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VOICES: Police chief’s actions, racism, hate crimes have no place on Kaua‘i, in world

On March 16, 2021, eight people were killed in a mass shooting in Atlanta, six of whom were Asian women.

This incident cannot be separated from the rise in acts of hatred against members of the Asian American and Pacific Islander community, women in particular.

In the year since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, there’s been an increase in reports nationwide to the organization Stop AAPI Hate, with 3,795 incidents of anti-Asian hate recorded between March 19, 2020 to Feb. 28, 2021.

Violence and discrimination against the AAPI community and Asian immigrants has a long and painful history in both the U.S. and colonial Hawai‘i. The racism and misogyny that fueled this recent tragedy, and the many acts of anti-Asian hate, illustrate that we have a long way to go in the fight against racism and gender inequality.

Here at home, our community is still reeling from the investigation and confirmation of discriminatory remarks by the Kaua‘i Police Department chief.

The public discourse continues, with many excusing the comments as off-colored jokes at best, or ignorance at worst. But the fact remains that at least one of these comments was related to official business of the KPD — a hiring decision. This is discrimination.

Furthermore, an anecdote which describes people of Japanese descent as untrustworthy in their business dealings and duplicitous in their communication cannot be brushed off as a joke.

This line of thinking, combined with racial stereotypes, have led to some of the most-harmful policies and darkest days in our history — Japanese internment camps during WWII, the Page Act of 1875, and the 1882 Chinese Exclusion Act, to name a few.

As an organization dedicated to eliminating racism for people of all races, origins and ethnicities, the YWCA of Kaua‘i condemns the chief’s remarks in the strongest possible way.

We stand in solidarity with our law-enforcement officers who have experienced a hostile work environment as a consequence, and we call for transparency on the part of the Police Commission.

Public trust has been eroded, and an apology alone is not enough to regain the trust of the police department as a whole or the disparaged community. Silence is not an option or a solution.

Finally, we call on our island ‘ohana to resist and stand up to ill-informed, biased perspectives about Asian Americans and all people of Asian descent, to demand better from our leadership and from each other.

•••

Renae Hamilton-Cambeilh is executive director, Emiko Meyers is board president, and Mia Carroll is assistant director, YWCA of Kaua‘i.

26 Comments
  1. George April 3, 2021 4:14 am Reply

    The cancel culture continues. He said, she said, I am offended. Interesting that a member of a “Christian” organization would judge the actions of others. Small potatoes.

    Rather than focusing on individual acts lets go big picture. Cancel the church and other “faith-based” organizations. These groups have a long history of oppression (women, people of color, gay marriage) , persecution ( all of the previous mentioned groups as well as other religons), inquisitions, war ( crusades, not condemning hitlers actions) . Not to forget the modern day “religious leaders”, Falwell, Roberts, Osteen, whose denominations are 10’s and 20 dollar bills.
    And last, but not least the hypocrisy of those who attend churches for an hour a week and do nothing that would reflect ” christian” behavior the rest of the time.

    The teachings of Jesus were basically, believe in me, love one another, spread the word.
    How we got all the other stuff is mans intetpretation of the bible. People looking for loopholes to justify there behaviors.

    To summarize, , I understand peoples need to believe. I dont understand how people are so willing to condemn others. Be the best person you can be. If someone offends you confront them on it. We all have made mistakes. As Muhammad Ali said, ” a man who views the world at 50 the same way he did at 20 has wasted 30 years.” We can all do better.


  2. Daniel Lee April 3, 2021 7:00 am Reply

    I can’t believe the racist Todd Raybuck remains employed. If he had made disparaging remarks about blacks, he’d be fired on the spot!


  3. kauaiboy April 3, 2021 7:37 am Reply

    Please spare me. This cancel-culture thing has gone too far and gotten out of hand.

    The chief has apologized and learned his lesson.

    The chief is doing a great job, far better than prior chiefs in the past. Our Japanese-American Mayor agrees.

    Please name the law-enforcement officers who say they have experienced a hostile work environment as a consequence of the chief’s actions. First I have heard of it…

    Where do you get off, as executives in the local Young Womens Christian Association, writing such a piece of opinionistic condemnation? Have a bit of Christian forgiveness.

    What is next? Calling for the firing of every Mayor, Councilperson, Department Head, Project Manager, Secretary, Road Worker, Solid Waste Worker, Comedian, Non-Profit Employee, etc etc who has ever uttered the words Haole, Portagee, Kanaka, Oriental, Colored, Flop, Cracker, Gringo, Honky, Redneck, Kraut, Nazi, Mick, Oreo, etc etc?

    We would spend a whole lot of time seeking “clean” candidates to replace them….


    1. kamani April 4, 2021 5:54 am Reply

      “Tolerance of intolerance is cowardice.”
      ― Ayaan Hirsi Ali


  4. jkh April 3, 2021 8:09 am Reply

    So mellow dramatic.


  5. mina April 3, 2021 8:10 am Reply

    Until you have the whole, complete story about our Police Chief, I suggest you put your violins away. From my experience as a white person living on Kauai for the past 25 years, racism is more prevalent against whites than it is against Asians. If you don’t believe me, ask any white person who’s lived here for at least a year. We’ve seen and heard the way locals talk about white tourists after taking their money and giving them that big cheesy aloha smile.


    1. kanOOkdrmr April 3, 2021 3:17 pm Reply

      As a haole whose lived her for
      40 years, I think it’s past time for you to go


      1. arbitrary April 7, 2021 4:06 pm Reply

        as a european who came to kauai on a boat 60 years i think both of you immigrants need to get off the island


  6. jks April 3, 2021 9:20 am Reply

    Political correctness is a social climbing exercise.


  7. No place April 3, 2021 9:42 am Reply

    Whatever happens to the incident about when the Chief yelled at a female employee that was recorded?


  8. Coolio April 3, 2021 10:37 am Reply

    You would think Hawaii would be a little different because of all the different races that call Hawaii home but just one visit to Kauai Rants and Raves will show you how racists run amuck here…it’s sickening…


  9. jkh April 3, 2021 10:44 am Reply

    85% of violence against Asians is perpetrated by African Americans. Why does no one talk about that?

    https://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/nevius/article/Dirty-secret-of-black-on-Asian-violence-is-out-3265760.php


  10. Joker April 3, 2021 11:11 am Reply

    You the joke.

    You and some dirty kpd cops used your so called victims to try and set someone up.

    The new chief of police is probably good in kpd and the powers want to get rid of him.

    Most of you people hate Filipinos and make guns and jokes about them all the time and even on TGI comments and articles.

    There were two Chief of police that were strategically attacked and the powers were able to remove Freitas and Lum. Why? Were they also cleaning house and getting rid of dirty kpd cops?

    Where’s the report on the 5 or more officers that cheated so an officer could pass a promotion test. Those involved cannot serve as police officers because their integrity is suspect and they cannot be trusted. They cannot testify in court once their integrity is jeopardized in the cheating scandal.

    Why hasn’t many of you spoken out about that those and many misdeeds by Contrades and Perry? Perry was really bad but Contrades was even worse.

    Raybuck must be a serious threat to the powers and they are going full blitz and using those who they’ve used in the past to set people up and spread defamation.

    Truth be told.


  11. Fact April 3, 2021 11:20 am Reply

    Yukimura proved that they cannot be trusted.

    The big box ban was so her and her family and friends could profit and they did.

    While the residents suffered from inflated prices by limited competition.

    Many Japanese are tied to the yakuza on Kauai and the state of Hawaii and their endless assault against those who won against them in WWII.

    You know nothing because your former president sparked the recent race wars in America.

    You people who wrote this is part of the problem and not part of trying to find solutions and resolve.


  12. Keithb April 3, 2021 12:34 pm Reply

    Amazing that despite all evidence to the contrary, you are STILL pushing the Asian hate crime propaganda regarding the Atlanta shooting. There is absolutely zero evidence that it had anything to do with the color of someone’s skin or culture. Get real


    1. Everythingisawesome April 3, 2021 5:01 pm Reply

      Woke clergy from the YWCA of Kauai…woke is a four letter word, btw…reminds me of a story… “…For the third time he spoke to them: “Why? What crime has this man committed? I have found in him no grounds for the death penalty. Therefore I will have him punished and then release him.”

      But with loud shouts they insistently demanded that he be crucified, and their shouts prevailed.”


    2. kamani April 4, 2021 5:42 am Reply

      You are obviously not Asian and might want to ask an Asian before making an unfounded statement especially when 1 in 4 Asians have experienced some form of a hate crime to include myself. Regarding the Atlanta shooting, incompetent investigators who are unwilling to call it what it is for politics is not evidence. No one drives to three different spas in two different counties and selectively kills 6 people of the same race unless it’s about race.


  13. Why W ceee ayyy April 3, 2021 2:08 pm Reply

    So here we have a perfect example of only taking the information that reinforces your opinion or feelings. You’re choosing to be outraged and let a narrative control your feelings. The article has no validity besides half truths and gas lighting. Take this sh$&) elsewhere.


  14. Mark April 3, 2021 3:50 pm Reply

    Unbelievable, I agree with everything George wrote. Must be the power of Christ dying on the cross and opening my eyes. Good for you George. Happy Easter!


  15. Jeff S. April 3, 2021 7:03 pm Reply

    Renae, Emiko & Mia,

    blah blah blah. I’m sure you never told an “off-color” joke. Pull yourself away from watching CNN and actual learn what’s going around you, the United States and the world.


  16. avcwbcoach April 3, 2021 11:18 pm Reply

    Kauai is Not Las Vegas! Why would we try move the good, unfortunate houseless, many children and families on Easter weekend while Kauai is still in the rainy season! This militia, discriminatory, hardass, and may even be in-humane “leader” be given a second chance? He promised much when hired and then acted like a child instead of a professional on the job. Gotta go Mr. Police Chief!


  17. USAF Brat April 4, 2021 6:31 am Reply

    Across this Ouiji board, 99% of the commentators arent even “locals”. Transplanted or newbies and therein “lies” the problem. There is a huge mafia mob culture that precedes ALL of us. Most of you weren’t even born, yet your backstories were presented to you at birth by your own parents, grandparents and EVERY cultures’ ancestors. Kauai’s population has perhaps the greatest amount per capita, of these kinds of obviously pointy-fingered narcissists than other islands or even the world. ALL have neglected to look at the other 3-fingers pointing back at you, the “victim mentality”, (outlined in DSM-5), local to newbie. In 2018, running with corrupted politics competition, Mayors Division of past skankers, there was no desire to fill that seat. But, it was the perfect opportunity on stage to return the many questions asked. So, in the alotted one-minute that was given at these rallies, the question that was posed by this candidate was to ask every audiience attendee to “Raise your hand if you are paying attention”. My Irish military veteran dad would have conjured that question “went over like a turd in a punch bowl”.


    1. George April 4, 2021 2:47 pm Reply

      I have been here longer than you. Just haven’t learned to hate like you. Get over yourself. By the way haoles who try to use pidgin sound really stupid.


  18. piko April 4, 2021 2:28 pm Reply

    This is the funniest white on local gang banging forum ever.
    If you are white, come here to back up your favorite white person.
    Never mind if HE or SHE totally disrespects an entire culture, and race, (one race of several other races) from other countries, that were invited to Hawaii, and are still bound by treaty with the Hawaiian Kingdom,
    BUT
    if memory serves correct, whites were never invited to be a part of the Hawaiian Kingdom, and has no Treaty that is legal between the good old USA and the Hawaiian Kingdom. Hawaii is Occupied by the USA. (truth)
    Now if we have to live here , it’s or home, we choose to not leave our home, yet we are living under Occupied Hawaii game plan,… occupied by the USA, … and the USA way…
    AND>>>>and our multi-cultures has managed to respect each others culture…. in spite of what the white men have done here. The problem is pretty clear…clear to me… SO..
    If you are white, and you just can’t wait to bash local culture, because you feel you are not reigning supreme here on the islands. You feel targeted for being white Then this is where you come to vent….and gang bang the local people, their culture, traditions, and homeland.
    My 2 cents for free. … These are your rules, you made them, live by them then…
    Chief messed up. Not acceptable for a man of his position. and….
    and here is 2 more cents …His apology was almost hard to watch, and it was almost pathetic, to see a grown man, with the look of a ten year old that skipped school,…. and got caught.


  19. StopWith TheCrying April 5, 2021 8:46 am Reply

    Ya. And 99 out of a hundred “haoles” living here have experienced racism, hate, discrimination.. Get over it… Enough with the whining already.. 😭


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