10 May 2012

Chamorro Patriotism and Perceptions of American Colonialism

Kopbla Amerika #2: Chamorro Patriotism

One issue that every young Chamorro activist has to deal with, is the same issue that so many on Guam struggle with; their relationship to the United States. 

Guam's relationship to the US in general is ambiguous, it may be considered very American one moment, but then barely American the next. People from their may be the epitome of Americanness one moment, and then foreigners the next. 

This is not really an issue of active racism, but just a result of the basic relationship between a territory and its colonizer. Such is the nature of all fundamentally unequal power relationships. 

When one is supposed to be over another, there is a wide gray area where both benevolence and tyranny and be found. If we recall the era of slavery in the US for example, you could treat your slaves like garbage or you could treat them like members of your family. Either way was allowed. 

There was no rule that said you have to be especially cruel or that you have to torture or maim them, but there was also no rule that said you have to be very nice and polite to them and consult them about anything dealing with them. 

Such is the nature of any relationship where one is supposed to be over another. Being nice doesn't change the relationship and neither does being mean. Both of them are possible reactions, and so many times people on Guam make the easy mistake of assuming that because the US is nice to Guam, that means the island can't be a colony. 

Read the full article here.

No comments: