Letters to the Editor for Wednesday — September 24, 2003

• Kamehameha Schools

• Racism

• Hokulia an economic plus

• Supports Native Hawaiian programs


Kamehameha Schools

I feel that Kamehameha Schools has offered an exceptional opportunity of education for me and all the qualified children of Hawai‘i. No where in the world is something like this offered to indigenous people. We are very fortunate that Princess Bernice Pauahi Bishop gave this to her people through her last will and testament. It is an honor and privilege for the Hawaiians to have this opportunity in order to better educate a race of people who have been suppressed and denied a role in the broader community. When one Hawaiian child is allowed to attend Kamehameha Schools it is beneficial to the family and to the community. Many students who graduated from Kamehameha Schools have contributed their talents in helping and improving the community that they live in. I feel very proud to be in Kamehameha Schools. Thank you to Princess Bernice Pauahi Bishop for making it possible for me and other children of Hawai‘i to have an exceptional education.

Tai Graham,

Pahoa, HI


Racism

I am writing to you about racism in our schools and how it affects the students. About a week before today I saw a series special on HBO, it was called Middle School Confessions. This special was talking about how a boy who attended high school were being teased and made fun of because of how he dressed and also how he looked. Along with being teased his dad doesn’t want nothing to do with him. All of this put together plus being in an anger management class, trouble is bound to happen. He fights with all of the kids in his school and when he does he either gets suspended or he gets thrown out. I don’t think that this is fair but I also don’t think that the people who tease him are wrong. Do you think they are? Just because they might be rich it does not give them the right to put other people down. Thank you for reading this letter.

Chezvis Montero

‘Ele‘ele


Hokulia an economic plus

Whether Judge Ibarra’s ruling was based on principle or technicality, by stopping a major business dead in its tracks it broke a lot of people’s rice bowls. Gross revenues from the sales of resort residences last year on the Big Island were $451 million, making the resort market the major driver (51 percent of all money spent on residential property in the county) of that industry. And that doesn’t take into account the money subsequently spent on construction, landscaping, restaurants, gasoline, etc.

The work done on Hokulia’s few acres was supporting many, many more families than sugar, pineapple, coffee, or other botanicals ever could, or did. And the work done in the real estate and construction industry helped underwrite DBEDT’s (state Department of Business, Economic Development & Tourism) most recent upward revision of our state economic growth. If the developer broke the law, OK. If not, let those whose dream is to live on the Big Island do so. Better than having to move to the Mainland.

Ricky Cassiday

Honolulu


Supports Native Hawaiian programs

We all know how special Hawaii is, and how lucky we are to live and work here. There are more than a million people in this state, yet every day we run into people we know, or with whom we have a friend or relative in common. We are descended from every ethnicity you can imagine, steeped in a culture that brings us together. We are connected.

I was reminded of that two Sundays ago, when ten thousand people marched through Waikiki to support Hawaiian preference programs. That display of unity reveals a fundamental truth about life in Hawaii: we are an integrated community, and we understand that what helps one of us will help us all.

Those who want to abolish preference programs such as the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands and the admissions policy at Kamehameha Schools see those programs as exclusionary – helping one group of people at the expense of others.

Those who support the programs argue that they improve Hawaiian well-being, which improves our entire state. I agree with them.

It goes beyond the obvious fact that educated and resilient children grow up into fine, contributing members of our society, or that people with solid self-esteem become leaders who inspire the next generation. What’s important is the role these programs play in rebuilding and preserving pride in Hawaiian culture.

The Hawaiian cultural renaissance was just beginning to blossom when I arrived here in the 1970s. Hawaiian contemporary music was finding a following, and Hawaiian language and voyaging programs were taking shape. I have enjoyed the benefits of this cultural resurgence for more than a quarter of a century. It is what makes living here so unique and enjoyable. It must be nurtured and protected.

These preference policies protect and promote Hawaiian well-being, and in doing so, they build a stronger community for all of us. They don’t divide us, they help us all become stronger. They deserve our most fervent support.

Robert F. Clarke,

Chairman, President and CEO

Hawaiian Electric Industries, Inc.

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