Volume 3 Issue 7 - September 4, 2005 http://www.geocities.com/freeguahan minagahet@hotmail.com

 

Hafa Adai, yan welcome to i bente dos na Minagahet

Its been a while since the last Minagahet and I should apologize for that. The reason its tinague being that I've been spending so much time lately fighting the enemy of Chamorro survival. No, its not GovGuam, Hip Hop, or "modernization."

Its common sense.

Hunggan, un taitai este magahet siempre, common sense is our enemy. Or rather it is, for those who are really concerned with the survival of Chamorro culture and language. For those who aren't, common sense is their best friend. Common sense is what gives them consistency, what so lovingly blinds them, what comforts them and keeps them in inaction.

These are general statements yes, but it seemed necessary to approach this issue from this general a standpoint. Go throughout our lives as Chamorros, whether in Guam, the Marianas or in the diaspora (the states or elsewhere) and you'll see the ways that colonization continues forcefully and sometimes enthusiastically, through what we consider to be common sense.

Guam and the military is a perfect example. As is Guam's relationship to the United States. Or how about how Max Havoc was welcomed into Guam? But you could even extend this is how we think about culture, identity and I've learned most recently, language. The common sense understandings that people propose are the very things which help us colonize ourselves. In July, The New York Times published an article which described Guam and the other American territories and colonies in the Pacific as poor, boring, backwater areas where the only way people can achieve their dreams (American dreams of course), is by joining the military. When I read this the first time I laughed sadly, because it sounded so much like the infamous ESPN story, but I knew that very few people would see this similarity and in fact most people would respond to this article by saying, "yes, its sad that we are so dependent on America, but at least we do our part by supporting the troops! (or becoming the troops)." Common sense dictates that this New York Times article isn't bad, just sad. Even though it portrays these areas as being backwards and hopelessly dependent, because its mentions that people on Guam are really patriotic and do their job for the US, this article isn't something we should be angry about or mad about. I wonder, if the infamous ESPN story had said that Chamorros and others on Guam are so patriotic that they give up their daughters to the first white sailor they see, would people have gotten so upset? Probably not.

So if you are interested in Chamorro survival be wary of common sense. Be wary of moments where things feel absolutely completely right, such as "Guam is dependent upon the military, and there's nothing we can do about it," or "water privatization is a good idea," or anything having to do with how wonderfully American we are. And be mindful of people who will try to pass off uncommon or radical things as being common sense things that we need to "get past." Good examples of these are "Chamorros always play the victim," or "Chamorros blame everything on colonization," and anything having to do with how we bite the hand that feeds us. 

If your looking for a place to discuss this further, our message board, FANAHGUE'YAN is an ideal spot. We are always looking for people who are practically drowning in common sense, because they always start intense and interesting conversations. But we are more so looking for people who want to try and tear that stuff down.

When I said that I've been fighting common sense recently you can check out my blog, No Rest for the Awake, for more info on that. Its my site for venting the frustration over the sheer numbers of emails I receive from Chamorros out there who can't see past themselves or their egos. My most recent wars over common sense have been about language, but when you're from one of the last official colonies in the world, you know that another war is always looming on the horizon.

 

Sahuma Minagahet yan Na'suha Dinagi

Sahuma

 

ARTICLES

Hollywood comes to Guam, then leaves: The True Max Havoc Story

By Ralph Coon

Update on The Kamehameha Schools

By Jennifer Kaneolani Miyamoto

Recommendations for the University of California System to provide equal educational access for Pacific Islanders.

Tinige' Si Michael Lujan Bevacqua

Guam International Letter against water privatization

A letter to those around the world who have felt firsthand the harsh and terrible reality of natural resource privatization to join in solidarity with those on Guam who are resisting the privatization of Guam's water. The letter contains important information on water privatization failures from places such as Bolivia, the Philippines and Puerto Rico.

Students protest Guam's Militarizaton

By Mar-Vic Cagurangan from The Marianas Variety

Guma' Palu Li'e

Information for those interested in joining a Chamoru Chanting group.

Support the Troops?

Some quotes which put the current rhetoric justifying the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan into question.

Firm hired by Navy to Sway Vieques Vote

By JOHN J. LUMPKIN from the Associated Press

Historians Against the War

A conference for anti-war historians.

Chamorro Directory Solicitation Letter

From the Guam Communications Network.

A letter to all Chamorro owned Businesses, Entrepreneurs, Professionals, Consultants, Account Executives, Organizations, Fiesta Groups and Organizations/Businesses serving the Chamorro community.

 

To continue the discussion please link here to our forum board -

 

MINAGAHET is published by the Chamorro Information Activists, a non-profit, poorly funded and poorly staffed activist organization, created for the public benefit. Non-profit doesn't imply "non-profit status or anything" just that taya' suetdon-mami nu este. Pues an kala'u este, ti isao n-mami. Mismo i isaoni tinaigefsagan-mami. Copyright 2003. 2004, 2005 MINAGAHET. All rights reserved. We aren't sure what that means, but we see it put at the bottom of other things, and the last thing we want to do is get in trouble for not telling people that all our rights are reserved as well.  http://www.geocities.com/freeguahan minagahet@yahoo.com or kopbla_amerika@hotmail.com