First of all, many blessings to everyone that commented on my first blog regarding this issue without regards to whether you agree, understood, disagree or simply ignorant. I am humbled by the show of interest in this topic. I wasn’t really expecting that much feedback because I thought my blog was a mere tiny fraction of what’s out there on this issue but I was wrong. I am elated that I have some dear followers and readers. It’s just awesome! I thank you from the bottom of my heart.
I called this issue a “POTENT TOPIC” in my first blog but I will call it a Challenging Issue in this one. I promised I will not shy away from talking about it so long as it remains an issue for our beloved Chuukese. Nothing will come of it if we tabled it for the next generation ;). We must tackled it straight on. We must be Manned up and own this issue as people that do care about our Chuukese.
I must thank those of you that emailed me, texted me, and talked to me about keeping on bringing this issue up because I totally agree that when there is a problem, we must come together and talk about it so that we can find solutions for them.
I do not bring it up because I like to damn our Chuukese brethren, I brought it up because I want people to know that there is a problem and we all need to work on solving it. Leaving it in the dark won’t do anyone any favor, not for Pohnpeans neither for Yapese nor Kosraeans. Neither Marshallese nor Palauans.
I’ve come across Chuukese that identified themselves as from other places because they do not want the association with Chuuk. This to me is crazy because I didn’t see a point in it. But there are Chuukese that do that. I do not want my kids not to be proud of their Chuukese side. In fact, I want them to know they are Chuukese as well as Yapese. I want them to be proud of that.
We are all Micronesians in the eyes of other ethnicities. I chose to focus on my beloved Chuukese because they are the number one group that talked about on other medians and on Guam and in Hawaii. We cannot ignore that fact. The problem of course is not only isolated to them, I fully understand that.
Just the other day, my Samoan friend asked me this question when I told him I am a Yapese married to a Chuukese. He asked me why Chuukese are bad. I told him Chuukese are not bad at all, only a few did horrible stuff. But the few is too much to spoil the Chuukese name. That is the problem. Ignoring it won’t help clear the mis-conception.
In my first blog, I tried to lay out some contributors to this problem and I pointed to Jealousy, Cowardness and Machoism. In my second blog, I pointed to resources as a way of combatting the perception. In my second blog, I talked about Food Stamp and Housing or government assistance as some resources we can use but not dependent on them. We can utilize them temporarily to enable us to move ahead. In that blog, I pointed to my Chuukese friend’s words about Tiniken. She explained it this way, “Some Chuukese think of TINIKEN to include the ability to find and take advantage of all the benefits the government provides.” She implies dependency on these programs.
Imagine what would the people of Guam and even the government of Guam say if our folks start to move away from depedency on the government assistance and be out on their own. Would they still fight for stricter immigration laws in relation to FAS citizens? Would they still have an argument against the government of the United States that signed unto the Compacts with us?
I am sure if our people are not dependent on these government programs, at least not the majority, it would be not a problem for the state of Hawaii and the territory of Guam as well as other states to allow our people, those that really need it, to use those programs, i.e, open up food stamp for the small number of our people.
The problem is that they look at us as taking advantage of their resources, because they believed that many of us are on these programs. They think the reason why we come to their places is not to find jobs and educate ourselves but to be on these programs. If we can take that perception away by finding jobs and educate ourselves, then that is a less of an argument against our people. Remember, I said less of an argument because there are other factors out there beside resources and I am not ready to tackle those issues yet.
I highly seek your contribution in figuring out the issues/factors and what can we do as a people to fight this perception. Please point us to any resource(s) that is available to our people so that we can look at them and learn from them. Until next time, take it easy.