Dream of the Water Children: The Black Pacific

In Response to the Americans Protesting the Spanish-American War

Buffalo Soldiers, the 9th & 10th calvaries made of African-American soldiers, pose in the Presidio of San Francisco, ready to go to battle in the Philippines. circa 1900
Buffalo Soldiers, the 9th & 10th calvaries made of African-American soldiers, pose in the Presidio of San Francisco, ready to go to battle in the Philippines. circa 1900

There was large public outrage at the U.S. government and military, by the American public, against the American military presence in the Philippines islands, the Archipelago. By 1900, the Senate had to meet and the pro/con sides had to decide. Senator Albert Beveridge, Republican of Indiana, stood in front of the U.S. Senate to justify the continuance of Manifest Destiny in the Pacific.

Although the law ending slavery in America had passed, the ‘secret’ slaving system had intensified across, through and on top of the Pacific Islanders and Southeast Asian tribal peoples. From the 56th Congress, First Session, January 9, 1900 of Congressional Record Part 3, Beveridge says (paraphrased using his own words):

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The Tagal people, after rising up to fight the Americans, are slaughtered in their villages by the Americans.

Distance and oceans are no arguments…. The seas did not separate us from lands of our duty and desire…..  Americans had world duties as a people imperial by virtue….. by right of their institutions, by authority of their Heaven-directed purpose….. would not the people of the Philippines prefer the just, humane, civilizing government of this Republic to the savage, bloody rule of pillage and extortion from which we have rescued them? ….. The true meaning was deeper than any question of party politics, than any question of the isolated policy of our country, deeper even than any question of constitutional power. It is elemental. It is racial….. Remember we are not dealing with Americans or Europeans but Malays corrupted by hundreds of years of savagery, other hundreds of years of Orientalism, and still other hundreds of years of Spanish character and custom….. What alchemy will change the oriental quality of their blood and set the self-governing currents of the American pouring through their Malay veins?

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