Self-inflicted slavery


The word slavery has various shades of meaning depending upon how it is used. One meaning is the “condition of being subject to some influence…”

In this instance, I’d like to use it as a metaphor describing how we’ve ignored things that matter. Slavery is the monstrosity that emerged from this loose behavior. We are the slaves!

Technically, we don’t have slavery here or anything similar to what we’ve learned in U.S. History. Ours is somewhat different but no less insistently troubling.

It’s ignorance and greed. A bold view but not quite ready for immersion with sanctimonious diplomacy or call it political niceties.

We habitually ignore things that matter. Or we simply avoid honest and candid discussions with the view to understanding clearly what’s at issue. We’re in self-denial, slamming the door of open debate to what admittedly are difficult and unpopular issues. This is exacerbated by the loss of our spiritual anchor. We’ve simply ignored consistent pursuit of the truth. Out the window goes direction and purpose, royally failing attaining success.

In the context explained herein, slavery is just as horribly and powerfully destructive force against innocent indigenous people whose decision was swayed from within. Coupled with moneyed casino peddlers (when most folks have been forced into subterranean poverty level) must be a grand design to tiptoe casino and accompanying collateral issues through the garden of silence.

I’ve heard passionate advocacy for “Our Way” under the guidance of time-honored tradition while simultaneously trashing the very essence of its preservation. It’s grand hypocrisy rolled into one. We double it up turning ultra-passive, placid and observers of our own instant ignorance, convinced that heading toward the cliff is the right direction. It’s what suits instant gratification that rules the day! Clever but incorrigible pundits have pushed the multitude against a brighter future. Conscientious effort to guide the multitude simply disappeared in thin air.

As we waltz with ignorance and greed thoughtful vision fades into history. Perhaps it’s time to escape from the ridiculous echo of the budding phenomena. Other important issues have started sprouting. But I’d leave that to evil geniuses to dispose.

As slaves of ignorance and greed, we still vote in midterm and general elections. At least we vote! As op-ed writer Jose Ma. Montelibano of the Philippine Daily Inquirer recently pointed out: “That alone (voting) should qualify them to be deemed free, but it has not, it does not. Freedom is not about voting, it is about choices, various, accessible choices.

“Choices have to be a reality to the majority. And I speak here of the most fundamental, even elemental, of choices, like dignity, security, shelter, food, and mobility. Voting is not an adequate substitute for all these human needs. And voting by those greatly in need will go the way toward the satisfaction of those needs before anything else.” Yes, money, ignorance and greed were rolled into a new layer of subculture. Sad.

Immigration is federal law
The NMI needs large numbers of foreign workers to build the casino project. It involves dealing with federal immigration law requirement, warned Delegate Kilili recently.

Was this aspect—now federal purview—thoroughly reviewed or was it disposed of in the comforts of grand mañana? This issue would entail lots of square dancing provided we have a sense of beat to follow the music. Immigration is federal law!

Wasn’t the NMI mandated to end employment of foreign workers over the next five years? It isn’t necessarily positive law for developmental purpose. Obviously, it’s an issue that requires lots of work on the other side of the Pacific.

Next is infrastructure deficit or lack thereof for the casino project and need for public land. Now do you see my point about lack of due diligence? Any planned development requires the emplacement of basic infrastructure in advance. We’re talking water, power, sewer and roads. And we’re also talking millions of dollars for this purpose. Lest real plans are in place on this score, it’s all second-guessing and reliant upon how soon we meet our end of the bargain. Am I making sense?

Loss of mooring
The slow though steady loss of our ways is fast tracked by the simultaneous fade of our spiritual anchor or mooring. The NMI community was founded upon a religious culture. It strengthens our sense of humanity in upholding what’s right. We seem to have distanced ourselves from it. Does it matter to us anymore?

The silent acquiescence to steadily do away with the time-honored cultural traditions of these isles has begun. By the time the boat is halfway downstream it would be too late shifting to head the other way.

More folks would have adopted loose attitude in most everything they do. Familial unity slips into disunity and the idea of holding unto strong indigenous Christian values head out the front door.

As the spirit of the indigenous people is viciously challenged and drained our children are left to eventually yearn for something hugely missing that was once a part of them. It takes vision and leadership to engage serious work regrouping our people to reset indigenous buttons.

Troubling eerie silence
After the dust of the recent gubernatorial runoff settles, there’s a distant eerie silence chiming repeatedly with bad omen. I can’t place my finger on the two-headed beastly monster. But it insistently crashes upon our shores searching for some strange prey.

It would eventually show up in our backyards bringing gifts of sadness, joy and humiliation. It’s an interesting development in our long and confused journey in a democracy. Perhaps the usual discordancy has as its scaffold grand mañana convinced everything is cool. Is it really?

Unless issues are explained in forthright fashion, the green bag speaks volumes overtaking conscience. Incorrigible pundits have the upper hand especially a day before the runoff. This political chicanery is set to sail into the sunset.

John S. Del Rosario Jr. | Contributing Author
John DelRosario Jr. is a former publisher of the Saipan Tribune and a former secretary of the Department of Public Lands.

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