“This whole conversation of quantum should not even be discussed. Nobody at a party says “pure Hawaiians eat first, then 50%, then everybody else.” Also, 45% or 55% is nothing. If you are Hawaiian, that is that. We should not be separating Hawaiians based on “How much Hawaiian get”. (BJ Akui)
“How much get?”
The photo is my only daughter’s high school graduation. The Tutu Wahine is my mom, the one to whom everyone in my life, and her life, even da haoles, refers to as “Auntie Sheila.” The older gentleman in the center is my father, Unko Ronnie, and the woman standing behind my mother is my kid sister, Napua. The photo was taking at this year’s commencement at Pomona’s School of Arts and Enterprise for the Class of 2016. We have all gone to this same graduation – where the leis are in our faces, and the kids are going crazy, and everyone is happy, and we are celebrating the way that all island people of the poly sort do….we celebrate this way…all of us. No one asked any of us on this day the ugly question….if it matters….Maile is Hapa-Haole…most of us are….don’t even deny it, because it is totally the truth.
“How much get?”
This is the question that most Hawai’ians dislike, unless, of course, it matters, and really, the only reason it matters is so that one human being feels superior to another human being.
The reality is that Hawai’ian is Hawai’ian.
If a person is Maoli, in any amount, at all, no one else within that set of people has the right to tell anyone else who they are in accordance to them. I will repeat it, again and again, and I may well end up being the very most…hated…Hawai’ian person within our culture, but only because over the course of my life, I have had to accept, like most of us do accept, that this is who we are, even though who we are is collectively a very sad group of people.
And we are sad, not only because of all of the obvious reasons that point to us all, but, because lots of us are judged for what others think we are not, all due to blood quantum.
I will never have a thing to say about anyone who is proud of the percentage of Hawai’ian blood they have in them. I cannot ever say that I have never done that same thing, but, I realize now that no matter who I was arguing my point with at whatever time it was in my life that I was talking about my percentage of Hawai’ian blood.
If I offend anyone, while I would like to apologize, I can’t, and I can’t because again…if you have any amount of Hawai’ian blood….1%, even….you are Maoli.
…and don’t you dare allow anyone – I don’t give three shits about who they think they are…tell you that you are not. If you were raised to recognize the importance of the leis for graduation, and the photo reminds you of days gone by when your own Tutu Wahine was crowning you with your rite of passage into adulthood...you are Hawai’ian.
Don’t let anyone tell you different.
Fuck all that. If you know what is happening, FOR REAL, in my daughter’s graduation photo…you are Hawai’ian.
You can say I am wrong, and you can go and say awful things about me, and you can agree with all of these haters who seem to think that they have all of the ultimate answers to all of this sovereignty thing goin’ on, but, the truth is that in terms of who is, and who is not “Hawai’ian” smacks of a lot of people needing to not only feel better about who they are, but, they need to feel better about who they are while putting in the faces of others who they are NOT and who they feel are NOT this or that enough.
What kind of shit is that? When was it that anyone of us was crowned the reigning champion of judging humans by means of blood quantum? If you treat me like I am some sort of damaged human because you feel like you need to be better than anyone else (for any reason at all), that is on YOU, and it is not up to you to call it in terms of who is and who is not Hawai’ian enough to call themselves Hawai’ian.
Calling other people by what they are not, denying them claim to their roots is how the foreigners (note that I DID NOT call them haoles because that word has had so much ugliness pinned to it…and I cannot believe you guys act like it is not a big deal to be a racist…until it happens to you…yup…I said it, so deal with it and hell yeah – you know you want to keep reading this so do it already…) did it to us all, many many generations ago, and truly, it seems as though this fight about the rights to our land, the rights to call ourselves Kanaka Maoli is the real reason we ought to be arguing with anyone – because our cultural identity has been stolen from us.
But, everything else? Everything else, like pointing out who is and who is not, by means and manner of someone else, typically someone with a title and a big mouth has set the standard for us all, and in that one person’s manner, there are plenty who have followed suit, all because of one thing – y’all need someone to hate on, because you cannot get past the idea that you were taught to hate that which is not like you are.
Hey man…I was taught this way, too. I was taught to see what is different, not about me and what sets me apart from others on the singular level, but, about me in the sense that I am part of a huge global tribe of souls who are also “blood” Hawai’ians, and those people understand that there is nothing we can do about how we each came into this world. NO one has the right to make the call on anyone else, not even if you work for the damned Census bureau – you ain’t anyone THAT important enough to have the right, neither the power, to strip someone else of what it is that they were raised as being.
And really, that is what has happened – we have lost the one thing that we should be fighting for, because once we win that fight, we will also win the right to call ourselves and rename ourselves, as did the Native Americans – Kanaka Maoli…Native Hawai’ians…
We lost one important thing
The one thing that we are known for is our values system. Our values system is all about the ohana. In my Mainland Maoli vernacular, we are one Tribe. All Hawai’ians are one nation of people, and it is wrong for those whose perception of their own power, no matter who righted them with it to tell others who belong to the global ohana who is and who is not, are WRONG.
If anyone would bother to read the things that have been written by people within our own culture, all about the way that they personally feel about haole people, you would wonder why the hell it is that we are still known as the people of the Aloha spirit. I read these things and wonder why it is that we think we are so awesome, so much better than anyone else, even those within our bloodset? I wonder why it is that anyone will exclude anyone else, namely those who they claim to love, until they find out that the person who is before them is not good enough because they, to the one claiming this, only have so much blood quantum.
What the hell is wrong with people? What makes it okay that we would take our own hatreds that are singular, that we were taught by our parents’ generation and that they were taught by their kupuna – what the hell is it with our race that tells us that we are okay to be telling anyone else that they are or they are not Hawai’ian?
Who, truly, do you think you are? Who made it okay that you would have the right to be so…hateful….so….judgmental and so…much better than the rest of us who are spread out all over this planet, that because you have a little more Maoli ancestry, the rest of us who are not as “Mahele” as you want to think you are (and which I KNOW I AM) are somehow damaged, somehow second rate Hawai’ians?
I want to know who made you so much better, and I want to know why it is that you intend to continue to instill into your own people, this generational sense of inferiority, and an inferiority that was placed there by others who decided that they would, on their own, who is and who is not able to call themselves Hawai’ians. By what manner was it given you to make that judgment call, and which one of your own ‘Aumakua would have you believe that somehow, you are the be all, end all of all that is Maoli?
I mean really?
Do you really need someone else to judge? Do you really need someone to be better than and if so does it have to be one of our own? Do you feel so awful about you, that the only thing that you can perceive as your own power is the ability to harsh out other people? Do you think that this is helping what it is that we are collectively doing, meaning that we are truly all in this together? (Yeah…I went there…I am betting your children and grand-children loved High School Musical and bets are you probably didn’t have a problem with them watching those kids dancing and singing…and I bet you might have even thought your kid was good enough to dance with Disney…or is it too mainland for you?)
The idea that any one of us is better than anyone else who is of the same background is preposterous. The idea that a person who is educated somewhere other than Hawai’i cannot possibly know as much as someone who attended UH and who is Hawai’ian is…ridiculous. The idea that my Hawai’ian blood here in Los Angeles, is not as real as is anyone else’s who is there in the ‘Aina, is the most hurtful thing in the world, and people who think and then orate these things to the populace absolutely know that they are doing this.
I might not make a whole lot of friends writing these things, but, I also know that I am not alone in these expressions. I know that I am not the only one who is sick to death of hearing these things said when they are being said. I am not the only one who has experienced, on more than only one occasion, here even – in Las Vegas- where I was pretty much ostracized by people who thought that because I was not dressed like I was going to Waimanalo, that I was too good – and they treated me this way.
Here…on the mainland….on my ‘Aina, where no one treats people like that, at least not when you share culture…
They were not happy with the idea that I was not going to be told what I was told, was not going to be treated like shit, namely not after I treated those people with respect, like they were family, and don’t give me this shit about they don’t trust people from the mainland. That is bullshit – they did not want to like me. They knew I was like them, and they knew that I was not going to be unkind, but still, they ganged up on me and behaved like pack animals.
As if I was trying to become their best friend or something…nope, I was trying to sit at a table with my Non Hawaiian friend who I just finished telling that most of us practice Aloha. Once she saw them treat me – one of their own – like I was going to slit their childrens’ throats – this was when I knew that this is not right, that this is not the way that I was taught, and I wanted to know who taught them to be that way. It was a few weeks later when, much to my own chagrin, I found out that it was the way that they were taught – they were taught to seek out “haolefied” Maoli – folks like me – and make us know, through their actions and their ignorance, that they were better than any of us here.
What a painful crock of shit that is…and to this day, it goes on, and for what reason?
Yeah…I don’t know either, and frankly, it should already be pau hana – we should already be like it is the end of the work week and it is Friday, perpetually, because we ought to already be done working that knob that tells us that we have to milk this shit for all it is worth.
Hating other people within one’s own race …well, that’s a different kind of knob we are talking about, and yeah…indeed, that IS Mainland Maoli vernacular, and if you can’t figure that much out, then maybe y’all ought to check yourself before you further wreck yourself, if you want to know what that means.
If this offends you…I can’t say sorry, because this is not only my own truth…it is the truth of many here on the Mainland…who want people of our own culture to stop robbing US of who WE are…
…and who we are is the same as you, just with another zip code…
Accept it, folks…
It ain’t gonna change any time soon….
Yup…I said it, so deal with it…