya taitai na'ya, ya Si Yu'us Ma'ase para i finatto-mu.
I just made a donation in support of the film "The Monique Baza Story." It is an exciting upcoming film that tackles a serious issue on Guam, violence against women, in particular sexual violence, which according to the film's producers happens on Guam at a rate significantly higher per capita than a teeming metropolis like New York City. The film tells the story of Monique Baza who was kidnapped and raped in 2012 and after seeing the disastrous state of Guam's legal system and support system of victims, decided to speak out. Last year Chamorro Studies and Women and Gender Studies at UOG invited her along with several others to come and speak at a forum on sexual violence. Not all victims are able to respond the way she has, some find it too difficult and daunting to deal with the burden and society's inability sometimes to negotiate their emotion wounding or the social wound that their attack has revealed that few want to admit to or deal with.
I have been writing about a "military buildup" to Guam for more than 10 years now. In 2004, there were hints of a buildup to Guam and in 2005 the first formal parts of a buildup to Guam were announced. There were constant discussions for years as numbers shifted and plans were released and later changed or scrapped. There was a period of intense debate for about two years when formal plans were released and public comment began. Despite quite a bit of resistance to the Department of Defense's plans, they went through with their Record of Decision. The rhetoric of the DOD was that these plans were set and things needed to be pushed forward at record pace. Things slowed down considerable however, due to funding restrictions, economic downturns, a change in administration and military priorities shifting elsewhere. But the funny thing about the "buildup" is that while we can focus it around certain particular projects or acts, the military importance of not just …
The Chamorro language is heard less and less around Guam nowadays. I couldn’t speak Chamorro for most of my life and so the Chamorro I heard around me was generally like noise to my ears. My grandmother speaking Chamorro to her friends when I was young was nothing but old people chatter. Sometime it was fun to just watch, but for the most part, I'm sure none of that had anything to do with me. My grandfather speaking Chamorro to other men his age at the barber shop was an irritating soundtrack. There was Chamorro everywhere, but when I was younger I couldn’t understand it and so I didn’t really care.
But nowadays it is becoming scarcer. You can still hear it on the
radio and sometimes in businesses that play KISH or Isla 630 on the
weekends. You can still hear it in church sometimes. You can hear it
when older people gather. The last politician who would regularly speak Chamorro in their speeches or on the floor of the Legislature passed away last year. There is even a month ou…
One reason why there is little to no momentum globally with regards to decolonization is the fact that most of the remaining colonies in the world are far flung, midget land masses in the middle of vast oceans. They are small and far away and that combined with the overall apathy that the world feels with regards to continuing forms of really existing colonialism, creates an easy recipe for taya'ya'ya.
Knowledge and information can lead to networks of solidarity, ties of political and social imagination that can make the plight of the remaining colonies of the world feel more important, more relevant, more significant than the complaints of islanders who will never be self-sustainable.
If you do not already follow this blog, please begin to do so. Here is a sampling of the recent articles you will find posted there:
It is very exciting to read all the celebration over the Supreme Court of the US and their decision to legalize same-sex marriage. The US will now enter a period where same-sex marriage will hopefully disappear as a distinction and eventually there will just be "marriage."
It has been interesting however to follow the dissent that Antonin Scalia filed against the ruling, as well as his dissent against the Supreme Court's approval of Obamacare. In my social media feeds it seems like nearly everyone is ecstatic about these victories, but every once in a while someone, a friend on Facebook for instance will post something lamenting the downfall of the US because of these decisions. Usually it has Scalia's face on it with some snarky and ignorant quote such as the one above.
Antonin Scalia Dissent in Marriage Equality Case Is Even More Unhinged Than You'd Think
by Ryan Grim and Arthur Delaney
Hafa un bandera? Sina ta li'e' todu i tinaotao-ta rinepresesenta gi ayu na dikike' na kosa. Gi i banderan Amerikanu, sina ta li'e' i haga' Chamorro gi meggai na gera di i ma'pos na sitklo. Sina ta li'e' gi i inapa'ka i "racism" gi taimanu manmatrata hit desde ma chule' i tano'-ta gi 1898. Gi i banderan Guahan, sina ta li'e' i kuttura-ta, i guinaha-ta. Gaige guihi lokkue' patten ginnen i estoria-ta.
Gof uniku i bandera-ta gi entre todu i nasion sa' ta pega i na'an i tano'-ta guihi guatu. Gof annok gi mata-na i palabra "Guahan." Sigun este sina ta alok na dichicheng hit na klasen taotao. Gof dikike' ya sen ti annok hit gi i mundo ya humuyongna ta sen fatta i na'an-ta gi i bandera-ta.
Lao para kada sinangan na gaibali este na bandera, guaha otro sumasangan na taibali este, kulot, linakse, hilachas ha'.
I asunto put i banderan Confederate giya South Carolina muna'hasso yu' pu…
There is so much that we can say about "terrorism."
For most people this is something you connect to the most terrible acts humans can commit. You hurt people, soldiers, civilians, anything. You treat them like objects, and use them like weapons, wood to create flames from your political fire. Although we my be accustomed to conceiving that some cultures are more predisposed to commit acts of terrorism that others, in truth we find the potential for this type of human damage within all peoples.
But there is generally a difference in how we assign value and meaning to these acts. Although people may articulate that there is a clear and simple truth to naming something terrorism, this is not the case. People will hedge and fudge constantly when confronted with this type of violence, depending on their relationship to who has committed it and how they see that person in terms of the ideological coordinates that form their identity. Terrorism in its most virulent form, in the …