By Keli’i Akina, Ph.D. – The Star-Advertiser ran a guest editorial by Derek Kauanoe on November 18, 2012 entitled “OHA Under Attack by Out of State Interests.”
Nowhere in the article is any person or group specifically identified as the out of state interest referred to in the title because there is no such party.
Instead, the article insinuates that OHA must be under attack because some donations from individuals residing out of state were made to my 2012 campaign to become an OHA Trustee-at-large.
What the article fails to reveal is that the amount in question, contributed by 9 individuals currently away from Hawaii, is only $3,725, hardly enough to constitute a threat to OHA. Furthermore, $600 of this amount was given by 5 of my relatives and personal friends, and $3,125 was given by 4 individuals who either grew up in Hawaii or studied at the University of Hawaii and are now working on the mainland and overseas.
Yes, follow the money; the money contributed by these individuals represents, not an attack upon OHA or Hawaiians, but an investment and return to our State by people who carry the Aloha spirit across the world. The article goes on and cites opinions about OHA from some unspecified contributors to my campaign and suggests inaccurately that they must therefore be my opinions or positions. To this, I simply refer readers to my campaign website (www.Akina2012.com) for accurate and authorized statements of where I stand.
The claim that OHA is under out of state attack is irresponsible because of the damage it does to the public square where ideas should be debated robustly and on the basis of fact, not on the basis of fears of some unseen enemy. To falsely associate a Trustee candidate with an attack upon OHA may be a veiled attempt to incite fear and reaction amongst Hawaiians for the shallow purpose of political gain. Unfortunately, this kind of politics and journalism, which fails to base its claims on fact, tears apart the social fabric and generates racial disunity. That is why I continue to campaign for the Hawaiian way of Aloha – Aloha for everyone.
Dr. Keli’i Akina is a philosopher who lectures on human rights and business ethics in Chinese and American universities. He was a 2012 candidate for Trustee-at-large in the Office of Hawaiian Affairs. His e-mail address is kelii@EWLE.net and his website is http://hpu.academia.edu/WilliamKeliiAkina.