Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The Other Hawaii

John Marine | 11/30/2010 07:36:00 PM | | |
Before I begin, let me say that I am not comfortable discussing matters of government or any sort of radical movements or whatever. I am not comfortable discussing these things because it is too easy to rile up someone or get some kind of reaction that ends up angering people. So I have therefore avoided doing mentions of the past. But after watching a two-part YouTube video, I will try to do a rare blog post regarding political or social matters. This is not a personal commentary piece. It is instead a digest based on what I've read online and in a two-part YouTube video series. These have helped me to better understand Hawaii and its history. I am not going to make any serious opinions in this blog post. PLEASE correct me on anything I've messed up on (because I WILL mess something up here), and do so in a respectful manner, please.

This blog post was made somewhat per the request of someone who sent me some YouTube videos showing a deeper side of Hawaii apart from the tourism and happy times. These two videos were purely powerful. If you are someone who feels that I am not giving enough quality material regarding Hawaii, I'm sorry. I don't post anything truthfully unless I truly know something (or come very close). Most of my material comes from YouTube and Wikipedia.

Before you read further into this, here are two 11-minute videos describing what this deal in general. "The Other Hawaii" was shown in two parts. These videos were posted on YouTube on September 26, 2008. Both are rather long (both 11 minutes long), so if you don't want to see these videos, you don't have to. They are just there to give you insight as to what this blog post is about.

Part 1 of "The Other Hawaii" can be seen here (11:47.000 long):

Part 2 of "The Other Hawaii" can be seen here (11:00.000 long):

Now let me post on this deal.

--- The Issues at Hand ---
Let me try to discuss this as best as I can. Before Hawaii became the 50th state of the United States, it was known as the Kingdom of Hawaii. Two videos from Al Jazeera English's YouTube channel have gotten me to understand a side of Hawaii that is much different from the tropical paradise and tourism giant Hawaii can be. A deeper look at Hawaii, however, notes what all Hawaii has endured in its long history. Issues such as poverty, homelessness, and various health care problems. A once proud kingdom was taken over by the United States starting in 1893. Even before then, there was the so-called "Bayonet Constitution" which was the document turning over Hawaii of its monarchy government in favor of control under American, European and native Hawaiians. The Bayonet aspect was called such because the Hawaiian King (King Kal?kaua) was forced to sign it with armed militia to avoid being deposed.

The key issue here is on (from the two videos you might have seen earlier in this post) Hawaiian self-determination. These are about people who want to maintain their indigenous character rather and not have their native culture and customs purely taken away. It's about many Hawaiians feeling like most of their land and customs have been taken away without consent or consolidation.

--- Hawaii: State or Country? ---
Considering that Hawaii used to be the Kingdom of Hawaii, I became curious as to if Hawaii is truly a state or a country. Some native Hawaiians feel that their native way of life and culture have been taken apart since the United States took control of Hawaii in 1893. Hawaii has its own state song, called Hawai'i Pono'i ("Hawaii's Own"). It used to be the national anthem for Hawaii back during the Kingdom of Hawaii days.

If you want to hear "Hawaii's Own," here is one version I found on YouTube:

From the 2010 Miss South Pacific Pageant in Papua New Guinea, there was a representative for Hawaii. The beautiful Pomaikai Klein (or Pomaika'i Klein) was Miss Hawaii/Hawai'i in this competition. Not "Miss American Hawaii," but Miss Hawaii.

The Quest for Hawaiian Self-Determination.

The year 1993 (Bill Clinton was U.S. President) marked 100 years since America's overthrow of Hawaii. The many acres of land (1.8 million acres) wanted by Hawaiians. What generated controversy in all of this is that the United States admittedly seized Hawaiian land without consent or compensation. Some Hawaiians feel their native culture and way of life have been taken away. When you have Hawaiians saying "I am not an American" as was said in 1993, you know something is up among some Hawaiians. A number of Hawaiians are either for becoming its own sovereign state of indigenous people, and others are not in favor of Hawaiian sovereignty. Those who seek Hawaiian independence or sovereignty feel that through the United States, some Hawaiians aren't getting much in terms of money, land, compensation, or anything like that.

A lot of Hawaiian people feel new energy in reclaiming their culture and way of life and trying to retain their identity and indigenous ways. Some Hawaiians really dislike the United States today even since the invasion of Hawaii long ago. A group called Sudden Rush expressed Hawaiian sovereignty. They are a powerful music group delivering messages of sovereignty through adult contemporary music.

--- What If: Hawaii Reinstatement of the Kingdom of Hawaii? ---
I honestly don't know what it would be like for Hawaii to return as a Kingdom. I do wonder what it would be like if the compensation and such was granted to Hawaii. Could it mean that you have to have a visa or a passport or something to visit Hawaii? How could Hawaii sustain itself as a reinstated kingdom? I honestly don't know what to think about this.

Some believe that if Hawaii returned to kingdom status, the possible heir to the throne could be musician Owana Salazar (featured in my "Music of the South Pacific" blog post), who is related to the royal family of Hawaii. So she would be Queen of the Kingdom of Hawaii if Hawaii returned to being the Kingdom of Hawaii.

All you have read and seen here is a different Hawaii. What many of us consider a travel destination has its own dark history. Apart from being a travel destination lies a deeper and more hate-filled part of Hawaii among most who dislike the rule of Hawaii. As I read in a graphic, some Hawaiians feel they are "Hawaiian by blood, but American by force." Again- I am providing all of this for exposure and education. I am a native of Texas. I cannot, therefore, say that I have heartfelt feelings about Hawaiians seeking sovereignty. A lot of Hawaiians are somewhat divided on this. Some want independence and their culture back, and some others just don't know what to think about this whole thing even years since the overthrow of Hawaii back in the 19th Century.

As I said earlier, I don't know enough about this issue or want to discuss any further into this to where I start a firestorm. What I've been able to learn from all of this is that there are some Hawaiians who feel like Hawaii was taken over and taken away by other nations. What has sparked any recent wanting for Hawaii to seek self-determination and soverignity is beyond me. Topics relating to government are too strong for me. That's why I avoid them, because it's too easy to say the wrong thing and get people in an uproar. The last thing I want to do is offend any of my readers or visitors by posting something inaccurate or anything to incite a firestorm. I don't want to lose my fan base. All I have done here was express certain issues in a digest manner. I have not expressed any opinions because I just don't know what to think.

So where do you stand on Hawaii wanting sovereignty? Should Hawaii have country-within-a-country status? What do you make of this? Here are a few websites to tell this story from multiple sides. Each of these links are provided on an educational basis:

* Hawai'i Independent and Sovereign
* Legal Foundation for Hawaiian Independence (various legal archives)
* Statehood: A Second Glance
* Hawaiian Kingdom Independence Blog
* Hawaiianindependence.com
* Hawaiian Independence Action Alliance
* Hawaiian Sovereignity on about.com
* Free Hawai'i (a Blogspot blog)
* Hawaiian Sovereignity: Which Path Should Be Taken? (an essay)
* a timeline of Hawaiian Independence on Google

Special consideration for this blog post goes out to a friend of mine online from Hawaii named Ann (whom I've mentioned in my "Music of the South Pacific" blog post. I told her that I don't do topics regarding government or deep social matters, but I did attempt to discuss this in a professional and non-threatening or non-biased way because the two videos from earlier in this post were so powerful. She suggested that I blog about this just to expose the whole issue of Hawaiian sovereignty and independence. And so, I really thank my friend Ann for influencing me to post this.

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