VOICES: Racial discrimination a major problem in US

This is an issue that should not be an obstacle in this generation, but it is. Why? As I see it, everyone bleeds the same. We are all human. Having a different skin color should not change the way you see and treat another human being. People in the world, especially people of lighter skin tones, tend to think they have a higher status in the world. They think they are entitled to more money and more power than everyone else because they are rapacious.

I’m not saying all of the Caucasian race is like that, because I have firsthand experience with people who are anti-racism. I was born and raised on the island of Kaua‘i, and my skin color would be considered white. On Kaua‘i, I’ve never really witnessed any racial discrimination in person because I was taught to treat everyone equally and with respect even if you don’t personally know them. I treat strangers, family and friends the way they should be treated.

We have various races and cultures, and we should appreciate that we ended up coming together. We need to be able to live among each other without hatred coming between us. Treat people with kindness. If you want to treat people like crap then don’t start crying when they treat you the same. This is not a double standard. I will treat you the same way you treat me. No one deserves to feel like they don’t belong, because we’re all human. But you treat other humans of diverse backgrounds and people who come from a different place on earth differently, and why? Just because they’re not similar to you in skin color? In my opinion, racial discrimination seems like a type of bullying, but on a whole other level.

Racial discrimination has killed thousands and thousands of people. Whether it was from others or it was self-inflicted. This needs to become something that we can speak openly about. If not, this problem will never be fixed and we will all see the past relive itself. I swear it’s like the whole world is divided into two parts — one where they’re fighting for equality, their freedom, and the other just to get rid of every race that is not white. People out there really think having slaves is a good idea again. But it was never a good idea. Their ancestors should not have done that, but that is in the past.

The hardship and the gruesome memory of what the people of color have to go through during the past and the present should live as a memory of what we as people should never do. But it feels as though people want to live like it was in the past, which was horrible. Like, come on people, it’s the 21st century. We shouldn’t be backtracking by a million steps.


Kayley Gardner is a resident of Kalaheo.

  1. Ally-shipper December 28, 2020 12:29 am Reply

    Racial discrimination is not a major problem in the us. This anti-racism is a major problem in the interwebs echo chambers that exist on social media platforms. Your opinion reads as if you’ve just found ibrim kendi and not sought any other information regarding issues. It’s not as simple as it may look to in this moment. You can’t go around calling anyone who isn’t “anti racist” a “racist” You’ve fallen into the trap. I challenge you to Seek knowledge and facts, not identity politics.

  2. I saw a Vampire once December 28, 2020 2:21 am Reply

    That’s nice Kayley. I appreciate your input. As far as this idea of racism and living in Hawai’i and what people experience, I think that issue is clouded. If you wanted a job as a politician for example, I guess you could sign up for election and run and try to get in. But what would be your angle on the issue? That would be the question. This is a very clear and bold letter considering this island has a Japanese mayor in Derek Kawakami. But appears light and tan color skin. So not quite a caucasian, but a “hoale” look. Bruce Irons is a hoale look. So he’s white. Most surfers who surf turn darker in skin, but Bruce is white. Everyone wants to be like Bruce Irons. He won the Eddie Aikau Big Wave contest at the age of 25. And it was a 20 foot wave. At Honolulu’s own Waimea Bay. So you can see how the issue is clouded. Academics plays no part. They just want to be Bruce Irons. And this trickles down to Politics and government and it is unfortunate to have dumber politicians. I hope this have cleared some questions on racism.

  3. John Moser December 28, 2020 4:25 am Reply

    An article about racial discrimination starts off with a racist comment. The rest of the article beomces mute one you lead with a racist comment.

    In case you missed it the comment was

    “People in the world, especially people of lighter skin tones, tend to think they have a higher status in the world. They think they are entitled to more money and more power than everyone else because they are rapacious.“

    Classifying anyone based on skin color is racist. You can’t have it both ways.

  4. Alex December 28, 2020 6:14 am Reply

    Aloha, did this writer just move here? I have lived here for 26 years and I would say this is the most rascist place to whites. This lady should go try to make a difference in Mississippi and stop trying to spread her hate here.

    1. Reality Bites December 29, 2020 4:48 am Reply

      Could not agree more. Try a local beach, try to get a job with the county, try to get a job on the base, or try to get in to politics on the islands, then you better be the right race. KPD never entertains racist remarks/attacks/complaints towards white transplants. My favorite question, asked by all officers at KPD, whenever locals attack whites……”How long have you lived on this island?” I didn’t realize I was back in 3rd grade…….”I was here first!”

      All this from one of the bluest states in the Union. SMH.

  5. Steve G December 28, 2020 7:44 am Reply

    Here’s some useful data that maybe goes against what you’ve said


  6. Kauai Boy Mainland December 28, 2020 7:53 am Reply

    OMG you so full of it. The is more racism toward haoles here in Hawaii than towards blacks on mainland. You say you grew up here and never saw that? What you, blind? Deaf? How can you miss it.

    Good grief, talk about the pot calling the kettle black.

    Haoles are hated in Hawaii by most locals. They would rather not have haoles on the islands.

    You don’t know what you talking.

  7. Kenneth Conklin December 28, 2020 8:47 am Reply

    Thank you Kayley Gardner. I agree that racial discrimination is a major problem. But here we are living in Hawaii, and we have a special form of racial discrimination that is different from the mainland, and must not be ignored.

    I agree, all humans are equal in the eyes of God. Unfortunately, some Hawaiian activists don’t think so. There’s a beautiful creation legend which says humans are children of the gods and brothers/sisters to the land. But Hawaiian activists twist that to say it applies only to people who have a drop of Hawaiian blood; therefore they are entitled to rule over the rest of us.

    I agree, government should treat all citizens equally under the law regardless of race. But here in Hawaii we have OHA, DHHL, and hundreds of other racial entitlement programs funded by the federal and state governments which ruthlessly exclude anyone lacking a drop of Hawaiian blood. Those programs are both illegal and immoral.

    It’s not only Caucasians who are discriminated against, but also Asians. All who lack Hawaiian blood are called “settlers” — we are merely “guests” or second-class citizens, living in the homeland of the Hawaiian “hosts.” Even someone whose family has been born and raised in Hawaii for multiple generations will be regarded as a lesser person. That’s wrong. Be brave. Speak up against these concepts whenever you encounter them.

  8. the big kahuna December 28, 2020 11:10 am Reply

    Racism has no barrier to skin color or hidden on a island. Kaley have you not heard the word Haole.

  9. James Kuroiwa, Jr. December 28, 2020 11:14 am Reply

    Kayley Gardner, first the United States is a Constitutional Republic and second the Bible has many teachings and the message pointing against racism such as: Matthew 7:12; Luke 6:31; Matthew 7:1-5; Mark 12:31; 1 John 4:20; Luke 6:32-42; Proverbs 28:6; 1 Peter 3:9; Leviticus 19:18; Matthew 25:31-46; Ephesians 4:32; Hebrews 13:2; James 4:11-12; and more as in Mark 12:31 says, “The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself. There is no commandment greater than these.’” Have a very Happy New Year.

    1. Reality Bites December 29, 2020 4:22 am Reply

      Thank you so much for bringing religion in to the debate. We all appreciate the Jewish book of fairy tales as a reference. I will now provide quotes from my favorite fiction books………….

      1. Gordo January 1, 2021 8:49 am Reply

        Not the Christian book? Just the Jews? Interesting

  10. Kimo December 28, 2020 1:16 pm Reply

    Kayley, Please note the Kurt Last Letter to the Editor for a wonderful example of discrimination. It is truly a post worth reading! NOT!

  11. nothings free December 28, 2020 1:35 pm Reply

    Kayley you’re obviously a caring, feeling, good intentioned person. Thank you for that. Unfortunately, reality does not always care about “feelings”. The Black race has been discriminated against in the past to an extreme. Not as bad as the Jews have been, but pretty bad. We all felt the pain of Black and Jewish discrimination in America in the 1960’s, 70’s, and 80’s. However, the entire Country bent over backwards to make everything “equal” for all. Blacks got first shot at good colleges. They got their tuition fully paid, free books, free housing etc., by law, businesses had to hire a percentage of Black executives and employees that corresponded with their population percentage of the State they were in, banks were incentivized to give Blacks “no qualifying” low interest rate loans regardless of their financial circumstances, Black children were bused all over cities to the best grade, middle, and high schools, and there were many other benefits Blacks were given to make everyone “equal”. Unfortunately, it didn’t work. The Black college students had a very small percentage of students take advantage of their equality gifts, and a very small percentage ever graduated from their “free” colleges. Businesses had similar experiences. and the Banks and Savings and Loans went bankrupt because of all the money out to unqualified borrowers who wouldn’t make their monthly payments. It was called “Affirmative Action” and it threw our Country into massive recessions/depressions that paralyzed our entire economy in the 70’s, late 80’s, and early 2000″s. Giving “free” advantages didn’t, and never will, work! But the good news is that today, the ingrained racism prior to the 1960’s is gone. The vast majority of “White”, Hispanic, and Asian Americans are not racists. It was a majority of White American voters who put a Black man into the most powerful position of any human being on Earth, TWICE! That being said, why are we still having problems today that you want to blame on “racism”? Even though the poor among us now have access to good educations with dedicated teachers, the majority of Black students do not graduate from High School, and many can’t read or write after all those years of “education”. Our Black brothers and sisters make up only 13% of our population, but they are committing nearly 50% of all homicides, home break ins, drug offenses, and car thefts. They have overloaded our prisons, and it’s not because of discrimination! It’s because of the actual crimes committed. Think of every Country in the world that is Asian. How many of them are giant slum failures creating more poverty? I’ve traveled the world and I can’t name one! Even Cambodia and Vietnam are booming with hard work and success. How many White Countries on earth are destitute and producing millions of refugees? I can’t think of one? South America and the Middle East have many Countries that are what one would call Socialist/Communist leaning Banana Republics, or they are in turmoil because of wars. Now think of Africa with all it’s amazing natural resources and untapped wealth. List the thriving equivalents of Japan, Korea, China, Vietnam, Scandinavia, the European economies and the United States you find anywhere on the entire Continent of Africa that isn’t destroying itself through wars, corruption, greed, dictatorships, and mass starvation. Take your time, but you can’t find even one? Countries that are all Black can’t by definition “discriminate” because of someone being Black! Please stop with the monotonous diatribe of “America is guilty of racism”. Minorities have problems, and “It’s all because of racial discrimination”! It is not!

  12. Khsgrad December 28, 2020 9:49 pm Reply

    Haole mom moved me here in 1970; this place and the racism it propagates is just as alive today as it was back then…. Hey Kaley- I suppose you never heard of “Kill Haole Day” I never went to school on the last day, ever. I was harassed, threatened, ridiculed, teased, and psychologically tortured by kids at school, year after year!! It has negatively affected my entire life, you may have bought the current lie in the Left agenda of today, but you and them are sadly mistaken…..

  13. Avcwbcoach December 28, 2020 11:57 pm Reply

    The us is living, thriving Apartheid.
    Sovereign Hawaii Ne is under military suppression by US.
    Include those concepts then your article gets real

  14. Reality Bites December 29, 2020 4:38 am Reply

    If I had a dime for every “born and raised” Kauai resident that has never lived anywhere else on the planet, then I could balance the County Budget tomorrow.

    I’ve had the pleasure of living in a handful of foreign countries, and visiting (more than 30 days) foreign countries. If you don’t look outside your box, then you don’t know how good you have it. The USA is the best country across the board ON THE PLANET. You don’t know how good you have it.

    The USA did not create slavery. Slavery has been going on for over 5000 years. The USA eliminated racism 100 years in to its existence. The writer needs a US History lesson, ….and then 35 more. Systemic Racism officially ended in the USA over 50 years ago. There are the 70+ year olds that remember those days, but today’s generations, have it so good that they have to live in the past to create drama where there is no drama.

    The only Systemic Racism going on in this country is Affirmative Action and Identity Politics. Any person in the USA that truly experienced the most overused word in 2020, “Racism”, will have lawyers lined up for half a mile to take on the case for $$$$$ and exposure. This is the world of “racism” in the USA….in 2020. SMH.

  15. Shane C Warren December 29, 2020 6:14 am Reply

    This is the most ridiculous article that I have ever read in my entire life. The opinion of the writer is just that, opinion. To see that reported is sad. This is why the general public does not believe anything the media puts out there. They are opinion based following an agenda.
    Keeping the race baiting card alive. Let’s blame the “light skinned people” for our problems 😅 “Not all white people are racist, just the vast majority, I am light skinned and would never think of being racist because I was raised on Kauai, there are no racist people in Kauai.” 😂 What a joke.
    Garden Isle, you just lost a subscriber. Unfollow yours ridiculous “news”

  16. behappy December 29, 2020 10:26 am Reply

    This is probably one of the most obviously open racial pieces I read in a long time. Obviously the writer does not realize her views and comments are hurtful to others. Racism is not confined to Caucasians. . Grouping and tagging people as thinking or acting a certain way because of their race is racism.

  17. Rev Dr Malama December 30, 2020 11:53 am Reply

    How to MAKE KAUAI KIND AGAIN ?????
    It’s a pun intended for the vast majority of folks who spew opinion filled with anti intelligent content…. mostly.
    I wonder what the late Rev Dr Martin LUTHER King would say about our present society????
    I will continue to try to emulate Dr King’s words while repeating the most important slogan of the last decade and essentially the year 2020…. In my humble HEART, I BELIEVE.


    1. Mr Joshua December 30, 2020 2:57 pm Reply

      You sir, are a sheep. “Black Lives Matter”….SMH.

  18. WHOkauai December 30, 2020 9:42 pm Reply

    Aloha Kakou,

    Haole (hā’-ō’-le), adj.
    1. White: he keokeo; ina i keokeo ka hulu o ka puaa a puni, he haole ia puaa; he puaa haole.

    2. Foreign; belonging to another country.

    It seems this opinion piece was written by a high school student? Good job, as it was written with good intensions from her perspective. A perspective that does not have much exposure to the mainland and not fully knowledgeable of American history and the Hawaiian Kingdom history. Nonetheless, thank you for the discussion.

    Why so many folks sensitive to the word haole? It’s a descriptive Hawaiian word of the many foreigners who came to the Hawaiian Kingdom. Maybe some kind of insecurity? Unfair for the defensive attitude, especially since so many words were created by the haole that were not kind. I was going to list them, but it’s really a vulgar group of names. Mainland folks were so cruel.

    Some pretty horrific stuff in America’s story. Today, folks like to brush over the history of the country and say, “that was then and don’t blame anyone today for the wrongs of yesterday”. But horrific problems have occurred throughout history and have survived through time and exist through other shapes and forms today.

    Now, for all those who like to complain about reverse discrimination, like the person reminding us of “Haoli Day.” Well, the haoli folk on the mainland were smart. They never had an official day to warn the white kids who were beaten up, verbally assaulted. Most Hawaiians didn’t teach their children to do this, yet, there will always be bully’s in society, even Hawaii. It was a hard existence for many locals and Hawaiians being called lazy, less than, stupid. Many of them were being told that who they were not good enough and needed to be more American. Shamed into assimilation. It was hard for the children to see their parents work hard while the mainland haoli folks got the high paying management jobs, the luna. It was hard for local kids to see the mainland kids have more–a better house, job, clothing, toys, vacations. Kids never had vacations and, even today, many kids have never been off-island.

    No, the haoli folks on the mainland were smart because they didn’t have an official “Kill Haoli Day”. The haoli, on any given day, and quite often, secretly tortured, maimed, killed people of color, gays, women, children, black folks. And they got away with it…legally. Because often the authorities were in on it. Those in power supported the discrimination in those days. Today, it’s a mixed bag. It’s getting harder to get away with it.

    There are many folks who move to the Hawaiian islands who do not understand the culture, protocol, lifestyle of each island. Learn this: Local folks do not hate a person because of color. But there is an anger towards the disrespectful attitude or the arrogance some have who move here. Local folks are are mostly quiet. Many do have anger inside. Many live each day and do not let the ugliness affect their aloha. Kindness meets kindness.

    Learn this also: you are do not get a “pass” from being a racist just because you know someone who is black or are married to a Hawaiian. It doesn’t work that way. It’s how you think and act towards others. You do not get an automatic leap into integrity because your granddaughter is brown skinned.

    The comments in this forum turned against the Hawaiians even though it’s focus was about overall discrimination in this country. She mentioned her own experience with racism as she grew up here. Some of those folks who wrote on this forum come out of the woodworks to say things that are not of truth. I respect any person to say their opinion. But do so in a respectful, and truthful manner. Otherwise, do understand why folks do not respect you.

    It seems times have changed. Having forums like this one and social media platforms allows us to see first hand the horrific attitudes, ignorance, and behavior of discrimination.

    Today I watched a 14 year old black son being verbally and physically attacked while being falsely accused of stealing a woman’s iPhone in the lobby of a hotel. The hotel manager automatically backed her. The son’s father was right there defending him. What would be the outcome if his father wasn’t there?

    An Uber later returned the woman’s cell. She never issued an apology to the boy and his family.

    In truth, all the natives, indigenous, black folks, people of color can say the haoli have always had their own “Discriminate or Kill Day.” It just wasn’t publicly announced.

    1. Mr Joshua January 1, 2021 2:54 pm Reply

      Haole is a racial slur….even if used by the 6% of “Native Hawaiians” in the state of Hawaii. It is 2021 sir…..social justice warriors do not allow any racial slurs. Blacks should not use the N-word, just because they are black. It is all about feelings and emotions…..you didn’t get the memo??

      Hawaii is not this blessed, holy land, with otherworldly grounds…..it is a state in the USA. “Respect” is the most overused word on the islands. Common courtesy is expected everywhere……but apparently, visitors/tourists are expected to bow to all residents and be under the microscope for any and all discrepancies. Only on the islands do people wear the “I’ve been here longer” like a badge of courage….I’ve got news for you…..no one cares.

      Seriously??? “Why so many folks sensitive to the word haole?” Ah, have you lived anywhere but here for more than a week?

  19. Fred Flipmome January 11, 2021 4:05 am Reply

    Interesting topic of discussion! It’s funny how it’s standard practice to lump together people of the same skin color, only when that color is being spoken about in a negative way. I grew up on Kauai , from 10 till 25, before and after that, I lived on the mainland. It is of no use to try to change the past . We are unable to do so. Like the foolish dog, barking at the flying bird, don’t waste your time on something that is out of your control. Moving forward, accepting our differences, and giving our fellow humans the courtesy that we would like to receive. It’s not easy but it’s a whole lot easier than blaming today and tomorrow on yesterday’s mistakes.

    Respect isn’t about race, religion, sex, etc. it’s about your own individual purpose and path.

    Figure it out people

    Have a great day

    Fred Flipmome

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