B.J. Penn, famous ultimate fighter, beats up a police officer and then OHA makes him the star of a Kau Inoa commercial glorifying violence and racism.

This webpage provides a transcript and analysis of a Kau Inoa commercial featuring B.J. Penn.

To watch the B.J. Penn Kau Inoa commercial interspersed with comments in rebuttal, see this fun-filled YouTube video at

To understand why this particular commercial deserves to be singled out for analysis, read the following two news reports first.

Honolulu Advertiser, breaking news, Posted at 6:05 p.m., Tuesday, December 11, 2007

** Note from Ken Conklin: The Advertiser published only a "breaking news" item on Tuesday night, and no "real" article in the print edition the following day. The net effect is to suppress the news even while being able to claim that they reported it.

B.J. Penn sentenced to probation in officer assault

by Advertiser Staff

Mixed-martial arts superstar B.J. "The Prodigy" Penn, 28, was sentenced today to one year probation and ordered to pay $2,000 in restitution for hitting a Honolulu police officer during a melee outside of Waikiki bar two years ago.

As part of a no-contest plea agreement with prosecutors, Penn must also abstain from alcohol, submit to substance abuse treatment, perform 50 hours of community service and submit to random drug and alcohol tests.

If he abides by the conditions for a year, the offense will be removed from his record.

Penn apologized for his actions and said he is eager to put the incident behind him. "I want to thank the fans for the support and for sticking by me through thick and thin," said Penn, speaking outside of court today. "It's time to move on with my life and focus on my career. I'm glad it's done."

Circuit Court Judge Karl K. Sakamoto also instituted a no-contact order between Penn and the police officer involved, Richardson Oscar Pouoa.

He said due to the chaotic nature of the brawl and the large number of people involved, details of exactly what happened that evening are sketchy.

He did allow Penn to travel to Newcastle, England to face California's Joe Stevenson for the interim lightweight world championship of the Ultimate Fighting Championship Jan. 19


Honolulu Star-Bulletin, December 12, 2007

No jail time for man in attack
Accused of assaulting an officer, BJ Penn is granted a plea deferral

By Debra Barayuga

Mixed-martial-arts fighter BJ Penn won't serve any jail time for his participation in an assault in which a Honolulu police officer was punched in the face.

Circuit Judge Karl Sakamoto granted Penn's request yesterday to defer his no-contest plea to third-degree assault. He noted that he expected Penn, who hasn't been in trouble with the law before, to apply the discipline that he used to become a top fighter to his personal life and avoid similar confrontations in the future.

The 28-year-old fighter from Hilo has never admitted to assaulting anyone, let alone Officer Richardson Pouoa, during a brawl outside Zanzabar nightclub on May 8, 2005.

Pouoa was working special duty at the club, which was hosting participants of the Rumble on the Rock 7 mixed-martial-arts event the night before. He was struck in the cheek while trying to break up a fight. Penn was indicted for first-degree assault of a police officer.

The defense described the situation as Penn being in the wrong place at the wrong time. "This was 3 a.m. on an evening where there's been a major event at Blaisdell and hundreds of people ended up at Zanzabar to celebrate BJ and others who participated," said defense attorney Michael Green. "There probably was too much alcohol involved," he said, saying that Penn was not drunk. "I'm really sorry for this whole thing," Penn told the court. "I want to go on with my life, continue to be a role model for kids and move forward."

Deputy Prosecutor Kimberly Iopa opposed the deferral, contending that Penn is a professional fighter who should have known better.

Penn was ordered to perform 50 hours of community service to be completed by November 2008 and contribute $2,000 to the crime victims' compensation fund.

Penn is expected to compete in England in January, Green said.


TV screen says
"B J Penn
Mixed martial artist."

A 28-year-old muscular man with shaved head is dressed in a black T-shirt with large-print red words "Hawaii Fighter" on the chest, partially obscuring the white-colored standard image of the 8-island Hawaiian archipelago. (The red, black, and white shirt echoes the red, black, and white Kau Inoa bumper stickers.) Loud background music is the excited rhythmic beating of an ipu [gourd] alternately being hit, slapped, and pounded on the floor as though keeping time for a hula kahiko. In this case the hula was being performed by famous mixed-martial-arts "ultimate" fighter B.J. Penn. He repeatedly made the motions of hitting, slapping, and pounding an opponent into submission at a pace faster than the hitting, slapping, and pounding of the ipu. At least twelve full or partial punches were thrown during the first five seconds, plus a few more later. Such a handsome, virile young man! Such arousing energetic music! Such a rapid flurry of violence! This commercial has been aired for several months in late 2007, meaning that B.J. Penn was selected to be the star of this commercial long after his arrest two years previously in a highly publicized brawl in which he beat up a police officer badly enough that a lenient judge ordered $2,000 restitution to the policeman. Thus it is crystal clear that OHA chose B.J. Penn to be the star of this commercial precisely because he is famous for his skills in beating up people, and precisely because everyone knows he badly beat up a policeman. Obviously there's a message of strength and pride being sent to ethnic Hawaiians. Equally obviously there's a message to the larger community that ethnic Hawaiians are quite capable of using violence to get what they want, and the police are unable to stop them.

See: "Road Rage or Racial Hate Crime? (Thinking carefully about an actual incident of racial violence in February 2007, and how such violence can be used as a political tool to bolster demands for Hawaiian sovereignty)" at:

We are blessed to have the actual videotape of the TV commercial -- the only Kau Inoa commercial with a videotape proudly presented on the Kau Inoa webpage:

Here's the transcript of his 30-second commercial.

"We as a people represent the Hawaiian warriors of old who came together and united this nation under one. And that's what the Hawaiians have to do again. You know, they all have to come together as one and move forward on this Hawaiian nation. I don't want to walk into a museum and see here lies the last Hawaiian. You know, and here is his bones, and ... and here's the last pure Hawaiian you're ever gonna see you know and I think it all starts with pride. Before anything, be proud to be Hawaiian. I'm B.J. Penn, and I have placed my name."

Now let's go over what he said, aside from the implied endorsement of violence.

The first sentence give a false impression. The Hawaiian warriors of old most certainly did NOT come together to unite the nation. There was over a thousand years of constant brutal warfare. The greatest battles came at the end. The Battle of Kepaniwai at Iao Valley, Maui, got that name because there were so many slaughtered soldiers that their dead bodies dammed the flow of the stream. The Battle of Nu'uanu Pali featured guns and cannon against wooden spears and shark-tooth daggers, ending when hundreds of warriors were pushed off a cliff to their deaths while those who tried to flee were hunted down and killed for days afterward. Herb Kane's famous oil painting tells the story better than words ever could.

Yes, it's true that Kamehameha unified the Hawaiian islands -- but not through peaceful negotiation or ho'oponopono. So B.J. Penn's second sentence is very troubling indeed: "And that's what the Hawaiians have to do again." There are many reproductions of Herb Kane's famous painting. The one below was copied from:

Penn then makes a clearly racist comment mourning the fact that Hawaiians have intermarried. He expresses fear that "... here's the last pure Hawaiian you're ever gonna see." So, what might be done to stop that from happening? The only way to keep alive some "pure Hawaiians" forever is to forbid "pure Hawaiians" from making babies with anyone other than "pure Hawaiians." Calling them "pure Hawaiians" implies that 99% of all ethnic Hawaiians are impure -- tainted and soiled with the genealogies of outsiders. This topic of the rapid decline in the number of "pure" Hawaiians was the focus of a tear-jerker of a little book entitled "Then There Were None." The book lays a heavy guilt trip on "haoles" by providing a short history of Hawaiian victimhood punctuated by "milemarkers" telling how many "pure" Hawaiians were left at specific years. See a lengthy book review at:

At the end of his commercial, Mr. Penn concludes with another racist remark: "Before anything, be proud to be Hawaiian." Blood is more important than anything else. It's not your individual accomplishments that should give you pride. It's not even the accomplishments of your cultural group. It's being a member of a race that should give you your greatest source of pride. "Before anything, be proud to be Hawaiian." That's what Kau Inoa is -- a racial registry. There is one thing and only one thing required to sign up -- a drop of the magic blood. See an analysis of this concept: "Pride and Prejudice -- What It Means To Be Proud of a Person, Group, Nation, or Race; Racial Profiling, Racial Prejudice, and Racial Supremacy" at

To watch the B.J. Penn Kau Inoa commercial interspersed with comments in rebuttal, see this fun-filled YouTube video at


Send comments or questions to:

*** A description of the Kau Inoa program, plus transcripts and analysis of 4 racist kau Inoa ads featuring Raiatea Helm, Lilikala Kame'eleihiwa, Vicky Holt Takamine, and Butch Helemano, is available at

See also: Malia Craver Kau Inoa TV/radio commercials late 2007 -- Hawaiian and English transcripts and commentary. Also a Dennis Kamakahi commercial. Ms. Craver uses her prestige and Hawaiian language to ask ethnic Hawaiians to sign up on a racial separatist registry despite her previous speech to the United Nations urging love, forgiveness, and inter-racial unity. In English she scolds Caucasians for coming to Hawaii in the 1800s and not helping ethnic Hawaiians (false), inferring that Hawaiians were not capable of managing their own affairs; even while she supports a program whose purpose is supposedly to foster self-reliance and self-determination.

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(c) Copyright 2007 Kenneth R. Conklin, Ph.D. All rights reserved