The complexity and depth of racism in Hawaii will never cease to amaze me.
(On Saturday), I experienced what I can only call white-on-white racism in my very own neighborhood of Wainaku.
Wainaku’s residents are a mish-mash of every ethnic and racial background and socioeconomic reality. As my little 12-pound dog and I sat peacefully at the far edge of my empty neighborhood park at dusk — no people, no kids, not a soul around — a car driven by a 50-something Caucasian woman rolled up close by on the street.
The woman began shouting at me at the top of her lungs, “No dogs allowed! No dogs allowed!”
It’s true: By sitting even at the far edge of the park, I was flouting a county ordinance prohibiting dogs in all county parks on the Big Island. This is a sweeping ordinance that discriminates against responsible dog owners, and I do not agree with it.
Nonetheless, she had a point. I was flexing my civil disobedience by sitting there chilling on the fresh grass, no denying.
She screamed again, “Absolutely no dogs allowed!”
I asked her if there was a reason she cared I was there at that moment. She responded, “Can’t you read the signs?! Children play here! I could call the cops on you! DUMB HAOLE!”
Why she, a Caucasian woman, decided to bludgeon me, another Caucasian woman, with this racist slur is something I can only speculate about.
I’ve lived on the islands for many years and am a college instructor and graduate student at the University of Hawaii. I’ve never been spoken to this way.
My only defense is to … request community reflection. Racism is social and interpersonal violence, regardless of the target or situation.
Kerith G. Edwards
Get outside more
I’ve got a better idea for outdoors activities.
Instead of having a shooting range, we could play crochet, horseshoe or have community activities using the Hawaiian traditions.
That’s fun, no one gets hurt and it gives all of us a safe, enjoyable time.
I wish we had a miniature golf course or other ohana-orientated fun things to do.
The more we get ourselves and our keiki off computer games and back outdoors, the better we enjoy life’s gifts of fun.
Think about it.
Reason vs. religion
T. Ono’s recent letter (Your Views, Tribune-Herald) stated religion is good and necessary because it brings both solace and salvation to the human soul.
Ono then amplifies this premise, stating religion also denies and defies reality and logic.
To replace reality and logic, religion plays its trump card of faith, which professor Peter Boghossian of Portland State University defines as “pretending to know things you don’t know.”
You pay your money and you take your choice.
Such has been the age-old conflict between reason and science vs. transcendental beliefs.