“Fuck Chuukese” seems to be the prevailing attitude of many, if not the majority, of local residents on Guam. Most of them are not ashamed to say so publicly either. In January 2011, Guamblog wrote about this festering hatred for Chuukese (and most other emigrants from the FSM) .
Local attitudes contribute to the perpetuation of the treatment of Chuukese on Guam as something less-than human and not worthy of the same basic human rights that most residents insist upon and assume as a basic inalienable right as US citizens.
This sinister institutionalized racism is no more clearly illustrated than in the case of the Blue House Lounge in Upper Tumon - and the role played by local police as enforcers for the Korean human trafficker and pimp, Song Ja Cha.
But the police are not alone in culpability. The Attorney General’s Office, at least 3 lawmakers I know of, and even the courts (to a lesser degree) have all contributed to a heinous miscarriage of justice because of their own and the institutionalized practice of treating Chuukese like shit and dismissing them.
When we develop hatred for “the Other” (in this case Chuukese residents of Guam) and become so intolerant that we treat “the Other” as though they are criminally diseased, then we fail to realize that the one who is diseased is actually ourselves.
In December 2006, while shopping at California Mart, a young Chuukese lady approached me and began to apologize profusely - I assumed for interrupting my shopping. She was accompanied by a shorter, older woman and two kids of elementary school age. The young lady asked if she could speak with me about something “very important.”
She was not wholly unfamiliar to me, as I recognized her as one of the extended Chuukese family that lived down the street from me at the time. In fact, her older brothers attended GCC and I would often help them with schoolwork and tried to teach them how to use the computer and internet.
When I exited California Mart, the young lady “Ranta,” was waiting…with several more older Chuukese women and two men. The kids were not in sight.
Ranta pleaded for help for a girl she said was her 15-year old cousin that had been “kidnapped” from her house. At first, I didn’t know what to make of the story. I didn’t know what to do. I told them to go to the police.
The two men protested vehemently, as did the women. Ranta insisted that was not possible because it was a police officer that snatched her cousin from her home and took her back to the human trafficker.
I called the senator I worked for then, and was instructed to have them come to the office. We set an appointment for two days later. Ranta and two of the older Chuukese women came in. Long story short, the senator made a call to the Attorney General’s Office and told them to go there.
Not long afterward the family moved away to Mangilao. I never heard more about them or their cousin….until January 2008. I hadn’t seen or heard from Ranta or her brothers either - until yesterday when I received the following email:
Ran annim Mr. Romeo,
I hope you remember me. You helped me before and my family. My name is XXXXXXXXX and I still stay in Mangilao. Before I came to talk to your senator like you say at your work about my cousin friend XXXXXXX. She was before the one working also at the Blue House bar. Everybody talking now about my cousin. But before it was taking a very long long time to come to help her. Now all the newspapers say nobody knows until 2008. Why do they say that? I talk with you to your senator 5 years ago when they take her from my house and back to the bar and I can only see to her if go there. When she run away to where I stay the police come back to get her. So why only one police they say do that? You know is more.
Even we did go to the other lady from the Generals Attorney like the senator say to do and nobody do nothing. Never call back to us. I gave her the phone to my pastor to call because I do not have a phone. I know Chamorros people dont like to Chuukese. I dont care. Use wewe. Because it is very wrong against God to steal the young girl and make them like slave. The police in Guam are very dangerous. Nobody cares they always make trouble for every Chuukese. Even one who are not drinking and making problems. Right now I am so angry so I write you again. I am sorry. Very sorry. OK? But I am sorry to ask why they all talk about this like they dont know nothing when everybody know what happened over there at the Blue bar.
Xxxxxxx is ok now. But I am looking at your web page and trying to understand. Also reading from the newspaper web page. I can not say in english but tiik non sening. Esap wor och mettoch epwe appeti aramas seni fansoun ar uputiu non ar tufich me rait. Ar ekiek epwe mecheres o esap pet ren och sakkun mettoch pun ir repwe nonnomfengen non kinamwe o pwipwi annim. For me and my cousin and all pwipwi chok who stay in Guam can never have justice or be treat fair from the police and local people dont care that is all we hear every time. Xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx.
Here are other messages sent to Guamblog (not sure what they’re saying), that I believe are meant for memebers of Guam’s Chuukese community….[btw: i am thrilled to know Guamblog has Chuukese readers!]