Your letter in the Saipan Tribune on June 13 says a lot about your beliefs, which would be commendable if this was 1814 but this is 2014. Incidentally, I hoisted more than a few with Francisco and Moses and we had some spirited debates while doing it. The United Nations Declaration you note, “that indigenous peoples have suffered from historic injustices…dispossession of their lands…preventing them from exercising…their right to development…their own needs and interests. …Control by indigenous peoples over developments affecting them and their lands…enable them to maintain…cultures and traditions…their aspirations and needs.”
I don’t see anything in there that says it’s OK to make other people suffer just because your forefathers have. You certainly haven’t. “Your land” is whatever land is recorded on a deed, duly registered at the clerk of court’s office. That’s your land—land that is being bought up by unscrupulous persons of Northern Marianas descent, whatever that means in 2014.
In this report by Dr. Untalan, of Chamorro ancestry from Guam, who, like you, has benefited tremendously from the largess of the U.S. education and other systems, says in her 30-year study of migration patterns of Chamorros in Guam and the Northern Marianas that you are flat out misinformed. Her figures are consistent with the U.S. census bureau.
In 1980…6,667 in the Northern Marianas…1990…12,948 in the Northern Marianas…2000…15,071 in the Northern Marianas…2010…10,411 in the Northern Marianas…July 2013 (estimated and from here on are my estimates)…51,170 people in the CNMI, and, using the same outflow rate of Chamorros from 2000 to 2010, would give us about 9,000 Chamorros in the Northern Marianas in June 2014. Dr. Untalan states, “While the population is increasing in all areas, the proportion of the Chamorro population on the islands is decreasing rapidly.”
Your U.N. report, which you think is so poignant, seems to be trumped by reality. That report is 7 years old. The reality is this—40 percent of your people have fled this paradise. I’m really, really interested to know why you think this is, given your view on culture and tradition. I talked to 50 people in Guam that moved there last year alone and their primary reason was the corruption and the culture it has spawned in the CNMI, their anger at not being in control of their land and the total lack of opportunity available to them and their children. These are your best people leaving. Migration researchers find that migrant groups are usually those members of society who want change, want to improve their living conditions, and are willing to make the necessary sacrifices. They have also been identified as the “cream of society.” Thus, the Mariana Islands might have lost some of its more vibrant Chamorros as a result of migration. The trend of increasing numbers of Chamorros living away from their home islands of Guam, Saipan, Tinian, and Rota is expected to continue into the next decades.
Your statement, “The failure of the Philippines, China, and other countries to create a satisfactory standard of living to prevent the exodus of their people to our island shores and elsewhere is secondary to the responsibility of the CNMI to the Chamorros and Carolinians. What are you talking about? Forty percent of your people have done just that. That’s a hypocritical, racists, bigoted, and just plain stupid statement in light of the facts. You are telling the world, and your own children, that Chamorros are better than other peoples on the planet. Can you give me the age of all the people here that agree with you because I talk to under-25 people and they don’t believe they are but some of the over-40 do and almost all of the over-60 do. Can this be a generational thing like hating gays and abortion and African-Americans not being equal with whites? I’ve been trying to explain that it’s 2014, the age of technology, global warming, globalization, equal rights, individual rights and universal rights.
You have sold these islands to a bunch of crooks in the guise of maintaining your beliefs, beliefs that seem to only be shared by the old, the tired and the worn-out under-educated PSS graduates. You are losing the very people you need to keep, the people endowed with creativity, adventurists’ spirit, curiosity, tenacity and the desire for more than a restrictive culture offers. Keep in mind that people that come here are not the “cream of the crop” either. They are trying to get away from something and will not use their full talents to help the young and that’s the full gamut from attorneys to teachers. You get what you pay for and you will pay now or pay later. I just can’t go along with your belief that it’s just fine for 40 percent of your people to move to the U.S. and get total rights immediately yet you are OK with denying others the same treatment. Are you honestly OK with breaking up families, sending mixed-race kids parents’ packing? Shame on you. It takes intelligent choices to solve today’s complex problems.
And this one really begs to be explained: “…have become marginalized by more powerful, self-centered interests.” By this I take it you mean its OK to get screwed by your own people but not by outsiders. That’s all it could mean. Inos and his band of crooked, secretive collaborates have already sold you out (as did his predecessors) to foreigners and I don’t hear you “shouting” from the rooftops. I guess its OK with you because these are local boys, is that your position? And, just look at what has happened in Guam. Oh the horror of it, those poor Guam Chamorros are outnumbered 3 to 1 by those no good foreigners, those land grabbing scoundrels, those uncouth barbarians, oh my goodness, my goodness, my goodness. FYI, in 2013, Guam only had three times Saipan’s population but 8.5 times its GDP. Take out the military spending and it’s still six times more than yours. Oh, those poor Guamanians. There are probably more Saipanese Chamorros living in Guam today than on Saipan.
Great pix of your family on your FB. Do they think its OK to separate families? You want to really help Chamorros and Carolinians, then help me get a touch screen tablet into the hands of every kid on the island, if you are really serious about jumpstarting your people into the 21st century. Below are sites you can find information at:
Chalan Piao, Saipan