(Also covered in The Hawaii Reporter, 2/27/2007)
In the Valentine’s day edition of The Honolulu Advertiser this year, OHA took it upon itself to inform us with a slick advertisement on page A4 that we must define ourselves by race. Not content to use traditional ethnic terms like “oiwi” or “kanaka maoli”, they’ve decided that the only proper use of the word “Hawaiian” is to refer to a pre-1778 immigrants to the Hawaiian island chain.
Such a bald statement of abject racism cannot go unchallenged – Hawaii is a place, not a race, and all the immigrants to Hawaii, whether before 1778, during the Kingdom period, or as a part of the United States of America, have just claim to the distinction of being Hawaiian.
Their question was stated as “Who is Hawaiian?” Here are their answers, with corrections: