y husband and I attended the DOI Kapaa hearings and listened carefully to the comments as well as the audience responses for almost three hours. We are very glad we attended. I appreciate the anonymous writer’s comments. These are my comments about the evening:
I wish I had heard constructive comments about the pros and cons of the DOI inquiry. It was a simple request. If the answer to their first question was no (a i ‘ole), fine. Pau. Sit down. Next person.
I wish I had heard the true Hawaiian aloha of respect. To the few who requested respect for all viewpoints, I say mahalo. I also say mahalo to the kupuna who called out “a i ‘ole!” when people muttered, shouted, etc.
I wish I had heard details about how and why a Hawaiian Kingdom would function. When the American flag comes down and the Hawaiian flag rises, what will be the next step? Will there be any government at all (planned in advance with careful thought and consideration of the complicated issues of creating and executing a new government)? How will the leadership be selected? By whom? Will there be a constitution or will it be rule by the dictates of the new monarch? Will there be a council of advisers? Will there be in existence from day one a system of government to deal with issues like: laws, zoning, planning, law enforcement, education, roads, parks, environmental controls, etc? Has anyone researched the UCLA department that has researched the formation of nations including citizenship requirements and constitutions? I wish I had heard of preparation to actually be in control and rule. I wish I had heard the word: Democracy. It is difficult to just turn away from the DOI proposal without the comfort of knowing reasonable alternatives are planned.
I wish I had heard respect for the DOI people sent to investigate this issue. Why did people feel they could threaten them with bodily harm? I wish I had heard people tell the disrespectful ones to stop (I did hear a few, not many).
After hours of testimony, I came away with the impression that a big source of so much pain and anger is economics. The reason people have to work two and three jobs is because they have not tried to get politicians to raise the minimum wage to a livable wage, like $20 an hour. The business world limits jobs to a maximum of 20 hours per week because that allows them to avoid paying for medical insurance!
Raise the minimum wage and you might find your work hours extended to a reasonable 40 hours a week. The other source of pain is DHHL and its blatant failure in its mission for the past decades to provide homesteads to Hawaiians (The blood quantum issue is another problem). DHHL has instead favored certain people and ignored abuses and corruption causing an excessive waitlist.
In other words, had DHHL truly cared for Hawaiians, there would be almost no waitlist. Had the business world actually paid a living wage, plus medical benefits, people would have less difficulty. Perhaps it is time to apply the anger and use political pressure on politicians to meet the urgent needs for improving lives. A full stomach living on one’s aina might bring people back to the true aloha of Hawaiians.
I wish people would take the time to be educated on the issues and options facing the survival of Hawaiians. I wish people would try to understand the risk of losing everything while waiting for the dream to come true.
Who am I? The wife of a half Native Hawaiian, a permanent resident, Caucasian, and a member of Kana’iolowalu Roll. I wish for a nation-to-nation relationship of respect.
Judith Fernandez is a resident of Kapaa.