POOR Arnold “Dave” Davis. For years we’ve heard a litany of complaints about all things Guam from the Variety’s persistent columnist, who clearly relishes in making statements he believes to be true, even if unpopular around the island he has made his home.
I will offer some wise advice to Mr. Davis from the late U.S. Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan: “Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts.”
Case in point: the federal lawsuit filed on Mr. Davis’ behalf by the Washington-based Center for Individual Rights. Think of the center as a starboard-leaning American Civil Liberties Union, narrowly focused on undoing any government remedies intended to compensate for past discrimination against minorities. And yes, that would include Chamorros and Micronesians.
The center may be paying Mr. Davis’ legal bills, but the client perhaps should be concerned his benefactors now feel free to make up their own facts to serve their purposes rather than his.
Various right-wing media have been having a creative good time with this; the Washington Times actually stated Mr. Davis “was denied voter registration because he is white.”
Since I am sure Mr. Davis is a registered Guam voter, an honest account would explain he wasn’t denied registration to vote in the prospective plebiscite because he is “white,” but because he was not present in Guam in 1950 and/or cannot trace his ancestry back to people resident here at that time. That’s why many other present residents of Guam who are not of Chamorro ancestry are eligible to register and vote in the plebiscite.
The concept, thoroughly recognized by international law, is to finally grant eligible voters of Guam – and their descendants – a say in their future political status if they became U.S. citizens when the Organic Act of 1950 took effect. Our American founding fathers took care of this for themselves in the 18th century. This is hardly a “Chamorro only” election as the center maintains on its website.
If Mr. Davis and his attorneys are going to falsely argue he was denied access to the registry for the plebiscite because he is Caucasian, well, let the lawsuit proceed. I’m in favor of whatever will resolve this issue. I don’t think the bogus facts and arguments being foisted on the public in defense of this lawsuit make for a strong case.
Check the right-wing echo machine on the Internet to see what’s going on. Dave, the ‘outsider,’ is being played as a pawn in an election year that is awash with money from interested parties who seemingly will do or say anything to unseat President Barack Obama. The center and its fellow travelers – apparent GOP political operatives – are targeting the administration’s Justice Department: “Justice’s Guam inaction is a ‘twofer,’ one that advances the Obama administration’s twin strategies of assault on the rule of law at home and the weakening of America abroad.”
But I guess the true intent of Center for Individual Rights and perhaps of its newest client is to head off any resolution of Guam’s political status. As the Washington Times put it: “[A] gaggle of leftist academics and anti-American activists seek, through a vote corrupted by illegal racial discrimination, to give local authorities on Guam a basis for calling into question U.S. sovereignty and undermining our ability to place vital American military assets on this strategically-located island.”
I have no problem with the Davis lawsuit or any other potential suit proceeding. Let’s resolve the legal questions early in the process.