February 3, 2007

So, what's the deal with Hawaii?

San Diego was long an economic underachiever, despite its port and superb climate, but in recent decades its northern suburbs have become extremely prosperous (Rancho Santa Fe is said to be the highest average income community in America), driven by communications and biotech businesses.

In contrast, Hawaii's economy, while certainly not impoverished, has never really developed beyond tourism, pineapple, and the military.

A reader writes:

"Business gurus have long predicted that Hawaii would become a high-tech powerhouse due to its central location between California and East Asia, but that has never happened. I spent one year at the University of Hawaii. Hawaii is a very Leftwing state. The largest employers are various Federal government entities. Many persons are immigrants who do not work, but just hang out and live on family money. The state government has very generous benefits, including health care. The entire atmosphere is one of relaxation. Even the East Asians in Hawaii lack their stereotypical hustle and drive."

Along the same lines, here are excerpts from the:

(pidgin kind style)

Please try to complete dis as best as you can.

Last name:________________________________________
[if your last Name no fit, continue on da other side of da page.]

First name:
[ ] Junior
[ ] Junior Boy
[ ] J.B. (short for Jr. Boy)
[ ] Honey Girl
[ ] Tita
[ ] Sistah
[ ] Braddah
[ ] Sistah-Girl

Slippah size____ Left ____ Right

[ ] Shmall kind
[ ] Mejum
[ ] Shmall kind big
[ ] Momona

[ ] Construction workah
[ ] Sanitation Engineer
[ ] Surfah
[ ] Lei greeter
[ ] Waitress
[ ] Stripper
[ ] Un-employed
[ ] Bishop Estate Trustee

Spouse's Name: ______________________________
2nd Spouse's Name: __________________________
3rd Spouse's Name: __________________________
Lover's Name: _______________________________
2nd Lover's Name: ___________________________

[ ] Hawaiian
[ ] Popolo
[ ] Japanee
[ ] Filipino
[ ] Haole
[ ] Portagee if yes; explain why:
[ ] Pake if yes; explain why:
[ ] All da above

Numbah of children living in household: ____________
Numbah of children living in your household das not yours: _____
Numbah of children thats buming off of you das over 23 years old: _______

1 2 3 4 (Circle highest grade completed)
What year you wen grad: ____ (if unsure, try guess)

If you obtained one higher edumacation what was your major?
[ ]5th grade
[ ] 6th grade

How many times have you gotten away with a DUI this year because you were related to da policeman? ____

By the way, Hawaiian Pidgin is actually a full-blown creole language with a complex grammar that evolved about a century ago among the children of immigrant plantation workers. The immigrants themselves, who spoke Portuguese, Tagalog, Cantonese, Japanese, English and so forth, developed a simplified pidgin language so they could communicate with each other and with Native Hawaiians, but their kids turned it into a full language. This is one of the stronger pieces of evidence for Noam Chomsky's theory that a "grammar instinct" is hard coded into humans.

Here are more Hawaiian Pidgin phrases, with recordings.

Whether the widespread use of Hawaiian Pidgin contributes to the poor test scores in Hawaii is a controversial question within the Islands. It's hard to see much evidence for that view from the NAEP scores. Hawaiian 8th graders average 11 points below the national average on reading, but 12 points below on math, which suggests that language is less of a problem than lack of effort or lack of brains. Hawaii's performance is pretty bad for a state where blacks and Hispanics make up only 7 percent of the population in the public schools.

A former resident of Hilo explains local terminology:

"Steve, folks in Hawai'i with even one drop of Native Hawaiian/Polynesian blood are deemed 'Hawaiian' or other words from the Hawaiian language depending on amount and political leanings nowadays, but ANYONE born and raised there for generations who does not have any amount of such racial stock is deemed both Local and one of the 'Hawaii people' as well as kama'aina. It's an ungainly way of speaking/writing but is done because the folks there are hyper sensitive/conscious their state is named for their ethnic/racial grouping. Here on the mainland after living in Hilo for seven years, I notice this misidentifying faux pas still.

"Barack Obama is certainly NOT 'Hawaiian,' though he is one of the 'Hawaii people.' Anti-White bias is rampant there in 'Paradise,' by the way, it's just well concealed unless one lives there."

My published articles are archived at iSteve.com -- Steve Sailer


Anonymous said...


I grew up in Hawaii. You would love it! People openly talk about race and ethnicity as a central social driving force in society. This easy parlance totally diffuses any tension. Invariably, though, some white or black person from the mainland will play the race card and get offended while the rest of Hawaii just shrugs their shoulders at this alien concept. I hope the future multi-ethnic America resembles Hawaii's attitudes rather than the lightning rod white/other dichotomy we have now.

As for lack of ambition. Every year in Hawaii, there's a front page article about "Brain Drain" because all the ambitious young people leave. Ambition just isn't as admirable a quality in Hawaii. People are more focused on their families, just like they are 50 miles out of any other major metropolitan area.

Anonymous said...

Hawaii sounds like the one place where the One Drop Rule exists *other* than in a black/white context.

Is one racial/ethnic group the dominant one in Hawaii?


Anonymous said...


The one drop of Hawaiian blood isn't taken that seriously. It entitles you to some advantages set aside strictly for Native Hawaiians, but people certainly don't label you a "Hawaiian" just because your great great grandmother enjoyed the company of a missionary. Hawaiians with an actually significant quantum of Hawaiian blood even have a term for these one-droppers, "immitation crab Hawaiians".

No group makes up the majority of Hawaii. Japanese-Americans used to be the largest ethnic group but migration out of and into the islands makes whites the largest group now (Hardly a majority, though).

Politics in Hawaii become very interesting because candidates make a big effort to name drop all their ethnicities to appeal to as many people as possible. I remember one guy who ran for mayor of Honolulu, Arnold Morgado, who looked anything but asian and he appeared in commercials in karate pajamas talking about his Japanese grandpa.

Howard said...

Steve: I'm one of a hell of a lot of people who have found Hawaii and Hawaiians racist jerk offs and their racism spreads to most conversations because they don't bother to hide it. And if any of your readers are good surfers and go over to Hawaii to ride some waves, they better be able to fight because if you are white and alone those guys will gang up on you big time. I now go to Pacific Mexico rather than Hawaii: better surf (believe it ot not on a day to day basis, with Costa Rica numero uno in the world), much nicer people, and one hell of a lot cheaper.

Anonymous said...

I found that blacks in the military were the least likely military people to like Hawaii. Blacks are a small minorities in an island of minorities. There are fewer black owned business and virtually no business caters to Hawaii. Blacks from the mainland are not exactly the core of the surfing, wind surfing, scuba diving, big game fishing industry.

There is also no support mechanisms for blacks in Hawaii and is said before, playing the race cardjust does not work.

The one exception for blacks not likely Hawaii are those in mixed marriages. Hawaii has to be the most accepting of "mixed" marriages.

Anonymous said...

Question from a mainlander:
How bad is anti-white racism in Hawaii?
I hear conflicting reports. Some say it's barely noticeable unless your hypersensitive, and I've heard other people say it's virulent. Is it a major barrier to whites seeking good jobs, or a barrier to white upward mobility? Or is it mainly the province of surfer thugs?

Anonymous said...

Grew up in Hawaii again.

Anti-white racism is "barely noticeable unless your hypersensitive."

Virtually everyone has a white relative and if anyone makes a comment regarding being "Haole"(non-derogatory term for whites) it's usually in reference to their mainland value system, ex: racial hypersensitivity.

Anonymous said...

White racism (actually anti-nonlocal) bigotry expresses itself in employment. In Hawaii certain industries or fields are limited to a certain ethnic group such as masons are always Tongan.

Whites from the mainland take a long time to realize this. However, if jobs dealing with mainland tourist, whites can get jobs and sometimes the better jobs.

Anonymous said...

With regard to Hawaii's relatively poor economic performance, could the psychological effects of isolation factor be a major cause? A close friend of mine just moved back to the mainland after 6 years in Honolulu. She and her husband loved the climate and relaxed pace of life (the latter being a product of the non-ambitious economy, right?), but they got sick of traveling hours and hours by air to visit family members, sick of being so geographically confined on one island, sick of the general lack of standard US amenities (apparently, there's no Target, which is frankly astonishing), and basically just sick of the feeling of being cut off from the mainstream of American life.

That "cut off" feeling can be seductive and appealing if you're not ambitious (or have already enjoyed a successful career and are ready to retire), but in the long run it will turn off those who seek high achievement.

When you combine the isolation with a climate that encourages recreation - who wants to stay inside and slog over the books when you can be playing outside in gorgeous weather EVERY DAY? - it's not surprising that Hawaii is not a hotbed of entrepreneurialism. And that means, in the modern economy, that it will not be likely to enjoy significant material success.

Full disclosure: I've never lived in HA. To those who've lived there - am I misinterpreting the reality of life in paradise?

Anonymous said...

anon 1:03 -

you are dead accurate about the isolation (at least for transplants from the mainland).

The time and expense of travelling to the mainland is a large hurdle for visiting - or even being visited by - friends and family.

One other wrinkle of the isolation is the 5 or 6 hour time difference with the east coast. If you want to call a relative after work during the week, you can try calling at exactly 5pm in Hawaii, and maybe catch them at 10pm or 11pm right before they go to bed. The crazy logistics make spur of the moment calling practically impossible.

And forget being a football fan in hawaii - Monday night football might be time delayed, but the results are already plastered on the internet late monday afternoon. And weekend games? Get used to getting up at 7am to catch those afternoon games live.

mike said...

Seems to me someone is remembering the past a little too rosy. I went to high school as a white kid in Hawaii. Wasn't fun at all. This notion that Haole is non offensive is rubbish, I heard "Hey Haole boy you got quarter?" so many times usually accompanied by a punch that I have not forgotten it. Course the Teachers were racist too. I'll never forget a favorite social studies teacher lobbying to keep the military dependent kids from being eligible for homecoming king/queen. Oh lest we forget what was the last day of school called? Kill a Haole day. Hmm no not offensive at all O

Anonymous said...

Watch Dog the Bounty Hunter and listen to how the local speak. I can't understand some of them a lot of the time. As far as I'm concerned, everything other than the tourists spots look like dumps. And listen closely at night in Hawaii. In the background you can hear coquis, which are these really loud tiny frogs that somehow transplanted themselves to the islands.

Anonymous said...

Hawaii is far away from the rest of the U.S. That would explain why it doesn't have much high tech or high finance. It's a long flight away from financial markets and high tech areas.

In order to have high tech, you need a large enough pool of highly trained workers, and you need to be near suppliers and customers. Hawaii's remoteness dooms it as a high tech hub.


Anonymous said...


No local ever punched me or asked me for a quarter in a threatening way and I went to school near Waimonalo.

Maybe you were just a victim of bullying not racism.

Kill Haole day is just an urban legend people tell new transplants to scare them.

Anonymous said...

To the person who said that every place other than the tourist spots in Hawaii looks like a "dump", congratulations for getting your information and basing your opinions on "Dog: The Bounty Hunter". Hawaii is just like any other place with a higher socioeconomic class, and a lower socioeconomic class. I am a woman of mixed (Hawaiian-White-Latina-Asian-Native American) descent who was born and raised in Honolulu, Hawaii. I grew up in an upper-middle class household, attended private school, etc., all in a place where a decent home will run you at least $1,000,000 in Honolulu. In actuality, the "tourist" spots,in my opinion, are some of the most unattractive areas of Hawaii. Also, if you can understand Standard American English, I trust that you would be able to understand my speech. I'm aware of the fact that many people in Hawaii may not speak English "properly", and that many of us are from poor backgrounds, but it's ridiculous to stereotype, especially if your stereotypes are based on a show that's basically a better developed "Cops".

Hattie said...

Ah, da braddah is homesick for Hawaii. So sad. Lucky I live Hawaii.
But what Mike says is true. I've heard that from lots of people who went to school here.
Of course most whites send their kids to fancy private schools like the one Obama went to.
It is a shock to experience anti-white racism, but of course racism is what non-whites experience every day of their lives, so the one time someone made a racist remark to me, I wasn't really upset.
The key is not to come across as a big shot. Work in the community. Be friendly. Then you have no problems. Guaranteed.
Hawaii is like anywhere else: complex, good stuff, bad stuff. So what? That's life.
--Old Hauli Lady

Kittycat said...

Racism is prevalent in Hawaii, not just to the people who are hypersensitive. Yet, it's not normally going to amount to violent attacks. And not everyone is racist, but the ones who are voice their opinions loudly, and often. Yes, there have been some widely publicized incidents of violence -- and that's a real shame. Most of the time, however, you'll get an ignorant comment -- "f-ing haole." Or maybe a "stink eye." Whites and blacks get it the worst, but it's not unusual for a NATIVE HAWAIIAN to be called "f-ing haole." I know. I am a quarter Native Hawaiian -- which is a whole hell of a lot today. Yet, I have very fair skin, and I can speak proper English due to my private school education. It's really ironic when I hear those words said to me by someone who has a much lower blood quantum of Native Hawaiian, but darker skin. And it's even more of a biyatch to know that some of my family does not like me, simply because my mother is white; and that my brother was not allowed to receive his full Hawaiian name, which is his birthright -- just because his mother was white. That happened thirty something years ago, when my brother was born. No lie. Stupid racist bullcrap.

tony'e said...

I forgot about "kill Haole Day"... dudes it was tough, last day of school at Radford. Thank God that I tann well, my name is Antonio and that since I lived there before Julio Iglesias got famous no one knew what I spaniard was... so I was a portagee and the mokes left me alone.

I do miss Oahu though. Given the chance, I'll sell my house in OC and move there.

Of course, my wife is Okinawan and my kids happas... so we'll just join an Okinawan Club and eat lots of Spam. ;-)

chris said...

When my boss lived there it wasn't called "kill haole" simply, beat up haole day. And it is not a myth, all white kids would run from school when the bell rang, and the natives would beat them if they could catch them. I've been to hawaii twice, and the racism is quite prevalent. Not just hawaiians hating whites, but the japanese aren't too fond of the round eyes either.

LivingNthe808 said...

Racism is real in Hawaii. But its not something as concrete as racism in the mainland. I think the thing is that you don't have defined persecutors and victims like the one quarter Hawaiian woman was talking about. You have people that have tan skin and live in Nalo with their grandparents and therefore aren't reprimanded by their fellow peers for calling someone a f'ing hoale. Even if they themselves are part white. Can you imagine the cops arresting someone who was part Japanese, part Hawaiian, part Filipino and part white for a racist crime against a light skinned Caucasian? Of course not, it wouldn't happen. If it did it could never be classified as a hate crime. Yet racism continues to be prevalent in Hawaii still today.
There are many variables that go towards getting singled out. Such as; not being born in Hawaii, having light skin, being of Caucasian ancestry and the lack of a family support system. On the other side if you have those things you are more likely not to be picked on and rather you more of a right to be racist against others. Kill haole day is not a mith even though no one ever gets killed, but it is a perfect excuse to get into trouble and beat up some kid without repercussions. Bullies can thrive in this setting. I remember when i was in a private high school and there was a fight. The teachers came out to see what was going on and were told by the students that it wasn't their business. The teachers turned around and walked off. That was mind-blowing. Hazing was also very popular and if you were white, you were a much bigger target than anyone else. Birthday hazings are very popular and guess what, if you are white you better not let anyone know its your birthday.
I’m done raving and ranting for now. Of course this is all in my opinion and all based on my experience. It saddens me to see Hawaii dip in and out of economic slumps and see people of all races and cultures struggle in a some time backward society. There are great things about Hawaii and I want to return after I get my degree. But there are many factors that promote hate in Hawaii; poverty, high cost of living, a melting pot of cultures and races and over population.

Anonymous said...

Hawaii is a very racist state, and racism has become ingrained in the hawaiian culture. Whites are deemed deserving of racism due to history. Most haoli's ignore it, not really caring what the local opinion of them is.
If government institutions in the lower 48 were as blatantly racist as they are here all, Al Sharpton would never be off of the air.
This might be a good state for Bill O'Rielly.

Anonymous said...

I was in lahaina for the summer in 2007. it was great fun. But Racism was unbelievable bad there!! philipinos would gang up on white guys, and tongan thugs would hit white guys just for them being white!. It was unbelievably bad!!! I mean there was one club in lahaina called "paradise" and if you were white and went in there you got beaten up!!! i was there with a group of girls and even the girls got hit!!! oh and as for their education, lets just say it was non existent!!! they are horrendous a maths and english!!! all they give a damn about is "surfin, smokin weed and mayonaise!!" they love mayonaise!!!! but man i gotta tell ya it shows!!! they have to be some of the fattest people in the world!! i mean the REAL hawaiians and tongans are HUGE!!! anyway, maui is a hate filled place. They think that the white man stole their lands etc!! SMALL PLACES BREAD SMALL MINDS!

jenioroso said...

Wow. I can NOT believe some of the ignorant comments made here about Hawaii and how overblown some of you think racism is here. How is this part of the states any different than any other state? I am 100% haole and proud of it. I have tons of friends who are: Hawaiian, Samoan, Tongan, Japanese, Chinese, Korean, Phillipine, Irish, Australian and just about any other race there is out there. I have lived here for a year and have had nothing but the best experience of my life. Bad people with bad attitudes are any and everywhere you want to find them--- and so are the good ones.
And that crap about lack of ambition? Hawaii has had a 73% growth in their entrepreneurships in the last 3 years alone. Yes a lot of business people move to the mainland, but it's not because of lack of ambition in Hawaii, they move because of the cost of transporting goods across the ocean is sky-rocketing.
Come live in Hawaii and see the true way of life before you make such unfounded and unjustified comments!! Live with a little aloha in your life.

Anonymous said...

So my opinion of Maui is very different than the anonymous commenter who claims every one in Lahaina was beat up because they were white. I'm not offended by what they say- but I myself am a 4.0 honors high school student, top of my class, going to college- and guess what? I've lived on Maui my entire life- not everyone is an uneducated stoner like you say. The racism is not something I like, but I condone it because that's the way it is here. Variety in race is a good thing, but it's literally everything here, and there are bound to be problems. Nowhere is perfect, and this is just a very big imperfection in so-called 'paradise.'

I'm of mixed ancestry myself- half white/half-Japanese, so no, I'm not exactly bullied because of how I look even if I am a bit white. But here, race is always first. You're identified sometimes as 'Jap,' 'Flip,' haole, whatever- before anything else. I have full-caucasian friends who have never been touched, and have seen 'local' kids who get constantly bullied.

Not everything has to work one way. It's laid back here- so if you act like an idiot, you pay. That's it, when it comes down to the attitude.

KaimukiHapa808 said...

To comment on the subject of racism in Hawaii I'd have to add that it both does AND doesn't exist. I've been a Hawaii resident for 16 years now, I am an Ethnic Studies major, and I've lived amongst Hawaii's upper, middle & lower classes. When my family first moved here in 92 we lived in a nice high-rise overlooking Honolulu...very removed from the most of the "real" Hawaii. Since they've moved away I've spent years in Hawaii's working class and am now a student residing in a somehwat poor and very "Local" neighborhood.

I bring up the class distinction because the more "haolified" upper and middle classes here are definitely more open and accepting of "haoles" (white people). But the further you go down to the working and non-working classes, that is where a lot of the bitter sentiment lies. First of all, there are not even a lot of haoles in Hawaii's underclass. Most come here from the mainland as transplants and already have a lot of money (if you know anything of Hawaii's history u should know the long dark history of this). There is a lot of distrust and anger towards Haoles here. Again it is further away from Downtown and more prevalent in poor areas such as Waianae, Waimanalo, Ewa Beach, Kalihi, Palolo, etc.

This is not to say that they HATE ALL HAOLES. But haoles definitely have to prove themselves here to be respected or accepted. How do Haoles here eventually get accepted? That leads to my next point.

A lot of the anger, hatred, and tension is not always racial as it is cultural. If you can't speak pidgin and you go into a "Local" bar full of braddahs, mokes, titas, blalas, and soles don't expect to be treated well or even acknowledged. They're not gonna beat u up for speaking "mainland English" but there not gonna go outta their way to be polite either. Haoles can earn respect by spending time here and learning the "Local" culture. That means the language, customs, history, traditions, foods, and sense of humor. Most Haoles are unwilling and just complain about the "dumb locals" or the "backward culture" or that there's "too many asians". I've met MANY people that came here for 1-4 years that called it quits and moved back to CA, NY, SD, MD...wherever. That's definietly not enough time to get accustomed or FEEL like a "Local".

But again if u are able to and chooose to remain amongst the middle and upper class it is way less of an issue. Somebody's gotta pump your gas and sell u your stick-of-gum though. I think "cocky" mainlanders are the most looked down upon honestly. If u're gonna move here, be humble and aware of the "Local" politics and way of life.

Even if u do come into the middle/upper class here u may still get some snubbing from "Locals" that fought there way up here in HI but thats normal anywhere that there is a sense of "local" pride in your area that you grew up in. Remember, HI is isolated by about 3000 miles of ocean. We are the most isolated piece of land anywhere in the world. Our culture is different and yes it can be a bit racist and unaccepting of outsiders. Did u know that 98% of Hawaiians protested the annexation of Hawaii as a state? Did u know that the Hawaiian Monarchy was overthrown illegally according to both US and UN laws? Did you know that the ballots to annex Hawaii as a state did not include the choice of self-government as required by the UN? Most people don't and there's even some who don't care...

Three more things...I'm half-"Japanee" and half-haole. I had a hard ass time when I moved here at 15. Maybe it was cuz I was a teenager but not everyone was willing to show me the ropes- it took me years to learn pidgin. Also the "aloha" spirit is alive and special here but sometimes we have to reserve it for ourselves. And finally, every weekend I go sing karaoke with some haoles, local Japanese, Hawaiians, Koreans, Pakes, Filipinos, "Portagee", etc. Everyone's been here long time though...everyone knows "how fo' ack".

BTW, most of those who would agree with me and support and understand what I'm saying DON'T BLOG or READ BLOGS!!! I'm writing a final on race relations in Hawaii so please feel free to comment...

KaimukiHapa808 said...

Regarding Jenioroso's comment:

How can u say that our comments are "unfounded and unjustified" and that we think that racism is "overblown" in Hawaii when we've lived here most if not all of our lives? You said that u've lived here for ONE YEAR. Do u live in Hawaii Kai? Kahala? Manoa Valley? I don't want to be rude but I think u must be living in some kind of socio-economic "bubble". Either that or ur people skills are so mesmerizing u transcend all race/cultural issues here. Perhaps "YOU" are our answer to these issues here...sorry I'm not making fun...I'm being quite serious actually. What's ur secret? Or was my first assumption correct?

john said...

You would love it! People openly talk about race and ethnicity as a central social driving force in society.
Hawaii Alcohol Addiction Treatment

Anonymous said...

The notion that an American has to be "humble" (whatever the hell that means) to avoid hostility in his own country is absurd. The notion that "Pidgin" is a "language" -- rather than what it is, atrocious English -- is intellectually infirm. Hostile "local yokels" -- whether in Hawaii, Alabama or anywhere else -- don't make the rules.

As a white American, when I go to Hawaii, I don't accept surly behavior by service workers. And if a "local" ever has the temerity to call me a "haole," he'll soon find that his face is the consistency of poi. But in reality, I love Hawaii -- I just can't abide by the anti-white racism of the "activist" types who'd like to secede from the Union.

For the most part, Hawaiians with whom I've dealt are friendly, and the place is beautiful. In truth, I like a lot of the local customs, as well as the foods and good-looking broads. I also dig Hawaiian music, especially the steel guitar.

Anonymous said...

Whatever. Learn how to fight. Im a mainlander of African American, Portugeuse and Choctaw heritage. Im visiting Hawaii for the first time in November. Im not concerned with the white/black experience there because i know how to gauge situations from living in Chicago my whole life which happens to be oneof the most segregated cities in the contigous states. What I would like to know is how do blacks/mixed blacks fair with hawaiians or the other asian/mixed asian groups.

calvaheiro said...

I see the word "hoale" used but does anyone know what it actually means?

Fred said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Fred said...

KaimukiHapa808 said this :
"This is not to say that they HATE ALL HAOLES. But haoles definitely have to prove themselves here to be respected or accepted. How do Haoles here eventually get accepted? That leads to my next point."

This is the most ridiculous thing I've ever seen. Why does someone need to prove the deserve to be in their own country? Every American has every right to live in every other state that he or she is not from. When a Texan moves to Connecticut, he doesn't have to "prove" himself to anyone. The notion that white people need to "act their place" in Hawaii just SCREAMS racism.

Coupled with the fact that the #1, #2 and #3 (defense, government and a very, very distant tourism sector) industries in Hawaii are all based on the economies of the other 49 states, really the local Hawaiians should be grateful for the fact that California, Texas, New York and Florida all contribute more tax dollars to Hawaii that Hawai ever could.

I lived on Oahu for 18 months. I enjoyed it, it was fun. But the major contributing factor to my leaving the island was the overwhelming accepted racism all over the island.

The fact that supervisors are allowed to use racial slurs to their employees, the fact that racial slurs are tolerated in grade school and the fact that the politicians themselves even throw racial slurs around is complete balderdash. Whether or not you think the word haole is racist (and it obviously is), there's no other place in America where a supervisor can legally refer to his workers by racial slurs. Perhaps the H word doesn't have as much sting as the N word, but thats irrelevent. "Colored" doesn't have the same sting as the N word and no one in their right mind would ever call any black American a "colored".

Only in Hawaii is this pervasive, disgusting and morally apprehensible culture accepted, tolerated and even encouraged. And please, don't even get me started on the Secession Movement.

Anonymous said...

A lot of it is attitude. Most people in Hawaii don't care for those who feel they're more important that the next person. I must say though that a lot of Hawaiians and people that live in Mililani think they are better than the rest of Oahu. Hawaiian people aren't only jerks to white people, just to people they think they are better than which is most of the people in Hawaii. Oh and living here all my life, making friends of all races, my Hawaiian friends are the ones that call their own people ignorant.

Karen said...

I've traveled all over the world and have never seen the level of racism that exists in Hawaii. I've personally seen ignorant thugs screaming profanities at tourists and threatening their children while the surrounding native Hawaiians laugh. I'm mean really, what other place has a Kill Haole Day. Everywhere else in the world bigots are ostracized, in Hawaii they are tolerated.

Anonymous said...

All I had ever heard about Hawaii and Maui in particular was that the 'spirit of Aloha' (i.e. a spirit of tolerance, openmindedness, love and respect for all, etc.) informed all aspects of daily life. I was told never to honk my car horn, or get too close behind a slower driver; things moved at a slower pace here.

So my first day in Maui I have to drive from Kihei to Lahaina and back, and I'm driving a rental in unfamiliar territory, facing one blind turn after another along a narrow road with 2 way traffic and a steep, sheer drop perilously close to the road and no place to 'pull over and let others pass' for much of the way.

Though I never went below the posted minimum speed, I was constantly being screamed at and honked at by impatient locals. One particularly screwy local tailgated me for several miles, screaming what maniacally while waving some sort of weapon in his hand. The car sported the inevitable upside down hawaiian flag of the hawaiian separatist movement. Eventually, a space opened on the road where I could move over and let this racist meth head pass. You can keep your god damned 'paradise'. The landscape is beautiful but the locals are some of the most ugly, bitter, hateful creatures you could ever encounter. As a fair skinned white, I would never venture out anywhere in Hawaii without a sidearm and several companions. Savages.

Namelelani said...

In the history books, Captain James Cook may have been the first man to discover Hawai'i, but no one really believes in the same story, including me.

I've lived in Hawai’i all my life.

I am a 15-year-old female, and I have about 30% Hawaiian and I absolutely love my culture. I contribute to, and perpetuate my culture by speaking the language, dancing hula.. and many more. I’ve been studying the Hawaiian culture ever since the 2nd grade.

I am also French, German, Chinese and Samoan.

Because I love my culture so much, it makes me angry that "mainlanders" think that we are jerks, or whatever it may be.

It is believed that the "foreigners" have corrupted our lives and taken away almost everything that we had. They locked up our Queen, Lili’uokalani who was the last reigning monarch of Hawai’i. And now our islands are filled with technology which make people apathetic to the things that are more important.

Many people may think that Hawaiians are stupid, but I can assure you that we are not. Although Barack Obama is not Hawaiian, it is certain that he had a lot of Hawaiian Classmates.
And for me, I attend one of the richest schools in the nation. Kamehameha Schools, a private college prep-school. Many of you may have heard about this school, because it has been sued many times for not accepting children who have no Hawaiian blood. The reasoning for this is because it is the will of the publisher of our school, Ke Ali’i Bernice Pauahi Paki Bishop. Her will stated that she wanted a school to be built where Hawaiian children could be educated. Kamehameha Pai’ea was our first reigning king of Hawai’i. Which Bernice Pauahi Paki Bishop is a direct descendant of.

Our people have much respect or “aloha” for everyone. Since the day that first missionary sailed into our seas. But if you take away the things we hold close to us or our privileges that respect will be reinstated.

Hawai’i may be a part of the United States, but it is illegally occupied by it.

“Time will come when you feel you are being pushed into the background. Never allow this to happen - stand always on your own foundation. But you will have to make that foundation. There will come time when to make this stand will be difficult, especially to you of Hawaiian birth; But conquer you can - if you will.”

-Ke Ali’i Bernice Pauahi Paki Bishop

Anonymous said...

All I can say is "WOW"! I have never blogged before but was doing a little research to see if maybe I am "hypersensitive". And perhaps I am. I have been here six months living in Ewa. My 8 year old daughter who is biracial has been called a black b***h a n****r, etc. I guess I would be considered a haole, though no one has asked about my racial ethnicity as I only "look" white. I realize that you cannot judge a book by its cover and absolutely non-whites receive this treatment daily but damn! I am really disappointed but at the same time grateful to be experiencing this. I just want my baby to be left alone!

Namelelani said...

I am sure that Hawaii is not the only placed your child would be teased like that. I am Hawaiian myself and I was teased a lot when i was young. but for most of us it only makes us stronger. i would never regret anything that has happened to me. For that is the reason I am the way I am today. And I am very much satisfied with my attitude and perpective on things.

Anonymous said...

I'm amazed by what people actually think is acceptable.

I was born in Honolulu and raised in Waimanalo in the 1970s. I do have Hawaiian blood but also have Caucasian blood. Growing up in Nalo during the 70s and 80s was extremely challenging, and I'm guessing things haven't progressed much.

I left the islands in 1989 on a quest to learn more about racism and its origins. I hit a national story about a decade ago regarding a race-based shooting spree. The Hawai'i media contacted me, did some interviews for on-air use. They asked why I decided to do work in race relations. I told them about growing up in Waimanalo a little lighter in color than my other Hapa friends and the racism that ensued because of my skin color. I told them Hawai'i has a problem with race, and it needs to be addressed.

Well, the stories ran in the media, and they made no mention about the race problems festering in the islands. I was incredibly disappointed, but it made me realize I need to move further with my mission of bringing this problem into the open.

As for the people who think there's nothing wrong with the word "haole", you really have to do some traveling where you will be called derogatory words as such and be treated as a second class citizen. Maybe your mind will open a little more, so you'll be more humane the next time you think about using such an ugly word.

Anonymous said...

"Ambition just isn't as admirable a quality in Hawaii."

"Hawaiians racist jerk offs and their racism spreads to most conversations"

"I heard "Hey Haole boy you got quarter?" so many times usually accompanied by a punch"

"just because his mother was white. That happened thirty something years ago, when my brother was born. No lie. Stupid racist bullcrap"

And my favorite quote:

"The racism is not something I like, but I condone it because that's the way it is here."

By all means, let Hawaii become independent. If I can't live there as an American I really don't want my tax dollars going there either.

Anonymous said...

The solution to the "anti-white/light skin" problem in Hawaii is for the people of "white/light skin" to immigrate there in large enough numbers to balance out the disproportion.

There are Hawaiians who think they are better off without the United States. But the reality is that small countries get used and abused on this planet. Without the US, Hawaii would be in the same poverty ranks as Jamaica. Not because the Hawaiian people are stupid but because international powers would suppress it's ability to take charge of its own future.

The Japanese were monsters in the south pacific a little over 60 years ago. Do you think Hawaii would have it better off if Japan was the protective father as opposed to the US?

People always beat up on whites, but it is human nature that people should challenge. Look at history and you will see monster behavior in all groups (asian against asian, middle eastern against Africans, etc). Heck, look at Hawaiian history and you will see sad examples of people slaughtering people for nothing more than the power to determine another humans future.

Compared to the history of other countries, Hawaii is just a baby at around 1000s of human in-habitation. Appreciate your past but don't get too caught up in the concept of "true Hawaiian" versus "immigrant" or "outsider" because the first inhabitants washed up on shore not to long ago either.

Anonymous said...

I have scanned over many of the posts and as someone who has lived here in Honolulu a year I notice one blazing issue missing. This is the issue of sanitation, or rather lack there of. Having worked as a food and beverage manager in one of the islands finest hotels, I can tell you without hesitation that there is a lack of cleanliness everywhere here along the entire spectrum from small to large establishments. One major issue, no public restrooms anywhere. Can you on the mainland even imagine going into a Starbucks and not being able to use the bathroom? Appalling right? One day a worker wouldnt give me the combination until my husband bought his coffee when the line was 10 people long. I needed it for my four year old. After much of a scene and being treated dispicably we made it in and I had to hold my child over the toilet. No seat covers or papertowels. You find that a lot. If you can find a bathroom at all that is. It should make one incredibly nervous when a food establishment doesent have a bathroom made available for folks to wash up. I can tell you that first taking a management position I here I was shocked to find that they do not issue food handler cards. One is only required to go through the liquor commission to get their liquor card. This class tells you not to sell a person two drinks at once, and this concept is basically overhashed for a few hours. So, dont think you are going to go get a drink for you and your wife, not happening. When I questioned no sanitation guideline courses the staff promtly informed me their "madda's teach us those thins"....well, apparently not. Servers would rub their eyes and scratch their heads and then take firm hold of that tomato that was going on your burger! If there is a spill on the floor on the counter try not to look if your squeamish because the site of the employee wiping the kitchen floor and then taking the same towel to the counter, and then leaving it there will SURELY make you ill just at sight. I was mocked and ridiculed for my continuous correction of the staff as they attempted to wipe dinner tables with used napkins left behind from previous patrons. Creamers were left on tables for multiple uses. I ran around attempting to stop these atrosities all day. I was just the crazy Howly manager that was "paranoid". If this was the nicest of hotels on the island and someone as conscious as myself managing wouldnt eat there.... something to think about. Eat before you go out, use the restroom before you go out and carry hand wipes.

Anonymous said...

I am a girl born and raised in NY until the age of 15 when I moved to Hawaii. My father is mixed Cherokee and white, and my mother is white. I came out pretty racially ambigious, people ask me what my ethnicity is in Hawaii all the time... I just say I am a mixed Cherokee, and leave it at that. What I have always failed to mention is that I am also mixed with Irish, French, English, etc. From the moment I got there I could immediately tell that asking me what my race is was more than just curiosity. They accepted me as a Native American Indian, and then I started hearing the most racist things said from locals to me, in confidence. Disgusting.

Anonymous said...

This is what I have to say about Hawaii. Yes there is a lot of racism but there are also a lot of good people who are not racist as well. I lived there for only a year but I had lived in lower class neighborhoods such as Ewa Beach, tourist neighborhoods such as Waikiki lived on the beach worked in places like Hawaii Kai. I'm a very poor single mother. My life was threatened as well as my childrens on the bus before. I've watched native's working and making vile comments behind tourists backs before. I can tell you what I've also experienced there a lot of ALOHA. You can't blame Hawaii. It's people in general no matter where you are. Your going to come across ignorant bitter people. There are also a lot of good people out there as well. I love Hawaii. It takes a minute to get adjusted to the culture. I definitely prefered being with the locals opposed to the rich people I would work for in Hawaii Kai/Kahala. I had no choice to leave but I definitely want to move back someday

Anonymous said...

I lived in Pearl City, Waipahu and closer in towards Honolulu in the late 60s. Moving to Hawaii was my introduction to racism, pure and simple. I'm white and I'd never experienced racism before. From getting jumped by 5 local boys at Ala Moana to getting hit from behind while minding my own business at school...to many more instances...don't tell me there's no bias against haoles. Yes, I was in public school. I've seen fights in the ocean because some haole "stole" a local's wave. The sad thing is, some bloggers want to paint it as cultural or a respect issue. In the rest of America, people tend to respect you first rather than expect you to humble yourself before you're accepted. In this day and age parents ought to be ashamed of allowing their kids to continue racism against other Americans.

Anonymous said...

I have lived on Oahu for 3 years now. Before I moved here from the mainland, the thought of racism never entered my mind. After living here a short time, I fell in love with the island and it's culture. Then I started to notice how I was being treated differently from the other students when I was enrolled in an adult trade school. I was either ignored or treated harshly by my instructors. My fellow students weren't very friendly and showed me very little respect, Many spoke japanese around me and I got the impression I was being talked about and ridiculed in their presence. I'm pretty mild mannered and respectful so I was taken aback because I didn't know what I was doing wrong, or how I might have offended anyone. Now I can honestly say that I'm seeing how I'm treated differently as a non-native caucasian almost every day.

I will be frank in telling you that the overt stuff is not coming from the native hawaiians, it's been from the asian population. Whoever mentioned that the island is mostly caucasian is dead wrong. It's mostly asian. Most of the people I've made aquaintence with here I've later discovered are illegal aliens. They fly under the radar quite easily here. Many of them are looking to marry in order to gain citizenship. AZ pales in comparison to the illegal alien problem here in HI. It's NEVER discussed either. It's interesting to observe how political power is gained here and on what issues politicians are elected. Illegals here have free healthcare.

I still have some sympathy for the native hawaiians and understand some of the reason why they have certain resentments, but for the most part I feel as though it's misdirected. The island has been overrun by immigrants and is now predominantly asian. Asian businesses are the ones that are thriving, even through the economic downturn. I doubt all of the profits are staying within the state either. It's very difficult for caucasians to find employment in the tourism industry because asian run businesses want people who can speak japanese. Outside of tourism it's even harder to find a job. A friend who's lived here longer than I have refers to it as the 'coconut network.' You have to know people and it takes a long time to gain acceptance.

I remember wondering why there weren't more caucasian people living here, but now I know why. It must be hard on black people as well. I wish I knew then what I know now. It saddens me that there is such a divide here. I feel like I'm living in a foreign country and I'm an outcast minority.

Anonymous said...

I am Japanese by ethnicity and I partially grew up in Hawaii (Five years on the mainland), I personally love it. I love the cultures, the general amount of people I come across, the food, among other things. I have never come face to face with actual racism as of yet but then again, I am pretty sure I generally socialize with those who are more open minded in that sense as well as the area I live in.

On another note, my mother is dating a guy who is Haole from Europe. So I know my mom isn't racist, she's the type to say what she thinks. Anyway, I was talking about the Massie Case with my mother which concerns White Supremacy and also pushed a lot of things to fall into place. Such as the term "local", having the many ethnicities that didn't get along beforehand come together, and such and such. Anyway, back to what I was going to write about, in my mom's opinion, what is happening in Hawaii concerning some of the racism isn't surprising. If you take a good look at the past, it easily should paint a future for the present. And I don't disagree with my mother's way of thinking. You should never expect an oppressed people (Even the plantation workers) to not have bitter resentment among the likes. Hatred just breeds more hatred.

Now, I am not saying racism is OK. I think it is disgusting and if anybody acts like racist towards me or anybody I know, I will not let it fly by me. It is not alright. I get not liking someone for a personal reason but one should not be judged of past actions of people who are completely unrelated to them.

And honestly, anybody looking down at every single local due to the fact they had a bad experience or no better than those locals who acted like dumb racist idiots. In all honesty, people like that are just two peas in a pod. Also, you should report it to someone as it shouldn't be tolerated. One way or another, it will catch someone's attention.

Anonymous said...

i went to hawaii last year for the first time.it was beautiful n i had a good time.
i did notice alot of people from japan ,lot of tourist (white people) from the mainland.i also noticed the local population ,you couldnt miss them.they were very rude,acted like someone made them god,n we all know this isnt the case.it was terrible exsperiance just to go out and eat. i thought the locals were fools,n losers.the locals should wake up. ita a demicratic state,were its all about chilling on someone elses dime.terrible manners, n terrible karma for the locals. goodluck bullies

MasonSmallClaims said...

I am an African-American and I moved to Hawaii in 2007 against my wishes (wife got a transfer) and I fell in love with the place. I have never, ever felt as at home and welcomed in any of several states that I lived in on the mainland. I admit, there is an anti-haole mentality...I wish that were not true. But as a person who has grown weary with the entrenched bias of the mainland, I can't wait to graduate from grad school at the University of Oregon and return.

MasonSmallClaims said...

I am an African-American and I moved to Hawaii in 2007 against my wishes (wife got a transfer) and I fell in love with the place. I have never, ever felt as at home and welcomed in any of several states that I lived in on the mainland. I admit, there is an anti-haole mentality...I wish that were not true. But as a person who has grown weary with the entrenched bias of the mainland, I can't wait to graduate from grad school at the University of Oregon and return.

Anonymous said...

The origin of the term Haole is debatable but rumor has it that it is a short pidgin version of Asshole !

Anonymous said...

Racism, Alcohol Abuse and Violence in Hawaii ought to be addressed instead of IGNORED!

Anonymous said...

I am white and have lived in Hawaii since age seven, I am now middle aged , grew up here on the island of Oahu, on the Leeward side in what would be considered a lower middle class working family. I went to public school from Elementary and graduated from a public High School in the area. I have worked my way up from menial type labor jobs to what I do now, blue collar professional. I still live in the islands.

I have personally experienced and witnessed horrible amounts of racism growing up from strangers with partial Hawaiian blood (not too many instances of those with full Hawaiian blood or close to it), but mostly from Mixed Blood Locals with not one ounce of Hawaiian blood, but claiming to be a descendant under the guise of brown skin.

I have also experienced amounts of bravery as well as descent behavior from segments of the same populations, so there is good amongst the bad.

Most will not recognize the amount of racism that persists here in the islands either because they are brown skinned and cannot see the forest for the trees so to speak or they are one of those whites or other ethnicities from a higher economic group who were privileged to go to private school or lived in a community which is not economically depressed and thus never really experienced racism directed at them.

I have seen this pervasive denial that there is any racism from all levels of society and all colors even when it was happening right in front of them.

For those Whites here in the island that say there is no racism or who like to blame the victims, you obviously did not grow up somewhere that you were one of perhaps five whites in your grade level and mostly everyone around you is on public assistance or is dirt poor like you, but perceived to be rich because you are white and thus are the enemy.

Am I hyper sensitive? I would not characterize myself as such, I just hate all types of racism. Racism is what it is, an ugly un-condonable aspect of humanity that should not be tolerated no matter what the perceived justification no matter who is doing it, unfortunately it is alive and thriving in Hawaii and silently condoned.

Is Hawaii a bad place to live if you are white? Not so bad if you are an adult and out of your twenties, however you will experience it from time to time from interactions with locals as well as from the Filipino immigrant population interestingly enough when it comes to quality of service at times. The locals will tell you to your face and make the racism evident, the Filipinos will not. As in all things, there is the good and the bad I am not signaling out a whole ethnicity just a higher than normal bad experience frequency.

If you are a white male in your twenties, I suggest you be on your toes; I still from time to time observe unprovoked beat downs as a witness, for no other reason than them being white.

If you have kids and come from a lower economic group and your children will be attending public school in the rougher areas (Leeward side), it is going to be rough for them and they had better know how to physically fight, be mentally tough and be able to stand up for themselves or they are going to have big difficulties.

If they are going to be attending school elsewhere on the island then it may be comparable to any other place since it appears the closer you get into town it is not as prevalent.

May your own experiences be more pleasant than mine living in paradise.

markmausert said...

My brother, Eric Mausert, a "haole", was murdered on February 22, 1979, in Honolulu. The Assistant Prosecutor, Larry Greon, lied to me, and played a material part in the killer avoiding prosecution. My brother's killer, a Filipino national, was released without bond, notwithstanding witnesses, the murder weapon and the fact my brother did not provoke the knife attack. He promptly fled the jurisdiction. Greon tried to explain the unconditional release by observing the grand jury was not in session. When I asked why the killer was not charged via a criminal Information (the alternative to an indictment), Greon had no explanation. The protestations of "ancestral memory" and other justifications for Hawaiian racism fall flat, see, e.g., the writings of the lovely Haunani-Kay Trask (a knife for haoles!). So much for the "Aloha Spirit". What a bunch of bullshit, and what a bunch of prosecutorial hypocrites inhabit the "Department of the Prosecuting Attorney" in the City and County of Honolulu. Stay home, or go to the Caribbean. Stay away from Hawaii -- unless you want to be beaten up, or stabbed because you are a haole (aka "nigger"). Hawaiians live in the most benign place on the planet. They are no different than anyone else, but because many tell themselves they are victims, they feel they have a right to terrorize, even though they live in an extraordinary place (and resent the fact others wish to enjoy that part of the planet -- fly to Hawaii, drop a bag of money on the tarmac, and leave). The jerks in the Department of the Prosecuting Attorney ratify this crap. Do not spend your money in Hawaii. Vote with your tourist dollars. The hypocrites in the Department, including hopefully Mr. Greon, will lose their pensions.

Anonymous said...

Comes in waves. No problem being haole until there is. So very sorry to hear about your brother. The term "hate crime" is now recognized.
Several local punks have been prosecuted for assault and attempted murder. Your brother's case helped bring about change. So sad to have paid the ultimate price. Justified Racism is contrary to civilization. Aloha needs to win.