Claims Of Victimization By Language Suppression
- 1 Examples of Some Angry or Bitter Published Articles Claiming That Ethnic Hawaiians Were Victimized by Having Their Language Made Illegal or Suppressed
- 2 The Maui News, Thursday, December 11, 2003
- 3 The Maui News, Friday, December 12, 2003
- 4 Letter to editor in reply, as submitted by Ken Conklin on December 12, 2003
- 5 The Maui News, Thursday, December 18, 2003
- 6 The Maui News, Tuesday, May 18, 2004
- 7 Original response to editorial
- 8 The Maui News, Friday, May 21, 2004
- 9 The Maui News, Wednesday, May 26, 2004
- 10 The Honolulu Star-Bulletin, Monday, May 24, 2004
- 11 Honolulu Star-Bulletin, Friday, May 28, 2004
- 12 Comments on article in Honolulu Weekly, April 27 to May 3, 2005 pages 7-8
- 13 Letter to the editor submitted in response
- 14 Commentary on article in Honolulu Advertiser July 2, 2005
- 15 Honolulu Advertiser, Saturday, July 2, 2005 exerpts
- 16 The Honolulu Advertiser, Wednesday, July 6, 2005
- 17 Commentary on National Cancer Institute report Cancer in Native Hawaiian Women
- 18 Legacy of a Broken Heart
- 19 Hawaii Reporter July 16, 2005
- 20 Reply to Mr. Bennett
- 21 Asian Week, August 19, 2005
- 22 Honolulu Advertiser, Tuesday, September 20, 2005
- 23 Honolulu Advertiser, Monday, October 17, 2005
- 24 PROPOSAL FOR A MASTER OF ARTS IN HAWAIIAN LANGUAGE AND LITERATURE
- 25 Legacy Navigation
Examples of Some Angry or Bitter Published Articles Claiming That Ethnic Hawaiians Were Victimized by Having Their Language Made Illegal or Suppressed
The claim that evil haoles suppressed the Hawaiian language, or even made it illegal, is repeated from time to time in televised speeches, panel discussions, and newspaper articles. The editor of this website has been hearing this nonsense since first coming to live permanently in Hawai'i in 1992. That's why the following webpage was created, to show once and for all that such a claim is nonsense: Was Hawaiian Language Illegal?
But the claim continues to be made, over and over and over, as part of the Hawaiian grievance industry. Ethnic Hawaiians seeking race-based money and power like to try to make everyone else feel guilty -- especially haoles. They say their racial group is owed money, land, and political power to make up for genocide, illegal overthrow of the monarchy, theft of Hawaiian land, illegal annexation, illegal statehood vote, suppression of culture, and suppression of Hawaiian language.
This particular small webpage was started in December 2003 to capture a few of the published items that claim victimhood specifically on the issue of the Hawaiian language being suppressed or made illegal. That claim about the language is usually made in passing, as just another in a long list of grievances. But it is an especially bitter claim, asserted intentionally to stir up strong emotions. "They made our language illegal right here in our own homeland. My grandmother was beaten by teachers in school for speaking Hawaiian." It is important to see how the claim is asserted, and for what purpose.
The first items gathered below were published in the Maui News in December 2003. Additional language victimhood items will be added to this page as more are published. Special attention will be given to school children making such statements, as evidence of how their young minds are being brainwashed in tax-supported public schools to feel racial hostility; and righteous indignation that is totaly inappropriate because it is based on a total falsehood.
The Maui News, Thursday, December 11, 2003
Letter to Editor
Hawaiians did not ask for your language, it was forced upon us (Letters, Dec. 1). We already had our own language. We understood each other way before you came and took our lands and banned the use of our language. You could not understand our language and way of life, so you taught us a language that gave you power to rule over a sacred nation of Hawaiians. In exchange we got death from diseases, guns, and from the alcohol and drugs that are still putting our people in jail. The people of Hawaii used your language to make our sounds of music be heard, so you can understand in your own language what your forefathers did to the Hawaiian people. I'm using your language to express myself to you and all my fellow Hawaiians, to stand strong together as one making more beautiful Hawaiian music that only our ancestors left behind for us to follow, that which comes from deep within our hearts and souls.
Lehuanani Aquino Kihei
The Maui News, Friday, December 12, 2003
Letter to editor
We are papa 'eiwa (freshman class) - Hawaiian Language Immersion students at King Kekaulike High School.
After reading the Dec. 1 letter "Haoles deserve much credit for today's Hawaiian music," we feel that haole take too much credit for our achievements. First, taking our aina, our aloha, our health, and now taking credit for our musical abilities and creativity.
In writing "anti-haole lyrics," we have the right to express our feelings truthfully. Also, when Hawaiians write anti-haole lyrics, it is an emotional reaction based on facts of our history. Historically, Hawaiians have been oppressed and controlled by foreign powers since 1893. Are we not allowed to have feelings of anger and resentment toward the power culture in our own homeland?
The Hawaiian people are not only defined by aloha, a convenient use of our language and culture to continue the cycle of our oppression. We were a very warlike people and had numerous accomplishments beyond this overused, overrepresented term.
We should be defined by our extensive knowledge of our past, our skills and accomplishments (traditional and contemporary) and our people's vision for excellence for the future. Me ka 'o ia 'i'o. - Papa 9. [grade 9]
We are Hawaii's future Native Hawaiian leaders who practice the legacy of our kupuna. We use the musical instruments of native origin, as well as the imposed instruments of the recent past.
Although the haole taught us to read and write, this does not mean that we are willing to sacrifice what we feel in our na'au when we oli (chant) or sing our mele (songs).
We strongly disagree with the Dec. 1 letter implying that Western introductions were the basis for Hawaiian music being what it is today when we ourselves create beautiful oli and mele. Haole do not deserve credit for our musical heritage, but do deserve credit for forcing on us their beliefs, their own cultural practices, and banning our language for generations. - Papa 11. [grade 11]
Kula Kaiapuni ma Kekaulike Pukalani
Letter to editor in reply, as submitted by Ken Conklin on December 12, 2003
Hawaiian Kids Being Brainwashed at Taxpayer Expense
A letter by the 9th grade Hawaiian language immersion class at King Kekaulike High School was a real wake-up. The students wrote that haoles took their land, their aloha, and their health, forcing upon them haole beliefs and haole cultural practices, and "banning [Hawaiian] language for generations." They said "when Hawaiians write anti-haole lyrics, it is an emotional reaction based on facts of our history. Historically, Hawaiians have been oppressed and controlled by foreign powers since 1893. Are we not allowed to have feelings of anger and resentment toward the power culture in our own homeland?"
It is sad that these children have been brainwashed with false historical beliefs. It is dangerous that these children have been programmed to be angry and resentful, and to feel justified in racial hatred. They even make a point of threatening that Hawaiians are "a very warlike people."
This racist brainwashing is being paid for with tax dollars. Half of all Hawai'i's public charter schools are "Hawaiian focus" meaning that the curriculum is controlled by Hawaiian activists who teach their warped brand of history and require student participaton in Hawaiian religious practices. This particular 9th grade class is not even in one of those charter schools -- it is an older-style Hawaiian language-immersion class which might be expected to have a traditional curriculum taught through Hawaiian language.
Let me conclude by commenting on just one of the historic falsehoods in their letter. This same falsehood was also contained in several other recent letters published in the Maui News. It is part of the standardized Hawaiian propaganda victimhood grievance list intended to build racial resentment and bolster claims for racial reparations.
It is FALSE that Hawaiian language was ever illegal. It is false that Hawaiian language was banned in the schools. It is true that a law passed in 1896 required that English must be the language used for teaching all the subjects in all the regular schools. It is true that Hawaiian language (or Japanese or Chinese) could be taught in the regular schools as a language course, that the government provided funds for printing Hawaiian dictionaries. It is true that after-school or weekend programs could be organized by parents who wanted their children to preserve the language and culture -- impoverished Japanese plantation families did this in large numbers; Hawaiian parents mostly wanted their kids to learn English and forget Hawaiian. Throughout Kingdom history Hawaiian parents and the Hawaiian government steadily moved toward English. By 1892, before the overthrow, 95% of all the schools were English-language. Two scholarly books contain the research supporting these facts. For details, see: http://www.angelfire.com/hi2/hawaiiansovereignty/hawlangillegal.html
The above letter by Ken Conklin was published on December 18, 2003; however, the published version was missing some very important content, and provided an incomplete webpage URL that prevented readers from looking up the information for themselves. Here is the published version, which should be compared against what was submitted. Note that the webpage URL is incomplete and totally useless.
The Maui News, Thursday, December 18, 2003
Letter to Editor
Kids being brainwashed at taxpayer expense
The Dec. 12 letters from Hawaiian language immersion classes at King Kekaulike High School were a real wake-up. The students wrote that haole took their land, their aloha, and their health, forcing upon them haole beliefs and haole cultural practices, and "banning (Hawaiian) language for generations."
It is sad that these children have been brainwashed with false historical beliefs. It is dangerous that these children have been programmed to be angry and resentful, and to feel justified in racial hatred.
This brainwashing is being paid for with tax dollars. Half of all Hawaii's public charter schools are "Hawaiian focus," meaning that the curriculum is controlled by Hawaiian activists who teach their warped brand of history.
These particular classes are not even in one of those charter schools - they are an older-style Hawaiian language-immersion class.
It is false that Hawaiian language was ever illegal. It is false that Hawaiian language was banned in the schools. It is true that a law passed in 1896 required that English must be the language used for teaching all the subjects in all the regular schools. It is true that Hawaiian language (or Japanese or Chinese) could be taught as a language course and that the government provided funds for printing Hawaiian dictionaries.
In 1892, before the overthrow, 95 percent of all the kingdom's schools were English-language. Two scholarly books contain the research supporting these facts. For details, see www.angelfire.com
Kenneth R. Conklin Kaneohe
The Maui News, Tuesday, May 18, 2004
On May 18, 2004 the Maui News published an editorial commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Supreme Court school desegregation decision in Brown v. Board of Education. The editorial was very self-serving, praising Hawai'i as always having been an open, welcoming society in which all racial groups worked side by side and intermingled. But the article once again made a flat-out statement that newcomers (i.e., haoles) had made the Hawaiian language illegal.
Here is the offending paragraph: "Ironically and sadly, the most obvious institutional racism involved the host culture when misguided but well-meaning newcomers outlawed the use of the Hawaiian language and other cultural practices. Today, Hawaiian and English are the two official languages of the islands and Hawaiians are re-establishing their language and arts as integral parts of day-to-day life."
Here is the entire editorial:
Integration an island way
The United States is marking the 50th anniversary of a pivotal victory for civil rights with a re-examination of the way the country as a whole is dealing with a rapidly changing ethnic demographic, a situation faced by Hawaii for more than 100 years. The Supreme Court's ruling in Brown v. Topeka (Kan.) Board of Education on May 17, 1954, laid the groundwork for overturning segregation in public schools nationwide.
Today there is ample evidence that even at the height of the civil rights fight integration did not carry over to post-public school life, and today schools are more segregated - due more to economics than racism - than they were 20 years ago. Also today on the Mainland, integration is more complex with the rise in the number of Hispanic and Asian immigrants.
In the islands, the relatively low population and the much-abused legacy of Hawaiian acceptance of newcomers led to the kind of cultural and racial mixing of families that is the ultimate solution to the problem of racism.
A primary reason for the relatively peaceful integration of people from many countries was that newcomers soon found themselves living the same way everyone else did. They sent their children to the same schools, they attended the same churches, they enjoyed the same pastimes, they shared their cultural holidays and practices.
Ironically and sadly, the most obvious institutional racism involved the host culture when misguided but well-meaning newcomers outlawed the use of the Hawaiian language and other cultural practices. Today, Hawaiian and English are the two official languages of the islands and Hawaiians are re-establishing their language and arts as integral parts of day-to-day life.
Over the years there have always been individual islanders who were racially motivated but they constituted a small minority. What racism existed was one of preference rather than exclusion.
If the multicultural successes of the past are to be extended into the future, newcomers must make a patient effort to learn the ways of others and to appreciate the fact that on an island, we all need to work, play and live together.
Original response to editorial
Here is a response submitted by Ken Conklin as a letter-to-editor (remember that letters must be very short):
TITLE: Hawaiian language outlawed? Nonsense!
Your editorial celebrating the 50th anniversary of the school desegregation decision made serious errors of fact and interpretation.
Your article says "Integration [is] an island way ... rather than exclusion." Yet your newspaper supports racial exclusion at Kamehameha School, and 160 racially exclusionary government programs, and creating a racially exclusionary government to protect those programs (Akaka bill).
You talk about the "host culture," implying that all other people are mere guests relegated to permanent seats in the back of the bus.
Your worst factual error said "newcomers outlawed the use of the Hawaiian language and other cultural practices." The missionaries urged the Kings to abolish polygamy and suppress the hula, but final decisions were made by sovereign native Kings. Most important, Hawaiian language was NEVER outlawed. This time please don't cut short the complete webpage URL where anyone can read the truth about that pernicious lie:
The Maui News, Friday, May 21, 2004
The letter submitted to the Maui News was published a few days later, minus the final sentence and the webpage URL. Without that URL, there will probably be responses that will need rebuttals which cannot be adequately explained due to space limitations. This is a complex topic that is very easy for opponents to demagogue with short sentences that need long rebuttals.
Hawaiian language outlawed? Nonsense!
The Maui News editorial celebrating the 50th anniversary of the school desegregation decision made serious errors of fact and interpretation.
The May 18 editorial says "Integration [is] an island way . . . rather than exclusion." Yet your newspaper supports racial exclusion at Kamehameha School, and 160 racially exclusionary government programs, and creating a racially exclusionary government to protect those programs (Akaka Bill).
You talk about the "host culture," implying that all other people are mere guests relegated to permanent seats in the back of the bus.
Your worst factual error said "newcomers outlawed the use of the Hawaiian language and other cultural practices." The missionaries urged the kings to abolish polygamy and suppress the hula, but final decisions were made by sovereign native kings. Most important, Hawaiian language was never outlawed.
Kenneth R. Conklin Kaneohe
The Maui News, Wednesday, May 26, 2004
The above letter to editor produced a typical heated, racist response
Enough of white man's revisionist history
Is anyone else getting sick of Kenneth Conklin's revisionist white man's history (Letters, May 21)? The host culture was looked on as inferior since first contact. Missionaries exacerbated the process through total control of the early monarchy. Missionary dominance made cultural demise inevitable. For Conklin to suggest otherwise is ludicrous.
English-standard schools and punishment for use of Hawaiian in schools were standard practice. Ask our kupuna.
Stop it, Kenneth. The genocide of the Hawaiian race and culture has gone on for far too long. Entitlements and rights are long overdue. You are not the victim.
Louie Vierra Haiku
The Honolulu Star-Bulletin, Monday, May 24, 2004
On May 24, 2004 the Honolulu Star-Bulletin published an article reporting a new audio CD that helps people learn Hawaiian language. Unfortunately, a sentence midway through the article gives the impression that Hawaiian language was banned by evil haoles.
Native speech An audio CD package aims to give the Hawaiian language the place it deserves in everyday life
By Pat Gee
Beyond "aloha" and "mahalo," the common tourist knows about as many Hawaiian words as do most residents of this state, unless they are the names of local food or streets.
But with the growing sovereignty movement and continuing controversy over Native Hawaiian rights, cultural awareness has prompted some kamaaina and malihini to learn the language for their own enrichment.
To others, the pursuit of the language goes even further. Kaliko Beamer-Trapp, a Hawaiian language teacher, is among those who think Hawaiian should be on par with English -- spoken all the time at work and play, and used more commonly in legal documents.
He has developed an audio CD series to keep the language "surviving in today's world."
"We represent a lot of young people trying to get the language spoken to each other all the time. If you don't believe in it this way, why do this at all?" he asks.
"We" includes Kiele Akana-Gooch, who translates historic Hawaiian documents into English for Alu Like (an education-oriented Hawaiian nonprofit agency), as does Beamer-Trapp.
He and Akana-Gooch provide the two voices on an eight-disc audio "Instant Hawaiian Immersion" course produced by the Seattle-based Topics Entertainment. The smiling face of the pretty, young woman who is "one-eighth Hawaiian and nine different things" graces the box.
"I see my face all over the place," she says, covering her face with her hands in modesty. Bookstores and other outlets carry the Instant Immersion product line that offers courses in Spanish, Japanese, French and English.
Here comes the offending sentence about Hawaiian language being forbidden because those evil haoles took over
Akana-Gooch said many people don't know that Hawaiian is an official language of the state, along with English; and that Hawaii is the only state with two official languages. So much has changed since a time when speaking Hawaiian "used to be forbidden" -- when Hawaii was subjugated to rule of the United States in 1898, she said.
"People can write checks in Hawaiian, testify before the Legislature in Hawaiian (with an interpreter), and write land deeds -- all the major functions ... I'm really proud that the Hawaiian language is being embraced. It's about time," she said.
"I'd like to see Hawaii become more of a bilingual state, like in Canada (where, on all store merchandise) one side is written in French and the other side in English," she said.
remainder of lengthy article deleted
Honolulu Star-Bulletin, Friday, May 28, 2004
The article above received a letter-to-editor in response.
Letters to the Editor
Hawaiian language was never illegal
Pat Gee's article of May 24 was an enthusiastic, unpaid commercial for a Hawaiian language CD. That's fine -- I love the language and speak it myself.
However, the article quotes the CD author as saying that "speaking Hawaiian used to be forbidden -- when Hawaii was subjugated to rule of the United States in 1898."
Hawaiian language was never illegal. By 1892, a year before the overthrow, 95 percent of all the schools were already using English as the language of instruction. That's what Hawaiian parents and the sovereign Hawaiian government wanted. Teachers probably did forbid Hawaiian -- and Japanese and Chinese -- because everyone was supposed to learn English. Hawaiian parents refused to speak Hawaiian to their children at home, even while speaking it between themselves, because they wanted their kids to learn English.
The Hawaiian grievance industry has perpetuated the lie that Hawaiian was made illegal by evil haoles hell-bent on subjugating Hawaiians. That lie generates sympathy for reparations and race-based government (the Akaka bill), but it is hurtful to the love we should all feel for the language -- and for each other.
The Hawaiian language was never banned, but that lie should be. For a thorough study of the alleged banning of Hawaiian language, see:
Ken Conklin Kaneohe
Comments on article in Honolulu Weekly, April 27 to May 3, 2005 pages 7-8
A lengthy article in the Honolulu Weekly for April 27 to May 3, 2005, pages 7-8, was devoted to the publication of a literary journal named "'Oiwi." The word "'Oiwi" literally means "of the bone" and is a metaphorical reference to ethnic Hawaiians who are sometimes called "kanaka maoli" (the real people), or "kanaka Hawai'i maoli 'oiwi" (people who are truly Hawaiian all the way down to the bone). As might be expected, the literary journal has a requirement that every author of every article must be ethnic Hawaiian. The article in Honolulu Weekly defends that racial exclusion by saying that poor, downtrodden ethnic Hawaiians often feel embarassed about being Hawaiian, or fear their articles will be rejected; and therefore don't submit their articles to mainstream publications. This literary journal is praised as a place where ethnic Hawaiians can talk to each other freely, in a warm and nurturing environment. Uh-huh.
The title of the article is: "A Hawaiian Voice: The Journal "'Oiwi" continues a maoli literary tradition that took root in the 19th century, only to be silenced in the 1930s"
Note the phrase that the literary tradition was "silenced" in the 1930's, implying that it was somehow suppressed or killed by hostile forces. But then the article goes on to say that Hawaiian language newspapers continued to be published until 1948 when the last Hawaiian language newspaper went out of business in Hilo.
Now, here's the claim that the Hawaiian language was banned:
"We had a rich literary tradition in the 19th century, before our language was banned ..."
A timeline in an inset box on page 8 says:
"1896: Schools teaching in Hawaiian are closed and the language is banned"
and the very next item is
"1948: Last Hawaiian language newspaper, "Ka Hoku O Hawai'i" goes out of business in Hilo."
The Honolulu Weekly article does not say that all articles in the literary journal "'Oiwi" must be written in Hawaiian language, only that all the authors must be ethnically Hawaiian. So why, then, does the Honolulu Weekly article make such a big deal about the alleged banning of the language? Ethnic Hawaiians have always been free to publish literary essays in English-language newspapers as well as in Hawaiian-language newspapers. And non-natives were always welcome to publish literary articles in Hawaiian language too, even though this new literary journal is racially segregated and will not allow that. Quite strange.
Letter to the editor submitted in response
I submitted the following letter to editor, but it was not published.
TITLE: Correction: Hawaiian language was never banned
Your lengthy article about the literary journal "'Oiwi" perpetuates the urban legend that the Hawaiian language was banned. This outrageous falsehood is constantly repeated by the Hawaiian grievance industry, to portray Hawaiians as victims and to inflame anger.
A timeline in the article contains these two consecutive entries. "1896: Schools teaching in Hawaiian are closed and the language is banned" and "1948: Last Hawaiian language newspaper, "Ka Hoku O Hawai'i" goes out of business in Hilo." The 1948 entry clearly disproves the 1896 entry.
The alleged banning of the Hawaiian language has been thoroughly disproved in a well-documented webpage at http://tinyurl.com/6zrka which includes these facts:
By 1892, still under the monarchy, Hawaiian parents so strongly preferred English for their children, voluntarily, that there were only 28 Hawaiian language schools serving only 5% of children, while there were 140 English-language schools serving 95% of all children.
The law of 1896 that allegedly banned Hawaiian language applied equally to all languages. Its purpose was to ensure that all children (Chinese, Japanese, Hawaiian, and white) would share the one common language already most widely spoken. All children were required to attend "school" (could not work full time on the sugar plantation or taro patch). Any "school" to satisfy that requirement must teach its subjects in English language. But the law specifically allowed other languages to be taught as languages even in the official schools.
The law also allowed unofficial schools (afternoons and weekends) to use whatever language they wanted as the medium of instruction. Impoverished Japanese plantation workers spent scarce money to set up Japanese language/culture schools, but most Hawaiian parents embraced English for their children (as they had already done for many years). Many Hawaiian parents spoke Hawaiian to each other but insisted their children speak English even at home.
Read the webpage http://tinyurl.com/6zrka for all the facts. Stop perpetuating a pernicious lie.
Commentary on article in Honolulu Advertiser July 2, 2005
On July 2, 2005 the Honolulu Advertiser published an article about an annual cultural celebration taking place at Ulupo Heiau in Kailua, O'ahu. The article provides wonderful information about the history of this heiau, and the spiritual power felt by volunteers who work on preserving and restoring it. I, Ken Conklin, visit that heiau often, and feel that power myself.
However, the reporter wrote one paragraph near the beginning that makes a flat-out totally false statement referring to "a provisional government that banned spoken Hawaiian." Wow! How ignorant can a newspaper reporter be! And even if that claim about language banning (in 1896) were true, it would be irrelevant to the deterioration of the heiau. That one paragraph poisons all that follow.
Anyone halfway competent in Hawaiian history should know that the ancient Hawaiian religion was deliberately overthrown by order of the King and Regent (Liholiho Kamehameha II and Ka'ahumanu) in 1819. After making a public show of violating a sacred taboo, they immediately ordered the destruction of all the heiau(s) and burning of the idols in 1819, several months before the missionaries arrived and 77 years before the language was allegedly banned! A brief civil war followed, in 1819, in which the King's forces defeated the defenders of the old religion, and then took vengeance by further destroying the temples and idols. By 1896 (the year the Provisional Government passed a law regarding the definition of a "school"), this heiau and all others had already fallen deeply into tumbledown disrepair due to the original trashing of it by order of the native King and its subsequent neglect by the local natives. The newspaper reporter also insinuates that non-natives "undermined" the religion served by the heiau, when in fact it was the natives themselves who overthrew their ancient religion and ordered the destruction of the heiau even before any Christian missionaries arrived.
The result of such emotionally incendiary flagrant falsehoods is to stir up anger in the hearts of ethnic Hawaiians toward "evil haoles." Whether the newspaper reporter knew the historical claims were false is unclear -- but if not, her reporting is negligent. Whether the newspaper reporter intentionally publishes emotionally incendiary falsehoods for the purpose of stirring up anger is also unclear -- we cannot see into her heart. But a published correction by the reporter, accompanied by her name, would be a suitable beginning toward making things right; along with a heartfelt firm resolve never to repeat the falsehoods.
The irrelevance of the alleged language-ban to the task of maintaining a heiau is also shown by the fact that what is spoken by the mouth does not keep a heiau in good condition -- that requires the work of the hands. An 'olelo no'eau (clever saying, or proverb, frequently used to make a point in conversations in ancient Hawai'i) sums that up nicely: "Hana ka lima; pa'a ka waha" (work with the hands, shut the mouth; i.e., quit yakking and get to work!). Does this reporter seriously think that natives in the 1700s (before the religion was overthrown) would have sat around chit-chatting (using Hawaiian language) when they're supposed to be carrying heavy rocks? Does she think there were language police watching over the heiau workers after the alleged banning of the language to arrest them if they spoke Hawaiian while working?
Readers of this webpage are urged to read the full explanation of why this false claim about banning the Hawaiian language is so pernicious and scurrilous, along with the documented scholarly research proving that the allegation is totally false. See: Was Hawaiian Language Illegal?
OK, now it's time to see the actual offending sentence, in its immediate context. It's just a single sentence, so what's the big deal? Remember, a single drop of poison inside a sweet piece of cake can be fatal. A knife blade is very thin, so what's the harm inserting it in between two ribs in a 300-pound man? As another 'olelo no'eau (with a double meaning) says: "Li'ili'i ka 'ukulele; naue na'e kino nui." One meaning is: a jumping flea is tiny, but makes a big body squirm. The proverb is also used to describe the fact that the musical instrument "ukulele" is quite small, but the music coming from playing it causes huge people to move and dance.
Honolulu Advertiser, Saturday, July 2, 2005 exerpts
Excerpts selected from a lengthy article for the purpose of showing the false statement about the alleged banning of Hawaiian language, and how irrelevant and gratuitous it was. Copy and paste the URL above to see the complete article; which on the whole is quite informative and nicely done.
Restoring heiau lets many tap its power
By Eloise Aguiar Advertiser Windward O'ahu Writer
KAILUA — The ancient Hawaiians built Ulupo Heiau one rock at a time — pouring their sweat and mana into the effort. Today, hundreds of volunteers are doing the same thing as they restore the ancient cultural site.
Molly Hahn, 15, is a visitor from New Jersey who spent time Wednesday at the Ulupo Heiau in Kailua. As the site is restored, more people are gathering to work there and to experience its power.
Thousands of tons of rocks form Ulupo Heiau, which is said to be the biggest on O'ahu and one of the oldest in the Islands.
Now here comes the irrelevant and totally false language-ban claim, sending its poison into the hearts of thousands of readers just casually, in passing
But heiau fell into disrepair after the undermining of the Hawaiian religious system, the overthrow of the monarchy and a provisional government that banned spoken Hawaiian.
Seto believes the oldest Hawaiian settlement on O'ahu was at the marsh, and that the heiau was built around 900 A.D. as a mapele heiau where commoners worshipped. Surrounding the heiau were acres of taro patches from Kailua to Maunawili Valley and at the temple's feet was the 450-acre Kawai Nui fishpond.
And does the reporter also believe the alleged language-ban, and the "undermining of the Hawaiian religious system" also prevented the natives from maintaining the irrigation ditches and taro patches that fed thousands of people?
Reach Eloise Aguiar at email@example.com or 234-5266.
I sent a lengthy e-mail to Eloise Aguiar citing her offending sentence, and providing her a link to the major webpage proving that Hawaiian language was not banned. I explained how important this issue is, and asked her to please publish a correction. I also sent copies of that e-mail to an editor and another reporter at the Advertiser. After a few days (holiday weekend) Ms. Aguiar wrote back "I will look into it." On Wednesday, July 6, 2005 the Advertiser published the correction copied below. However, notice that the correction perpetuates the insinuation that Hawaiian language was suppressed. The correction says that in 1896 the Provisional Government "closed Hawaiian-language schools." Well, yes, that's true -- but there were hardly any of them remaining; even by 1892, the year before the overthrow of the monarchy, the Kingdom government had already gradually but inevitably established 95% of all government schools as English-language, because that's what the parents and Kingdom government wanted. The correction says the Provisional Government "ruled that English would be the language of instruction in schools." Yes, that's true; but the wording makes it sound like cultural or racial oppression by using the word "ruled." So, the Advertiser, with its reluctant correction providing terse statements that are true but grossly incomplete, continues to perpetuate victimhood grievance bitterness.
The Honolulu Advertiser, Wednesday, July 6, 2005
• The provisional government's Board of Education closed Hawaiian-language schools in 1896 and ruled that English would be the language of instruction in schools. A Local News story on Saturday contained incorrect information.
Commentary on National Cancer Institute report Cancer in Native Hawaiian Women
While doing research to find health statistics to see whether some Hawaiian grievance claims are correct (ethnic Hawaiian women have the highest rates of breast cancer among all ethnic groups in Hawai'i), I came across a publication of the U.S. government containing the false claim about Hawaiian language being banned. As usual, that claim was asserted quickly, in passing, among a collection of other victimhood claims. This claim can be found in an undated, unsigned report of the National Cancer Institute, which is one of the agencies inside the National Institutes of Health. The 21 page report is entitled "Cancer in Native Hawaiian Women. See: http://dccps.nci.nih.gov/womenofcolor/pdfs/hawaiian-chapter.pdf
Here is the quote, with surrounding context, found on page 2, most of the way down the page.
"Not only did Hawaiians suffer the ravages of introduced diseases, but their culture, religion, land tenure practices, political system, and social institutions also were systematically destroyed and the fragile island ecosystems seriously damaged. This process of destruction culminated in the armed overthrow of the Hawaiian monarchy in 1893 by American businessmen and formal annexation by the United States in 1898, by which time even speaking the Hawaiian language or performing traditional dances had been prohibited (Kimura, 1983)."
Legacy of a Broken Heart
While doing that same research project on Hawaiian health victimhood claims, I came across a report that says Western contact was so devastating to Hawaiian natives that it broke their hearts (metaphorically), and as a result of that, ethnic Hawaiians today literally have broken hearts (a high incidence of heart disease). Boo-hoo! The quote below is taken from the paper "Legacy of a Broken Heart" published at http://www.hoolokahi.net/brokehrt.htm
The Ho’olokahi Program ~ Mawaena Team
Natalie Luong-Weeks Lara Lee Ethan Small Faculty: Stephanie Bell, MSW, LSW, DCSW Donald Durr, MSW, LSW, CSAC
About 45% of the way down, there comes the following paragraph. The offending sentence is in the middle. Notice also that all these grievance claims are made in jumbled order. Captain Cook arrived in 1778, which is also when infectious diseases were introduced; the ancient religion was overthrown (by the native King) in 1819; the concept of land ownership was introduced (by the native King) in 1848; the alleged language ban came in 1896.
"After the arrival of Captain Cook, Hawai`i was changed. The Hawaiians were told that all that they believed in, their traditions, beliefs, customs, and even their language were all wrong. They could no longer have any connections to their `aumakua or ancestral spirit guides. The Native Hawaiians were forbidden to speak their language. The sacred dance of hula was deemed lewd and barbaric. Consequently, all traditional and spiritual customs were banned from practice. Much ancient ritual and knowledge was lost forever. Christianity became the official religion. The concepts of money and land ownership were introduced. Infectious diseases were introduced to the islands. Within 100 years of Western contact, an estimated 90% of the Hawaiian population was decimated. (Judd, 1998). This decimation of a people was the burden carried by all Hawaiians. The legacy of loss still lingers today."
Hawaii Reporter July 16, 2005
On July 16, 2005 the Attorney General of the State of Hawai'i, Mark Bennett, repeated the scurrilous lie that Hawaiian language was banned. Mr. Bennett made that assertion in passing, in the middle of a major published tirade against Constitutional law expert Bruce Fein's assertion that the Akaka bill is racist. Mr. Bennett's entire rant, published in Hawaii Reporter (online), can be seen at: http://www.hawaiireporter.com/story.aspx?2680f428-5289-489e-a3b9-368b1f4e4f2f
Here is the third paragraph of Mr. Bennett's article; the lie about the alleged language ban comes very near the end of it.
"Perhaps the most patently ignorant and insulting statement Fein makes is his assertion that "Native Hawaiians have never experienced racial discrimination." For any intelligent and presumably educated person to make such a statement about Native Hawaiians who have been historically documented to have suffered substantial discrimination for more than a century -- from outright prejudice in all walks of life, and wholesale deprivations of their native lands, to bans on speaking their native tongue -- is shocking."
Reply to Mr. Bennett
Here is my reply to Mr. Bennett, written in imitation of his style:
Perhaps the most patently ignorant and insulting statement Bennett makes is his assertion that Hawaiian natives were banned from speaking their own native tongue. For any intelligent and presumably educated person to make such a statement is shocking. And discrimination? What discrimination? All the discrimination goes in favor of ethnic Hawaiians who enjoy over 160 federally funded programs that exclude anyone laching a drop of native blood. Ethnic Hawaiians have suffered such terrible discrimination that members of their race, and institutions they control, are by far the largest landowners in Hawai'i. Ethnic Hawaiian John Waihe'e was elected Governor of Hawai'i; ethnic Hawaiian U.S. Senator Dan Akaka is at this very moment trying to push a racist bill through Congress; many ethnic Hawaiians serve in the state Legislature. What an idiot this Bennett is!
Asian Week, August 19, 2005
On August 19, 2005 a leftist publication "Asian Week" included an article entitled: "APOP HawaiianCultural Center: Keeping the Ancients Alive"
The article portrayed brave Hawaiians preserving their culture in the face of historical victimhood. But many of the historical victimhood claims were false, including a typical assertion about Hawaiian language being illegal. Here are excerpts:
"The Aloha Pumehana 'O Polynesia (APOP) Hawaiian Cultural Center nestles itself in a quiet South San Francisco residential neighborhood. ... Established in 1994, it is the first Hawaiian dance company in the United States to own its facilities ... Under the direction of kumu hula (hula master) Kawika Alfiche ... Given the dwindling native Hawaiian population, he feels the importance of preserving the traditions integral to the perpetuation of Hawaiian culture. "Up until 1970, it was illegal to teach Hawaiian language so we couldn't even teach it in schools," he said."
I wrote a letter to editor of Asian Week pointing out that the population of "Native Hawaiians" is not dwindling -- that it has actually multiplied tenfold during the fitsy century of American sovereignty, from 40,000 to 400,000. The letter also explained that Hawaiian language was never banned, and cited the large webpage filled with evidence proving that the language was never banned. The magazine editor forwarded my letter to the article's author, and received back a response defending the falsehoods as true. The author wrote that native population had declined from a million prior to captain Cook all the way down to 40,000 -- true, but irrelevant to the impression created by the article that "Native Hawaiian" population is (now!) "dwindling." And then, regarding my very strong proof that the language was never banned, the article's author replied: "These were the facts (1) taught to me by my Kumu and Kumu Hula and (2) information that I've learned through 'Aha Punana Leo and other immersion schools."
Yes, indeed. Precisely.
Honolulu Advertiser, Tuesday, September 20, 2005
Letters to the Editor,
Excerpt focusing on illegal language claim
ALL WE NEED TO HEAR IS HOW TO RIGHT WRONG
It amazes me to see how so many people who have not walked in our (kanaka maoli) shoes know so much about what is good for us and how a judicial system can change the law and/or a will, as in the case of Kamehameha Schools, that was set up in a country that they had no jurisdiction in.
Let's switch the roles for a year. Forbid the speaking of English and force everyone to speak Hawaiian. ...
Kalani Po'omaihealani Waimanalo
Honolulu Advertiser, Monday, October 17, 2005
On Monday October 17, 2005 the Honolulu Advertiser reported on some candlelight vigils held around the U.S. (and even in Iraq!) by supporters of racial segregation at Kamehameha Schools who are protesting the 9th Circuit Court decision ordering desegregation, and holding prayer vigils to encourage God to support racial segregation.
Here is the entire first portion of the newspaper article, which focuses on the alleged banning of Hawaiian language as a victimhood claim that is supposedly related to demanding that racial segregation be preserved at Kamehameha Schools. We might also recall that Kamehameha itself never taught Hawaiian language to the all-Hawaiian students until recent decades, preferring instead to teach Spanish as a language course.
Prayers unite past, future
By Rod Ohira
Candlelight brightened the darkness of the Royal Mausoleum grounds at Mauna'ala in Nu'uanu last night, symbolizing the hope Native Hawaiians hold for their future.
"All things we do traditionally is important for the future," Wayne Dickson said, noting that many in his over-60 age group are members of a lost generation of Hawaiians. "It's called the dark ages and now, we're trying to bring the light back as to who we are for our children and their children.
"I never knew my father could speak pure Hawaiian until I was 22 years old. In the 1950s, we were led to believe to get ahead, you had to speak English and that learning Hawaiian wouldn't get you anywhere."
A gathering of about 75 people, including members of Hawaiian civic clubs, attended a pule, or prayer service, last night at Mauna'ala in memory of the 121st anniversary of Princess Bernice Pauahi Bishop's death and to pray for the defense of Kamehameha Schools' Hawaiians-first admissions policy and passage of the Akaka bill.
Anita "Kaanapu" Naone, president of the Hawaiian Civic Club of Honolulu, observed, "Many people don't realize that princess (Pauahi) was a woman who stepped up to the plate to take on challenges. She had the fortitude to think ahead for her people, and obviously education was first."
After the overthrow of the Hawaiian monarchy, Naone said her grandparents were prohibited from speaking Hawaiian in public. Because of that, her parents did not speak Hawaiian to their children.
Note that there was no law prohibiting Naone's grandparents from speaking Hawaiian in public. So, if it is true that the grandparents were actually prohibited from speaking Hawaiian in public (very doubtful claim), then the only explanation would be that the grandparents' own parents were the ones who imposed that prohibition.
PROPOSAL FOR A MASTER OF ARTS IN HAWAIIAN LANGUAGE AND LITERATURE
Following is the first small portion of a very lengthy proposal to establish a masters degree program in Hawaiian language at the University of Hawai'i's flagship campus at Manoa. It illustrates how half-truths, distortions, and wild exaggerations are used for victimhood propaganda even in the academic community where one might hope for scholarly accuracy.
"The proposed MA will be located in the Department of Hawaiian and Indo-Pacific Languages and Literatures in the College of Languages, Linguistics, and Literature at the University of Hawai'i at Manoa. In 1896, after the illegal overthrow of the Hawaiian Monarchy, the self-appointed Republic of Hawai'i ceded Hawaiian lands to the United States Government including the lands upon which this institution is currently situated. To compound this injustice, legislation was enacted banning the use of Hawaiian as a medium of instruction in the public education system whereby children were subsequently beaten and humiliated in school for speaking their native tongue, the Hawaiian language. The consequence of this was that inter-generational transfer of the Hawaiian language all but ceased throughout Hawai'i, except in a few small, rural areas."
The following passage is technically correct: "In 1896 ... legislation was enacted banning the use of Hawaiian as a medium of instruction in the public education system ..." However, Hawaiian language was not singled out to be "banned" as the language of instruction. The sentence could equally well say that Japanese was banned as the medium of instruction. The legislation did not BAN any language; it simply ESTABLISHED English as the required language of instruction. Also, remember that in 1892, before the overthrow of the monarchy, only five per cent of the public schools of the Kingdom used Hawaiian as the language of instruction -- that's because ethnic Hawaiian parents, and the government headed by King Kalakaua and Queen Lili'uokalani, wanted English to be the universal language for Hawai'i's rainbow of ethnicities, and therefore wanted English to be the medium of instruction for the children.
Also, this sentence is correct: "... inter-generational transfer of the Hawaiian language all but ceased throughout Hawai'i." But what is NOT true is that the so-called "banning of the language" in the schools was somehow responsible for that breakdown of intergenerational transfer of the language. We all know that plenty of immigrant parents continue speaking their native language in the home, with the result that the children grow up speaking both English (from school) and their parents' native language. Ethnic Japanese parents continued speaking Japanese in the home, and sent their children to Japanese-language schools afternoons and weekends; ethnic Hawaiian parents chose to stop speaking Hawaiian to their children even in the home and to require the children to speak only English at home.
This phrase is vastly exaggerated: " ... whereby children were subsequently beaten and humiliated in school for speaking their native tongue, the Hawaiian language." It is extremely doubtful that any children were beaten (bleeding, broken bones, severe bruises). It's likely that children who spoke ANY language other than English were verbally reprimanded and perhaps rapped on the knuckles or made to stand in the corner. And the same punishment was given to children who spoke Japanese, Mandarin, or Cantonese in school.