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OPINION | Film festival on racism an extraordinary experience           

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THE entire CNMI is invited to attend an Extraordinary and FREE Film Festival on “the Origins & Evolution of Racism in America” at the MHS Gym this weekend starting at 1 p.m. on Saturday, Sunday and Monday. Amistad and the Mini-series of ROOTS are the two classic films with Grammy winning actors that are full of adventure, chills, action and drama that will surely entertain the audience.

As we continue to experience the elections and Covid on the mainland and in the CNMI, we must realize that our nation and even the world are also battling to end racism on our planet. It is all together fitting and proper that we address the issue of racism in the CNMI as to “turn a blind eye or a deaf ear” is no longer acceptable because history has taught us that “silence damns us ALL” by allowing racism to continue to grow as part of our Social Fabric.

The world is trying to take a step forward to end racism and every good and honorable citizen have a “civic responsibility” to do their fair share. With that said, I am humbly and respectfully asking every reader to share this invitation and to attend this historic event in the CNMI. This Film Festival is really a “once-in-a-lifetime” opportunity given the two classic films being shown and a narrator who is a recognized scholar nationally & locally and actually lived through Jim Crow & Segregation who marched with and was taught by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in Memphis, Tennessee.

This free educational experience on racism is something every citizen should experience because unlike what some may think, African-Americans were not the only race of people in America to face racism, as the Irish, the Chinese, the Japanese and other races have all faced racism in America all because they were not white with English heritage, as the Colonist were English.  There is even prejudice in America based on religion as many whites are now hatting Muslims, including the President who told a Muslim Congresswoman to go back to her country for speaking out against him.  Many African-Americans also didn’t get Dr. King’s memo because there are African-Americans today who are racist, as a result of being oppressed by whites. The dynamics of racism is broad and complex like this virus not caring about anyone’s origins or color.  Dr. King even warned African-Americans during the Civil Rights Movement to “NOT be like the whites who were being racist or African-Americans would be no better a person by promoting racism towards whites.” I can even remember Malcom X being a racist calling white people “devils” until he went to Mecca and saw white Muslims — he didn’t know there were white Muslims and was educated. WE are all subject to face racism and to being a racist and education is our only real countermeasure to ending racism throughout the world.

I do respect the opinion of others and there is nothing that is “self-serving” for me in this battle to end racism in all forms in the CNMI, as I am retired and have a house & lot thanks to my local wife but all Americans in the CNMI don’t have a local spouse who can own land. I know Local children are being taught to “up-hold Article XII” which is a racist-based law by its very definition & purpose — which means the children are really being taught racism as “Article XII as written is literally an incubation-chamber for racism to grow and even mutate into other forms of racism” — this is real Social Science, not Ambrose talking.  There is nothing wrong with protecting Local’s Land Rights and you don’t have to apply racial discrimination and deny other rights of Locals to accomplish “Local Landownership Rights.”  I am simply following my marching orders directly from Dr. King which was “to fight racism wherever it raises its ugly head in ALL forms and in ALL of America with no exceptions as an act of inequality & injustice anywhere is a threat to equality & justice EVERYWHERE in America” and even the world!

But I do urge all to attend with an open & objective mind, especially our young people, and I won’t be taking sides on racism in my narration and Q & A on the two films —  just a professional speaking the TRUTH about American & World History. This will be a genuine eye-opening extraordinary and objective presentation from a scholarly perspective, which is why the Northern Marianas Humanities Council is sponsoring this event FOR the People. The audience will also be allowed to ask questions for their own curiosities and complete enlightenment on the subject of racism.  So, come one come all and tell a friend to tell another friend to spend this long weekend with Monday being a holiday at the Film Festival — get entertained and learn something for FREE!  One People One Direction. 

The writer is a retired teacher, former CNMI Board of Education Member, James Madison Fellow (U.S. Constitutional Scholar) and a Fulbright-Hays Foreign Scholar who resides in Kagman III. 


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