Letters for Wednesday, September 6, 2017

• No room for discrimination • ‘Survey’ far from objective • Japanese-Americans served country well

No room for discrimination

One of the strongest reasons I love living on Kauai is the diversity and kindness of the people. Unlike the other 49 states, Caucasians are in the minority, which must surprise people who move here without learning more about the island lifestyle.

Because so many different ethnic groups came to work on the plantations, people who grow up here are comfortable with diversity and accept and respect cultural differences. When you have a population where families include different races, ethnicities and religion, plus living on a small island, you learn to get along. There is no room for blatant discrimination.

Unfortunately, Mr. Mann encountered people who must be transplants and brought their viewpoints with them. A neighbor told me he heard an older Caucasian women mutter as she left Walmart: “Wish these foreigners would go back home.” Hmmm … seems to me she and others with her attitude are the ones who should “go back home.”

There is no room here for people who cannot and will not respect differences. I understand Mr. Mann’s irritation and anger when treated with such disdain. When asked by visitors who say they are looking for a place to retire and ask how I like Kauai, one of the first things I tell them after saying I love the people, is to point out that Caucasians and Christianity are in the minority here and if that bothers them, they should find another retirement place.

Judith Fernandez, Kapaa

‘Survey’ far from objective

The Ulupono (Initiative) phone “survey” is not really a survey at all. It is what is called a “push poll.” The purpose of a push pollis to push the recipient of the call in a certain direction, not to gain information. The results of the Ulupono phone “survey”won’t be any more objective than their ill-fated attempt at an EIS (environmental impact statement for the proposed HawaiiDairy Farm at Mahaulepu).

Linda Estes, Koloa

Japanese-Americans served country well

I am a Japanese-American citizen, born and raised in Hawaii, now 95 years old, and am a World War II veteran.

I would like to respond to the “Don’t forget who bombed Pearl Harbor” letter (TGI, Sept. 3) by Jack Custer of Kalaheo, aboutJoAnn Yukimura’s letter (TGI, Aug. 26).

I am wondering if Custer is someone born and raised in Hawaii, and whether he was a Hawaii resident on Dec. 7, 1941, whenJapanese war planes flew over Oahu and bombed Pearl Harbor. We Japanese-Americans did not tolerate the bombing, whichresulted in the start of World War II.

For some time after the start of World War II, some non-Japanese residents in Hawaii were suspicious about our loyalty to ournation, and we did experience some discrimination and bigotry.

We Japanese-Americans (called Nisei, or second generation) were the off-springs of Japanese immigrants, most of whom weresugar and pineapple plantation laborers. To prove we are loyal American citizens, many of us Niseis had volunteered to servewith the Go For Broke 442nd Regimental Combat Team, fought in some of the most ferocious battles in the European Theaterof war, suffered more than 9,000 casualties, and earned more than 18,000 decorations for bravery, 22 of which were theCongressional Medal of Honor, our nation’s highest award for personal bravery in combat against an enemy force.

Some Niseis had also volunteered to serve in the Military Intelligence Service and fought against Japanese soldiers in the SouthPacific Theater of war.

We had not forgotten who had bombed Pearl Harbor, and we are all in sympathy to those who were killed in that bombing.

Clinton I. Shiraishi, Lihue

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