2 comments to “Hawaii: A Voice for Sovereignty” screening + Q&A
Hey, why is this film being billed as “the first documentary of its kind” when Anne Keala Kelly’s film, Noho Hewa, predates it? Not to mention other films like The Tribunal, by Joan and Puhipau?
History that corroborate
“The Filipino-American War and the Objections by Anti-Imperialists”
Before the ratification of the 1898 Treaty of Paris, McKinley had already issued the proclamation indicating to assume control of the Philippines, followed by the sending of the US troops. “Economic motives certainly played a significant role in the decision to fight for the control of the Philippines, which were located closed to the hotly contested and potentially lucrative China market.” To implement actions by a powerful leader who detached his human heart from his subject (Filipino/colored/ “inferior”) for the sake of a capitalist agenda of which he is serving, now must learn numbness and callosity in heart in playing and applying his power to satisfy the pro-market agenda with lies. Mark Twain said, “They (Filipinos) look doubtful, but they are not. There have been lies; yes, but they were told in good cause. We have been treacherous; but that was only in order that real good might come out of apparent evil.”
Filipinos were outraged by the treaty, so that even though they had fought “alongside American troops to defeat the Spanish now began fighting the … American troops.” Aguinaldo then ordered his troops to fight “war without quarter to the false Americans who have deceived us!”
The advancing American empire, one author said, “Managing an empire turned out to be more devilish than acquiring one” Three years of Filipino war for freedom and independence against this new invading empire of America happened. America “used $600 million to defeat Filipino Pres. Emilio Aguinaldo.” Before it was over in 1902, some 126,500 American troops served in this war; 4,234 died, 2,800 more wounded. Filipino casualties were much worse. In addition to the 18,000 killed in combat, an estimated 200,000 Filipinos died of famine and disease as American soldiers burned villages and destroyed crops and livestock.
Jack Estrin said “Many anti-imperialist voices cried out; among them were the voices of Cleveland, Bryan, Schurz, Mark Twain, William Dean, Howells, and William James. They insisted that conquest of the Philippines would make a mockery of democracy and establish America as a nation of immoral hypocrites.” As we learned from St. Augustine, I would say that the devilish reality of this war cannot escape from the heart of (God’s designed in) man, felt and entering into “the depth of the soul, and with the eye of the soul saw the Light that never changes casting its rays over man.”
The Anti-Imperialist League in the United States was created and founded in September 1898, vigorously opposed both this unjust war and annexation. They included “some of the nation’s wealthiest and most powerful figures.” “Ex-presidents Harrison and Cleveland were part of this league. The major anti-imperialist arguments pointed out how imperialism in general and annexation in particular contradicted American ideals.” Mark Twain who made his reputation as a humorist, could find nothing funny in the Philippine adventure. He stated, “We have crushed a deceived and confiding people; we have turned against the weak and the friendless who trusted us; we have stamped out a just and intelligent and well-ordered republic; we have stabbed an ally in the back and slapped the face of a guest … we have debouched America’s honor and blackened her face before the world. We should change our flag.” Twain suggested one “with the white stripes painted black and the stars replaced by the skull and crossbones.”
In a bitter satire, Twain assured Americans that the “Blessings-of-Civilization Trust had the purest morals, high principles, and justice cannot do an unright thing, an unfair thing, an ungenerous thing, an unclean thing.” Andrew Carnegie wrote a letter, dripping with sarcasm, congratulating President McKinley for “civilizing the Filipinos … About 8,000 of them have been completely civilize and sent to heaven. I hope you like it.”
The Anti-Imperialist League “carried on a long campaign to educate the American public about the horrors of the Philippine War and the evils of imperialism … Whatever their differences on other matters, they would all agree with William James” angry statement: “God damn the US for its vile conduct in the Philippine Isles.” From Cleveland to Speaker Thomas Reed, from Sam Gompers to Andrew Carnegie, they implored the Republic to resist the temptation. William J. Bryan declared, “The fruits of imperialism be they bitter or sweet. This is one tree of which citizens of a republic may not partake. It is the voice of the serpent, not the voice of God that bids us eat.” Bryan attacked the Republicans by saying that “they had departed from the ideals of the Fathers of America and were following in the footsteps of old Rome by conquering and ruling subject races.” Worthy to our Christian pondering, Bryan said to his Republican opponents, “They would have known that hatred of an alien government is a natural thing and a thing to be expected everywhere. Lincoln said that it was God himself who placed in every human heart the love of liberty …” It is brave for him to say such words in which Filipinos must be affirmed.
Historians cannot ignore the fact that these were observed by thinking human beings; wrong or evil conducts are identified in spite of the powerful flow for the opposite: “Mostly Democrats and former Populists resisted the country’s foray into empire, judging it unwise, immoral, and unconstitutional.” The brutality of the war troubled some Republicans too. George Hoar, a Massachusetts senator and founder of the Republican Party, fought the annexation on moral ground. He said that America changed the Monroe Doctrine, which is about eternal righteousness and justice.
A doctrine of brutal selfishness looking only to our own advantage. We crushed the only republic in Asia. We made war on the only Christian people in the East. We converted a war of glory to a war of shame. We vulgarize the American flag. We introduced perfidy into the practice of war. We inflicted torture on unarmed men to extort confession. We put children to death. We devastated provinces. We baffled the aspirations of a people for liberty.
Other objections were that the Asian people could not be assimilated into our tradition—and that imperialism would lead to militarism and racist dogma at home. If the anti-imperialists in North America could recognize injustice as they condemned them, in the Philippines, Filipinos are not naïve at all, and so fought against it. Filipino Apolinario Mabini in 1899 wrote that it is the Treaty of Paris that the Americans and Spaniards agreed together at a time when the Spaniards were “no longer administering the Philippines, thanks to the victory of our arms … from the very beginning I have insisted on the recognition of our independence, but the American government has consistently refused to promise to recognize our independence and instead, waged war on us. The Americans promised to help us secure our independence and you saw that they fought us because we refused to abandon our independence and allow ourselves to be ruled by them.”
Richard Heffner said, “But it was also America’s Gilded Age, an age of aggressiveness, of unbridled acquisitiveness, of coarseness and vulgarity, when concern for the traditional principles of public and private morality had been supplanted by the worship of Mammon. By 1900 American businessmen had guided the nation to such heights of material success that she entered the new century a stridently powerful industrial giant.” What Heffner said was the reason of invasion of the Philippines. “Worship of Mammon or wealth” captured spirit market-driven imperialism. Materialist success meant destruction of the helpless defender of Filipino nation’s freedom. Invader imperialists were “not mad” and no justification of invasion but did it anyway just because they could. This tells us what kind of culture was developed in the spirit of inequality which is absolutely offensive worship against the holy, just, loving, and merciful God of life.
American Christian missionaries, acting as an ally, justified the Republican agenda to the philosophy and policy of capitalist’s imperialism—truly it gave Christianity a bad name. Again, Bibliolatry (heresy in worshipping the Bible) and “dogmatism” is another game played like more than the moral issue of life. As one Romanist Church’s belief said, “Voice of the people is the voice of God.” Exercise persuades people to one “majority-Church” so that the voice of God is theirs, and the blood of the victims is counted for nothing and not worthy of Christian reflections. No, Christ’s revolutionary teaching is to live love from self to others—even people of color and even to the enemy and unlovable. It is sad to say, but worshippers of power and wealth are more interested in things than pleasing the God for life/people.
Some of the attitudes and actions that led to this new role are described as “jingoistic.” In the 1850s, a British song about a war was popular. “We don’t want to fight, but, by jingo if we do. We’ve got the ships, we’ve got the men, we’ve got the money too!” From this song came the word “jingoism,” which means, too much nationalism. As America’s world role changed during the late 1800s, some people said that Americans were becoming “jingoistic.”
[J. Almodiel, Natio’s Historical Sense and Ecclesiality for Life, p.66]