Showing posts from September, 2019

Third Options

An interesting discussion on the possibilities of a "third" option when thinking about decolonization in the Pacific. In Guam, I have written about the risks or dangers of "fourth kinds" or "fourth options," but I still found this article to be enlightening. 
In Guam, I refer to the fourth kind as potential political status traps. Decolonization in the most general sense is about achieving a genuine level of self-governance. There are, as we can see in the world today, a wide variety of arrangements whereby a colonizer or administering power can call a place self-governing, while still maintaining colonial control. 
For example, when looking at the United States, Puerto Rico is a "commonwealth" and isn't supposed to be a colony or non-self-governing territory anymore. But if you compare the status of Guam and Puerto Rico, their level of self-governance, they are almost in the exact same position, with only a fancy title separating them. Even t…

"Naked Racial Spoils Systems"

The clock is running out for the Government of Guam to decide if they plan to appeal the recent 9th Circuit Court's affirmation of the Dave Davis case. After the federal district judge in Guam, Francis Tydingco-Gatewood ruled in Davis' favor in 2017, the government of Guam appealed. They lost that appeal earlier this year. In a few weeks the Leon Guerrero administration will reveal their plans for the Davis case and hopefully the issue of a self-determination plebiscite in general. 

For those unfamiliar, the Davis case deals with a non-binding political status plebiscite codified in Guam law, that would be limited to only those who were made US citizens by the 1950 Organic Act and their descendants. Although not strictly a racial definition, the US federal courts have ruled that this classification known in Guam as "native inhabitants" is unconstitutional. 

The question that remains for Maga'håga Lou now is, what is Guam's next step? As she is the head of Guam&…

Grito de Lares

Recently at the Fanhita: Our Continuing Quests for Decolonization, I and the several hundred other attendees received updates on Puerto Rico from Wilma Reveron-Collazo. Her presentation "Puerto Rico Actually" provided a powerful genealogy of Puerto Rico's movement for decolonization, as well as American attempts to keep the island colonized or to hide its continuing colonization. 
Puerto Rico occupies an interesting place in the imaginary of Guam. It is a place very distant from us in geographic terms, but we nonetheless share a similar history of Spanish colonialism and a similar present of American colonialism. At a time when Puerto Rico and Cuba were developing their own nationalist and revolutionary movements, the same movements, albeit on a smaller level, were also developing on Guam. Both Guam and Puerto Rico exist in territorial/colonial relationships with the US, although they have different names. Puerto Rico is referred to as a commonwealth, although you would…

Fanohge: March for CHamoru Self-Determination