Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Guam's Real Injustice

          Guam. It's small, it's quaint, it's America, it's ignored. I read an article the other day. Pointing fingers is rude, so I will go another route. The article's title included the two words "Guam" and Injustice". I was excited to see this. There are a lot of injustices that are tied in with the island. After reading the article I could not have been more disappointed. The "injustice" the article was speaking of was how Chamorros, the native people of Guam, were having problems getting into bars with their Guam IDs on the mainland. Yes this is an injustice, but probably closer to the bottom of the list.
          Let's get a really quick history lesson first. Guam is in the Western Pacific. Far, far, far away. Only a few hours flight from Japan and the Philippines. The Chamorro people have been there for about 4,000 years. They speak Chamorro and eat awesome food. The Spanish got there in the 16th century, and took possession of the island. It was given up to America during the Spanish-American War in 1898. Fast forwarding to World War II, when the Japanese hit Pearl Harbor, they took over the island. What followed was horrible. They enslaved the people, raped, and beheaded them :( . The Japanese forced their beliefs on them and attempted to wipe out the idea they ever existed. That's cruel and really didn't happen that long ago. That generation is still living today.
          The military presence on the island is pretty incredible. Anderson Air Force Base sits on one side of the island and a very large Naval Base on the other. The United States Government has budgeted and planned a military buildup on the island that will take place over the coming years. With all of this military presence on the island you would think corruption would be hard to come by. Wrong.
         The corruption of their government is the injustice that needs recognition. The cops get involved with human trafficking, and are known drug users. On top of that the government has led the island into some of the highest rates of tuberculosis and child molestation. The effects this has on the Chamorro people is not good.
          The Chamorros are a battered culture. Strong, humble, and resilient. They are also natural born citizens of the United States of America. This means they are just as important as anyone else in the country. I know if any people stateside were going through the same problems they would have been solved. This is unfair treatment and this is injustice. Not being able to get into bars? That just sucks. This is the opinion of one man.