The Honolulu Advertiser blog by Trisha Kehaulani Watson was entitled "He Hawai'i au" which means "I am [racially] Hawaiian." The first essay she posted was on January 18, 2009. Her blog came to an end with a final essay on February 3, 2010. In the final essay she claimed she was ending the blog by agreement with the Advertiser because she is planning to actively support candidates in the 2010 election and it would be inappropriate to use the Advertiser blog as a campaign tool. However, as time went by during 2009 there were increasing complaints to the newspaper about the blatant, unapologetic racism of the blog. Ms. Watson was never hesitant to reveal personal information about herself and her "boyfriend" in her blog entries, presumably for the purpose of holding herself out as an example of righteous behavior. But in January 2010 someone who was fed up with her racism made a lengthy comment consisting of publicly available information about her background, which she promptly deleted and then banned the commenter and claimed the commenter was violating the Advertiser's rules of civility. After about ten days with no further posts, she announced the end of her blog, thus illustrating the old saying "If you can't take the heat, get out of the kitchen."
I, Ken Conklin, did not take notice of this blog until May 2009. There were numerous racist blog posts before then, but I was not aware of them and did not begin responding until then. Below is some general information about racism in Hawaii and about Ms. Watson, followed by 12 "dialogs." Each dialog consists of one of Ms. Watson's notably offensive blog posts together with my own reply and occasionally additional replies and rebuttals from other commenters.
LIST OF TOPICS.
1. How racism in Hawaii is different from racism on the mainland, and why racist rhetoric that is intellectually oriented and nice-sounding can be dangerous if left unchallenged.
2. Who is Trisha Kehaulani Watson, and why did the Honolulu Advertiser give her such prominence as a featured blogger?
3. The Hawaiian "N" Word: On Being "Native"
[Ethnic Hawaiians should be entitled to government handouts in proportion to their percentage of native blood quantum. "I support all Hawaiians, but I support Hawaiians with more blood quantum and more ancestors going first."]
Trisha Kehaulani Watson dialog started May 27, 2009
4. "Hawaiian Enough"
["I see the world as being binary: Hawai'i (Hawaiians or Native Hawaiians) and haole (non-Hawaiians). ... if you can trace your lineage back to at least one ancestor who was here prior to western contact, then you are Hawaiian."]
Trisha Kehaulani Watson dialog started May 29, 2009
5. One Drop
[Race has been "the basis of discrimination and prejudice against millions of people in the United States for centuries. ... To be blunt: White people have historically had a problem with just about everybody. ... And so, because we are Hawaiian, we are entitled to the opportunity to change that. Since 1893 we have asked the United States to begin to right the wrong. We have asked for justice. We are still waiting."]
Trisha Kehaulani Watson dialog started May 30, 2009
6. Where Are They Supposed To Go?
["(Note: since the majority of the "houseless" in Wai'anae are Native Hawaiians, and Hawai'i is our home, I was taught that the preferred term is "houseless," not homeless. So the term "houseless" will be used in reference to Native Hawaiians and "homeless" for those of non-Hawaiian ancestry.)"]
Trisha Kehaulani Watson dialog started June 28, 2009
7. Dem Bones (Gonna Rise Again)
["Hawaiians say, "Ola na iwi," the bones live. For us, they do. ... Just as Christians believe their Lord could breathe life back into their bones and raise an army, so do we believe in our akua's ability to raise an army from our bones. In 2004, Vilsoni Hereniko entitled his Rotuman film Pear ta ma 'on maf, The Land has Eyes. He reminds us, "the land has teeth and knows the truth." The land has eyes. Brescia would do well to remember that."]
Trisha Kehaulani Watson dialog started July 12, 2009
8. A Little History on Statehood "Celebrations"
Trisha Kehaulani Watson dialog started July 25, 2009
Watson recalls the events of Statehood Day 2006. That was the day when a gang of Hawaiian sovereignty thugs showed up at Iolani Palace to disrupt a celebration of statehood. They yelled in the faces of children of the Kalani High School Band, forcing parents and counselors to remove the children for fear of violence. They swarmed the celebrants, yelling cussing and swearing so no celebration could take place. In this essay Trisha Watson describes the statehood celebrants as anti-Hawaiians fighting against Hawaiians. Thus she tries to stir up anger and racial hatred.
Honolulu Advertiser featured blog He Hawai'i Au
9. Where Do We Go from Here?
Trisha Kehaulani Watson dialog started August 4, 2009
Watson recalls a book by that title published in 1967 by Dr. Martin Luther King in which Dr. King said America owes a huge debt to Negroes. Watson believes America also owes a huge debt to ethnic Hawaiians, and asks what should happen now? Conklin answers with quotes from the Kingdom Constitution of 1840, and two U.S. Supreme Court decisions. Responding to a critic's rhetorical questions, Conklin explains why Hawaiian sovereignty is the most important civil rights issue, why he is qualified to speak on this topic as an expert, and why he focuses almost entirely on this one issue and this one ethnic group.
10. Sacred Palace is NOT for Sale
Trisha Kehaulani Watson dialog started August 16, 2009
Watson says she's outraged that a real estate auction company used Iolani Palace to illustrate how its online auction system works. She says the Palace is a sacred place and is not for sale. Conklin rebuttal says her essay is an example of manufactured outrage, and if the Palace is a sacred place it is because of good things that happened there like the revolution that overthrew the monarchy, and the annexation of Hawaii to the U.S., and the transition to Statehood.
11. In the official commemoration of the 50th anniversary of Statehood Day at the Convention Center, a panel consisting entirely of ethnic Hawaiian racial activists will be highly featured as only event in its time slot, 3:00 - 4:30 PM. The event will be broadcast live on TV, and replayed multiple times. Trisha Watson posted on her Advertiser blog the biographies and statements of most of the panelists three days before the event (including her own). Ken Conklin wrote replies to several of them; and the collection of those statements with replies are consolidated here. (1) Trisha Kehaulani Watson: Should Liliuokalani have fought the revolution of 1893? Hopes for the future.; (2) Kimo Alama Keaulana: Hawaiian culture is beautiful. Everyone who is not ethnic Hawaiian has somewhere else in the world they can go back to, but Hawaii is the only home for ethnic Hawaiians; (3) Jonathan K. Osorio: Half his statement describes his contributions to his racial group. The rest says the values of ethnic Hawaiians are not compatible with the U.S. so therefore independence is needed (rebuttal asks whether he uses "Lahui" to mean "nation" or "race"); (4) Kamanamaikalani Beamer quotes Samuel Damon as saying in 1895 the past must be obliterated. Beamer then bemoans annexation, rails against the Statehood Day celebration at Palace in 2006, and vows to work for sovereignty.
12. White privilege in Hawaii, and the Southern Poverty Law Center Fall 2009 article reporting about anti-Caucasian hate crimes in Hawaii. Watson expresses outrage that SPLC has spent time on that topic when there are so many worthy issues they should be exploring, such as sex trafficking from Asia, Micronesians denied health care, overrepresentation of ethnic Hawaiians in our prisons, etc. She says the selection of anti-Caucasian hate crime as a topic illustrates white privilege, and she mentions the Massey case as an example. Ken Conklin replies that there are indeed anti-Caucasian racial hate crimes in Hawaii; he analyzes the SPLC article; and he provides URLs linking to documents and webpages proving the seriousness of anti-Caucasian hate crime in Hawaii.
13. The Difference Between Privilege and Redress. Trisha Watson tries to say that Hawaii's plethora of race-based programs exclusively for ethnic Hawaiians is not racial privilege, but rather it is justifiable redress for a history of injustices committed against them. Ken Conklin responds that redress is for individuals who were actually injured, not for their great-grandchildren; and the definition of privilege given by Watson exactly describes the racial entitlement programs in Hawaii.
14. Roots of a Racial Divide. Where did the race problems we have today in Hawaii come from? If all was swell in the Kingdom, what happened?
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