No room for discrimination – of all sorts

In the Sept. 6 TGI was an odd letter titled “No room for discrimination.” I found it full of discrimination.

Apparently the writer was responding to Michael Mann’s excellent letter regarding a young white couple who seemed to view him, a black man, with suspicion.

The “No room for discrimination” writer goes on to further discriminate about newer white residents by calling this particular white couple Mr. Mann encountered as “must be transplants.”

Not visitors? No, even though Mr. Mann states they were loading up their rental car, if I remember right.

Possibly it was just my take and the writer meant well. It was hard to tell as the lecture to “white transplants” continued. We were told that unlike the other states, here, Caucasians are in the minority, which must be a surprise to those moving here who didn’t learn about the island in advance.

Really? How many people move here not knowing white people are in the minority? From people I talk with (yes some are Caucasian) they were not concerned about being in the minority unless someone preferring no white people made a derogatory point of it. So we have what? Caucasians are not only white, they are clueless?

Righteously the writer continued by saying “there is no room for ‘blatant’ discrimination” on our small island, which seemed to be directed not at the couple in the rental car but at the white residents or “transplants.”

For the most part those white transplants I have spoken with are more concerned about the “subtle” discrimination they face. They do not look like any of the race mixes who worked the plantations. That’s one point against them.

Ten points against them is they must be, in some part, responsible for the overthrow of the Hawaiian Kingdom, many generations ago. Those were white people too. No, you say? Well take a drive on the Eastside and check out the racist signs calling haoles liars.

People of all ethnic backgrounds love it here. Some are transplants, some are white, most would never wish foreigners go back home from Walmart. Somehow I doubt that piece of hearsay was included in the “No room” letter.

There are so many of us from all sorts of backgrounds, who could possibly call certain ones foreigners?

The takeaway seemed to be, if those visitors were afraid of Michael Mann, then white, transplanted residents are racist, especially while at Walmart. They must respect the cultural differences of Kauai and they must learn that they are in the minority.

What a sad commentary on human beings, almost all of whom want to exist in a healthy, happy environment without carrying a cross for something they did not do, like casing out a young white couple’s rental car for a possible theft, or overthrowing the monarchy.

People. Get it together.

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Paulo Tambolo is a resident of Wailua Homesteads.

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