Friday, August 22, 2008


I don't usually waste my time and energy commenting on things that are happening on this island as there seems to be plenty of people willing to do that. But today I read an unsigned editorial in the paper about a new Indigenous Rights Group. I have to be honest - I just don't get this. Yes, I'm a white American. But I have lived out here for 12 years. I have many local friends, I have many filipino friends, too, among others. My initial reaction was great, another way to separate ourselves and act somehow superior over other people groups. But after reading it, I got the feeling the group felt somehow victimized by the U.S. Now this is truly baffling. The indigenous of this island have been "self-governing" for 3 decades now. We can clearly see the results of that. Not only that, but this island has been "self-governing" on huge amounts of U.S. dollars. By U.S. dollars, I don't mean that some faceless government handed them money, as many would view it. The money was paid in the form of taxes by the citizens of the United States, and entrusted to their leaders to spend it wisely. Now the spending wisely thing is a whole other topic. In trying to understand this editorial, I searched my brain for a reason to say the things they said and to feel the way they feel (yeah, I do this - it's just futile, I know) What exactly does this group want? Do you want the U.S. to build up your island, draw investors, give you working power, fresh water, good roads - all free of charge and with no effort on your part, and no accountability for any of your choices? Should the U.S. hand this group endless millions to sort out their self-governance issues? Make no mistake, I think the U.S. made a huge mistake in agreeing to the covenant. They should have given the island back to the local people - no U.S funded anything, no U.S. passports, nothing OR should have made it a true U.S. state completely, functioning as any other American state. Yep, all or nothing should have been the agreement - not this half baked nobody wins thing. Just my opinion. Anyway, we made our mistake - now we're stuck with it, I guess. But the attitudes of entitlement are more than frustrating. They are frustrating by the groups in the U.S. and they are frustrating by people here.
If the people of this island truly want to secede from the U.S., then do it - but do it completely. Ask to become your own nation, ask to sever the covenant completely. What have you got to lose? That way the U.S. will stop interfering with your "self-governance". You wouldn't want to live in cooperation with the U.S., abide by their laws, weed out corruption here, pay our fair share of taxes, or be in any way a part of the bigger global picture. You are the only ones that matter - self above all else. May your wish be granted.


Jeff said...

It's kind of like a five year old threatening to run away, and should be taken about as seriously. Another great post.

Regis said...

You go, Mom!

Brad said...

Kelli, I couldn't agree more. Why do we give all this money to an island that just mismanages itself and it's money? Quite frankly, it seems like the people here get something for nothing. Absolutely nothing.

I've never heard of anything the U.S. gets from the current arrangement. It really frustrates me that everyone born here gets American citizenship. It seems like this is an open back door into America and yet they kick and scream about trivial things all the time.

So what can we do? Can we start a drive to sever the U.S. connections to Saipan? A petition? It'd be different if they actually appreciated the money they get, or the benefits...but listening to the politicians (and local groups)here talk about how poorly they're treated by the U.S. makes me sick.

We have Guam...why do we need to have any kind of special relationship at all with the Saipan government? I see no reason to make Saipan born people American citizens because the island was the scene of an important battle in WWII. If that were the case, half of the people born in Europe and the Pacific would also be automatic American citizens.

If that indigenous peoples' group really feels like they're being subjugated, then they should push the Saipan government to sever the ties themselves.

Wow! I guess venting is infectious!