Wednesday | November 22, 2017
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Your Views for September 27

‘A great hypocrisy’

I find our national anthem an embarrassment and a great hypocrisy.

I have not stood for it since returning from Vietnam in 1968. My experience in Vietnam showed me that our flag, anthem and other mindless, patriotic trappings worked too well in converting otherwise ethical young men into mindless, conscience-free killers. If this is difficult to understand, please watch the currently playing Ken Burns Vietnam documentary on PBS.

Francis Scott Key, who wrote the national anthem in 1812, was a slave owner.

He purchased his first slave in 1800 or 1801. By 1820, he owned six slaves.

Though he freed seven of his growing slave workforce in the 1830s, at least one of them continued working for him, managing several remaining slaves.

But Key was not anti-slavery. Though, as an attorney, he criticized slavery’s “cruelties” and legally represented slaves seeking their freedom, he also openly opposed all who sought an end to slavery.

I cannot imagine a better place to take a stand against racism than our national anthem. Though Colin Kaepernick appears historically and politically naive to some degree, I want to thank him greatly for initiating a movement that is appropriately centered around our embarrassing, hypocritical and awkward-to-sing national anthem.

Robert Lee

Hilo

Recently sacred?

Mauna Kea, the mountain, seems to have taken on other meanings of significance, rather than just being a feature of geography.

Was it “sacred” even before the Polynesians discovered the islands?

This huge heap of numerous lava flows didn’t even have a name prior to the arrival of the first Hawaiians.

Mauna Kea itself became considered “sacred” only upon human intervention that declared it having religious and spiritual importance. “Sacredness” is not inherent in an entity.

Lloyd Fukuki

Waimea

 

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