decolonization / politiku

Personal Reflections on the OneGuam Debate

Who sounded most gubernatorial?  Unquestionably, Ray Tenorio, which makes sense, as he has the most recent experience as lieutenant governor.  He was very well-spoken.

Who was most dog-friendly?  Ray Tenorio mentioned, in another interview, recently getting a new puppy.

Who was most supportive of women’s rights, such as reproductive choice and protection against harassment and assault? Not discussed.  Frankly I’m either unaware of or in opposition to the candidates’ various stances here.  I’ll always remember the support the Calvo-Tenorio administration voiced for women when the horrible Ehlert scandal at UOG became public.

All of the candidates had strengths, so it is difficult to choose at this point i gayu-hu.  No one came off to me in a particularly negative fashion.  They were all charming and warm, some a bit more idiosyncratic than others.

Seeing and hearing a Chamorro woman on stage in a gubernatorial competition — and Lou Leon Guerrero is unmistakably a strong Chamorro woman — was moving.  It was particularly heart-warming to hear her emphasize the importance of the Chamorro language at an institution that (under Robert Underwood, no less!) recently sabotaged its Chamorro Studies language program along with all the other language programs in the teeth of vociferous protests from our humanities faculty, including myself.  We need politicians who stand up for human rights and indigenous rights even when it isn’t popular or convenient or what the powerful white interests want.

I felt like I heard many platitudes and few concrete plans.  We aren’t children.  It’s time to move beyond pabulum.

I appreciated the many perspectives that each candidate brought to decolonization.  I especially loved hearing each of them support self-determination and indigenous rights. In the era of Davis vs. Guam, it is profound to hear every candidate say this clearly.

“Another Vote for Independence” – Sen. Frank Aguon, Jr.

“I am the true maga’låhi” – Former Gov. Carl Gutierrez

“Yanggen tåya’ kotturå-ta, mantåya’ hit” – Former Sen. Lou Leon Guerrero

“Hunggan, CHamoru yu’, sa’ ma poksai yu'” – Lt. Gov. Ray Tenorio

“The Native American approach” – Sen. Dennis Rodriguez

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