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Monday, January 8, 2001


Suspects' descriptions are often racist

While the unfortunate victims of a Dec. 7 robbery at Haena Point like Philip Pickering and his family certainly deserve sympathy (View Point column, Dec. 30), his description of the probable culprits as "Filipino-Hawaiian males" reflects a bigoted attitude that is prevalent in this state.

Life-long residents of Hawaii's so-called melting-pot society are not always accurate in discerning the ethnic backgrounds of others, never mind tourists from California.

The local media and law enforcement agencies are also guilty of classifying tan suspects in various crimes as Filipino or Hawaiian. The term Oriental is inclusive for possible criminals of Chinese, Korea or Japanese ancestry (before he was apprehended, Xerox shooter Byran Uesugi was described over the radio as an "Oriental suspect"), while Caucasian categorizes those who are English, German, etc. So why isn't Asian or Polynesian part of the norm?

Ironically, when a Filipina like Angela Baraquio attains national prominence and prestige, she is quickly identified as the first "Asian" Miss America.

Unless there is no such thing as a slightly built Samoan, a heavy-set Filipino or a dark-skinned Japanese, publicized descriptions of suspects in criminal investigations should not be based on assumptions, but on facts.

Tess Nartatez Pereira



"When I first started, people would tell me, 'Oh, you'll never get a show because your pieces aren't serious,' and my thought was why...can't it be fun and whimsical?"
Rochelle Lum
On her playful show of clay animals at the Bibelot Gallery called"It's Raining Cats and Dogs..."

"Selfish or not, I'm just looking out for what I want to do."
Dominic Raiola
On how the former standout lineman at St. Louis School is giving up his senior year with the Cornhuskers to turn pro

Online holiday gifts were highly suspect

Christmas is over and I am happily licking my wounds and checking out the damage to my credit cards. It was a good Christmas and most of the store-bought gifts were useful or fun.

I do have a gripe, though. I am thinking of starting a Web site called "Junk dot-com" or something like that. It would help me unload all of the white elephants and "valuable" items that I bought online:

Bullet My Rolex watch, which had the serial numbers scratched off. Why, I asked the seller? Still awaiting a reply.

Bullet The fur coat that was supposed to be black mink but which looked like matching skunk skins with its black and white colors.

Bullet My genuine Baume Mercier watch. It had a problem; the hands fell off.

Bullet My Rolex watch with its stainless steel backing. Yet this edition, I was told by my jeweler, came only in all gold. (Well, at least I am helping the economy of Hong Kong.)

Bullet Finally, the emerald cross I bought, which had emerald chips that looked like they were swept off the floor and hastily glued to the crucifix.

But the pictures on the online auction had looked so wonderful! As I said, it was a marvelous Christmas with a few exceptions -- and the exceptions can be bought on my proposed Web site. Call it "Bought junk dot-com."

Jim Delmonte

Bush not closed-minded about Hawaiian issues

As I am Hawaiian, I am encouraged and confident that President-elect Bush and the Republican-controlled Senate and House will do the right thing for Hawaiians and for all the people of Hawaii, contrary to How Tim Chang's Dec. 30 letter.

The official position of the Hawaii GOP, as stated in our platform, is that "the resolution of issues facing Hawaiians are matters for Hawaiians to resolve" and that we "support initiatives leading to implementation of Hawaiian self-determination by popular vote of the Hawaiian people."

This means that Hawaii's Republicans think Hawaiians can and should make their own decision, and we will support their decision regarding self-determination -- whatever it may be.

As executive director of the Republican Party in Hawaii, I can and will work closely with the Bush administration and congressional leadership on matters of interest to Hawaiians.

It should surprise no one that the Hawaii Republican Party continues to support Hawaiian causes and issues.

It was a Republican, Prince Jonah Kuhio Kalanianaole who, as our delegate to Congress, introduced and got passed the Hawaiian Home Lands Act.

Micah Kane
Executive Director
Hawaii Republican Party

Editorial cartoonist is obviously anti-Bush

Over the past eight years, the mainstream press has occasionally applied the term "Clinton bashers" to those whose animosity toward the president has been especially vehement. Somehow, I doubt the term "Bush bashers" will make it into your newpaper's lexicon, since one of them appears to be on your editorial board.

Corky's political cartoons, once even-handed, have become shrill and downright paranoid on the subject of the Bush presidency. His lowest moment came in the primaries when he depicted Bush in the form of the skin cancer that John McCain had removed from his face, with McCain saying, "Just had to get that out of my system."

Bush -- a cancer? Oh, please.

Now Corky depicts a Bush cabinet, far more diverse than Clinton's, as being hopelessly right-wing. It would be one thing if such delusional cartoons decorated the pages of an overtly left-wing publication, but doesn't the Star-Bulletin profess to be objective?

Greg Shepherd

Assertions abound about Hui Malama

Your newspaper has misrepresented and misconstrued the truth in his "expose" on Hui Malama I Na Kupuna o Hawaii Nei (Star-Bulletin, Dec. 30). The article contained numerous errors and assertions, including that I was a former Ola Na Iwi project coordinator and a former Hui Malama board member. I've never held either position.

The "recent" conversation I had with your reporter occurred nine months ago, when I sought a retraction for a statement in a March 25, 2000, story that I assisted in establishing Hui Malama.

These repeated inaccuracies do a disservice to the numerous Hui Malama members who have held and continue to hold these positions. Few are willing to undertake the burdens and responsibilities that Hui Malama has borne for over a decade, yet their efforts have resulted in the return and reburial of literally thousands of ancestral Hawaiians.

Despite these accomplishments by Hui Malama, your newspaper has repeatedly presented a one-sided view of the organization.

Noelle M.K.Y. Kahanu

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