I am a non-Hawaiian who has lived in the islands off and on for the past 23 years. I truly believe that all non-Hawaiian persons who have been given the opportunity to live their lives in this beautiful place, surrounded by this most eloquent culture, should every single day say a heartfelt mahalo to any Hawaiian person they meet. Most Hawaiian people I have had the pleasure to meet have opened their arms and have shared their culture with me. I consider this a gift and a blessing.
Unfortunately, I have met too many non-Hawaiian people who do not understand and respect Hawaiian traditions. They have their own agendas and take advantage of the culture and the land to benefit only themselves. I recently had the honor to meet three very well-respected Hawaiian people in our community. I was in complete awe over their viewpoints and their deep sense of spirituality. As we were discussing the Kamehameha Schools controversy, I actually felt physical pain in my heart. The degree of empathy I have is not just toward this current disgrace, which has occurred to Princess Pauahi and her people, but for all of their losses.
I feel embarrassed to be a non-Hawaiian at this time, and urge all other non-Hawaiians who do understand and respect the culture to please reach out to help the Hawaiian community during this crisis. I pray that good graces will prevail. To the Hawaiian community: Pu‘uwai Ho‘omaika‘i
Justine A. DeSalvo