LIHUE — A 43-page opinion piece written by U.S. District Court Judge Derrick Watson was all it took to cause a ruckus across social media platforms the past two days.
And much of that angst is directed at Hawaii.
Watson blocked the revised version of President Donald Trump’s plan to vet people from certain countries from entering the country.
Watson’s opposition to the travel ban created an uproar from Trump supporters, and the viral #BoycottHawaii movement soon went viral.
Mike Spangler of Lincoln, Neb. said he plans to boycott Hawaii, “because your Obama-appointed liberal judge decided to write his own chapter to the constitution.”
He said a boycott would hurt Hawaii’s economy.
“The people of Hawaii need to stand up and demand that this judge change his stance or be faced with massive boycotting of vacationing conservatives from the mainland,” Spangler wrote to TGI.
Some of the online comments connected to #Boycott Hawaii included:
“Trumpists say #BoycottHawaii. Kids, pack everything. We’re moving to the North Shore.”
“You guys would hate it there anyway, everyone is friendly and cares about the environment.”
“Hit Hawaii where it hurts. 25% of their income is tourism.”
The social media movement has caught the attention of Kauai residents.
Malcolm Carr said he was surprised to see such a large social media presence regarding the boycott, and does have some fear that it could affect Hawaii in a negative way.
“The ban does affect tourism, it’s our biggest industry,” Carr said. “It does affect us in a personal way, more than just being completely wrong and discriminating against an entire religion when we’re supposed to be a country where people are free to come and go.”
Steve Yoder, chairman of the Kauai Republican Party, said Watson is being politically correct but not upholding the Constitution.
“It’s a big problem If you can’t vet people from these countries,” Yoder said “There are people coming from these countries who do mean us harm. Can you think of any terrorist attacks against the United States that’s been orchestrated by someone who wasn’t Muslim? I can’t. You can’t ignore these facts.”
Yoder said he doesn’t necessarily agree with the prospect of boycotting the islands.
“If that’s what (other Republicans) want to do, then fine,” he said. “I don’t believe in boycotting Hawaii; it does not represent Hawaii. I’d be boycotting myself: How could I do that?”
Yoder maintains Trump’s travel policy is not a travel ban, but a Temporary Travel Restraining order that he feels is necessary to keep the country safe.
He said the president’s job is to protect America from enemies domestic and abroad.
“That’s all he’s doing,” Yoder said. “It’s his constitutional responsibility to do so.”
Carr’s wife, Britney, isn’t a fan of the travel ban or the president.
“I just think it’s absolutely ridiculous,” she said. “I have a hard time with Trump supporters anyway. I have to be kind so I’ll just keep in that that.”
The Kauai Visitors Bureau did not respond to TGI requests for comment.