Letters for Sunday, July 18, 2021

The Danger of Critical Race Theory

There is no room for critical race theory (CRT) in Hawai‘i schools. CRT rejects Martin Luther King’s philosophy that ‘a person should be judged by the content of their character and not by the color of their skin’ and advances the notion that ‘a person should be judged by the content of melanin in their skin.’ It is pure racism. We in Hawai’i, with our multi-ethnic blending, not only find this notion ‘repulsive’, but we are living proof that this (so called) “theory” is positively false.

It is important to note that CRT is an offshoot of ‘critical theory’— a strategy developed in the 1930s, by a group of Communist intellectuals known as the ‘Frankfurt School.’ Their scheme was to fundamentally transform America by gradually supplanting American culture with their own Marxist ideology. The basic strategy is the classic “divide and conquer.” This is what we are looking at with critical race theory.

Richard Morse, Kilauea

Seasoned Citizens

Today’s world of compartmentalization of people, events and politics, the issue of baby-boomers, flower children, millennials and generation X and such nomenclature, presents a conundrum to those who were born prior or just after the cataclysmic events of December 7, 1941.

Our generation was the subsequent extension of the greatest generation, who collectively embraced the true essence of patriotism and sacrifice. Many of the values instilled by our parents and their parents, most of whom were immigrants coming to the new country, have guided us through many years of turmoil and uncertainty.

We have endured fourteen presidents, several wars, assassinations, Watergate, the Cold War, the 9/11 attack on home soil , natural disasters and the advent of computer technology. As a high school student, I had trouble learning the home keys on my typewriter. Our reveling in anticipation of the high school dance, going steady and dreaming of that girl in French class still resonates notwithstanding in the distant past.

The explosion of the Beatles, Carnaby fashions , polyester pant suits, the Twist, Disco and Rap Music all have replaced the ivy look and the big band era of romanticism. The McGuire Sisters have been preempted by the Kardashians.. Reality television, where 15 people sit around in a $10M mansion, and discuss dysfunctionality and promiscuity, has supplanted the Carol Burnett and Perry Como family experiences.

The Survivor Show whereby people eat bugs, bath in mud, trek through the Australian outback naked while being bitten by ten different species of poisonous snakes, has become the anthem of today’s generation. Many of us have had a parallel path by moving to South Florida……. So who are we? We exist in a title less vacuum.

They call us senior citizens. Such a silly moniker! One need only to take the time to “repose in tranquility”, to understand the true nature of who we are: We are the kids who drank cokes at the neighbor drug store, graduated high school and maybe college, used “cool, groovy and swell” as the mainstay of our vocabulary, found our way in the world, became soulmates, parents and grandparents , and depending on one’s gender , still have crushes on Doris Day or Pat Boone.


Jamie V. Mantegna, class of 60, Lihu‘e

Coco Palms needs a plan

It’s great to read about Hawaiian and community groups calling for utilizing the Coco Palms site for a cultural center.

It’s sad to read that they have no plan for constructing or sustaining it. It’s also sad that they forget how the last developers actually set aside over 10 acres to be used as a cultural center, allocated land for the community to have luaus and large gatherings (with parking), and provided parking for beach goers with shuttles transporting folks to the beach.

They also established a funding method using a portion of the resort fees to sustain and maintain the operations. Too bad those who have this vision now, weren’t able to open their eyes earlier. Auwe!

Dirk Soma, Lihu‘e

Poor use of county funds

What’s wrong with this picture? As I was driving to Koke’e on Route 552 at the little stretch of Monkey pod trees. I notice a sign holder on the south side of the one lane bridge. As I approached and pass by two County dump truck and a cherry picker. I noticed four men ( three talking behind a dump truck and one on a cell phone). I assume the one on the cherry picker was up trimming the trees. I also noticed, there was no-one on the north side to control traffic for the southbound on Route 552. It was an accident waiting to happen.

I know it’s been a County policy to have more men power at a work site. However, one of the men should have been holding a sign on the north side to control traffic at the point .

Our tax money pays good to this men. What’s up with that, Mayor Kawakami?

Howard Tolbe, ‘Ele‘ele

  1. I saw a Vampire once July 18, 2021 12:24 am Reply

    Like I said earlier, turn the hotel into a luau show. Haunted house and charge a fee. Hours open, 7:30 pm to 1:00 am nightly.

    This would be a smash it.

  2. I saw a Vampire once July 18, 2021 1:35 am Reply

    Were they state workers? Didn’t have enough to go around. This is a summer job probably. So it is really hot. The others didn’t want the job, or they had somewhere else to work on.

    I don’t know. But they have the regulars on.

  3. Steven McMacken July 18, 2021 3:31 am Reply

    I think you better go back to the drawing board, Richard. CRT actually does the opposite of what you stated.

  4. Ken Conklin July 18, 2021 4:22 am Reply

    Richard Morse says “There is no room for critical race theory (CRT) in Hawai‘i schools.”

    Well, actually, there’s lots of room for it in our schools — CRT has been a major part of the “Hawaiian Studies” curriculum at all levels K-12 and especially in Hawaii’s public and private colleges. The mandatory one-semester course on Modern Hawaiian history, required for graduation, is a propaganda vehicle for CRT.

    I published a detailed webpage about CRT in Hawaii on July 4. To find it, copy/paste the title into Google, including the quote marks:

    “Critical Race Theory Hawaiian Style”

    Here’s the subtitle, which summarizes the contents:

    A peculiar ideological combination alleges actual Native Hawaiian victimhood; asserts Native Hawaiian inherent racial supremacy; expresses anti-u.s. and anti-white hostility; and demands Asians in Hawaii to ally with Native Hawaiians in the interest of social justice.

    1. Reality Bites July 20, 2021 3:20 am Reply

      Hawaii is the most openly racist state in the Union. As you said, it is taught in the schools “The white man took our lands”, and practiced on all islands. Less than 6% of the population of Hawaii is actually “Native Hawaiian”, yet anyone that looks non-white, of asian mix, seems to get a free pass to accost “haole” residents and tourists. In 2021, based on all the sensitivity training, how is “haole” even accepted on the islands? SMH.

  5. Cherokee July 18, 2021 6:36 am Reply

    Hello. I will be commenting on the CRT opinion. I researched before I began this. The black population in the United States is around 13%, with Latino coming in next and white around 65%. When I do something as simple as watch tv, I as well as you must notice there are as many black people on out televisions daily than white. Which does not line up proportionally with the 13% of the population as stated earlier. So where is the lack of equality in that, again just using tv as our example. If you watch any major televised sporting events, especially football and basketball, the overwhelming majority of the athletes are black. So that 13% percent has a very large difference in sports, with people of color dominating that arena. A example of where I am going. When I go to visit family in Thailand I watch some TV. Do you know how many white and black people are on their networks, I will tell you, close to none. You know why. Because the Thai population is made of of mostly Thai people. Now are they racists because they don’t have equal parts of white/black people shows? Or is it just because the majority of the population is Thai. Yes, because the majority of the population is Thai. So equate that to America. Are we really holding back blacks, again just using my tv narrative. If it was true, that we hate and hold the black man down, then why are they equally on our tv. Our music. Our lawmakers. Our police. Our athletes. Our president, not once, but twice elected by the evil White Man. If you have brains, that alone would open the eyes to the nonsense being pressed by people on their phones. This is just a different approach to looking from the outside and I would invite some one to tell me why the racist America would put blacks on our tv’s/presidency if we hated them so much? Please help understand. Finally, if we want to be fair and equal, lets use sports for this example. Why don’t we make sure to use affirmative action to have equal representation in the NBA and NFL. According to the woke of America there should be equal Asians, Latino, Chinese, Filipino, and Whites on those sport teams with EQUAL PLAY TIME. But is there? Hmmmm. Pretty hypocritical from our WOKE brothers and sisters. Soooooo tired of the crap on social media/tv. It’s your character who defines you, not your color. Maybe travel to another country for before you try understanding. Try the non racist Africa. Or China. Also learn that there is actually more slavery in the world than there was in 1800’s of America. Research. Learn. Be aware.

  6. james July 18, 2021 7:04 am Reply

    Before you attack CRT, you should know what it is:
    Critical race theory is an academic concept that is more than 40 years old. The core idea is that race is a social construct, and that racism is not merely the product of individual bias or prejudice, but also something embedded in legal systems and policies.

    The basic tenets of critical race theory, or CRT, emerged out of a framework for legal analysis in the late 1970s and early 1980s created by legal scholars Derrick Bell, Kimberlé Crenshaw, and Richard Delgado, among others.

    A good example is when, in the 1930s, government officials literally drew lines around areas deemed poor financial risks, often explicitly due to the racial composition of inhabitants. Banks subsequently refused to offer mortgages to Black people in those areas.

    Today, those same patterns of discrimination live on through facially race-blind policies, like single-family zoning that prevents the building of affordable housing in advantaged, majority-white neighborhoods and, thus, stymies racial desegregation efforts.

    CRT also has ties to other intellectual currents, including the work of sociologists and literary theorists who studied links between political power, social organization, and language. And its ideas have since informed other fields, like the humanities, the social sciences, and teacher education.

    This academic understanding of critical race theory differs from representation in recent popular books and, especially, from its portrayal by critics—often, though not exclusively, conservative Republicans. Critics charge that the theory leads to negative dynamics, such as a focus on group identity over universal, shared traits; divides people into “oppressed” and “oppressor” groups; and urges intolerance.

    Thus, there is a good deal of confusion over what CRT means, as well as its relationship to other terms, like “anti-racism” and “social justice,” with which it is often conflated.

    1. Reality Bites July 20, 2021 3:36 am Reply

      What you described is all covered in your endless HISTORY classes from our public schools through grade 12. Provide the facts, and move on.

      CRT believes racism is present in every aspect of life (false). Anyone who disagrees with CRT must do so for racist and white supremacist reasons (false). CRT believes you cannot be satisfied with any results in life, blame white people, and becomes an activist black hole to hang your hat on (false).

      The only systemic racism in the USA, in 2021, is Affirmative Action. We are the least racist country on the planet. Provide more opportunities, regardless of race, than any other country on the planet. Minorities are rushing to come to this country for its endless opportunities……which begs the question; “Why are all these minorities risking their lives to enter the USA, the most racist country on the planet”??? ANSWER: They know the facts, but don’t care about the feelings.

  7. Kauaian July 18, 2021 7:53 pm Reply

    CRT is one of the big lies pushed by President Biden, Kamala Harris and other far left Democrat types. Please keep it out of Hawaii. It will only create hate and divide white and people of color. Most of us living here have mixed ethnicities, are proud of our heritage , therefore Critical Race Theory has no place here.

  8. kauaidoug July 19, 2021 8:30 am Reply

    Mr Morse,. What was the American culture? A culture where jim crow ruled in almost half the country. In 1962 only 2% of black voters voted. When were women allowed to vote? The only way to correct and deal with effects of past wrongs is to learn about it, discuss it and resolve to never let them happen again.

    1. Reality Bites July 20, 2021 3:45 am Reply

      Your facts are already presented in Public High Schools. How far do you want to go back in history, and cherry pick specific atrocities, and them adjudicate them with today’s laws?????

      I was not born, and I had nothing to do with past atrocities and wrong doings. Everyone today, based on the color of their skin or their gender, did not experience past wrong doings.

      If your father kills someone, goes to jail for life, then do you go to jail after he dies, and then when you die, do your children go to jail??? Learn from history, do not relive it in 2021. This is first world problems, by people who are bored, unemployed, and want a purpose in life, so they manufacture a perceived atrocity in 2021. Stop the madness!

  9. Richard Morse July 23, 2021 5:19 am Reply

    With all due respect James,

    It is fine and dandy if these academics and sociology professors want to roll this stuff around in their heads, as if they had nothing better to do. But to force it on my grandchildren, who don’t have a racist bone in their body, is entirely unacceptable.

  10. Hirondelle July 23, 2021 10:10 am Reply

    Teaching accurate history would include that there were hundreds of thousands of people already living on what we now call the Mainland–before Europeans “discovered” these lands. This would include the variety of First Nations and how they were displaced and the effects on their cultures. Teaching accurate history would include the sequence of seagoing peoples arriving on the Pacific Islands, and how each culture was modified. Teaching facts would include when the first Africans were brought to what is now the US and how their status — and that of women–evolved over the years, including when these groups were accorded the right to vote and the extent to which that right was and can be fully executed. Accurate history will state the facts, remind us of the magnificent promises of our nation and its achievements, and point us toward ways of bringing those promises more fully into reality.

  11. Hirondelle July 24, 2021 6:23 am Reply

    Here’s a thought: If we teach facts that may make some uncomfortable, will we also teach critical thinking? Kids can question the truth and potential impact of what they’re taught. They might even have in-class and peer discussions about why information about slavery, Jim Crow, the Hawaiian Kingdom, and other events of the past matters (or doesn’t) now. Isn’t this better than a lifelong habit of believing only what we hear at home, or on tv, or in one book? Maybe our children should become consumers of multiple sources of information and come to their own conclusions.

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