The New York Times has published a tremendously well-written, heartfelt, and sobering account of the treatment of Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, Micronesia, the Marshall Islands, and Palau by the United States amidst its colonial and military ambitions. The piece examines the impacts of global and international events through the lens of the locals who suffer the consequences and, ultimately, have no say in what happens.
This year is the 125th anniversary of the founding of the American Insular Empire, including Guam and Puerto Rico. “When you think about other empires — the British, the French, the Spanish empires — colonies are part of the national identity, this acceptance that ‘We have an empire, we have colonies,’” Bevacqua, the museum curator and historian, said. “The United States, despite all that it’s done, lacks that basic ability on a national level to acknowledge the colonies problem. Normally it’s just all these piecemeal attempts to deal with the colonies by bringing them in closer to the United States, and that’s part of the problem. Colonizers that are so self-assured of their greatness only think of fixing problems by giving more of themselves.”