Guamsplaining for mainlanders.
The North Korean military threatened to attack Andersen Air Force base, one of two U.S. military bases in Guam. The United States sent missile-defense equipment in response to the growing nuclear threat. Guam Gov. Eddie Calvo announced the island entered “code red,” while the residents wondered whether to take yet another North Korean threat seriously.
That was 2013.
Every few years, my home island of Guam enters the national consciousness. Mainlanders see headlines that North Korea is pointing its missiles at this island in the Pacific, then wonder:
What is Guam? And … where is it?
I realize I’m not being fair to those of you who do know what and where Guam is. But the reality is, I’ve spent more than a decade fielding questions from mainlanders who genuinely were not familiar with the concept of Guam. I was born in Korea but raised on Guam. I grew up there until I turned 18 and went to college in the mainland United States. I go back home to Guam every year or so.
I started Guamsplaining in the ninth grade. I attended a summer program in California with kids from all over the country — part of my parents’ plan to mitigate the culture shock I might experience in college. I was hanging out with other kids in the common area one night, and they wanted to know about Guam.