By CHARLES K. MAXWELL
The History Channel presentation on Sunday night (10/12/03), "Conquest of Hawaii", was very accurate and painfully true as to the history of Hawaii and the facts of the past. It was very surprising that your Editorial did not think so. Whoever wrote the editorial in The Maui News (10/14/03) must have looked at the show with a jaundiced eye to question the people who were involved with the show and call them "Outsiders if that is what they were". For your information Mr. Editor, some of them were Kanaka Maoli. The narrator, Mr. John Osorio, is a professor of Hawaiian Studies at the University Of Hawaii; Kelly Hu is a native Hawaiian actress and a graduate of Kamehameha School. Rocky Jensen is a sculptor and deeply involved in the Hawaiian culture, they are truly kama-aina (children of the land).
Almost every question that you raised in the presentation was based on books that were written about past history. Research was done with the Hawaiian method of passing oral history from one generation to the other in the form of oli or chants. It is our unique method of documentation. Believe it or not, we have a chant of creation which is called the Kumulipo, created thousands of years ago and it tells us where we came from and how we evolved as Polynesians. We have chants that predicted the coming of the Western man 2 to 3 hundred years before they arrived in 1778. The facts of this exist in foot prints that were carved in sandstone by a Kahuna (priest) who predicted that the western man would come here someday and obliterate the Kanaka Maoli. These sandstone plaques are displayed at Mo'omomi Beach on Molokai and it is called Kalaina Waewae.
As a Kanaka Maoli viewing this presentation it brought tears to my eyes to see again the numerous atrocities our people suffered. As a historian, lecturer and cultural specialist, I can vouch for the authenticity of the presentation and the accuracy of the events in our past history. Overall it was well put together.
The traumatic events that occurred was the arrival of Capt. James Cook in 1778 which brought all the deceases known to western man and disseminated our people by the hundreds of thousands. The 2nd was the arrival of the Missionaries in 1820, to do exactly what the host Kelly Hu said, "They came here to do good, instead they did well".
Missionaries who left the ministry saw how bountiful this land was. In the name of Christianity, they became advisors to the Kings and Queens of Hawaii and changed laws to allow the acquisition of Hawaiian land. Not being satisfied with controlling the land, with the help of U.S. troops, took over the Hawaiian Islands in 1893 as what is known as the "Overthrow". It should have been known as a Terrorist Attack on a friendly nation. The events were as traumatic to us as the 911 attack on America and like the attack, has far reaching effects, even a hundred plus years later. The illegal Overthrow of Hawaii, reeks of terrorism in the literally sense of the word. Do events of what happened to our Queen and the Hawaiian Kingdom sound similar? American troops land on Hawaiian soil uninvited, take over the royal palace, hold the residence of Honolulu hostage, recognize a coup d'etat, made up of American citizens, and descendants of the first missionaries, then imprison the Queen and arrest her followers. And yet, Queen Liliuokalani did not have weapons of mass destruction. She only had ALOHA for her fellow man.
The Petition circulated by the Hawaiian people did contain 98% percent of all the Hawaiians living in Hawaii signing the petition against the Annexation. As far as the Statehood Act, America accepted Hawaii with tainted title. Missionary descendants, American Business men and others gave Hawaii to America, they not the true owners of the land. No vote or plebiscite was taken from the Kanaka Maoli people in the Statehood Act, everyone that lived in Hawaii voted for Statehood. The question is are we better off as Kanaka Maoli today because of the Statehood Act?
This is what we are faced with today and it is a direct result of being colonized. Presently we make up all the social ills of society. Our people can not find affordable homes; living is high that they have to leave Hawaii because not even 3 jobs are enough to support their family. Homes can only be purchased by the rich who wants to turn our islands into a Mecca for second homes, gated communities were only the rice can live and play. The Office of Hawaiian Affairs was already attacked using the laws of this great nation and again to attack the Hawaiian People, their entitlements and the Ali'i Trust. A Princess will is being threatened, the Hawaiian Homes Lands Act is being challenged. If the law suit is successful, it would presently displace 7000 Hawaiians that presently live on Hawaiian Homes Land. Law suites that have been brought by "wannabe" Hawaiians, William Burgess, Kenneth Conklin and the grandson of the missionary descendant, Thrustin-Twigg Smith and others want to make Hawaii "color-blind".
Your editorial says that the movie avoided "questions facing Hawaiians today". If you looked good the answers of what is happening today are directly related to events that happened in the past. I surely hope that the editorial views are not tainted because this newspaper was formerly owned by the Cameron's descendants of the missionaries who still own a large chunk of Maui with their cousins, the Baldwin's, Alexander's and others that call Maui theirs. These islands always belonged to us, it is our ancestral home, it is time that we stand up and fight for it. "Ku I Ka Pono," JUSTICE FOR HAWAIIANS. Website: www.moolelo.com
Kahu Charles Kauluwehi Maxwell
157 Alea Place, Pukalani Maui