Friday, October 8, 1999
CORKY Trinidad's Sept. 15 front-page cartoon showed the ghost of Bernice Pauahi Bishop in a room, while in the adjacent one everybody else is talking about what to do about the trustee selection process.
It would not make much difference now if it were the courts at any level, or any of the groups recommended to form committees to make recommendations to the government at any level. That includes the governor and the Attorney General's Office, state and federal courts and, I believe, even the state Legislature.
What we are witnessing is a government lynching of three trustees -- Henry Peters, Dickie Wong and Lokelani Lindsey -- by bankrupting their personal accounts, because they dared to stand up to the other two, Os Stender and Gerard Jervis.
What is the sacred cow to be protected at all costs? The tax-exempt status?
Nonsense. The solution is simple: Declare the tax-exempt status null and void according to the Internal Revenue Service recommendations.
Then pay the stupid tax. What is it? One billion dollars to the State of Hawaii? Pay it. Give it to the Office of Hawaiian Affairs. Or, give it to education, public health, jail upkeep, drug counseling, homelessness -- you name it. We have it all.
One billion dollars to the federal government. Pay it to military protection, training of the young in the art of self- and national defense.
What's left of the trust? Four billion dollars? One billion to the lawyers and counsel and administration and Na Pua or whatever it calls itself, to split up any way they see fit.
What's left? Three billion dollars? That's Goldman, Sachs'. That's Henry Peters' last investment and winning move in global banking and finance and all that stuff. So, why deprive him of life and liberty?
Instead, I say to Henry Peters, you are not guilty of this so-called crime, are you? Of course not. You deserve better than we did for you. You don't need to pay anybody anything. You've made them so blasted rich, they can hardly see straight for the jealousy in their cowry-eyed squint.
Just don't let them ask you to carry your own cross to the Native Hawaiian Golgotha.
There's a better place, too, for Lokelani Lindsey's special talents. What about a public-private school curriculum and program in health and fitness, rather than competitive sports? Think of it: All the kids participating in chin-up games, health calisthenics and daily exercises for different ages and different health needs and problems?
I see her as perfect for the job: coordinator of all of these joint health and fitness programs, private and public schools and the recreation sections of the counties.
That leads to participation in acrobatics, eurhythmic dancing, basic hula, basic everything, tai chi, everything put into a sensible, gradual self-improvement formula for every student in the state.
And Richard Wong? He has better talents than pacing a jail cell, don't you think?
WE'RE almost to the year 2000 A.D. Do we want to end the millennium creating agony for ourselves? Of course not.
Pay the taxes and end the tax-exempt status of Bishop Estate.
Do it for us, the real heirs of Kamehameha, the ones who are homeless, in jail and who never were students of Kamehameha Schools because we could never qualify.
Rubellite Kawena Kinney Johnson is president of
Nahoa 'Olelo o Kamehameha Society and chairwoman pro tempore of
the Mo'opuna o Kamehameha Society.
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