Addressing Rep. Faye Hanohano (Tribune-Herald, March 1): Ms. Hanohano, have you totally or partially lost your mind?! How could you fix your mouth to utter such viciousness?
Now you believe it’s time for you to seek “training” for yourself, and your staff? Oh, please! Your staff didn’t “insert foot in mouth.” You did! At this point, training is futile! And a slap on the hand is sending the wrong message to the voters.
Furthermore, you conceive that an “apology” is going to make this all better?
Congratulations, public servant. You’ve managed to now show us how you really feel about us (non-Hawaiians) and our cultural origin. Additionally, on the eve of the Merrie Monarch Festival, that “aloha spirit” of yours really shines, as people from various states and countries descend on Hilo to view and witness a very culturally significant art form.
Why don’t you attend? Even your culture will appreciate you more if all the ethnic groups you insulted decided to not attend Merrie Monarch this year. Just think, Hilo would have you to thank.
You can tap dance all you want now, but you should know what is coming next. By the way, my ethnicity — black American — was not publicly mentioned. However, now I wonder what you mutter under your breath about us. Let the reaping begin!
I just learned that Stanley Nakasone is no longer in the position of Highways Division chief for the County of Hawaii, and I would like to take this means to publicly thank him for his many, many years of hard work for the people of the County of Hawaii.
Stan, my reaction to hearing this was that of sadness for the loss of you in that position, especially as I reflected on the multitude of times that you were called upon and depended upon in my roles as Civil Defense administrator and mayor. No matter the time of the day or time of the week, I always felt comfort in knowing that you and your crews would be there to respond and do whatever it took to just do the job. This, I knew, was because of your leadership and commitment to ensure that staff knows their job and that they share your attitude of care for the community and your pride in doing a good job.
There never was a time, over all the years and calls for help with everything from floods, fires, eruptions, earthquakes, building emergency roads, to removing carcasses of whales, pigs, and other sweet-smelling animal remains, that you ever responded with anything short of a reply of, “Don’t worry, we’ll take care of it.” I cannot count the numerous times that your planned family functions had to interrupted or cancelled. Also numerous are the times your wife had to wait in the car for hours because you were interrupted and you had to go to work somewhere.
As I have told you many times, unfortunately much credit that should have been directed to you and your workers was given to me instead because of the more visible positions I held. My regret is that I did not do more to inform the community about who did the work so those who deserved the credit would have gotten it.
Thank you for your leadership, your commitment to work, and for your care. Thank you for your friendship. Much aloha.
Just being honest
Regarding Rep. Faye Hanohano being forced to apologize for saying “haole,” “Pake,” “Jap,” etc. (Tribune-Herald, March 1): We all have stereotypes in our heads, unless completely enlightened. Hanohano’s behavior is much closer to enlightenment than the insistence on “race blindness” by her critics.
Stereotyping has stages, from vicious legal enslavement to enlightenment. Hawaii had less of that legal stuff, but was not free of the stage next to it: no laws, but people talk about how they “aren’t racist, but … .”
Playing Pakes off against Japs and Filipinos kept wages low.
The next stage is so-called “race blindness,” insisting that we all pretend we don’t have stereotypes: political correctness. Hawaii mostly skipped that nasty phase — yeah, team — and went right to the next stage: matter-of-fact recognition and labeling of stereotypes, where slang is an endearment or recognition of diversity. Jokes, teasing, glorification of stereotypes.
That’s about as good as it gets, especially if you “like eat” good plates.
Insisting on the pretense of “race blindness” is far more racist than using slang labels, as Hanohano did. Politically correct mainlanders may not get it, but better if we just make jokes to help them understand.