When Will Aloha Be Reciprocated?
This is not meant to be a comprehensive study of the relationship between the US and The Kingdom of Hawaii, but more of an outline; bullet points if you will, that invite you to do your own further research.
Misconceptions about The Hawaiian Kingdom and its occupation by a foreign power.
Many Americans, (I daresay most) believe that when they travel to Hawaii it’s somehow similar to visiting any other “state” in the US. The problem with this perception is that Hawaii didn’t willingly hand over their country.
The US, in fact, illegally occupied The Kingdom. Although President Grover Cleveland opposed further incursions into the affairs of the sovereign Hawaiian Islands, wealthy businessmen led by Sanford Dole (of Dole Pineapple) staged a military takeover, a coup d’état if you will ignoring the wishes of most everyone but those with massive profits to gain.
They immediately imprisoned Queen Liliuokalani, after the Queen asked her army not to fight, knowing they would be annihilated by the larger US forces. She was then informed that she was no longer Hawaii’s leader.
It should be quite clear why Dole and the sugar men would do such a thing. Many Americans today argue that if the US hadn’t invaded, some other country would have. A friend put it to me this way, “This argument is like saying there’s a woman who’s going to be raped, so the US might as well be the ones to do it.” They didn’t think of the possibility of a treaty wherein they might have agreed to live side-by-side as the British had earlier in the century. Further along on thought, I believe the US should have been reduced to nothing more than hired security guards. The rest of their presence was never needed.
Another misconception on the part of many Americans is that Hawaii needed their money and expertise to create a better economy, a Western economy; that kind of economy that has destroyed nations and tribes since the first time a European set foot anywhere in the world. The victims of these cultures are gutted of their ways of life and disposed of as heathens, thusly destroying thousands of years of self-sufficiency and a thriving economy of their own.
If you study Hawaiian history before European contact, you would find that Hawaii had a near perfect economy that served all of its people not just the “fortunate” few as in many other countries who believe in the dog-eat-dog, “survival of the fittest” that really, in my opinion, should be left to animals and the avariciously insane. (Note: Isn’t avarice one of the Seven Deadly Sins? Isn’t the US considered a mostly Christian country?)
Starting then, a fast-growing number of Hawaiians have been forced to become more and more dependent on an ever-growing bureaucracy with very little sympathy for its recipients. On top of that, many Hawaiians and people of color in the islands have been manipulated to take on positions in the hospitality and service industry and a far greater number have been forced to leave their homeland as the tourist industry has inflated the economy to the point where many Hawaiians can’t survive in their own homeland. This was offered in trade for a far more civilized and thriving economy.
Many American travelers cannot be inconvenienced. Today you’ll find Hawaii has been Americanized to the point where you have to search for the Hawaiian identity. They want all of the bloated conveniences of the “mainland” while they watch whales and purchase “souvenirs” made in China. They enjoy the outlet stores even though they already exist in their own cities. The problem is that almost none of the money made in Hawaii stays in Hawaii, nor does it benefit the long-time residents in the least.
Many in the tourism industry believe their employment adds a quaint sense of local color that tourists enjoy. I personally overheard a tourist tell a young girl that she was “lucky” that tourists came to Hawaii because they provided jobs for local people; quite an insult after 125 years of occupation by a foreign power.
Looking back, Hawaiians understandably refused to work in Dole’s pineapple fields, and the fields of the sugar men. They refused to do what amounted to slave labor in their homeland. The wealthy businessman then imported desperate workers from China, Japan, the Philippines, Portugal and other countries.
On the whole, many Hawaiians have been offered a substandard quality of life and the demeaning reality of US welfare programs in exchange for their once admirable way of life.
Furthering the misconceptions is that the US has always been the benevolent father to Hawaiians. However, most Native Hawaiians believe they are an occupied country, not unlike the occupation of France by Nazi Germany in WWII.
A laughable statement by some Christian Americans is that Hawaiians were heathen idol-worshipers living in darkness. I’ve even heard one claim that the Hawaiians lost their country because they had turned their backs on God. This person hadn’t done any research, as she would otherwise have found that the Hawaiian Royalty had adopted Christianity as their religion. Many should research their supposed “truths.”
At this point, the islands are maxed out. They can’t support further growth. They are suffering under the weight of capitalism. There’s far too much traffic, too much homelessness, toxins in the water, receding shorelines, toxic soil from 100 years of chemicals being pumped into the cane fields and a profound lack of Aloha being imported. Every person who comes to Hawaii with a low or non-existent spiritual energy, a truckload of man-made stress, buckets of anxiety and very poor attitudes toward their fellow man, they tear down Hawaii’s Mana (It’s divine energy). Mana is a powerful force that binds the Hawaiians and all people together, gives a sense of community, hope, and Aloha. Mana is the Heart of the Islands.
If you can’t love Aloha and the kindness of Hawaiian’s, why are you here?
To take pictures shot between high-rise hotels of a beach you can hardly see to impress your friends? Are high-rise hotels and the confiscation of property okay with you? Are you okay with ancestral lands being over run with golf courses? Is it because you have no problem turning your back on the reality of Hawaii’s past 150 years of subjugation.
(Note: I have a friend who holds title to her family’s land, which she fought for for years. All of the lands from Kaanapali north to Honokohau Bay (Her family’s ancestral lands, her family’s ahupua’a. What she can do with this title remains to be seen).
Historical points of interest based on stolen lands.
Mahatma Gandhi, in a non-violent manner, fought with the British for India’s impendence. It wasn’t until the British had been shamed and made to feel remorse that India’s independence was granted.
In their defense, the British kindly recognized the Kingdom of Hawaii’s independence, and then left quietly.
Then along comes President Clinton in 1993 recognizing and apologizing for the illegal “overthrow” of The Hawaiian Kingdom. However without any real remorse, nothing was returned to the Hawaiian people. This couldn’t have been an emptier apology.
I implore you; when you come to Hawaii, remember you come as guest. It shouldn’t be seen as a “right” to visit Hawaii it’s a privilege. Please respect the host culture. Take nothing that isn’t given. Immerse yourself in all of your interactions here with Aloha and the deepest compassion for the land and people who have lived here for centuries. Be humble. Please drop everything you believe Hawaii should be in relation to a US point of view. Please take a deep breath of gratitude that our creator blessed us with this beautiful land.