Letters to the Editor

Write a Letter to the Editor

Friday, August 5, 2005

Ruling shows need for Akaka Bill passage

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruling on the Kamehameha Schools admission policy (Star-Bulletin, Aug. 3) is -- unfortunately -- correct under U.S. law because the United States currently classifies Hawaiians as a race of people, not an indigenous people. If the Akaka Bill were law, since apparently Princess Pauahi's will was not sufficient protection for the "Hawaiians first" admission policy, federal recognition of Hawaiians as an indigenous people could have stopped this lawsuit in its initial stages.

This case points out the need for the Akaka Bill to become law. No, it does not please everyone, nor does it solve every wrong, real or imagined. But it is an excellent starting point. It gives recognition to Hawaiians as an indigenous people instead of a race of people, and thereby protects against challenges that would damage or destroy programs or institutions specifically for Hawaiians.

Without the Akaka Bill, rulings like the 9th Circuit's decision against Kamehameha Schools are going to continue, and all programs set up specifically for Hawaiians will be dismantled or severely diluted so that they are of little or no benefit to Hawaiians.

Anne Sabalaske

Ruling shows school is dividing by race

When that non-Hawaiian boy soon enters the Kamehameha Schools remember the days past when little Afro-American girls were denied access to all-white Mississippi schools. The Kamehameha Schools arguments to deny him an education are only a smokescreen to perpetuate selfish ideas of racial purity but are in reality proven unlawful racial discrimination. I hope the new student will not have to endure a year of painful ridicule and biased treatment by fellow students and teachers because that will be the real proof that the Kamehameha Schools has truly succeeded in consciously or unconsciously delivering its message of racial hatred.

Whether it's the success of Harold "Freddy" Rice or the oncoming "doomed to failure" of a Kamehameha Schools appeal or even the Akaka Bill, one thing is for certain: The U.S. Supreme Court does not see or accept any gray areas when it comes to blatant racial discrimination. Rest assured the people in Washington, D.C., are most familiar with Hawaii's messages of hate and discrimination against non-Hawaiians. It's time for Hawaiians to reap what they have sown and to be prepared to "wander" for another 40 years in their search for their promised land.

Robert Cravens

Ruling breaks down the Aloha State

My heart is hurting for all the Hawaiian children that may be denied a privileged education because of the recent appeals court decision against the Kamehameha Schools.

The rest of me is angry. This decision is not only against the Kamehameha Schools, but against the Hawaiian people. Again, the Hawaiian is being persecuted for just being Hawaiian. The Hawaiians have suffered so many injustices since being "discovered." They have been inundated with so many foreigners who use non-Hawaiian practices in their attempt to further degrade and defile the Hawaiian people on all levels.

Remember, it is the Hawaiians, their nature and their ways that have made Hawaii the Aloha State. Kamehameha Schools is deeply committed to the Hawaiians. If you do not support the Hawaiians, then our state becomes just like any other U.S. state. Hawaii, the Aloha State will be no more.

Sybil Nosaka

Hawaiians, too, can violate aloha spirit

Lilikala Kame'eleihiwa of the Center for Hawaiian Studies says the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals decision is "one more theft, one more time white racism wins," and that in Hawaii, there are only two kinds of non-Hawaiians: the good non-Hawaiians who love native Hawaiians and the bad non-Hawaiians who hate them (Star-Bulletin, Aug. 3).

These comments are examples of the confusion concerning the rights of native Hawaiians vs. non-natives. The fact that Kamehameha Schools is private does not exempt it or its affiliates from abiding by the "Law of the Aloha Spirit." These comments are best directed toward the courts rather than the non-natives who have chosen to live and educate their children in Hawaii. The dilemma is that a non-native challenged the policy of the school of maintaining native Hawaiian exclusivity and maintaining the aloha spirit law. How can a person who wishes to be embraced by this culture be considered a "bad non-Hawaiian?" The corruption happens when the Law of Aloha Spirit is broken, regardless of your color.

These comments and others like them are a flagrant violation of that law. What is the definition of a "good Hawaiian?"

Suzanne Case
Pahoa, Hawaii

'Children of Hawaii' means only Hawaiians

With sadness I read about the ruling regarding the admissions policy at Kamehameha Schools. I'm a haole who did grow up here and my parents wouldn't have dreamed of applying for my admission to Kamehameha. I always felt that it was understood that this was a school intended to educate Hawaiian children, not all children of Hawaii. I have not been traumatized by not only having any public school but an endless number of private schools that I could have attended.

This is an indecent ruling. As children of Hawaii we are going to have to protect Kamehameha Schools in a way the courts seem unwilling to do. If your children are not of Hawaiian ancestry, do try to gain their admission to Kamehameha. What do attorneys from Sacramento stand to gain from this ruling besides a six-figure fee?

Casey Levins
Hawaii Kai

Non-Hawaiian feels no 'pain and suffering'

With other private schools in Hawaii to choose from, it is interesting to me that Mr. Doe decided that he absolutely had to go to Kamehameha Schools. Being a former Hawaii resident, I was always supportive of Kamehameha Schools. I even dreamed that one day my children (who are part-Hawaiian) would attend school there just as their grandmother did. Being haole I understood that someone like me would never have been admitted to the school, but more importantly I also understood why. Did it bother me? No. Did I feel it was preferential treatment? No. Did I feel it was racist? Definitely not. In fact, I would be willing to bet that most Caucasian people living in Hawaii understand why Kamehameha Schools does what it does. It is unfortunate that a few have come along and feel the need to destroy things.

What is even more bothersome to me though, is the fact that Doe's lawyer is now talking about "seeking damages" if Doe is not admitted this fall. Damages? Does he mean for all the "pain and suffering" that this situation may be causing Doe? The kind of pain and suffering that native Hawaiians have been dealing with for far too many years? I hope Doe ends up getting what the Hawaiians have been given so far ... nothing.

Jay Richards
St. Charles, Mo.

Rail could bring future tax increases

It seems to me that all the rush to pass the rail transit bill was because we had to meet a deadline to secure federal funds to help with the construction. Congressman Neil Abercrombie put the pressure on the Legislature; it in turn pressured Governor Lingle; and as a result, we will be doled out plenty of pork to help construct it.

But heh, wait a minute, what about the after-construction costs that will be required for subsidizing fares, maintaining the track, rolling stock, stations and so on? These ongoing costs, and they will be substantial, will have to come out of the taxpayer's pocket, won't they? Oh, but the continuing transit tax will take care of such costs, won't it?

Who knows? In our eagerness to feed at the pork-barrel trough we didn't take time to prepare a construction plan, a budget of ongoing costs, a ridership projection or to allow the public a say in the project.

Well, I guess if the transit tax won't cover the ongoing costs, the answer will lie in the Legislature's usual practice -- raise more taxes to cover the deficit. And it will!

Is this the way to run a railroad? I think not.

Stan Morketter

How to write us

The Star-Bulletin welcomes letters that are crisp and to the point (150 to 200 words). The Star-Bulletin reserves the right to edit letters for clarity and length. Please direct comments to the issues; personal attacks will not be published. Letters must be signed and include a daytime telephone number.

Letter form: Online form, click here
E-mail: letters@starbulletin.com
Fax: (808) 529-4750
Mail: Letters to the Editor, Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 7 Waterfront Plaza, 500 Ala Moana, Suite 210, Honolulu, HI 96813

E-mail to Editorial Page Editor


© Honolulu Star-Bulletin -- http://archives.starbulletin.com