(c) Copyright 2010 - 2011
Kenneth R. Conklin, Ph.D.
All rights reserved
A new law took effect in January 2011 which prohibits ethnic studies courses in the public schools and charter schools from being used as propaganda factories to build racial solidarity and anti-Americanism. The law targets courses which attract primarily students of any particular ethnicity, where the curriculum fosters hatred toward other racial groups by portraying them as oppressors -- courses that promote anti-American, secessionist attitudes by describing America as invader and occupier of the ethnic homeland.
What? Did local media last year fail to report a law enacted by the Hawaii legislature or Congress? Will we now see a major cleanup of racial hate-mongering and anti-Americanism in the "Hawaiian-focus" charter schools, Hawaiian language immersion schools, the "Hawaiian studies" curriculum throughout all the public schools and perhaps even the University of Hawaii and community colleges?
No. The law was passed by the Arizona legislature because of concerns over the "La Raza" curriculum in that state's public school ethnic studies courses. Instead of taking the usual American History course required for graduation, students substitute a special ethnic-branded "studies" course: Mexican-American, African-American, Asian-American, or Native-American studies.
The new law is neutral on race and ethnicity. It does not single out the Mexican-American studies program. But of course the group loudly protesting is the one that knows it faces drastic consequences because it is the one whose "studies" curriculum violates the law. The La Raza curriculum teaches that nearly all Mexican-Americans have at least one drop of Mayan or Aztec blood, making them "indigenous" people with special rights under "international law." The states of Texas, Arizona, New Mexico, and California, along with parts of other states, were formerly part of Mexico until the U.S. staged an armed invasion, took over their lands, and incorporated the lands and people into America without their consent and without compensating them. La Raza teaches that the "illegal immigrants" invading America by the millions have every right to enter the U.S. as part of a "reconquista" because "We did not cross the border, the border crossed us. This is our homeland. It's the Anglos who are the illegal invaders."
The La Raza curriculum is dangerous because it fuels Mexican nationalist hatred toward America, and racial hatred toward Anglos (Caucasians), in the hearts and minds of Mexican-American teenagers; and it serves these evil purposes with the use of taxpayer dollars.
Anyone who wondered whether the first paragraph of the present essay was describing Hawaii has good reason to be confused, because the claims for reparations and sovereignty being made by Mexican-Americans sound very similar to the claims asserted by Hawaiian sovereignty activists -- claims which are the main focus of the U.S. apology resolution to Native Hawaiians in 1993, and repeated in every version of the racial separatist Akaka bill as its main moral justification. (See note below regarding "Hawaiian Nationalism, Chicano Nationalism ..."). There are close similarities between the La Raza curriculum and the Hawaiian Studies curriculum in the way they foster ethnic nationalism, anti-Americanism, and racial hatred toward Caucasians.
The New York Times posted an article on its website late January 7, included in the print edition on January 8, describing the Arizona law and its effect in one particular ethnic studies class in Tucson. The article was republished in dozens of newspapers throughout America, outrageously slanted to make liberals feel sympathy for the Mexican-American kids being "targeted" by the law. But the law is race-neutral. The "Raza" curriculum targets itself because it's the only "studies" program which routinely violates the law.
It's ironic that the day the New York Times published its article trashing the new Arizona law to prohibit the use of ethnic studies curricula to breed hatred was the same day when a gunman in Arizona killed several people and gravely wounded an Arizona Congresswoman at a meet-and-greet event in a supermarket parking lot. The gunman and victims were Caucasian, and the massacre had nothing to do with the La Raza curriculum. But the massacre surely does show the need to teach children the importance of mutual respect and civil discourse, and to stop inflaming political passions. There is indeed a long history of violence and threats of violence in the Hawaiian sovereignty movement (see note)
Here are the eminently reasonable preamble and four main requirements of the the Arizona law: "Pupils should be taught to treat and value each other as individuals and not be taught to resent or hate other races or classes of people. ... A school district or charter school in this state shall not include in its program of instruction any courses or classes that include any of the following: 1. Promote the overthrow of the United States government. 2. Promote resentment toward a race or class of people. 3. Are designed primarily for pupils of a particular ethnic group. 4. Advocate ethnic solidarity instead of the treatment of pupils as individuals." The law further states that it is not to be applied against portions of curriculum that contain individual lessons about particular nationality or ethnic groups and specific historical events that have caused them suffering, such as the holocaust. (For full text of the law see note below)
Wouldn't it be wonderful if we could have a law like that in Hawaii?
As it happens, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser published a version of the New York Times article in its online edition of January 8, but not its print edition. They published the article in the wee hours of the morning (when I happened to see it there). But later they deleted (censored!) the article, probably because someone told an editor that it hits too close to home! As of the afternoon of January 8 the URL from the Star-Advertiser version of the article still works, including the online comments (see notes below). But in case they somehow delete that too, here's how to prove that it existed: Go to Google and copy/paste the following phrase (including quotes) and you'll see the Star-Advertiser link approximately the sixth item down the list. "nearly all of those attending Curtis Acosta's Latino literature class on a recent morning were Mexican-American." There's a tiny magnifying glass near the right end of the clickable link, and if you double-click on the magnifying glass you'll get a piece of the Star-Advertiser article; and if you then click inside that piece you'll see the whole thing on the Star-Advertiser page.
The same Star-Advertiser of January 8 also published its regular weekly Hawaiian-language column. This particular column was by Keao NeSmith, who often engages in the sort of history-twisting America-bashing haole-hating rants which the Arizona law would prohibit from being used as the core of a Hawaiian-studies curriculum. Just read it for yourself and you'll see. (Click the link in the note below)
Oops, it's in Hawaiian, so 99.9% of you can't figure out what it says. Publications in Hawaii often respect their readers by printing English translations side by side with Hawaiian: for example, the OHA monthly newspaper, the Big Island Weekly, the Kamehameha School Song Contest lyrics. But not the Honolulu Star-Advertiser. Its predecessor Star-Bulletin removed online comments in Hawaiian language -- even comments to the Hawaiian-language column -- and banned people who repeatedly violated its English-only rule. Why? Because the newspaper editors can't read Hawaiian well enough to know whether a comment is obscene, or a vicious personal attack, or even libelous. So now the real editors have subcontracted the monitoring of online comments on the Hawaiian-language column to the ethnic Hawaiian editors of that weekly column. The column itself serves somewhat like a secret message to Hawaiian activists, since the general public has no idea what's being said. (Pssst: E ho'ohuli makou i ka hale aupuni o Hawai'i-Amelika ma po'akahi e a'e. Perez ma i hema, Noa ma 'akau. [Pssst:
We're taking over the state Capitol on Monday. Perez guys left, Noa guys right])
The January 8 column by the anti-American, anti-haole NeSmith has a title
"Ha'alipo a Ho'omana'o a'e" (Lamentation and Commemoration). It tells about some events from January 1887 (bayonet Constitution) and January 1893 (overthrow of the monarchy), saying that's why January is a sad month for (ethnic) Hawaiians. Boo-hoo -- we're victims and entitled to rise up (thus violating point #1 of the Arizona law). The article blames Caucasians and America for the events of the two Januarys (violating point #2). The weekly column violates point #3 by being intended primarily for one ethnic group and not providing translations that all can understand. And it violates point #4 by promoting ethnic solidarity above the American identity we all share. But of course January is a very happy month for all the people of Hawaii, including ethnic Hawaiians, who favor democracy and racial equality -- a corrupt, ineffective, power-grabbing queen was ousted and replaced by a Republic (whose Speaker of the House was a full-blooded native).
The article blames Caucasians and America for the events of the two Januarys. The bad guys in 1887 (when there were zero U.S. troops involved) are described as a group of traitors to the King's government ... who were Americans, people from other foreign lands, and white-skinned missionary-descendant citizens of Hawaii, and one person with part-Hawaiian blood. Surely there were more ethnic Hawaiians among the 1500 armed men who forced Kalakaua to sign a new Constitution. The largest nationality-heritage among them was Portuguese, not American; but NeSmith doesn't mention that. His description of the 1893 overthrow makes it sound like the American peacekeepers somehow surrounded or attacked the Palace and forced Liliuokalani to surrender, when in fact the Americans remained confined to barracks, never took over any buildings, never patrolled the streets. They weren't needed, because the revolutionary Provisional Government had everything under control without U.S. assistance (and both U.S. Minister Stevens and the military officers had given orders to remain strictly neutral in the revolution; their only mission was to protect American lives and property and prevent arson and rioting). NeSmith's article ends with the phrase "Pā mai, pā mai, pā ka makani o Hilo" which could be a reference to a legend in which the wind was summoned to blow strong to fill a legendary wind-gourd. Thus, perhaps NeSmith uses the allegory to express a hope that in commemorating the 118th anniversary of the overthrow of the monarchy, the Hawaiian people will move forward to a restoration of independence. "Blow this way, O Wind of Hilo" (and fill the sails of our canoe as we voyage toward sovereign independence).
I posted a very brief online comment to this article in Hawaiian: "'O ka mahina 'Ianuali, 'oia he mahina le'ale'a. Mahalo ia Keao NeSmith, nokamea, ke ho'omana'o nei keia mo'olelo he mau kumu e hau'oli ai." My intended meaning (although I have only moderate fluency in Hawaiian so I do make mistakes): January is a month of joy. Thanks to Keao NeSmith because this story reminds us of some reasons to be happy.
A reader of my comment inquired "Hey Ken, I don't speak Hawaiian. Is there a english version of the above [the NeSmith essay], or is there some type of computer thing I can do to switch it to english?" Here was my (lengthy!) response:
Unfortunately this newspaper sees fit to publish this column every week in Hawaiian only, with no English translation. Many other publications do give side-by-side translations; notably the OHA monthly newspaper, the Big Island Weekly, the Kamehameha School Song Contest brochure handed out at the competition which includes the lyrics to the songs. They respect their readers; this newspaper does not. [Adding now to my online comment: NeSmith's closing allegorical reference was hard for me to understand without doing some research. But at least I knew it was not merely a sentence about the winds blowing in from Hilo. Anyone who is unfamiliar with Hawaiian legends and allegorical writing styles would be completely unaware of the need to do research to discover hidden meanings.]
The predecessor Honolulu Star-Bulletin actually prohibited Hawaiian-language online comments -- even comments to Hawaiian-language essays -- because their editors don't speak Hawaiian and therefore they cannot monitor the comments to delete ones that are obscene or libelous. The new policy here is that the big editors of the big newspaper have subcontracted the monitoring of comments to this column to the subeditors who edit this column, thereby taking a huge risk and basically allowing what amounts to an unmonitored secret-language sub-newspaper. I think it's outrageous. But hey -- it's their newspaper, and I believe in private property rights.
You should read the article online today from the New York Times about the Arizona law to force a cleanup of the La Raza anti-American anti-Caucasian ethnic studies curriculum there -- we sure could use that law here. This column today is a good example of what would not be allowed in a Hawaiian-studies curriculum if we had the Arizona law.
You ask whether there's any sort of Google-translate for Hawaiian language. The answer is no. And it's my personal opinion that the reason why there is none is to keep the power in the hands of the Hawaiian activists, who want to be the only ones who can actually comprehend the mountains of stuff in the old Hawaiian-language newspapers and the only ones who can effectively use Hawaiian as a political weapon. I asked Puakea Noglemeier a few months ago when we can expect a Hawaiian-language online translator program, and he gave some lame excuses and said they're working on it. I'll believe it when I see it.
State of Arizona
Second Regular Session 2010
HOUSE BILL 2281 (full text)
Article about the Arizona law as posted in New York Times
Rift in Arizona as Latino Class Is Found Illegal
By MARC LACEY
New York Times article about the Arizona law as posted in Honolulu Star-Advertiser online only
District ordered to end Mexican-American studies program
By Marc Lacey / New York Times
As posted in Honolulu Star-Advertiser, January 8, 2011
A somewhat more balanced news report about the Arizona law:
PBS News Hour, Thursday December 30, 2010
Whose Version of History Is Taught? Arizona Law Bans Ethnic Studies Classes Transcript (video and audio also available)
Hawaiian Nationalism, Chicano Nationalism, Black Nationalism, Indian Tribes, and Reparations -- Akaka Bill Sets a Precedent for the Balkanization of America
Violence and threats of violence to push demands for Hawaiian sovereignty -- past, present, and future
Hawaiian language column online and print edition
Honolulu Star-Advertiser, January 8, 2011
Ha'alipo a Ho'omana'o a'e
By Keao NeSmith
What really happened in the Hawaiian revolution of 1893? See the 808-page Morgan report (testimony under oath in public with cross examination) at
A discussion of the UH propaganda factory known as the Center for Hawaiian Studies, and why its monolithic party line in support of racial supremacy has become the unchallenged orthodoxy in every academic department that shares students and curriculum with CHS
Public education for ethnic nation-building in Hawaii -- a legislative bill to create a separate statewide school system for Native Hawaiians
Book review of Kim Hunter (author) and Patti Carol (illustrator), Ka Puuwai Hamama -- Volunteer Spirit (Waianae, HI: One Voice Publications, May 2010). Numerous historical falsehoods are quoted and disproved. The author/publisher is urged to recall the book as a defective product poisonous to the souls of innocent readers. It is tells history in a twisted, flagrantly anti-American, anti-Caucasian way that would be sure to incite racial hate. The book was probably written with the intention of using it in the public school "Hawaiian studies" programs.
Pride and Prejudice -- What It Means To Be Proud of a Person, Group, Nation, or Race; Racial Profiling, Racial Prejudice, and Racial Supremacy
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(c) Copyright 2010 - 2011 Kenneth R. Conklin, Ph.D. All rights reserved