Note: This is part 12 of a larger webpage. The larger webpage is entitled "Dialogs with a racist -- Bringing to public awareness the explicit, enthusiastic, and unapologetic racism of Trisha Kehaulani Watson, a featured blogger on the public website of the largest circulation newspaper in Hawaii." To see that larger webpage, go to
12. White privilege in Hawaii
Trisha Kehaulani Watson dialog started September 13, 2009
Honolulu Advertiser featured blog He Hawai'i Au
Original essay by Trisha Kehaulani Watson
White privilege in Hawaii
Let's talk about racism and white privilege.
In 1932, a Native Hawaiian St. Louis graduate by the name of Joseph Kahahawai was shot in the back by a gang comprised of white military men and a east coast socialite named Grace Fortescue. As good fortune would have it, they would get caught, tried, and convicted. Then-Governor Judd would famously commute their sentence to an hour over cocktails in his home.
And this is only the tip of the iceberg. There are the political cartoons of the 1800s and 1900s. Racists laws against language and culture. Disparate treatment of Hawaiians in the judicial system. Racism against Hawaiians remains prevelant, systemic, and continues to destroy our population.
There is just so much it would take a lifetime for me to recap it all.
The Southern Poverty Law Center decided to recently write an article on racism in Hawai`i... against whites in Hawai`i.
You have got to be kidding me.
So I wrote to them. I'm reasonable like that, explaining that portraying white people as victims here is silly and inaccurate in the grand scheme of things. And I was told my Mark Potok, editor of their magazine: "I don’t doubt at all that many Native Hawaiians live in real poverty, or that they are frequently the subjects of real racial hate and discrimination. It may well be that we will do a story some time in the future about that situation."
In other words, we really don't give a damn about the racism against or suffering of Hawaiians.
And this is why we never get anywhere with race relations in Hawai`i.
So I'm opening the floodgates, because it's about time we started having this conversation in Hawai`i. Among ourselves... for ourselves... (so I will be writing about regularly... buckle up.)
In my opinion, white people do not experience racism in Hawai`i. They experience lack of privilege.
And there is a select minority of white people who continue to complain about our rejection of white privilege in Hawai`i. And it hurts everyone, mostly, other white people. I don't actually know anyone, white or otherwise, who wants to be arbitrarily privileged. Most people I know only want the opportunities which they have earned and to which they are justly entitled to.
Everyone wants to be able to get along and work together to fix our community's problem.
The problem is that articles like the one for the Southern Poverty Law Center are so racist that is breeds anger and resentment in the community. Let me explain why (in the form of a question).
In consideration of the fact that we have sex trafficking from Asia, Micronesians denied health care, the grave overrepresentation of Hawaiians in our prisons, why is it that a national organization chooses to run a story on a couple of children being called names in school? To me, it looks like they are getting the attention simply because they're white.
And I call that racism and white privilege. And it makes me mad.
What (to me) confirms that it's racist, is a response that says: we don't doubt there's racism against Hawaiians, but maybe we'll talk about that later.
We've been waiting for 116 years. What exactly are you waiting for at this point?
Yes, there are race problems here in Hawai`i, but the problem is not "Hawaiians versus everyone else." There are people who want everyone to believe that because Hawaiians are a threat to existing power structure in Hawai`i - where the wealthy stay on stop and everyone else works two and a half jobs to make ends meet. The problems in Hawai`i are everywhere: in the domestic violence rates; in the continued denial of health care and health benefits; sex trafficking; discrimination against gay couples; language barriers for immigrants.
You don't want to talk about Hawaiians? Fine. Then talk about sex trafficking.
Or talk about nuclear testing on Pacific Islanders.
There are a thousand race-related problems that the Southern Poverty Law Center could have championed and they stood up for white privilege. It's sad, because there are so many other groups who needed those resources more and more urgently.
It's absurd when educated, middle-class, white males complain about discrimination, because the truth is not one of you would trade lives with a young, black lesbian. Or, more applicably to Hawai`i, someone find me an educated, middle-class white male who would trade lives with a female Micronesian immigrant with Type II Diabetes.
That's what I thought.
Bottom line is: whether or not there is actually is a "kill haole day" is irrelevant, because I can find you thousands of Micronesians, Asians, Polynesians, and other minorities who would gladly trade your "kill haole day" for their dispossessed and painful lives.
Rebuttal by Ken Conklin:
I'm sending three comments. #1 is about Trisha's essay. #2 is about the Southern Poverty Law Center article. #3 is a homework assignment including a list of links to important documents and webpages.
Conklin Comment #1, focused on Trisha's essay.
Well, there she goes again.
Trisha Watson claims there is no racism against Caucasians in Hawaii; merely the absence of the "white privilege" which she and other lefties like to talk about. That's baloney.
Do I need to quote from Trisha's mentor, Haunani-Kay Trask? Here's her "poem" inflicted upon her students as a required reading at UH. I'll bet Trisha just loves this poem and thinks it's perfectly appropriate for the UH curriculum.
Racist White Woman
I could kick Your face, puncture Both eyes.
You deserve this kind Of violence. No more vicious Tongues, obscene Lies.
Just a knife Slitting your tight Little heart.
For all my people Under your feet
For all those years Lived smug and wealthy Off our land
A fist In your painted Mouth, thick With money And piety.
Trisha cites the Massey case and includes a photo. Let's see -- how long ago was that? 75 years? And how long ago did Trask write her poem? How long ago did the Waikele hate crime take place? How long ago did the anti-Caucasian hate crimes take place in the public schools, described in the Southern Poverty Law Center article?
Trisha clearly feels a strong need to protect the victimhood status of ethnic Hawaiians. Couldn't allow Caucasians to gain recognition as a victim group for racial hate crimes, now could we? So then Trisha goes off on a wild tangent talking about sex trafficking, nuclear testing in Micronesia, black lesbians, etc. all apparently for the purpose of showing that dark-skinned people have been victimized by whites, and how dare whites complain about racial hate-crimes against themselves?
Trisha's ranting about the Massey Case and other examples of Caucasian oppression of dark-skinned people in the past sounds very much like an attempt to justify racial hate crimes against Caucasians in the present as being just and fair. At the very least Trisha is trying to provide an excuse for why there are feelings of rage, and so it's perfectly understandable why the rage boils over into hate crimes. Yeah, right. Go ahead and beat up the haoles; they've got it coming.
It's interesting that Trisha rants and raves against the Southern Poverty Law Center article about racial hate crimes against Caucasians in Hawaii, but she does not provide a link to the article she's trashing.
In a later message I will provide several URLs, including a link to the SPLC article. I'm posting links in a separate response because it might be that including links causes a comment to be embargoed "pending moderation."
The links I post will include a pdf file of the official findings of the Office of Civil Rights of the U.S. Department of Education regarding a particular series of racial hate crimes against Caucasians in the Hawaii public schools, and a pdf of the consent decree which the USDOE forced on the Hawaii DOE after the Hawaii DOE delayed, did nothing about it, and tried to cover it all up. To paraphrase from a popular movie from several years ago: Caucasians are mad as hell about racial hate crimes against us, and we're not going to take it anymore.
In Conklin Comment #2 I'll analyze the article in the Southern Poverty Law Center "Intelligence Report." And in Conklin Comment #3 I'll provide some links to documents and webpages.
Conklin Comment #2
To avoid setting off the tripwire that sends a comment to purgatory to "await moderation" I will not include any URLs in this comment, but will include a list of them in my followup comment.
REVIEW OF THE SOUTHERN POVERTY LAW CENTER ARTICLE
Although the article is a breakthrough in recognizing that Caucasians can be a victim group for racial hate crimes, the article also seems to enable ethnic Hawaiian racists by giving them an excuse for violence on account of historical grievances.
The mission of the magazine "Intelligence Report" is to describe hate groups and hate crimes throughout America, including lists naming such groups and maps showing where they are. Mostly the hate groups are chapters of the Ku Klux Klan, neo-Nazis, skinheads, and rogue militias; and the victims of hate crimes are African-Americans, Jews, and sometimes homosexuals.
SPLC describes itself this way: It "was founded in 1971 as a small civil rights law firm. Today, SPLC is internationally known for its tolerance education programs, its legal victories against white supremacists and its tracking of hate groups. Located in Montgomery, Alabama – the birthplace of the Civil Rights Movement – the Southern Poverty Law Center was founded by Morris Dees and Joe Levin, two local lawyers who shared a commitment to racial equality. Its first president was civil rights activist Julian Bond."
The article about Hawaii in Fall 2009 is notable because it might be the first time the distinguished SPLC has identified Caucasians as a victim group for racial hate crimes. In SPLC publications Caucasians have always been the perpetrators while Blacks and Jews have been the victims of hate crimes.
This left-leaning, liberal organization freely sprinkles the term "white supremacists" throughout its publications. But SPLC just cannot seem to bring itself to use the corresponding label "ethnic Hawaiian supremacists"; even though that is clearly the correct label for the theoreticians who inspire the perpetrators of the hate crimes described in the article about Hawaii.
In fact, the article goes out of its way to include an addendum entitled "Roots of Resentment Go Way Back" outlining a history of Hawaii portraying ethnic Hawaiians in two ways: they have justifiable anger against (today's) Caucasians for (alleged) colonial oppression of the natives and for the 1893 white-led revolution that overthrew the monarchy; and today's ethnic Hawaiians are courageously fighting to take control of their own future through the Akaka bill and a zealous secessionist movement.
Although the history described by the article is somewhat skewed, the logical way for SPLC to make use of that history would be to explain clearly that it is a litany of real or imagined grievances from 1778 to 1959, taught to students from kindergarten through university, and ballyhooed in the media, providing fuel for the fire of racial hatred against Caucasians.
But instead of giving that obvious explanation, the article has the effect of making SPLC into an enabler of hate crime against Caucasians by somehow giving the Hawaiian racial supremacists an excuse for the violence they spawn. The article could very well lead readers to believe it's OK to hate the racial group you've been told oppressed your ancestors two centuries ago, and it's understandable (perhaps acceptable?) when hatred spills over into violence.
This is the attitude apparently displayed by Trisha Watson in her essay about Caucasian oppression of dark-skinned people, the Massey case from 75 years ago, etc.
Under such an analysis, hate crimes against Caucasians could even be regarded as yet another element of ethnic Hawaiian victimhood, because the aloha spirit Hawaiians would naturally display has been killed by oppression at the hands of Caucasians. Oh, those poor, downtrodden natives! The haoles (Caucasians) first committed genocide against them through newly introduced diseases for which the natives had no resistance. Then the haoles colonized the natives, overthrew their monarchy, made their language illegal, and stole their ancestral lands through annexation to America. And now the haoles have actually reached into the natives' very souls to destroy the aloha spirit which is the core of the Hawaiians' essential nature. Auwe! [how awful].
If SPLC wants to write an article about anti-Caucasian hate crimes, it should focus on those crimes and not present a skewed history from two centuries ago which seems to give an excuse for violence. If SPLC did the same sort of thing in its articles about neo-Nazi or skinhead hate crimes against Jews, it would then also have to include the skewed historical analysis created by those groups to justify their crimes by portraying Jews as controlling the banking system and the media, oppressing poor whites, and engaging in a worldwide conspiracy to strip Americans of our sovereignty.
So in the end, the SPLC article about Hawaii leaves us wondering whether a liberal organization fighting the good fight against white supremacist hate crimes can ever bring itself to fully acknowledge that the role of the races is reversed in Hawaii, where whites are the "niggers." And we must wonder whether liberals can recognize that demands for race-based political power are just as morally repugnant when asserted by dark-skinned people as when asserted by whites.
There's also an important difference between anti-Caucasian hate crime in Hawaii and anti-Black or anti-Jew hate crime on the mainland, which the SPLC article fails to mention. Mainland hate groups usually have a very small number of intellectual or inspirational leaders whose fiery rhetoric inspires a far larger number of face-bashing, leg-breaking, relatively unintelligent goons to attack the victims. The leaders and the goons have a close working relationship within their hate groups, and the leaders give "marching orders" to the goons. But in Hawaii it's very different.
In Hawaii there are a large number of ethnic Hawaiian racial supremacist intellectuals with respectable jobs as professors, lawyers, and executives in race-based "legitimate" socially approved institutions such as Kamehameha Schools and the Office of Hawaiian Affairs. Those intellectuals are often not members of any sovereignty group. Then there are dozens of Hawaiian sovereignty groups, each one led by either one or two intellectuals or by a charismatic activist. Some of the leaders even claim to be King, or Regent Pro-Tem, of a nation of Hawaii now restored to rightful governmental authority by the group. These sovereignty groups are constantly quarreling with each other over doctrinal disputes (much like Baptists vs. Methodists vs. Lutherans vs. Episcopalians; and all of them vs. Catholics). But on special occasions many of them come together to sponsor highly visible "peaceful" marches or protests which the media publicize ahead of time and report admiringly afterward. Finally there are a few ethnic Hawaiian "low-lifes" who enjoy beating up Caucasians or stealing from them for drug money, but who are mostly not affiliated with any intellectuals or sovereignty groups. The low-lifes who actually commit the racial hate crimes are acting on hatred for haoles for reasons they are only dimly aware of -- real or imagined historical grievances clearly described by the intellectuals, whose propaganda has infested the curricula of all public and private schools from kindergarten through university and is regularly featured in the media and in bills in the state Legislature and U.S. Congress
Despite its flaws, the SPLC article is extremely valuable because it describes a series of racial hate crimes against Caucasians in Hawaii and brings that issue to national attention. Following (in Conklin #3) are some important documents and webpages that discuss those topics in detail. Complete text of the SPLC article is available on the SPLC website where there are also links to lists of mainland hate groups, maps of where they are, and descriptions of crimes they have committed.
Conklin comment #3
Here are some "required readings" for Trisha and the Hawaiian Studies students at UH.
An important article about Hawaii appeared in the Fall 2009 issue of the quarterly magazine "Intelligence Report" published by The Southern Poverty Law Center.
"Prejudice in Paradise -- Hawaii Has a Racism Problem" by Larry Keller
It was accompanied by an addendum about Hawaii history, also by Larry Keller:
"Roots of Resentment Go Way Back"
December 2008 letter to Tina Mohr from the Office for Civil Rights of the U.S. Department of Education, listing the OCR findings of fact which resulted in a settlement agreement (below) forced on the Hawaii Department of Education.
December 2008 official settlement agreement forced on the Hawaii Department of Education by the Office for Civil Rights of the U.S. Department of Education. Signed by the Superintendent of Schools and Deputy Attorney General of the State of Hawaii.
West Hawaii Today, August 1, 2007 providing background information about the events of 2004 which resulted in the findings of fact and consent decree of December 2008 after more than 4 years of stonewalling and coverup.
"Civil rights complaints in schools. Alleged violations could threaten schools' federal funds. ... Hawaii's public schools could potentially lose federal funding if the state fails to resolve allegations that several Hawaii Island students have been targets of harassment, violence and retaliation because of their race, sex and disability. State and federal officials have sought resolution to these alleged civil rights violations for more than two years, exceeding the typical 180 days it takes to settle "most cases" by the U.S. Department of Education's Office of Civil Rights. ... Twenty-year Hawaii residents Tina and Sanford Mohr filed civil rights complaints in December 2004 with the U.S. DOE Office of Civil Rights alleging their children, who were both born and raised in Kona, were assaulted and repeatedly bullied because of their race and gender. The Mohr's then 11-year-old daughter suffered severe injuries, including a dislocated jaw, after being assaulted in May 2004 by a fellow, female Kealakehe Elementary School student following weeks of taunting that included sexually related epithets and racial slurs, such as 'f------ haole.'"
"Professor Haunani-Kay Trask: Some Speeches and Writings Illustrating the Anti-American and Anti-White Attitudes of the Hawaiian Sovereignty Movement"
"Road Rage or Racial Hate Crime? (Large webpage about the infamous Waikele incident of racial violence in February 2007, and how such violence can be used as a political tool to bolster demands for Hawaiian sovereignty)"
"Violence and threats of violence to push demands for Hawaiian sovereignty -- past, present, and future" [A major webpage with twenty sections describing and documenting how violence and threats of violence have been used as political weapons by Hawaiian sovereignty activists including King Kamehameha, Queen Liliuokalani, crew of Hokulea voyaging canoe, Rev. Charles Maxwell (former Chair of the Hawaii State Advisory Committee to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights), Rod Fereira (at the time head of three major ethnic Hawaiian institutions, Senator Dan Akaka, and others.
"Racism in the Hawaiian Sovereignty Movement (with special focus on anti-white racism)"
** NOTE: Trisha Watson talked about white privilege, and Ken Conklin responded that in Hawaii the most highly privileged group is ethnic Hawaiians. Trisha Watson then created a new blog topic in which she tried to distinguish between privilege vs. redress of grievances -- white privilege is unearned and inappropriate, whereas redress for grievances is appropriate and is justice. That discussion of privilege vs. redress takes place in dialog # 13, at
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