There is a new type of disease that has gained a frightening foothoold in Hawaii. It affects the mind, filling it with hate and rage, intolerance and paranoia, and leads to violence and acts of cruelty. Animals are slaughtered in cold blood, burned to death, or poisoned. Plants are ripped out by the roots or killed with herbicide. Entire areas are bulldozed to kill all that lives. Worst of all, those doing this destruction feel no remorse or conscience, since this disease fills their minds with a sense of self-righteousness, determination, and aggression, so much so that others stand by in silence and fear as they watch the destruction.

This disease is now causing people to attack the mangroves on the Big Island. They are being poisoned as an experiment, with the help of Monsanto, and are left to rot in place, polluting the water as they decay. Fish will die, nesting birds and other animals will be harmed, and the environment will look diseased. The attack is already underway, with only a few mangrove locations, such as Pohoiki, still scheduled for assault.

Why attack mangroves? Haven’t they been in Hawaii for over 100 years, brought here to help the environment? Don’t they clean the water and protect against storm surge? Aren’t they protected around the world for their importance to the preservation of coastlines? Don’t they create an important environment for fish and other life? Aren’t they beautiful and interesting trees that add to the biodiversity of our island?

The answer is yes.

Then why are they being targetted for eradication?

It is because they are “alien” and “don’t belong here”, according to those attacking them. They cite unpublished observations that suggest mangroves are bad for native fish. They don’t care about collateral damage to fish or other wildlife caused by poisoning the mangroves, since most of the victims are also “alien”. For them, the rot and smelly pollution of poisoned mangroves is preferable to allowing these “invasive alien intruders that can take over the islands”.

The disease is not new. It has manifested before as violence and hatred against blacks, Jews, gays, haoles, or anyone else considered different or “alien”. It is a xenophobia that has caused uncountable bloodshed and wars. But now this disease has taken on a new target

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Hawaii Reporter is an award-winning, independent Hawaii-based news and opinion journal founded in 2001 and launched in February 2002. The journal's staff have won a number of top awards from the Society of Professional Journalists, including the top investigative news reporting awards, business reporting awards, government reporting awards, and online news reporting awards.