Letters To The Editor
March 23, 2011 - MidWeek
Be a good guest
This is in response to Jerry Coffee’s column “OHA’s End Run Bad For All Hawaii.” Mr. Coffee has chosen to live in a place that had its government illegally overthrown. Its native people have not held this against him simply because he shares the race and country of origin of those who did that. He, however, refuses to accept that their rights to their country exist on any level.
If someone stole your wallet, certainly you would believe it was still yours. This, in fact, is the analogy once used by Sen. Inouye at a Hawaiian Civic Club convention: “I could take your wallet. I could keep it for many years. I could even take it as far away as Washington, but it would still be your wallet.”
Mr. Coffee says he never met a person who is not Hawaiian who feels guilty about this. There are, in fact, thousands of us who do not have Hawaiian blood who know that we are guests of very gracious hosts. I am one of them. Guests do not shove hosts out of the way, take their assets and refuse to consider their rights. Colonizers do.
Jerry Coffee writes, “I have never met a non-Hawaiian with a guilt complex or who was fretting about lack of ‘closure’ on native Hawaiian issues.” Yes, he has - he’s met me, and I can think of a few other people we both know who support Hawaiian sovereignty. The Hawaii Forgiveness Project is a mostly haole group of lawyers, entrepreneurs, professors, doctors and others who are exploring how to make things right in the aftermath of the overthrow. The mechanics of how best to restore the nation of Hawaii may be debated, but many of us are working toward that goal. I invite anyone who feels the need for closure to join us: hawaiiforgivenessproject.org.
Makana Risser Chai
Let Arabs decide
Patrick Buchanan, referring specifically to Egypt but also to the wider unrest in the Arab world, is no doubt correct in writing, “Revolutions liberate people from tyranny, but also free them to indulge old hates, settle old scores and give vent to their passions.”
Certainly that’s true in Iraq, where a war initiated by the United States inflamed intra-Muslim hatred.
Yes, there is a danger of radical Islamists in these Arab countries coming to power after the overthrow of longtime dictators. But that is a matter for people in those countries to decide. It is their sovereign right. Americans may not like the outcome, but that matters little. Remember, a lot of people around the world don’t always approve of what the U.S. does.
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