Due to recent federal rulings, the state’s Office of Hawaiian Affairs
(OHA), instituted to provide benefits to individuals of Native Hawaiian
ancestry at taxpayer expense, will continue to exist. This is despite the
efforts of some activists who question OHA’s legitimacy, explaining that all
ethnicities should receive equal treatment under the law.
Why, they ask, should someone have a preferential status over another,
simply because he has a specified quantum of blood of certain races? The
anti-OHA activists fight for the equal rights of all ethnicities; it’s the
OHA officials who are using arbitrary standards of “race” to force
individuals of certain lineages to submit to those of other ancestries.
Unfortunately, the media and academia — both locally and nationally —
have clouded this issue, usually insinuating that the equal-rights activists
are the vicious racists and OHA is their innocent victim.
Example: the ”’Honolulu Star-Bulletin’s”’ vocabulary in its coverage of
this debate. Observe the biased usage of the word “Hawaiian.”
A photo caption in the 1/13/04 ”’Star-Bulletin”’ reads, “Hawaiians
protested on Punchbowl Street at federal court yesterday …”
“Hawaiians lauded a federal judge’s dismissal yesterday,” begins a
1/15/04 ”’Star-Bulletin”’ front-page story, “of the last remaining claim
challenging the constitutionality of [OHA], calling it a milestone.”
These quotations imply that ”’all”’ Native Hawaiians — or at least
Hawaiians ”’in general”’ — are in favor of OHA.
But regardless of whether the majority of Hawaiians side with OHA or
not, it’s wrong to treat an entire ethnic group as some collective that
always has some common objective, because that’s not accurate.
Sandra Puanani Burgess, for instance, is Native Hawaiian, and she
doesn’t believe the government should treat Native Hawaiians differently
from other Americans. She’s part of the anti-OHA campaign.
But the anti-OHA, pro-equality activists are actually ”’oppressive racists,”’ assert many social science professors at the University of Hawaii
and the students whom they’ve indoctrinated, because independent exceptions
like Ms. Burgess don’t matter; only collectives do.
At U.H., it’s often taught that all whites bear collective guilt for
the myriad crimes that other whites committed against “indigenous peoples”
throughout history, going back from today to the Renaissance and earlier.
They correctly note that, prior to 1900, many Europeans traveled to
Africa, Polynesia, and other places, and outright conquered the indigenous
peoples, subjugating them or imposing Western ways on them. Therefore, say
many white members of U.H.’s social-science elite, whites must feel guilty and
pay reparations to other races.
This phenomenon is widespread; all throughout the mainland,
professors at Harvard and other prestigious colleges proselytize about how
people should feel “white guilt” for what was done to Native Americans and
African-Americans anteceding the 1960s or 1860s.
But preachy academicians ignore the fact that most of the
perpetrators of these atrocities died long ago — often over 100 years
before today, and that the sins of ancestors aren’t the sins of descendents
— that each person is an ”’individual,”’ and that an “ethnicity” isn’t a group ”’as a whole,”’ but a collection of ”’individuals”’ with their own personal beliefs, preferences, and goals.
To punish a white man for evil his great-great-great-grandfather may
have performed is to punish an innocent person.
But race-minded academia steadfastly blinds itself to this obvious
fact because it’s mired in collectivist fanaticism. In the 1960s, when
communist dictators were giving a bad name to the professors’ then-favorite
ideology — Marxism — academicians decided to adapt “class warfare” to
timelier issues, saying that capitalism didn’t just exploit workers, but
also racial minorities and Third-World peasants (and, later, endangered owl
To academicians in this thinking tradition, individuals aren’t
relevant; just collectives. Instead of standing up for equal rights, they
tout something just as myopic as “white supremacy” — the inherent moral
supremacy of indigenous peoples.
And that’s why, when U.H. student Pablo Wegesend wrote an op-ed in the
U.H. newspaper admonishing openly pro-Marxian professor Haunani-Kay Trask for
saying “Hawaiians would certainly benefit from one less haole [white] in our
land,” over six politically-correct U.H. professors from the English
Department (many of whom were white) wrote childishly insulting letters to
the paper calling Wegesend names, especially their favorite loaded epithet,
It’s about time people of all ethnicities stand up to the ideological
intimidation foisted by politically-correct media and colleges. Most of us
believe in equality, but are cowed into silence. But if ”’you”’ publicly
speak out about this, maybe other people will gain courage from you and
stand up for equality too.
”’Stuart K. Hayashi is a research intern at the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii. ”’See its Web site at:”’ http://www.grassrootinstitute.org/ ”’Hayashi is the founder of a news Web log, “The Fiftieth Star,” at:”’ http://50thstar.blogspot.com ”’to be unofficially centered around activities at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. His older editorials can be seen at:”’ http://reason_club.tripod.com/stuart_editorials.html ”’and he can be reached at:”’ mailto:email@example.com
Dr. Kenneth Conklin’s Web site on Haunani-Kay Trask
Examples of the intimidation that goes on at U.H.
“What We Should Remember on Martin Luther King Day” by Edwin A. Locke, Ph.D.
”’This editorial is intended to provoke thought, discussion and an examination of issues. It does not reflect official policy of the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii.”’
”’HawaiiReporter.com reports the real news, and prints all editorials submitted, even if they do not represent the viewpoint of the editors, as long as they are written clearly. Send editorials to”’ mailto:Malia@HawaiiReporter.com