Hawaiians’ grievances don’t excuse protest group's actions
He mea kaumaha loa -- a tragic event. That's what I believe transpired Wednesday at Iolani Palace. The actions of the Hawaiian Kingdom Government -- occupying the palace grounds and closing the gates to the public -- were disrespectful, not only to those who work and volunteer at the palace but also to the people of Hawaii, to visitors and to the great legacy of the Hawaiian monarchy.
As a native Hawaiian, I understand that there are hurt feelings and great sadness when it comes to the overthrow of the monarchy, but the Hawaiian Kingdom Government went too far, and it was very reminiscent of when 13 men took possession of Aliiolani Hale on Jan.17, 1893.
I reached the palace Wednesday morning around 8:45 a.m. for a class and was immediately met with a closed gate guarded by three men. After asking to pass through I was immediately asked, "Kanaka maoli?"
What does it matter if I'm native Hawaiian or not, the palace is for the people, not an intrusive group of 50-plus claiming they have a right to it. It's shocking to think that the group, whose members claim to have aloha in their hearts, showed so much intimidation behind locked fences.
The gang at Hawaiian Kingdom Government should get their facts straight.
» Government business of the Hawaiian kingdom was conducted in the old courthouse (until it was demolished) and then at Aliiolani Hale. It wasn't until after the overthrow in 1893 that Iolani Palace was used for governmental purposes by the Provisional Government, Republic of Hawaii, Territory of Hawaii and then state of Hawaii.
» The reason an American flag does not fly above Iolani Palace is because the palace is restored to the Kalakaua period, when he was the sovereign. Please don't say otherwise.
» Barring people from coming onto palace grounds because they are not "Kanaka maoli" is divisive and considered racial profiling.
If the Hawaiian Kingdom Government is so intent on taking back Hawaii for Hawaiians, why not use some of that $10,000 that the Office of Hawaiian Affairs gave it, and put it toward educational programs -- first for their members and then for the children. I mean no disrespect to the Hawaiian Kingdom Government, but you cannot fight for your cause without knowing all the facts. You need to accurately know where you come from in order to know where you are and to then figure out where you are going.
The final thing I have to say to the Hawaiian Kingdom Government is, while you've had your 15 minutes of fame at the expense of the folks at Iolani Palace, they will continue to step up and do the job you seem so unwilling to do -- help educate with aloha and share the rich history of the Kingdom of Hawaii with na kanaka, na malihini a me na keiki.
Jennifer Olani Cravalho lives in Aiea.