Message from the President on Recent Events
I am deeply saddened by the death of George Floyd and share the anger expressed by millions across the country and world at the persistence of institutional racism and unequal treatment of communities of color.
Our island community, though far removed physically from the unrest of the protests and riots in the mainland, is nevertheless deeply affected by what is happening, stirred up by images, videos, and opinions in news and social media.
The experiences of the people of Guam and all of Micronesia with inequality, racism, and ethnic tensions differ in many ways from the experiences of other racial and ethnic groups across the country, but we may be able to bring aspects of our indigenous culture and other island cultures and experiences to the national conversation and perhaps offer some ways forward that are grounded in what we call "island wisdom.”
For centuries, our island has been tethered and joined together by the CHamoru values of Inafa'maolek and chinchule’. Living in harmony. Reciprocity. Treating others with respect, humility, kindness. We should look to our island’s culture and values to understand the importance of our social responsibilities to each member of our community and to help us understand and feel how the lives of our black friends, colleagues, and fellow citizens are threatened by the injustices of racism and discrimination.
American novelist and activist James Baldwin said, “Not everything that is faced can
be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced.”
I ask that all Tritons stand with me in solidarity against these injustices; that we speak up; that we create a safe space for true dialogue; that we work together for justice, for equality, for humanity.
Si Yu’os Ma’åse,
Thomas W. Krise