Letters for Saturday, May 6, 2020

Virus restrictions are ‘insanity’

There are no active cases of COVID on the island. Why do we still have to stay home? Why do we still have to distance? Why do we still have to wear masks? Why do we still need to wash hands frequently and sterilize our homes? All of these things are actually bad for us. If I’m not sick and you’re not sick, how do our masks protect us from one another. Protect us from what? This is insanity!

The mayor is imposing unrealistic and unhealthy practices on free, American people. Not allowing people to work and provide food for their families is inhumane. He says we all just have to be kind, but he is not being kind by denying people the right to work. He just stands there and says we’re all in this together, but he’s not in this at all. He still has a job. Not for long, though, because without taxpayers, who will pay his salary?

Shame on the mayor, shame on the governor — for their selfish pursuits and for acting as dictators instead of servants to the people. I hope the people of Kaua‘i remember this when they go to the polls and do not vote for Kawakami.

Janet Eisenbach, Kilauea

All lives matter

In my opinion the BLM (Black Lives Matter) signs being held and those words being written on walls throughout our nation are doing more harm than good. It’s dividing the country into two segments — black and non-black. If demonstrations are going to be ongoing and signs are to be held, I would prefer the signs to say “All Lives Matter.”

Gini Stoddard, Lihu‘e

  1. Michael Mann June 6, 2020 12:46 am Reply

    Sorry, Gini, but if black lives don’t matter, you can’t say all lives matter. I really don’t understand why people have such a difficult time with this–you are PURPOSEFULLY misinterpreting what the phrase “Black Lives Matter” means. You seem to believe it means ONLY black lives matter or perhaps black lives matter MORE than other lives. These are the only interpretations that would make the retort “All Lives Matter” make any sense. THAT ISN’T WHAT IT MEANS. It is a statement to REMIND or INSTRUCT people that the lives of people of color mean as much as the lives of others. It is a reminder or instruction that desperately needs to be made as it is clear that this country has an issue understanding it.

    Those of you who choose to read this phrase in these other ways are part of the problem. This is about basic decency and affording people basic dignity. People of color aren’t granted that in this country, and anyone saying “All Lives Matter” is simply attempting to ignore or downplay the problem.

    If you want “Black Lives Matter” to go away, then HELP MAKE BLACK LIVES MATTER. Stop trying to sweep this issue under the rug. Stop trying to DISTRACT from the message. Help fix the problem.

    1. RG DeSoto June 7, 2020 10:16 am Reply

      Just for you, Michael…from Target Liberty. I am sure there are mostly well intended people advocating for the BLM. I was outraged at the officer that committed murder in Minneapolis and would have preferred to have him charged with murder 1. I also remind that more unarmed white people are gunned down by police but understand that proportionality counts too. We essentially now live in a police state and all people are in jeopardy once the cops show up.

      However…consider this once must look deeper and beyond what Frederic Bastiat called the seen and look at the unseen:
      Some Background on the Black Lives Matter Organization
      Opal Tometi , Alicia Garza and Patrisse Cullors
      With the ever-increasing prominence of the Black Lives Matter movement, it makes sense to take a look at the group.
      Black Lives Matter was founded as an organization in 2013 in response to the acquittal of George Zimmerman in the killing of Trayvon Martin.
      The organization was founded by three women, Patrisse Khan-Cullors, Alicia Garza and Opal Tometi.
      Cullors, according to the Balck Lives Matter website, is a queer black woman and a Fulbright scholar. She is a board member of the Ella Baker (see below) Center for Human Rights. She is the 2018 recipient of the José Muñoz Award from CLAGS: The Center for LGBTQ Studies at the CUNY Graduate Center.
      Garza is currently the Special Projects Director for the National Domestic Workers Alliance. The alliance is “the nation’s leading voice for dignity and fairness for the millions of domestic workers in the United States.” She is of mix-raced with a Jewish father and a black mother. According to the Black Lives Matter website, she also is a queer black woman.
      Tometi is a New York-based Nigerian-American. She is credited with creating the online platforms and initiating the social media strategy during the project’s early days. She has spoken at the Aspen Institute’s Ideas Summit and she is co-author of When They Call You a Terrorist: A Black Lives Matter Memoir.
      She is a student of liberation theology and her practice is in the tradition of Ella Baker, informed by Stuart Hall, bell hooks and Black Feminist thinkers. Baker was an important behind the scenes black activist for five decades. She was allied with The Third World Women’s Alliance, a revolutionary socialist women of color organization active from 1968 to 1980.
      Hall was a Jamaican-born British Marxist sociologist and political activist. He was founder of the New Left Review and was closely associated with the journal Marxism Today.
      hooks is considered a postmodern political thinker. She has held positions as Professor of African-American Studies and English at Yale University, a hotbed of postmodernism and critical theory teaching.
      Tometi is being featured in the Smithsonian’s new National Museum for African American History and Culture.
      The website informs that Black Lives Matter attempts to…
      disrupt the Western-prescribed nuclear family structure requirement by supporting each other as extended families and “villages” that collectively care for one another, especially our children, to the degree that mothers, parents, and children are comfortable.
      We foster a queer‐affirming network. When we gather, we do so with the intention of freeing ourselves from the tight grip of heteronormative thinking, or rather, the belief that all in the world are heterosexual (unless s/he or they disclose otherwise).
      We cultivate an intergenerational and communal network free from ageism. We believe that all people, regardless of age, show up with the capacity to lead and learn.
      In other words, Black Lives Matter is an organization that appears to be promoting an agenda that goes far beyond the protection of members of the black community against police brutality. Its website says as much.
      Further, the radical, anti-capitalist, left-leaning of the founders of the organization hints at the potential for the organization to move even further beyond what the organization name suggests. Perhaps a more appropriate name would be: Communism for Blacks Matters.
      The ladies of BLM appear very sophisticated when it comes to tactics and strategy. Finding a hot button, such a police attacks on blacks, would make a very wise tactical move to advance a deeper agenda of a planned society.

      RG DeSoto

      1. Nice try June 7, 2020 3:31 pm Reply

        Or, BLM is just about support the lives of historically oppressed people and creating an awareness needed to ensure that all lives truly matter.

        Whatever that foundation says, the people on the streets just think that it is this simple: Black lives matter, too!

        Trying to come up with a reason to not support it says a lot about someone.

        1. Colin McCleod June 8, 2020 12:08 pm Reply

          “…support the lives of historically oppressed people and creating an awareness needed to ensure that all lives truly matter.”
          you mean like my Scots-Irish ancestors that were oppressed and enslaved by the Romans & the Vikings for centuries, and later persecuted by the English?
          Get a grip…the quoted piece is from the BLM’s own website.
          Colin McCleod

          1. Lirn2reed June 9, 2020 3:18 pm

            “Whatever that foundation says, the people on the streets just think that it is this simple: Black lives matter, too!”

          2. let me get this straight June 9, 2020 3:21 pm

            So your ancestors were treated poorly and you think that makes it OK to continue to do that to others? What century are you still living in?

            Also, how many of the people in the streets do you think check with that website before protesting? Hell, I didn’t even know there was one until that guy quoted it.

            Get a grip, indeed!

  2. George June 6, 2020 2:33 am Reply

    Hey Gini
    Opinion is really the lowest form of human knowledge. It requires no accountability, no understanding. The highest form of knowledge… is empathy, for it requires us to suspend our egos and live in another’s world. It requires profound purpose larger than the self kind of understanding.”

    Have a good day.

  3. Charles L. Chimknee June 6, 2020 4:06 am Reply

    Aloha Janet,

    Virus restrictions aren’t easy, but are responsible for your first sentence. “There are no active cases of COVID on the island.” Try give some credit to leadership and people following the rules. Your neighbors aren’t dying from COVID, Wilcox isn’t turning patients away, and life resuming for the most part. The land and beauty of our island is finally healing, and I for one don’t miss the crush of mainlanders tramping all over the place, or traffic jams, or rude tourists always in a hurry. Kauai becoming like used to be, without so many people weighing down the true spirit and beauty. I hope it stays this way for a long time.


  4. Steven McMacken June 6, 2020 4:36 am Reply

    Janet Eisenbach, maybe you should take another look at the meaning of the word “selfish.”

    And Gini Stoddard, when was the last time you were discriminated against, or harassed, or belittled, or spit on, or shot at . . . simply because of the color of your skin? Black lives DO matter.

  5. Uncleaina June 6, 2020 7:55 am Reply

    Our mayor is doing fantastic. We have some people who just don’t seem to be paying attention. I will definitely remember how well he’s done at election time. And black lives matter – saying all lives matter shows a lack of paying any attention to the protests whatsoever. I hope these letters are written because these people have some agenda; it’s depressing to hear these opinions if it’s due to actual ignorance.

  6. Michele Dillberg June 6, 2020 7:55 am Reply

    Dear Janet,
    I think your perspective is important because it highlights some important factors. We are all thankful for our very low covid case numbers, and even lower percentages of any severe reactions resulting ZERO deaths here on Kauai. Compare this to other communicable diseases and we need to admit that covid has scarred our communities much less than the common flu from previous years.
    Now with the benefit of hindsight and more complete information we can -and should – create a wiser plan forward. We need to free our citizens from the pandemic of fear that was proliferated during the early days of the pandemic and has been sustained by the media and sadly, from many of our leaders.
    Fear produces anger, and creates the heated responses many have had toward the back to work campaigns. Fear does not require facts or statistics, it does not have criteria or a time limit. Fear is only squashed when confronted with honest encouragement, and that is what we need to hear more of right now.
    Continued mandatory mask wearing in our currently virus free communities does not take into account the reduction of oxygen or the very negligible protection offered. Anyone who wants to wear a mask, or continue to practice social distancing because of their own particular health circumstances or beliefs should be supported, but there is not any good reason to continue the mandatory regulations.
    We need to protect our vulnerable citizens, while at the same time revive our vulnerable economy. Our visitor based economy needs attention and new answers and creativity needs to be employed NOW to give our communities hope and a future.
    Mayor Kawakami, you have much more important work to do, and it is essential that you show the promise you were elected for.
    We need broad perspectives and an eye to the future. We cannot get past fear without hope.
    Michele Dillberg

  7. Tooindependent June 6, 2020 8:33 am Reply

    Janet….. it’s easy to control what people do when you grow up with a silver spoon in your mouth. Get over it our lives have changed and what’s ahead is going to be devastating to the max and there is not a dam thing you or anyone else is going to do about it. That’s the reality here.

  8. therealhawaiian June 6, 2020 8:46 am Reply

    Thank you Gini and Janet for the two best letters the editor has seen in a very long time!

  9. Steve Martin June 6, 2020 9:07 am Reply

    Yes Janet our lives are changing forever. There will never be the good old days of the past. We are being positioned to be better equipped for what’s ahead. Notice all the new businesses advertising and pushing their money making schemes to provide us with high tech masks and equipment…. there is no stopping it now. Government is doing a great job protecting us from ourselves.

  10. LTEreader June 6, 2020 9:29 am Reply

    She’s back with complaints about our Mayor, and Governor, who shut down the Islands early in an effort to avoid a bad situation that could have, and still could overwhelm our medical system.
    Janet, let’s be real shall we? Most businesses have re-opened, and nobody is instructing you to “stay home” anymore. Quit beating around the bush and just say it > you own a vacation rental and are eager to rent it again. Take a seat, it’s not time.
    And it’s a shame you’re not grateful for our Mayor’s efforts because things could have been much worse, and there’s still a strong possibility of a 2nd wave. Sorry Janet, Hawai’i is not prepared to welcome your un-quarantined guests yet.

    Gina, yes ALL lives matter. However, are you afraid to walk down the street alone because of your skin color? Are you afraid to walk in a store without being followed? Are you afraid to go bird watching in a park? Did you have to sit down with your black tween children and give them ‘the talk’ about being black in America? Are you afraid to do any of the things whites do in public because of your skin color? NO. The reality is had George Floyd been white there’s no way he’d be held down for nearly 9 minutes until he died because of a suspicious $20. bill. There’s WAY too many cases of blacks being treated unfairly by police, and the public. The world is acknowledging the racial inequality that still exists in our Country, why aren’t you?

  11. Pete Antonson June 6, 2020 2:50 pm Reply

    If your spouse comes to you, hurting more than ever before, and says: “Do you still love me?” If you say: “I love everybody!” you may be technically correct; but, you have just failed miserably in your duty to share empathy and may even have just ended your marriage! I hope this rather pointed example helps Gini with her partisan “misunderstanding!”

  12. Alfred Sarmento June 7, 2020 6:16 am Reply

    Those of you who are supporting BLM, why are you so intollerant of others who truly believe ALL LIVES MATTER? Is it because you have a socialist or anarchist agenda? Is it because you want to diss anyone else with a different point of view? Frankly it’s because you do not understanc the world you live in and want to gin up hate; as if this country hasn’t already fought a civil war to end slavery and enacted the 1964 Civil Rights Act. Do persons of color, any color, experience racism? Of course they do. I’m sorry but trying to build paradise from an imperfect humanity is simply not possible. I suggest you find Jesus Christ, read and learn the Bible, and find out why your hate and exclusion is ultimately self-defeating… Thank you Gini Stoddard for your thoughts. Alfred Sarmento- Kekaha

    1. Backwards Al June 7, 2020 3:35 pm Reply

      Those of you who are supporting ALM, why are you so intolerant of others who truly believe BLACK LIVES MATTER?

      etc, etc…

    2. Pete Antonson June 8, 2020 6:06 pm Reply

      I’m sorry to now know Alfred found it all just too difficult after 1964. I also know Alfred didn’t vote for Obama. But, what I know isn’t what Alfred has to worry about!

      1 Corinthians 13:12 21st Century King James Version
      For now we see through a glass, darkly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; but then shall I know, even as also I am fully known.

  13. LTEreader June 9, 2020 1:33 pm Reply

    Alfred Sarmento:
    “I suggest you find Jesus Christ, read and learn the Bible, and find out why your hate and exclusion is ultimately self-defeating.” Really?

    Just 2 years ago you referred to:
    * Democrat Senate Judicial Committee members as “demented.”
    * Mazie Hirono as “crazy.”
    * The Democrat Party as “loony left, mad, power hungry, hateful beings, sick.”
    * And, that “progressive Democrats today would hasten this evil in America.”

    Or, how about 6 years ago when you went door to door in Kekaha “trying to alert our neighbors to the horrors that could come from the passage of SB1/HB1, the Same Sex Marriage Bill.” Horrors? Do you even know anyone gay? And, who are you to judge?

    It’s ironic that many comments from Trump worshiping Republicans consist of insults, name calling, and harsh judgments. Then they throw the bible out there touting what great Christians they are! Stop preaching it and start LIVING it because realistically you’re the one that “does not understand the world we live in.”

    Mic drop.

  14. RevW June 10, 2020 12:17 pm Reply

    Janet- Hawaii has escaped much of what is still happening in mainland communities. Why? Because people like the Mayor imposed all these restrictions you are complaining about, not as short-sighted controls, but as part of what we all can anticipate, possibly for years. COVID19 can be reintroduced any time either because somebody has a false negative on the test or because somebody comes to Hawaii from somewhere else … especially once the quarantine is eased.

    Life is never going back to the relatively thoughtless way it was before COVID19. You and everyone else has to function as if COVID19 is still a possibility – because it is.

    The fact that Hawaii’s statistics & current control of transmission of COVID19 are better than most States is because of the restrictions, NOT because Hawaii is somehow immune to how epidemics work. Are you suggesting that hand washing and sanitation is “insane” and “bad for” us? Do you believe that everyone you meet anywhere is “not sick” and that because you aren’t right at the moment you can’t contract this or other viruses? How many people do you believe are being *prevented* from working at whatever their employment is, and unable to provide food for their families – including being helped out by the amazing ‘safety net’ that Hawai’i has created in the last few months, and by assorted Federal emergency resources?

    Have you looked at what has been happening in countries where the restrictions have been lifted too soon -as in, no gradual phasing out? Or countries where the restrictions were less stringent than the ones you’re objecting to and calling “insanity”? This: COVID19 is NOT gone; numbers of cases start going back up. Have you looked at, in contrast, how well the extensive restrictions and ongoing controls have worked in Australia and New Zealand?

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