Letters to the Editor
This is the full original version of the letter published by the Maui News on December 8, 2002.
I am always amused when I read letters from people who are not Kanaka Maoli speaking about how we feel as the host culture of these islands.
Mr. McDonald in his letter to the Editor of December 4, "Pre-contacted Hawaii no paradise for commoners" speaks about a retired professor of history, who is apparently knowledgeable of the U.S. take over of the Hawaiian Islands. It is sad how he and others profess to know how miserable our people were before Capt. Cook stumbled on Hawaii but I can understand their confusion because the books were written by haole writers.
The fact of the matter is that our ancestors occupied these islands for 13 hundred years, living in harmony with each other, having a population of over 800 thousand people when Cook stumbled on Hawaii looking for a passage around the Americas. In his journals Cook speaks about how robust the people were and the land was "amazingly" planted from the mountain to the sea and how happy and fun loving the people were. It was only after he made contact did the trouble start for our people with the diseases that he and others after him brought to Hawaii which disseminated our people. The losses of identity and culture continued with Christianity, changing of the laws and taking of the land and finally the "evil" Overthrow of Queen Liliuokalani with the help of the United States of America. It was not only evil and premeditated but it was down right illegal. As noted in the Apology Bill, Public Law 103-150, where America apologized for the illegal overthrow. The problem is that although America apologized, we are still landless and no reparations were made which usually follows a theft.
In ancient times the land was respected and people could survive off the land. In this westernized society, only the material things are important and for us the spiritual and cultural aspects clash with western society. I am a card carrying Hawaiian Activist (and one of the originals, I might add), that tout the virtues of ancient Hawaii and deplored what the Western Culture did here.
Can you Mr. McDonald speak about the virtues of your culture? How the true Native Americans were massacred and displaced from their own land, and how slavery was an integral part of American history. I think not.
Charles Kauluwehi Maxwell Sr.