Beyond Ethnicity: New Politics of Race in Hawai‘i 9780824873523, 0824873521

Written by scholars of various disciplines, the essays in this volume dig beneath the veneer of Hawai‘i’s myth as a melt

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Beyond Ethnicity: New Politics of Race in Hawai‘i
 9780824873523, 0824873521

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Beyond Ethnicity

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Beyond Ethnicity New Politics of Race in Hawai‘i Edited by Camilla Fojas, Rudy P. Guevarra Jr., and Nitasha Tamar Sharma

University of Hawai‘i Press Honolulu

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© 2018 University of Hawai‘i Press All rights reserved Printed in the United States of America 23 22 21 20 19 18   6 5 4 3 2 1 Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Names: Fojas, Camilla, editor. | Guevarra, Rudy P., Jr., editor. | Sharma, Nitasha Tamar, editor. Title: Beyond ethnicity : new politics of race in Hawaii / edited by Camilla Fojas, Rudy P. Guevarra Jr., Nitasha Tamar Sharma. Description: Honolulu : University of Hawai‘i Press, [2018] | Includes bibliographical references and index. | Identifiers: LCCN 2017036840 (print) | LCCN 2017038903 (ebook) | ISBN 9780824873530 (ebook) | ISBN 9780824869885 | ISBN 9780824869885 q(hardcover qalk. paper) Subjects: LCSH: Hawaii—Race relations. | Hawaii—Ethnic relations. Classification: LCC DU624.6 (ebook) | LCC DU624.6 .B49 2018 (print) | DDC 323.1969—dc23 LC record available at Cover art: (Front) Grunge American flag by Hawaiian sovereignty flag by Dbenbenn sovereignty.svg. Underwater coral reef seabed view with horizon and water surface split by waterline by Andrey Kuzmin/ (Back) Kanaka Maoli flag by ZooFari https://commons University of Hawai‘i Press books are printed on acid-free paper and meet the guidelines for permanence and durability of the Council on Library Resources.

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Introduction: New Politics of Race in Hawai‘i 


Camilla Fojas, Rudy P. Gueverra Jr., and Nitasha Tamar Sharma

E Micronesia, a poem 


ku‘ualoha ho‘omanawanui

1. Polynesia Is a Project, Not a Place: Polynesian Proximities to Whiteness in Cloud Atlas and Beyond  21 Maile Arvin

2. Mixed-Race Hollywood, Hawaiian Style 


Camilla Fojas

3. “I no eat dog, k”: Humor, Hazing, and Multicultural Settler Colonialism  61 Roderick N. Labrador

4. “Eh! Where you from?”: Questions of Place, Race, and Identity in Contemporary Hawai‘i  78 John P. Rosa

5. Race and/or Ethnicity in Hawai‘i: What’s the Difference and What Difference Does It Make?  94 Jonathan Y. Ok amura

6. The Racial Imperative: Rereading Hawai‘i’s History and BlackHawaiian Relations through the Perspective of Black Residents 


Nitasha Tamar Sharma

7. Local Boy, East Coast Sensibilities 


Christopher Joseph Lopa

8. “Latino Threat in the 808?” Mexican Migration and the Politics of Race in Hawai‘i  152 Rudy P. Guevarra Jr.


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vi Contents

9. Local Haole? Whites, Racial and Imperial Loyalties, and Membership in Hawai‘i  178 Paul Spick ard

10. Reconnecting Our Roots: Navigating the Turbulent Waters of Health-Care Policy for Micronesians in Hawai‘i  193 Joakim Pe ter, Wayne Chung Tanak a, and Aiko Yamashiro

Afterword: Hawai‘i Matters 


Gary Y. Okihiro

Contributors  Index 

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Introduction New Politics of Race in Hawai‘i Camilla Fojas, Rudy P. Guevarra Jr., and Nitasha Tamar Sharma

Behind the veneer of Hawai‘i’s myth as a melting pot paradise are complicated and historically rooted cross-racial dynamics. Race, however, has not been the primary paradigm through which Hawai‘i has been understood. Racial inequality is disruptive. It ruptures the image of tolerance, diversity, and happiness upon which tourism, business, and so many vested transnational interests in the islands are based. Beyond Ethnicity analyzes contemporary race relations in Hawai‘i by focusing on the experiences and representations of marginalized and often unacknowledged groups, including Blacks, Micronesians, and Latina/os. The bulk of scholarship on group dynamics in Hawai‘i deploys ethnicity and culture as the primary lens of analysis, which tends to foreground the experiences of communities that arrived during Hawai‘i’s plantation era, including the Japanese and Filipinos.1 Some scholars shift focus to examine the role of haoles or Whites in the formation of Hawai‘i’s social order.2 Beyond Ethnicity analyzes each of these groups and foregrounds the role of Kānaka Maoli— Native Hawaiians—in this narrative. We wish neither to equate Hawaiians with all other groups in Hawai‘i as “just another ethnic group,” nor do we see race as the primary or only lens through which to analyze Hawaiians. Rather, this volume focuses on the distinctions and intersections of race, indigeneity, culture, and ethnicity in order to more fully understand inequality and community formation. Our focus on race coincides with that of scholars across the Pacific and in U.S. ethnic studies who have encouraged new analyses that incorporate ethnic studies concepts (e.g., race) with more local (e.g., Kānaka Maoli) and regional (e.g., Pacific Islander) notions and practices. That is, we bring together the racial frames of the Pacific with those of the continental United States. The (Uperesa, Salesa, Guevarra, Fojas, Sharma) intersectional, synchronic, and diachronic examination of gender, race, race mixing, and indigeneity in the Pacific stands in contrast to the ways that U.S. scholars and other writers instrumentalize 1

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2 Introduction

the Pacific, and specifically Hawai‘i, as a “laboratory”—an “experiment” that might presciently forecast continental U.S. multiracial harmony.3 In 2014, former University of Hawai‘i ethnic studies professor Lisa Uperesa introduced a panel on race in Hawai‘i with the following directive: she argues that it is the panel’s task to enunciate “the generative potential of race in our examination and analyses of life in the Pacific, tracing how it interacts with the more privileged frameworks of culture, ethnicity, and indigeneity.” She encourages scholars to consider “questions about race and racialization” because “their importance in historical and contemporary life in the Pacific deserves a more sustained conversation across island areas.” The work in this volume responds, in part, to this exhortation to rethink the history, politics, and cultural formations of the Pacific along new lines, lines that may evoke both discomfort and resistance. The stakes of this debate are evident in the multiple—at times competing—conceptions of how race intersects with indigeneity, ethnicity, and culture by the authors in this volume. Our multiple analyses illustrate the unsettled question of how power plays out within this highly “diverse” society. According the 2010 U.S. Census data and subsequent reports, the five largest racial groups in Hawai‘i by population size included White, Filipino, Japanese, Native Hawaiian, and Chinese (see the figure for the top ten). Latina/os however, hold a unique—and, one could argue, problematic—position in the U.S. Census because they are considered an ethnic group. According to census definitions, “‘Hispanic or Latino’ refers to a person of Cuban, Mexican, Puerto Rican, South or Central American, or other Spanish culture or origin regardless of race.” Currently Latina/os make up approximately 9.8 percent of Hawai‘i’s population. If one were to consider Latina/os as a racial category, then their numbers would shift the list to include Mexicans and Puerto Ricans among the largest groups on the islands. In this way, with attention to understudied groups such as Latina/os, Micronesians, Blacks, and mixed-race people, alongside those more traditionally associated with Hawai‘i, such as Japanese, Hawaiians, and Filipinos, this volume charts how the changing composition and economies of the islands affect race relations and life in Hawai‘i. Beyond Ethnicity brings Pacific Islander and continental U.S. racial frames together to analyze Kānaka Maoli, long-term residents, and newcomer interactions to analyze power, culture, and resource distribution in Hawai‘i. These demographics have appealed to the popular press, which has long expressed interest in “diversity” in the islands and shows an equally persistent fascination with racial mixing (referring to racially diverse neighborhoods and mixed-race unions) and its large mixed-race population—more than 20 percent. News accounts and commercials encourage potential “visitors” (the term the tourism industry prefers) to fulfill their fantasies with the “support” of U.S.based airlines, tourist agencies, and hotel franchises that are not locally owned. Technological advancements expand the reach of these discussions to attract a national and international audience who can view live camera feeds of surf and

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Source: 2010 Population Profile and Housing Characteristics by Race, U.S. Census 2010 Summary File 2, Hawaii, census/Census_2010/SF2/Data_Summary_for_Summary_File_2-DBEDT.pdf; Jeanne Batalova, Monisha Das Gupta, and Sue Patricia Haglund, Newcomers to the Aloha State: Challenges and Prospects for Mexicans in Hawai‘ i (Washington, DC: Migration Policy Institute, 2013). Note: These numbers include those who identify with more than one race, which taken as a separate category accounts for 23.1 percent of Hawai‘i’s total population, as well as the Latina/o ethnic category, which also includes race. Graph designed by Brandon Yoo, Arizona State University.

Top Ten Largest Racial Groups in Hawai‘i

4 Introduction

the weather in Waikīkī and also take part, through tweets and online comments, in local (Hawai‘i-based) conversations. Recently, the website Zócalo partnered with the Smithsonian to host an online forum paired with a live discussion session in Honolulu titled “What can Hawaii teach Americans about race?”4 Hosting the perspectives of Dr. Maya Soetoro-Ng (former president Obama’s sister), marketing executive Guy Kawasaki, Kamehameha Schools Trustee Corbett Kalama, and actor and director Daniel Dae Kim, this event centered on a discussion titled “What Hawai‘i has done right on race and how the U.S. might benefit from this example.” The organizers highlighted the high rates of intermarriage and a large mixed race population as examples of “what Hawaii [sic] has done right” on race.5 Four contributors to this volume—Maile Arvin, Rudy Guevarra, Rod Labrador, and Nitasha Sharma—were invited by the organizers to offer short blogs on the theme for the online segment. Those in the audience who study Hawai‘i, Hawaiians, and race in Hawai‘i (including some of the contributors here), noted a remarkable disconnect between the perspectives expressed in the in-person forum and the scholarly blogs. The former was optimistic and uncritical, advancing the notion of Hawai‘i as a multicultural paradise that gets “race right.” Depicting the various ethnic groups in Hawai‘i as ingredients to a larger multiracial salad, Daniel Dae Kim had this to say: I think we’re a salad. Every ethnicity is represented as an ingredient in the salad. They’re not mixed together, they’re not blended together, they’re not melted together. They are unique in their own characteristics and you know, to extend a terrible metaphor, maybe the dressing really is you know, our citizenship, our American citizenship. That is what adds flavor to us all.6

Only one of the blog contributors, who wrote in pidgin, agreed with Kim’s sentiments and stated that we need to get over race and not make a big deal of it—a dismissive view of “race” commonly held by residents of Hawai‘i. The rest of the contributors welcomed the opportunity to discuss this question but problematized the framing depiction of Hawai‘i as, generally, “getting it right.” However, our online essays were not represented in the live public forum. The blogs by Arvin, Guevarra, Labrador, and Sharma (only one of whom could attend the live session as an audience member) voiced common concerns and tropes, particularly in our collective challenge to the central premise advanced by the coordinators who depicted Hawai‘i’s multiculturalism as a paradisical salad bowl. We focused on racism, economic inequalities, and the marginalization and outright dismissal of Native Hawaiians. Many of us discussed the “limits to aloha” or the idea that the notion of “aloha” is exploited for colonial appropriation; yet these ideas were erased, edited out, written over, and ignored in the public forum. (Taken a step further and unbeknownst to us,

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Introduction  5

some of our posts were individually republished in another news source, Civil Beat: Hawai‘ i News, without any context.) In-person panelists and audience members at the live conversation had not read our invited blogs, which foregrounded race and racism as real paradigms with which to contend and highlighted anti–Kānaka Maoli strategies to displace Hawaiians from their standing in the islands. Extracts from the blog contributors to the Zócalo forum follow; these writings form cogent and grounded points of departure for rethinking race and racialization in the islands. Maile Arvin’s powerful piece historicizes the central theme of the Zócalo event, linking the desire that frames its guiding question (“What can Hawai‘i teach Americans about race”) to an historical amnesia that marks the history of Hawai‘i’s colonization. “Real racial justice,” Arvin writes, “will require decolonization.” In 1893, a cadre of American sugar plantation owners operating in the Kingdom of Hawai‘i overthrew the Kingdom government and ousted reigning Queen Liliu‘okalani. In 1898, Hawai‘i was officially annexed as a U.S. territory. This was not an uncontested decision on many fronts. Kānaka Maoli (Native Hawaiians) organized a massive petition drive, gathering 38,000 signatures against annexation, and sent delegates to Washington, D.C. to restore the sovereignty of the Kingdom. For the American public, annexation was only secured after years of debate about the dangers of Hawai‘i’s dark population of “Native savages” and “Oriental heathens” was effectively overridden by the U.S. Navy’s need for a re-coaling station on its way to secure the conquest of the Philippines. For Kānaka Maoli, this is not ancient history, but deeply felt and lived. We are engaged in daily, yearly, generational struggles over sovereignty, land and water rights, cultural revitalization and basic survival. The fact that many Americans know nothing of this history, and the ongoing struggles Kānaka Maoli and others living in Hawai‘i face today, is in part due to the popularity of the idea of Hawai‘i as America’s unique “melting pot,” which stems from the work of social scientists like Romanzo Adams who in the early twentieth century envisioned Hawai‘i as a “racial laboratory” due to its relatively high rates of racial intermarriage. Adams and others perpetuated the idea that Hawai‘i had no racial problem, and fulfilled the ideals of American democracy to an even greater extent than the continental U.S., marred by “the color line.” Adams effectively argued that racial intermarriage would effectively assimilate (both culturally and biologically) Native Hawaiians and Asians into American norms of Whiteness. Those looking to Hawai‘i today can achieve a deeper, more meaningful conversation, if they acknowledge from the outset that Hawai‘i’s diversity exists within an imposed, U.S. colonial structure. Real racial justice for Hawai‘i, and the U.S. [sic], will require decolonization.

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6 Introduction

Rudy Guevarra’s blog highlights what people find appealing about Hawai‘i (its mixed race population and demographics), but cautions against thinking that everything is “aloha” in the islands. He, too, points to the dispossession of Kānaka Maoli and the tensions underlying local humor: Hawai‘i has a long history of interracial and interethnic mixing, which has made it the most diverse state in the union. Unlike the continental United States, Hawai‘i has no group that is the racial majority, and people can identify with multiple races and ethnicities over several generations. This is the norm, rather than an anomaly. Early social scientists, the tourist industry, and visitors credit this to the “aloha spirit,” or culture of tolerance and inclusivity that is the hallmark of living in Hawai‘i. True, Hawai‘i is a place where a mixed race person like myself can blend in, and where people of color are not seen as a curiosity. And yes, people generally get along here. However, we must also caution ourselves not to romanticize Hawai‘i as a racial paradise, because it is more complex than that. Even the aloha spirit has its limits. We must be mindful that this multicultural society grew from the collapse of the Native Hawaiian population and the dispossession of their land. The Native population’s struggle for sovereignty continues today. Other racial and ethnic tensions exist here, as well. Locals use ethnic humor as a way to make fun of all ethnicities, yet specific groups are repeatedly the targets of racial stereotypes, such as Filipinos and, more recently, Micronesians. Latinos have been the victims of racial profiling by law enforcement, similar to what they experience in the continental U.S. While Hawai‘i may not be the racial paradise the tourist industry imagines it to be, these islands do offer us a way to see how we can grow if we learn to live together and embrace our differences.

Although the Zócalo event was presumably about “race,” the live panel discussion ironically broached neither the reality of racism faced by various groups nor the dispossession of Kānaka Maoli. The disavowal of race—and thus inequality more broadly—as irrelevant in the islands is also represented in the blog contribution of Lee Tonouchi, who describes himself as “one pidgin writer from Hawaii.” Tonouchi typifies one local response to questions of race when he writes, “Dis question bogus, brah. ‘What Can Hawaii Teach America About Race?’ Cuz das not how we tink. I tink Hawaii can try teach America dat it’s not about race, but more about ethnicity.” This refusal to identify, understand, or acknowledge race denies the fact of Kānaka Maoli as racialized and Indigenous people whose land is colonized. Misunderstanding or refusing race also invokes our complicity with multiple forms of racism experienced by various groups in

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Hawai‘i. Sharma highlights racism in her blog entry by focusing on the experiences of Black residents of Hawai‘i: Sociologists have long looked to Hawai‘i as a “fascinating interracial experiment station” while the tourist industry sells paradise by highlighting its beaches, weather, and mix of people, foods, and cultures. But race is curiously missing from the way Hawai‘i residents talk about one another and understand island life. It’s true that people note distinctions, often through comedy and stereotypes. But we understand these to be ethnic and cultural differences, rather than racial. My study of the experiences of Black people in Hawai‘i, including Hawai‘i-born and raised locals and African American malihini (recent transplants) who have made the islands their home, reveals that we have much to learn from a race-centered perspective, particularly those expressed by Black people. For instance, both local and continental Blacks recount numerous instances of anti-Black racism that they faced from family and community members as well as from teachers who have impacted their sense of worth and belonging. Second, Black malihini find common cause with Native Hawaiians whom they see as being subjected to the similar—albeit distinct—processes of dispossession and oppression that African Americans have faced. Unlike ethnicity, which focuses on heritage and shared practices, race centers history, power, and inequality. Race exists in Hawai‘i, although it may not operate in the black and white ways we are taught to think of “race.” The islands did not have a slave past and we boast a healthy multiculturalism and diverse demographics. But its history—one shaped by colonialism, plantation economics, military domination, and tourism— also explains the unequal location of various local groups within the economy and their access to political representation, education, and rights to land. Looking through the lens of race would help us get a better grasp on issues such as the maltreatment of Micronesians, high poverty rates among Native Hawaiians, anti-Black racism, and the disproportionate incarceration of Polynesians. These factors exist alongside the political and economic dominance of Japanese, Chinese, and Whites. Hawai‘i gets many things right about culture. It is a small place where people learn to live together, often respectfully and with empathy across our differences. But centering a racial analysis highlights the inequities we still have to contend with to improve the quality of life of all of our residents.

In this volume, we expand upon our contributions to that event to reveal the “other side” of imaginings of Hawai‘i as a multicultural paradise that models tolerance and diversity. Not only are these imaginings partial and often inaccurate;

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the absence of local discourses that center race, racism, and power means that the processes of racism, exclusion, and dispossession persist under the veneer that if we don’t speak it (inequality), it doesn’t exist. What Is “New” about Race in Hawai‘i? We use the notion of a “new” racial politics to highlight the fact that although the process of racializing ethnic groups is not new per se, what is new is both changing demographics (such as the arrival of Micronesians) and the level and frequency with which groups such as Filipinos, Mexicans, Blacks, and Micronesians in Hawai‘i, for example, are racialized in new ways and express new—sometimes productive and sometimes troubling—intergroup dynamics. These processes illustrate a challenge to the full explanatory power of ethnicity as more U.S. continental transplants are moving to the islands and bringing their racial ideologies with them. These racial ideologies collide with the use of ethnicity to explain how racism and White supremacy function. U.S. racialist thinking, for instance, led to the 2011 murder of Hawai‘i resident Kollin Elderts by the State Department’s Special Agent Christopher Deedy. Deedy, from Arlington, Virginia, was in town to provide security at the AsiaPacific Economic Cooperation conference and was inebriated and armed at the Waikīkī McDonald’s. Altercations rarely crescendo to murder in Hawai‘i—the state with some of the toughest gun laws—and prosecutors argued that Deedy “was fueled by alcohol, power and a warning from a fellow agent about the hostility of Hawaii locals toward government employees and outsiders.” 7 He was found not guilty. Racial and racist ideologies play a central role in this fatal interaction. The racial dynamics, fueled by U.S. notions of Hawai‘i and of nonWhites, arises in one writer’s comparison of the murder of Trayvon Martin and Kollin Elderts.8 David Harada Stone describes Elderts as a “brown-skinned part-Hawaiian local” and writes that “the victims in both cases were young, unarmed men of color.”9 This particular meeting ground between U.S. racialist discourses brought to the islands by continental Whites in positions of power is not new. Contributor John Rosa has revealed in Local Story, his analysis of the Massie Kahahawai cases, how Whites who move to the islands (who often come through the U.S. Navy) transpose on to their readings of local people their understandings of Black-White relations, including the denigration of Blacks and other non-Whites.10 The infamous Massie case of the 1930s revolved around the accusation that five local boys allegedly abducted and raped Thalia Massie, the White wife of a Navy man, Thomas Massie. One of the accused was a young Hawaiian man, Joseph Kahahawai, who was kidnapped by Thalia’s mother and her husband and then murdered. The allegations of rape and the murder were fueled by the ageold ideologies that posit non-Whites, and in this case specifically Hawaiians, as dangerous threats to both the purity of White womanhood and the integrity

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of White masculinity as excuses for White domination and the dispossession—including murder—of those who block such “progress.” These racialized processes are informed by intersecting historical racial projects, namely: the genocide and dispossession of the Indigenous people of the United States, the U.S. slave past and the founding of the Black-White binary, and the exploitation and exclusion of Asian and Latina/o workers alongside the legal and rights-based specificities of indigeneity of Kānaka Maoli. In this way, this volume highlights how race, ethnicity, and indigeneity intersect but are not collapsible. If the migration of such ideologies from the encounter between Africans, Asians, Whites, Native peoples, and peoples from Latin America on the continent to the Pacific are not new, we chart how the adoption of these ideas by Hawai‘i’s residents reveal new—and often troubling—forms of racial thinking that cannot be explained by ethnicity or culture, but rather race and racism. For instance, the racism enacted by many of Hawai‘i’s residents upon Micronesians requires an analysis of interminority racisms that is not explained through cultural differences alone and cannot be explained along a Black and White racial paradigm. Through this analysis, we imply the need for all groups to take accountability for enacting and being complicit with racist practices and stereotypes—often the very stereotypes the perpetrators of racism also have faced. Additionally, although particular groups—including haole, Japanese, and Chinese—tend to be in positions of economic and political power in Hawai‘i, intra–Pacific Islander antagonisms, often framed by Western concepts of race detailed in Maile Arvin’s essay in this volume, have long existed. The troubling mistreatment of Micronesians and other groups, including Hawai‘i’s Black and Filipino residents, by locals and newcomers necessitate our analysis of the multivalent shapes that racism embodies. Thus, Beyond Ethnicity casts a racial lens on new, shifting group dynamics in the islands. Our point is to illuminate and then provide counternarratives of resistance through examples of alliances and empathy across these constructed divides. The role of social media and the oversaturation of racial incidents caught on camera (including the altercation between Deedy and Elderts recorded on the McDonald’s security camera) contribute to the new shape and reach of this discourse. Indeed, these factors have a profound impact on how ethnicity gets reshaped through racial thinking (White supremacy). As African and Black diaspora studies professor Lori Pierce argues, “many ethnic groups became ethnic groups only after passing through the crucible of race.”11 That groups are singled out based on negative ideological constructions, are subject to state sanctioned and vigilante harassment and violence, and are even detained against one’s consent over issues of citizenship is not based on ethnic identity but on race and racism.12 As newcomers arrive and settle on conquered, stolen lands, all must contend with the racial formations that continue to shift and shape the lives of Indigenous, racial, and ethnic groups so long as global capitalism and racial structures exist. One only has to look at the Rice Decision (e.g., Rice v.

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10 Introduction

Cayetano) (2000), John Doe v. Kamehameha Schools (2006), or Island 98.5 FM’s public apology to the Micronesian community in 2014 over the public outcry to a horrible, racist joke by the DJs of the morning “Wake Up Crew” to remind us that racism does exist in Hawai‘i and that race does matter.13 Comparative Race and the Ethnicity Paradigm Hawai‘i’s global role as a tourist paradise obfuscates its complicated colonial relation to the continental United States and renders invisible the struggles of Native Hawaiians around land rights and political sovereignty. Throughout the twentieth century, politicians, social scientists, and businesspeople promoted Hawai‘i as a model of multicultural harmony and a powerful totem for understanding the changing ethnic and racial demographics on the continent. A number of scholars have engaged these discourses through the paradigm of ethnicity and through the histories of various institutions in shaping social dynamics: Gerald Horne (2011), Moon-Kie Jung (2006), Haunani-Kay Trask (1999), Jonathan Okamura (2008), and Jon Osorio (2002).14 Primarily, however, scholars have looked to Hawai‘i as an example of multiracial harmony, evidenced through its high intermarriage rates and large population of multiracial people. As Arvin reveals in her contribution to this volume, however, such “narratives of racial transcendence [e.g., racial mixing] are inextricably linked to the logic of possession through Whiteness.” That is, Hawai‘i became and remains a settler colonial possession of the United States through the logic of race. Beyond Ethnicity expands on these foundational works by exploring how the dynamics of racialization, power, and inequality play out in distinct and overlapping ways from, and at times similar to, continental U.S. race relations. The scholars in this volume foreground race and the particular operations of race and racisms as they shape contemporary group relations in multiple settings. These essays are unique in their approach to racialization as a comparative project framed by the plantation and colonial history of the islands along with the ongoing impacts of the military and tourism. That is, we explore specific group dynamics involving the contact and interaction of two or more racialized groups, a departure from monoracial and overarching analyses of race and ethnicity on the islands. These essays highlight new racial fault lines and intersections on the islands. Various questions frame this project. How does a comparative racial analysis of island life contribute to foundational work on ethnic relations in Hawai‘i? How do relative newcomers (or those perceived to be such), including Mexicans and Micronesians, negotiate the intersection of local-nonlocal, ethnicity, indigeneity, and race on the islands? And how do we understand the (racial) erasure of the centuries-long presence of Black people and Latina/os in Hawai‘i—two groups that occupy sizable “minority” status on the continent but remain invisible in the islands?

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The essays in this volume examine groups in Hawai‘i that have alternately been viewed as racial (such as Blacks), ethnic (like the Japanese), or Native (like Kānaka Maoli and Samoans), to detail how all of these groups have also all been racialized. This, on the one hand, highlights those groups in Hawai‘i that have been marginal in the master narrative of the island’s multicultural history. On the other hand, it reveals the intersection of racialization (ideas those in power have developed of others who are grouped to exploit them for the benefit of those in power), power, and access to material resources and quality of life, including longevity and health. The plantation narrative of Hawai‘i’s multicultural formations renders invisible previous migrations of other racial and ethnic groups, which distorts how racial formations have developed over time. The ethnic and racial hierarchies on the islands are shifting. Recent migrations of Latina/os and Micronesian newcomers compete with newer waves of Filipino immigrants, Samoans, Tongans, and other Pacific Islanders for vital resources. And all must contend with Kānaka Maoli rights to land, culture, and representation because the groups we discuss in this volume come to the islands one way or another as settlers within a complex colonial matrix forged by the U.S. empire. Each transdisciplinary chapter illustrates the productive theories that emerge from applying racial paradigms to the Pacific in their exploration of contemporary interactions between racialized groups to reveal contradictions, opportunities, and political issues across the cultural landscape of the islands. Volume Overview This volume hosts multiple approaches to the question of race, starting with Maile Arvin’s contribution on the racialization of Polynesians. Arvin applies social science history to popular (film and writing) depictions of the Pacific to reveal the development of Polynesia as a racial project, not a place, much as Orientalism formed a fictional place through Western ideas and practices. The colonial possession of the Pacific was accomplished through “Whiteness,” whereby representation and “science” constructed Polynesians as people “close to White,” in contrast to “Black” Melanesians. Indigenous Pacific Islanders, like Native Americans in the continental United States, thus become eradicated not only through death and disease, but also through racializing fictions that assimilate these groups into Whiteness (a form of eradication) for the project of settlercolonialism. However, Arvin argues, a “serious engagement of race in Hawai‘i must confront and challenge the Western construction of the Polynesian race as ‘almost White.’ ” Earlier U.S. scholarly notions of race had been developed and used to justify the process of domination, often through the incorporation of Others into Whiteness, or what she calls “the logic of possession through Whiteness,” whereby Whiteness is a “structural idea and process.” The impacts of importing such U.S. racialist discourses of Whitening not only allowed the

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12 Introduction

settler-colonial project in Hawai‘i; they also have shaped the intra-Polynesian divisions based on the privileging of Whiteness (i.e., Polynesians) and devaluation of Blackness (e.g., Melanesians and Micronesians). Arvin’s chapter expands this binary by looking at the relationships between Asians and Kānaka Maoli and their relationships to Whiteness as “honorary” and “almost” White articulated in recent work on Asian settler colonialism. Ultimately, Arvin suggests that by understanding the Pacific as a project, and not just a place, people in the Pacific can think through and possibly reconcile Western-imposed intra– Pacific Islander and interracial divisions, such as those between Hawaiians and Micronesians, and Hawaiians and Asians in Hawai‘i. Through a discussion of Polynesians, Arvin reveals the centrality of racial science in Hawai‘i and the impacts Whiteness and Blackness have on Pacific island dynamics. Camilla Fojas also takes a cultural studies approach to Hollywood representations of mixed race in Hawai‘i. Through their production of what Patricia Hill Collins calls “controlling images,” mainstream films do the work of advancing hegemonic ideologies of groups through naturalized and repeated depictions of racism and sexism and heteronormativity. Hawai‘i and its mixed-race population have played the backdrop for a number of mainstream films that assisted in the tourist industries’ depiction of desirable paradise where one could find (interracial and temporary) romance. Fojas analyzes the narratives in the surf films North Shore (1987), Beyond Paradise (1999), and Blue Crush (2002), which highlight sexual and platonic racial mixing in the islands in narratives that privilege haole protagonists. Using Isaiah Helekunihi Walker’s analysis of surf as the “boarder-lands” of Hawai‘i, the surf zone becomes a “symbolic zone of contact and a place from which Native Hawaiians assert boundaries and assume space outside of the hegemony of a haole-dominated landscape.”15 These mainstream films reinforce haole hegemony. The protagonist is cast as someone mainland audiences can identify with and Hawaiians play background roles or are the aggressive nuisance intruding upon the central character’s engagements with Hawai‘i (often through their engagements with local women). These films trot out the familiar sexualized and bromance tropes of mixed-race romance and harmony while avoiding any reference to colonialism and sovereignty movements. The approach to current forms of race and racialization on the islands demands new methodologies and interdisciplinary approaches that combine analyses of social formations with various kinds of cultural productions. Rod Labrador explores how jokes targeting Filipinos expose racialized power dynamics based on typologies of inclusion and exclusion on the islands. He shows how dog-eating jokes about Filipinos affect group and individual identity formation. Although these jokes explicitly denigrate and exclude Filipinos, they also convey a complex form of inclusion through racial hazing in which those able to “take the joke” are deemed worthy of belonging. Racially targeted jokes, in which each group is characterized by a set of tropes, is a form of “local” multiculturalism in practice. Labrador examines and complicates this scenario through the

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Introduction  13

case of jokes about Filipinos in various venues and across historical contexts. He explores race as a mode and means of belonging formulated in humorous rapport within a multiethnic community. For John Rosa, belonging is also a function of race expressed through place. The question “eh, where you from?” is a search for an answer indicating the interlocutor’s position in relation to Native history and land rights. This question is both geographic and diachronic, linking historical place to future orientations. Rosa explores the history of four distinct races that have had a significant impact on the contextualization of the dynamic formation of social and cultural identities on the islands. These categories are capacious and contain various ethnic and racialized groups that together form the basis of Rosa’s analysis of local identities based on place-based commonalities. The idea of a shared place means that groups might examine their futures as conjoined and thus make plans with common goals. And local identity totemically replaces balkanized racialization. For Jonathan Okamura, race is not the primary or most descriptive category for the analysis of social relations, illustrating the intellectual fault lines in discussions of difference in the islands. Whereas Labrador explores the social dynamics of joke-telling and Rosa examines place, Okamura explores the transition from racialization to ethnicity as a complex of social dynamics expressed hierarchically. That is, he argues that culture is the primary mode through which social difference is elucidated. Okamura expands on his earlier and foundational work on the topic, turning to new cases and events that establish the persistence of this paradigm. He also cautions that the continental notion of race does not cohere on the islands for the wide-ranging and complex forms of multiraciality that are often subordinated to “local identity,” as Rosa describes it. Okamura argues that critical awareness of the role of ethnicity is necessary to remedy socioeconomic inequalities on the islands. In contrast, Nitasha Sharma examines the experiences of Black Hawaiians and the ways in which race and indigeneity intersect in culturally complex ways. By providing an ethnographic illustration of what has been referred to as “the Black Pacific,” Sharma highlights the long history Blacks have with Kānaka Maoli. Utilizing concepts of race through what she sees as the process of racialization, the has been referred to as the (il)logical notions of U.S. blood quantum, and as a form of resistance against dispossession in its many forms, Sharma not only problematizes the use of ethnic paradigms but also shows how these are ineffective when discussing the experiences and invisibility of Black local and Black Hawaiian histories. Focusing on several interviews, Sharma shows how those who identified as Black Hawaiians (locals with one Black parent and one Hawaiian parent) had to understand the ways in which both their Blackness and Hawaiian-ness functioned within their familial and community context. At times, this negotiation includes questions and anxieties over phenotype and facing requests for performance and cultural knowledge in order to

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14 Introduction

gain acceptance. Yet, as she argues, with the rise of Black popular culture globally, most notably with hip hop and reggae music, these musical genres enable Black Hawaiians not only to begin to identify with their Blackness, but also to understand and articulate their shared struggles with Native Hawaiians against colonialism and racism. The long history of interracial mixing between Blacks (usually African American men from the continental United States) and Native Hawaiians speaks to intersecting identities of race and indigeneity in Hawai‘i. Speaking to Native-Black exchanges, Christopher Lopa provides an indepth narrative as a Black Samoan growing up in Hawai‘i. His personal story and reflection on Black culture in Hawai‘i is illustrative of Sharma’s research and powerfully conveys the implications of growing up without a broader or recognized community, as is the case for local civilian (e.g., nonmilitary) Blacks in the islands. Lopa provides a firsthand account of his challenges (including racism and isolation) and choices he faced as a youth, which he contrasts with his experience on the continent. This “local boy with East Coast sensibilities” has been dedicated to cultural advocacy for African American youth in the islands, which he details in this essay. Ultimately, Lopa discusses the centrality of Black musical forms, and particularly hip hop, in his developing his sense of self while narrating his contributions to hip hop in Hawai‘i. Rudy Guevarra Jr. turns his eye to another understudied group also not considered in depictions of Hawai‘i’s multiculturalism. Guevarra provides an historiography and analysis of Latina/os in Hawai‘i—who constitute almost 10 percent of the island population and have seen a 66 percent growth since the 1990s. Latina/os from a number of ethnic groups have arrived, labored (hired by U.S. companies and the Transportation Security Administration), and lived in the islands since the 1830s. Guevarra offers a close analysis of the “Tam incident,” in which local Chinese Hawai‘i councilman Rod Tam referred to Mexican workers in Hawai‘i as “wetbacks,” to reveal the understudied history of Latina/os in Hawai‘i. Guevarra reads this as an example of how current racist stereotypes of Latina/os illustrate the limits to the “aloha spirit” Guevara highlights the dynamics of racism and the agentive resistance by Latina/os to depictions of a “Latino Threat” as activists rallied to educate locals and called for acceptance and understanding. A racial paradigm highlights the forms of marginalization, stereotypes, labor oppression, and social exclusion that Latina/os face in Hawai‘i in a way that ethnicity cannot, and often does not. Equally important, our unwillingness to understand how racism operates means that locals often allow racism to flourish—whether through the articulation of racist epithets or the economic dispossession of whole communities—without intervening or understanding these individual and structural processes as enabling the privileges of some to the disadvantages of others. In other words, the hegemony of culture and ethnicity means that locals often understand “success” (economic, educational, the ability to own homes) and “failure” (abuse, violence,

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Introduction  15

homelessness) through the paradigms of individual hard work (or lack thereof) and cultural values (or lack thereof). Instead, race highlights structural and institutional processes, rooted in history, that categorize and oppress racialized groups (including ethnic groups that have become racialized in Hawai‘i). The economic standing of these long-term and more recent immigrants to the islands twins with locals’ ideas about their value (often imported from U.S. anti-Mexican rhetoric and fear) to translate into an ongoing sense that Latina/os do not exist in the islands, are newcomers, and take people’s jobs. Paul Spickard explores what he calls the four types of White people in Hawai‘i. These include tourists, military personnel and their families, those who have resided in Hawai‘i for some time, and local haoles. For Spickard, most Whites are haoles, or foreigners. To understand the context for how these four groups navigate Whiteness in Hawai‘i, Spickard provides the historical framework on the relationships between Whites and Kānaka Maoli and what he calls “the ways of being White in Hawai‘i.” For tourists and those in the military, they are temporary guests who explore the islands and its cultures and partake in the exoticness of Hawai‘i, yet go back home unaware or uninterested in the racial hierarchy and tense historical relationships Whites have on the islands with everyone else. Whites who have lived in Hawai‘i for a long time are those who attempt to learn Hawaiian history and culture, but as Spickard contends, they are not making a move towards localness, but rather are being “Hawaiian at heart.” Among those are also Whites who perceive themselves to be the victims of racism in Hawai‘i, particularly when they are referred to as haoles. These claims, Spickard argues, are based on the fact that they are not used to having their Whiteness marked in a specific social context and do not get to exercise their privilege. Local haoles, on the other hand, are those who are born and raised in Hawai‘i. They are familiar with both Hawaiian and local culture and customs. Local haoles are not outsiders. Yet, they cannot claim local status for themselves. Localness, Spickard contends, “is not a status to which you can aspire. It is certainly not a right; you cannot claim it. It is a social position that you may have only when local people recognize it in you.” Joakim Peter, Wayne Tanaka, and Aiko Yamashiro begin their chapter with the reciprocal relationship that began between Hawaiians and Micronesians in the 1970s with the Hōkūle‘a, the voyaging canoe that was meant to demonstrate the interconnectedness peoples of Oceania have with one another. Under the guidance of Grand Master Navigator Pius “Papa” Mau Piailug, wayfinding fostered deep connections between Micronesians, Hawaiians, and other peoples of the Pacific as he shared his knowledge and helped prepare future generations of Pacific Island navigators. As Peter and his colleagues contend, the gift of friendship, mutual respect, cooperation, and collaboration between Mau and the Polynesian Voyaging Society soon became overshadowed by current antiMicronesian sentiment in Hawai‘i by local residents. This was compounded by

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16 Introduction

increasing discriminatory practices by the State of Hawai‘i in providing equal access to health care for Micronesians, who fall under the Compact of Free Association (COFA) with the United States. Now labeled as a burden to the state, Micronesians soon became the targets of racism and hostility. Morning radio shows were the stage for negative stereotypes and racist jokes about Micronesians, depicting them as lazy, dirty, ignorant, and leeches on state social services. Like Latina/o activists in Guevarra’s chapter, what the Micronesian community has done in response to these incidents is to organize and help bring awareness to the plight of the COFA community and advocate for more equitable health-care policies. They did so by nurturing stronger relationships with their host communities. By evoking the lessons Papa Mau shared to his fellow wayfinders—to remember and reclaim that which connected peoples of the Pacific—Micronesians seek to build continued relationships of reciprocity and cultural exchange with Hawaiians and others in their adopted home. It has been common practice to examine disparities and inequalities in Hawai‘i in terms of ethnicity, but in this volume we complicate ethnoracial analyses through notions of race and forms of racialization. The hierarchy of ethnicity, which is locally and geographically based (see Rosa 2014), has roots in various industrial systems—from plantation to tourism to militarism—that, as Okamura argues in this volume, has entrenched ethnicity as the prevailing interpretive frame. Race and racialization in the continental United States and globally gains force with the consolidation of a system of enslaving Africans for Euro-American capital accumulation; capitalism is based in White supremacy (thus the term “racial capitalism”). This dynamic is rendered differently across local economies, in the United States through the genocide of Native Americans and Natives of the Southwest along the border for appropriation of land and other resources. Similarly, in Hawai‘i through juridical, genocidal, and racially based capital accumulation, Whites appropriated land and resources from Kānaka Maoli to develop and consolidate various industries—agricultural, commercial, and military. Ideas about race and forms of racialization provide justification for expropriation of land and decimation of Native populations. Race is a vital cornerstone of analyses of social inequities as the very basis of the capital structures that subtend them. Indeed, the intersection of race and empire were integral to U.S. domestic and foreign policies, particularly since the nineteenth century. The processes of race and racism in Hawai‘i reveal how these historical forces shaped the political landscape and various institutions that uphold White supremacy and its racist logic since the events leading up to the overthrow of the Hawaiian Kingdom. The specter of race continues to manifest itself in new ways as racial hierarchies and power dynamics evolve. Rather than as something to “get over,” race is part of the very logic of global capitalism and neocolonialism and, we argue, fundamental to an understanding of contemporary social dynamics in the islands.

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Introduction  17

Notes  1. Jonathan Y. Okamura, Ethnicity and Inequality in Hawai‘ i (Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 2008); From Race to Ethnicity: Interpreting Japanese American Experiences in Hawai‘ i (Honolulu: University of Hawai‘i Press, 2014).  2. Judy Rohrer, Haole in Hawai‘ i (Honolulu: University of Hawai‘i Press, 2010).  3. Fa‘anofo Lisaclaire Uperesa, “Fabled Futures: Migration and Mobility for Samoans in American Football,” Contemporary Pacific 26, no. 2 (2014): 281–301; Damon Salesa, Racial Crossings: Race, Intermarriage, and the Victorian British Empire (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011); Camilla Fojas, Islands of Empire: Pop Culture & U.S. Power (Austin: University of Texas Press, 2014); Nitasha Sharma, “Pacific Revisions of Blackness: Blacks Address Race and Belonging in Hawai‘i,” Amerasia Journal 37, no. 3 (2011): 43–60; Camilla Fojas and Rudy Guevarra, eds. Transnational Crossroads: Remapping the Americas and the Pacific (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2012).  4. The public event, hosted by the Smithsonian and Zócalo Public Square, “What It Means to Be American: What Can Hawaii Teach America about Race?” moderated by Leslie Wilcox, Long Story Short host, PBS Hawaii, took place in Honolulu on September 16, 2015, up-for-discussion/.  5. We spell “Hawaii” [sic] in the event title the way the Zócalo/Smithsonian editors misspelled it, without the ‘okina. Despite our requests, they kept this misspelling in our blog posts (corrected here).  6. Ibid.  7. Jennifer Sinco Kelleher, “Christopher Deedy Found Not Guilty of Murder in McDonald’s Shooting,” Huffington Post, August 14, 2014.  8. David Harada Stone, “The Tragic Killing of Kollin Elderts by Christopher Deedy Echoes Trayvon Martin Case,” Daily Banter, August 5, 2013, the-tragic-killing-of-kollin-elderts-by-christopher-deedy-echoes-trayvon-martin-case/.  9. Ibid. 10. John P. Rosa, Local Story: The Massie-Kahahawai Case and the Culture of History (Honolulu: University of Hawai‘i Press, 2014); see also David Stannard, Honor Killing: Race, Rape, and Clarence Darrow’s Spectacular Last Case, repr. (New York: Penguin Books, 2006). 11. Lori Pierce, “The Continuing Significance of Race,” in We Are a People: Narrative and Multiplicity in Constructing Ethnic Identity, ed. Paul Spickard and W. Jeffrey Burroughs (Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 2000), 223. 12. Scholars have, for instance, analyzed the racialization of religion that Islamophobia illustrates, especially after 9/11. See Junaid Rana, Terrifying Muslims: Race and Labor in the South Asian Diaspora (Durham, NC: Duke University Press 2011); Nitasha Sharma, “Rap, Race, Revolution: Post-9/11 Brown and a Hip Hop Critique of Empire,” in Audible Empire, ed. Ronald Radano and Tejumola Olaniyan (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2016). 13. See Trisha Kehaulani Watson, “Civil Rights and Wrongs: Understanding Doe v. Kamehameha Schools,” Hūlili: Multidisciplinary Research on Hawaiian Well-Being 3, no. 1 (2006): 69–98; Judy Rohrer, “‘Got Race?’ The Production of Haole and the Distortion of Indigeneity in the Rice Decision,” Contemporary Pacific 18, no. 1 (2006): 1–31; Petition, “Stop the derogatory, racist jokes and comments against the people of Micronesia,” https://–5-radio-station-honolulu-hi-stop-the-derogatory-racist-jokes-

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18 Introduction

and-comments-against-the-people-of-micronesia; “Island 98.5 public apology to Micronesian community,” Island 98.5: Hawaiian Reggae, June 28, 2014, /island-985-public-apology-to-micronesian-community. 14. Haunani-Kay Trask, From a Native Daughter: Colonialism and Sovereignty in Hawai‘ i (Honolulu: University of Hawai‘i Press, 1999); Gerald Horne, Fighting in Paradise: Labor Unions, Racism, and Communists in the Making of Modern Hawai‘ i (Honolulu: University of Hawai‘i Press, 2011); Moon-Kie Jung, Reworking Race: The Making of Hawaii’s Interracial Labor Movement (New York: Columbia University Press, 2006); Jon Kamakawiwo‘ole Osorio, Dismembering Lahui: A History of the Hawaiian Nation to 1887 (Honolulu: University of Hawai‘i Press, 2002); Jonathan Y. Okamura, Ethnicity and Inequality in Hawai‘ i (Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 2008). 15. Isaiah Helekunihi, “Hui Nalu, Beachboys, and the Surfing Boarder-Lands of Hawai‘i,” Contemporary Pacific 20, no. 1 (Spring 2008): 89–113.

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E Micronesia ku‘ualoha ho‘omanawanui (in response to Kathy Kigner’s “Tell Them”)

I don’t want you here your gold-riddled teeth and foreign betel-stained tongue bright quilted skirts sashaying down the sidewalk across the sand your sun-darkened children skin glistening with salt water look like mine their musical laughter echoing across blue Pakipika waters calling to reef and surf beyond sounds like mine playing i ke kai side by side they look the same yes, we are distant cousins so why shouldn’t we be friends? why can’t we invite you in to eat, talk story, laugh together? Because your presence is a painful reminder of U.S. colonial dispossession of you from your homeland polluted, destroyed to mine pushing us further away from our ‘āina the questions my children ask of why your children live on the beach 19

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20 E Micronesia

in a tent on a sidewalk an old rusted car why we just visit, why we call them away too painful too complex too embarrassing for me to answer so instead I just quietly hate you defenseless against my anger because it is easier to blame the victim than the empire

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Chapter 1

Polynesia Is a Project, Not a Place Polynesian Proximities to Whiteness in Cloud Atlas and Beyond Maile Arvin

Polynesia has long been a project of the West. As Martinican poet and theorist Edouard Glissant has powerfully written, “the West is not in the West. It is a project, not a place.”1 The West as a project has engulfed many locations beyond the European continent, and Polynesia is no exception. As Dean Saranillio notes, for example, Filipinos and other Asian settler groups are fed illusions that Hawai‘i, because it is portrayed as “America,” offers escape from the poverty caused by U.S. imperialism. Yet as Native Hawaiians have argued, Hawai‘i is not America. Hawai‘i is under colonial occupation by the United States.2

Indeed, Hawai‘i (perhaps the most popularized image of the Western Polynesian project) is widely accepted as, and even dreamt of as “America,” making its actual settler colonial occupation by the United States invisible. More broadly speaking, even Polynesia as a project is not rooted to the actual islands of Polynesia, but travels widely—in Glissant’s case, to Martinique, where the image of paradise concocted to colonize large parts of the Pacific are put to further use in colonizing the Caribbean. “Martinique is not a Polynesian island,” Glissant must clarify in the opening pages of Caribbean Discourse.3 Yet, as this essay attempts to show, in certain, significant ways neither are Polynesian islands really Polynesian islands in the way that the world has been led to believe. As I discuss in this chapter, as a Western project often best articulated in romantic touristic tropes, Polynesia’s origins can be traced to the imaginations of European imperialists, conveniently (for the colonists) dividing the “almost White,” friendly Polynesians from the decidedly more savage and hostile “Black” Melanesians.4 Thus, the project of Polynesia (writ large though 21

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22 Chapter 1

certainly with local articulations) is decidedly what Michael Omi and Howard Winant would call a “racial project,” which they define as “simultaneously an interpretation, representation, or explanation of racial dynamics, and an effort to reorganize resources along particular racial lines.”5 Although the United States has structured this project, especially since the late nineteenth century, in the many sites it occupies—including much of Hawai‘i, Guam, American Samoa, and elsewhere—it draws on a much older genealogy of European racial thinking important not to overlook. At times, racial categories from the continental United States have been imposed on its Pacific colonies. For example, Queen Lili‘uokalani was notoriously depicted in U.S. cartoons of the 1890s as a mashup of a barbaric Native American (complete with feathers in her hair) and a Black minstrel in order to discredit her power and the credibility of the Hawaiian Kingdom in the push to incorporate Hawai‘i into the United States by overthrow and then annexation.6 However, these more explicitly racist depictions furthered rather than contradicted the idea that Hawai‘i itself (like Polynesia more broadly) was a naturally White possession, which White Americans were rescuing from degenerate Native Hawaiians. Racial projects are always also gendered and sexualized, as Priya Kandaswamy has argued, alongside many Native, Black, and other feminists of color, and again, Polynesia is no exception.7 The image of the scantily clad, light-skinned, welcoming hula girl is a familiar contemporary representation of Polynesia, which also has a long history rooted in the earliest sexualized descriptions of Polynesian women by Western explorers.8 This hula girl image is often deployed to erase or contain the hypermasculinized Western images of Indigenous savages and cannibals in Oceania. Kandaswamy notes that “representations of gender work to signify and constitute racial categories, or in Omi and Winant’s words, that gender itself operates as a racial project.”9 She describes gender as a racial project in the representation of the “welfare queen,” which is often marked in explicitly gendered terms but more implicit racial ones. Similarly, as this essay attempts to show, the Western, racial project of Polynesia has often been more explicitly articulated in gendered terms, allowing the racial dynamics of naturalizing Whiteness and anti-Blackness in Polynesia to remain implicit, and often uninterrogated. Like many Indigenous people, Polynesians are often caught between representations of themselves as either almost-White noble savages who signify humanity in its most natural, innocent state, or as Black cannibals who are irredeemable and not human. However, the idea that Polynesia is almost White but Melanesia is absolutely Black has established a hierarchy that Polynesians themselves at times valorize, insisting that, unlike Melanesians, traditionally Polynesians had great civilizations and kingdoms. This Western project has never been a totality, nor has it negated the fact that peoples from across the areas deemed Polynesia, Melanesia, and Micronesia have long made meaningful connections through their shared identities and

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Arvin  23

genealogies (long before Western imperialism and colonialism, in fact).10 Yet the image of Polynesia as a place of respite for the White (implicitly male) visitor, and indeed as a place where Whiteness is natural and even native, has been central to the enduring structure of settler colonialism for many peoples of Polynesia. Countless Hollywood movies deploy this trope, from 1920s films such as White Shadows in the South Seas (1928) to Cameron Crowe’s Aloha (2015), about the redemption of a White male military contractor through a romance with a mixed-race Native Hawaiian woman played by a White actress.11 As a Native Hawaiian scholar, I find Glissant’s provocations about projects and place useful in revealing the Western framings of Oceania that have at times been naturalized even for peoples indigenous to Polynesia. Thinking of Polynesia as a project might particularly help us think through how our own Indigenous Pacific Islander communities are divided. As historically articulated, the Western racial divisions imposed between Polynesians, Melanesians, and Micronesians have had a lasting impact. Alice Te Punga Somerville’s important book Once Were Pacific examines these divisions as evident in a variety of historical and contemporary sources. Noting, for example, the tendency of some Polynesians to disdain Indigenous people from Papua New Guinea as cannibals and as more primitive and savage, Somerville argues that “For Māori to be Pacific, then, we first need to rethink our exposure to, and participation in, years of racism that has been directed towards Indigenous people from around the Pacific.”12 However, she also points to many ways that Māori and Pasifika alliances have attempted to overcome this racism and develop identities that transgress and reshape the traditional Polynesian, Melanesian, and Micronesian boundaries. This essay attempts to follow the spirit of Somerville’s call to engage the disjunctures by examining the haunting legacies of the Western social scientific construction of the Polynesian race as almost White. As a contribution to a volume about reframing race in Hawai‘i, it suggests that serious engagement of race in Hawai‘i must confront and challenge the Western construction of the Polynesian race as almost White. By centering the selective, settler colonial imposition of Whiteness to Polynesians and, by extension, Native Hawaiians, we can better interrogate not only why certain racial and ethnic groups get left out of dominant understandings of Hawai‘i (including African Americans and Latina/os, or Native Hawaiians among certain Asian American plantation histories), but also and more fundamentally why studies of race and ethnicity in Hawai‘i have rarely engaged issues of Whiteness and anti-Blackness. The multiple historical and contemporary ways in which Native Hawaiians, as almost White Polynesians, and Asian Americans as model minorities, have been understood in close proximity to Whiteness deserves to be interrogated as ideologies that prop up the image of Hawai‘i as an idyllic, and uniquely American, racial melting pot.13 Such an image does damage to the realities of the force of White supremacy in the lives of Native Hawaiians, Asian Americans, Micronesian and

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24 Chapter 1

other Pacific Islander immigrants, Black, Latina/os, and many other communities in Hawai‘i, if in drastically uneven ways. This essay demonstrates such broad impacts of what I call the logic of possession through Whiteness as a central form of racial and gendered power within the Western, settler colonial project of Polynesia. I begin by elaborating on the social scientific history of constructions of Polynesians as almost White. I then put this scientific history in conversation with contemporary popular representations of Polynesia as a Western project, namely in the recent Hollywood movie Cloud Atlas (2012, directed by Tom Tykwer, Lana Wachowski, and Andy Wachowski), and the film’s antecedent, the 2004 novel Cloud Atlas, by David Mitchell. My analysis of the representations of the Pacific, Pacific Islanders, and Asians in this film and novel allows me to tease out how Pacific Islanders and Asian Americans are placed in varying proximities to Whiteness and Blackness-savagery within the structure of settler colonialism. I conclude with examples from the writing of Micronesian poet Kathy Jetnil-Kijiner to think about how Hawai‘i, as well as Polynesia more broadly, can divest from the idea of Polynesians as almost White, and reframe Oceania as a project oriented by Indigenous Pacific epistemologies. Studies of race and ethnicity in Hawai‘i have often lacked a thorough recognition of the enduring (not merely historic) structure of settler colonialism in Hawai‘i. This has resulted in poor understandings of the ways that race and White supremacy, which are articulated with settler colonialism, affect everyone living in Hawai‘i. In my understanding, settler colonialism is a structure of dominance particularly set on the exploitation of land.14 Its power usually operates through the economic (the turning of land and natural resources into profit), the juridical (the imposition of the legal-political apparatus of a settler nation-state, rather than an indigenous form of governance), and ideological or symbolic means (culturally and morally defined ways of being and knowing resulting from European post-Enlightenment thought, defining humanity in the image of a European male). Settler colonialism in its various contexts is articulated in different ways than the overlapping structure of White supremacy, which shapes a society such that White people have the most power and are assumed to be the norm. White supremacy is inherently anti-Black, which means that Black people (and at times those in proximity to Black people) are deemed less than human and exposed to premature death.15 In some cases, Indigenous peoples are also widely understood as Black, such as in Australia, where anti-Blackness and anti-Indigenous policies and sentiments are tightly interwoven and directed at aboriginal Australians.16 In other cases, for example with Native Hawaiians, Indigenous people may not be considered Black necessarily (and can at times themselves participate in anti-Black sentiment) but they can always be subject to similar types of policing and violence (e.g., homelessness, violence against the homeless, and high rates

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of incarceration).17 This violence against Native Hawaiians does not substantially disrupt the ideal of the almost-White Polynesian, but in fact upholds it, furthering the sense that the real, noble, almost-White Native Hawaiian race has largely died out, and the remaining Native Hawaiians are degenerates who can be treated with impunity. Although settler colonialism as a political and theoretical construct examines how Indigenous peoples continue to exist under conditions of land dispossession and genocide in settler colonial nations including the United States, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, settler colonialism does not affect only Indigenous peoples. For example, Eve Tuck and Wayne Yang have theorized settler colonialism as a kind of triad relationship of settlers, Indigenous peoples, and chattel slaves.18 Similarly, as theories such as Asian settler colonialism seek to illuminate, settler colonialism affects not only Native Hawaiians in Hawai‘i.19 It affects and implicates everyone. The Science of Polynesian Almost Whiteness The logic of the Polynesian race as almost White was first constructed in European and American scientific studies of the Pacific dating from the early 1800s. As I have written elsewhere, within this logic the Polynesian race, which White ethnologists from the nineteenth century posited as an ancestral relative to the Aryan race, is almost extinct, not from the ravages of colonialism but from the natural decline of a once great civilization.20 This attribution of almost Whiteness was (and continues to be) very flexible. Though it would seem to contradict with also pervasive and more overtly racist ideologies about Polynesians as cannibals and savages, in fact, notions about Polynesians’ close proximity to Whiteness complemented such ideologies. Like ancient Greeks or Egyptians, Polynesians used to be (culturally and biologically) White in the distant past, even if this supposed Whiteness was no longer abundantly evident in contemporary Polynesian peoples.21 As with the larger field of Aryanism in the late nineteenth century, ethnologists relied heavily on comparative philology and linguistics, arguing that Polynesians were Aryan based on the similarity of Polynesian languages to Sanskrit. For example, ethnologist Abraham Fornander, who published his well-known three-volume An Account of the Polynesian Race from 1878 to 1885, wrote that Polynesians were descendants of the noble “Arian” [sic] race. Thus, Polynesians were “heirlooms of the past,” even if those distant purer, better ways of living were now “hardly intelligible to the present Hawaiians.”22 In another example, Edward Tregear, who published The Aryan Maori in 1885, similarly argued that the Māori of New Zealand were descendants of the Aryan race from India, and had merely branched off to the southeast rather than west to Europe. Tregear therefore narrated the British settlement

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of New Zealand as a family reunion of different branches of the Aryan race (i.e., the British and the Māori), concluding that in New Zealand “the Aryan of the West greets the Aryan of the Eastern Seas.”23 By writing the Māori, like Indians, alongside the British into one Aryan family, Treagar was able to, in Tony Ballantyne’s words, “erase the conflict and violence of colonialism to imagine British imperialism in India and Pakeha power in New Zealand as reunions of long-lost Aryan siblings.”24 Thus, the claim of being in one racial family did not extend equality to or prevent violence against the colonized but silently authorized White European power over their “long-lost Aryan siblings.” The scientific “proof ” of Polynesians’ ancestral Whiteness, provided by volumes such as those of Fornander and others, including ethnologist John Dunmore Lang and physical anthropologist Louis Robert Sullivan, thus provided a structuring logic to settler colonialism in Polynesia.25 White settlers could feel at home in Polynesia because, after all, scientific studies had proven that Whiteness was indigenous to Polynesia. This was in stark contrast to Western ideas about Melanesia (melas, meaning “black” in Greek), which ethnologists often characterized as more hostile to White settlers, and ultimately as unsuitable for settlement.26 White settlers who came to Hawai‘i, in particular, could explain their missionary or capitalist work as being at least in part to regenerate Polynesian Whiteness and civilization, whether through religious conversion, encouraging Native Hawaiians to properly work the land, or “racial mixing.” Through all such settler projects in the late nineteenth century, Polynesians supposedly were (or should have been) returning to their ancestral state of Whiteness. Thus ideologically Polynesian lands and identities were apparently evacuating and becoming open for the taking by White settlers who seem only to be reclaiming and renewing the glories of degenerated Polynesian civilizations. Whiteness in conjunction with Polynesian-ness, in my usage and in the usage of nineteenth- and early twentieth-century social scientists, is not reducible to a set of phenotypes or group identity label. Whiteness, as many scholars remind us, must be understood as a historically and geographically specific concept.27 Yet, it is nonetheless possible to track in the many variations and transformations of Whiteness what Cheryl Harris calls a “conceptual nucleus.”28 In settler colonial contexts, after Rey Chow’s description, Whiteness is an “ascendant” ideology, folding peoples into it, encouraging peoples to identify with the power-knowledge of Whiteness even when they are individually excluded from identifying as White.29 Aileen Moreton-Robinson has further argued that settler nation-states are fundamentally conceived of as White possessions, White people holding the only rights to possess land and resources in such nations.30 She argues persuasively: “White supremacy as hegemony, ideology, epistemology, and ontology requires the possession of Indigenous lands as its proprietary anchor within capitalist economies such as the United States.”31

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As Denise Ferreira da Silva argues, the “racial type” of nineteenth- and early twentieth-century social science was an effective strategy of engulfment— that power-knowledge that “swallows, (trans)forms, without destroying”—not despite the fact that “racial type” described an abstract ideal rather than an existing “race” but because of it.32 In other words, few if any Native Hawaiians or Polynesians would actually be able to secure the privileges of Whiteness through embodying the almost-White Polynesian type. Even those who were interpolated as almost White would become exotic, feminized possessions of Whiteness rather than gaining a secure power to possess Whiteness or identify as White themselves. Indeed, it was precisely the slight slip of representation—the almost White but not quite—that the apparatuses of settler colonialism would point to to explain its apparently beneficent task: to help Polynesians realize their latent, deferred (but on the cusp), future Whiteness. My thinking about possession through Whiteness in the Pacific context has developed through an engagement with other articulations of settler colonialism and White supremacy in the United States. For example, scholar Andrea Smith suggests in the U.S. context that “we may wish to rearticulate our understanding of white supremacy by not assuming that it is enacted in a singular fashion; rather white supremacy is constituted by separate and distinct, but still interrelated logics.” She defines the three primary logics of White supremacy as “(1) slaveability/anti-Black racism, which anchors capitalism; (2) genocide, which anchors colonialism; and (3) orientalism, which anchors war.” The refocusing on logics helps denaturalize the conventional categories of race because “the people that may be entangled in these logics may shift through time and space,” thereby allowing us to account for different impacts of these logics among racial groups traditionally viewed as monolithic (such as Asian American or Latino). Further, Smith notes that the shift to logics may help illuminate how “Peoples may be implicated in more than one logic simultaneously, such as people who are Black and Indigenous.”33 Smith’s “logics of white supremacy” help her explain the complexities of race and colonialism especially in relation to peoples who are placed in proximity to Whiteness. She notes, for example: “Andrew Jackson justified the removal of Cherokee peoples from their lands on the basis that they were now really ‘white,’ and hence not entitled to their lands.” Thus, “in the case of Indigenous peoples, it is the proximity to whiteness that allows them to disappear into white society.”34 This presumed assimilation of Native Americans into White society does not negate the force of the Black/White binary that also characterizes White supremacy, but actually reinforces it because the presumed assimilation is not only premised on Native Americans becoming White, but also on their not being or becoming Black. The specific forms of establishing Native Americans or Polynesians in proximity to Whiteness varies regionally and historically. However, it includes the establishment of blood quantum regulations that seek

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to reduce the number of “real” Indigenous people by tying Indigenous identity to Western notions of blood and authenticity, especially by understanding any kind of intermarriage with White or other races as diminishing Indigenous communities and identities. Cultural assimilation is another major mode deeming Indigenous peoples as White, because any sign of modernity is tied to Whiteness, and the spread of new technologies are often narrated as “gifts” that Indigenous people should be grateful for. The social scientific designations of Polynesians as almost White or ancestrally Aryan in the late nineteenth century shored up the Western belief that Polynesians could be assimilated to Whiteness, both culturally and through intermarriage with White settlers. All of these modes of placing Polynesians in proximity to Whiteness in the late nineteenth century were not premised on what individual Polynesians actually looked like (i.e., if their features and skin color could pass as White). Rather, the proximity to and possession through Whiteness was a structural idea and process, reinforced by both scientific knowledge and settler nation-state’s policymaking (such as blood quantum). As Aileen Moreton-Robinson has argued, it is important to see settler possession of indigeneity through Whiteness as an oft-overlooked foundation of the legal protection of “whiteness as property,” as formulated by Cheryl Harris.35 Moreton-Robinson notes that “white possession is a discursive predisposition servicing the conditions, practices, implications, and racialized discourses that are embedded within and central to white first world patriarchal nation-states.”36 Moreton-Robinson’s analysis dovetails with Cheryl Harris’s argument that the privileges of Whiteness have historically been constructed as a kind of privilege-laden property that White people own and that the law acts to defend. Harris points out that White people are able to control Whiteness as property but Indigenous peoples or Black people who can at times “pass” as White have no equivalent control over their own identity.37 Describing her grandmother’s work in an all-White office environment, Harris illustrates that certain Black people at certain times can perform Whiteness, through passing or more accurately, “trespassing,” but that they cannot own it permanently. Performing Whiteness requires sacrifice and, indeed, accepting the daily “risk of self-annihilation.”38 There is no guaranteed future in performing Whiteness this way because those who pass do not have “continued control” over Whiteness as an object. Indigenous peoples also at times trespass on the property of Whiteness in similarly damaging ways. But because indigeneity, as a natural claim to a place, is desirable within a settler colonial context (in contrast to Blackness), White people also routinely attempt to “pass” as Indigenous. Within the structure of settler colonialism, this type of passing is far from risky—rather than “selfannihilation,” possessing indigeneity is in fact a form of self-actualization for White settlers. This possession of indigeneity allows settlers to, seemingly naturally, possess Indigenous land, identity, and other cultural or natural resources of

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a settler-colonized place. Settlers possessing indigeneity requires that Indigenous peoples, in turn, be possessed through Whiteness. Overall, then, we can view the possession through Whiteness of Indigenous peoples as a central strategy of power-knowledge within settler colonial societies, which is often accompanied by and reinforces a strategy of the enslavement and commodification of Black or other bodies. A Māori View on Polynesian Origins Polynesian peoples are a diverse grouping indeed, encompassing Māori, Tongans, Samoans, Tahitians, Tuvaluans, Tokelauans, Marquesans, Mangarevans, Native Hawaiians, and the people of Rapa Nui, among many others. They have historically responded to, and continue to respond to, the idea that Polynesians are almost White in a variety of ways, at times rejecting and at other times appropriating this idea.39 For example, though the historical and scientific record in English privileges certain viewpoints, we do see that Polynesians at times advocated for the understanding of the Polynesian race as White-like, or at least as not Black or Asian. Famed Māori scholar Te Rangihiroa (also known as Peter Henry Buck), for example, directly engaged and wrote in conversation with other social scientists of the early twentieth century addressing the socalled Polynesian Problem, a nickname given to Western scientific studies about Polynesian race and ancestral origins. Like much of the Polynesian Problem literature of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, Te Rangihiroa seems to have subscribed to the idea that Polynesians did not have a common ancestry with Melanesians, who were of Negroid stock. Rather, in his book Vikings of the Sunrise, Te Rangihiroa argued that As a result of the studies made on the living in all parts of Polynesia, it is evident that the master mariners of the Pacific must be Europoid for they are not characterized by the woolly hair, black skins, and thin lower legs of the Negroids nor by the flat face, short stature, and drooping inner eyefold of the Mongoloids.40

Admitting that recent “intermixture” between “Mongoloids in Indonesia” and Polynesians, and even between Melanesians and Polynesians, was likely, Te Rangihiroa nonetheless maintained that the true Polynesians, those “vikings of the Pacific” who “had the ability and courage to penetrate into the hitherto untraversed seaways of the central and eastern Pacific” were a “tall, athletic people without woolly hair or a Mongoloid eyefold.”41 We must understand Te Rangihiroa’s subscription to the main tenets of the Polynesian Problem literature as deeply complicated, as his position in relation to the Polynesian Problem studies was very different from the positions of his White ethnologist colleagues. This is clear in many of the anecdotes he shares

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in Vikings of the Sunrise, as he travels for ethnological research around Polynesia and his interlocutors respond to, recognize, and embrace him as Polynesian (in contrast to the other White researchers). So too, in various stories he tells in the book, it seems that Te Rangihiroa’s deep reverence and feeling for Polynesian mythologies and genealogies was often misunderstood or not shared by his follow ethnologists. For example, Te Rangihiroa mentions that during his time as a representative in the New Zealand Parliament, he was asked to speak in support of a daylight savings bill. Accordingly, he spoke of how “the first practical Daylight Savings Bill in the Pacific had been introduced by the Polynesian demigod Maui.” The response among the Parliament was, “curiously enough,” Te Rangihiroa notes, an interest in “what they seemed to regard as a humorous contribution to a dry debate.” He concludes, “I have never confessed until now how really serious I felt at the time.”42 Certainly, the question of Polynesian (almost) Whiteness would be a much more serious and practical matter to Te Rangihiroa than to his White colleagues, as is evident in Te Rangihiroa’s denied application for U.S. citizenship. Alice Te Punga Somerville notes that in the late 1930s, Te Rangihiroa “applied for US citizenship as a gesture of gratitude for the professional opportunities that country had extended to him”—including teaching at Yale University and the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa, and the directorship of Bishop Museum in Honolulu from 1936 to 1951. However, his citizenship application was denied, because, as he explained in a letter, in his own words, “I could not become an American citizen under the . . . law for an applicant has to be over 50% Caucasian. The Polynesians are classed as Orientals in spite of anthropological evidence of their Caucasian origin so I could only show 50%.” (His father was Irish and his mother Māori.) This ruling was never reversed despite a resolution in support of his citizenship application from the Hawai‘i Territorial Legislature, which Somerville shows also insisted on Polynesians’ Caucasian origins.43 Te Rangihiroa’s case demonstrates indeed that being affiliated with Whiteness nonetheless never offered Polynesian peoples any secure, definite access to the rights of Whiteness, even for an expert in Polynesian racial origins. The racial indeterminacy of Polynesian Whiteness would remain a “problem” for Polynesian peoples themselves, whereas for U.S. law and popular culture, Polynesian proximities to Whiteness would authorize White ownership of Polynesia. Cloud Atlas and the Popular Investment in Polynesian Whiteness Although nineteenth- and early twentieth-century social scientific claims of Polynesian almost Whiteness may seem obviously outdated and easily debunked to those who read it today, the ideal of Polynesian Whiteness is still abundantly evident in popular culture. For indeed, U.S. policy and popular culture alike

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seem preoccupied with the Pacific these days. As part of the former Obama administration’s military strategy of the Asia Pacific pivot, the Pacific is being posed as a new stage of U.S. power, a stage that selectively recalls the successes of World War II and encourages the public to forget the recent failures and unpopularity of wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. For example, Obama noted in a 2011 address to the Australian Parliament that “Our enduring interests in the region demand our enduring presence in this region. The United States is a Pacific power, and we are here to stay.”44 Recent movies, including Pacific Rim and Cloud Atlas, replay many of the tropes of other patriotic, military stories. For example, the 2001 Michael Bay film Pearl Harbor depicts the Pacific as an idyllic, tropical battleground in which the United States valiantly battles the Oriental Other to protect its own freedom. At the same time, the White military heroes of these narratives find true love in the Pacific. As many have reminded us, including Vernadette Vicuña Gonzalez in her recent book Securing Paradise, there is little idyllic or innocent about the use of the feminized Pacific by the U.S. military. The history of the U.S. military presence in the Pacific long predates World War II and has long been a part of displacing and dispossessing Indigenous peoples. U.S. imperialism is fundamentally grounded in U.S. settler colonialism, even as the Pacific is overlooked as an actual place and considered merely a route between the continental United States and Asia.45 The Pacific pivot as announced by the Obama administration in 2015 has been promoted as a new military strategy, but we all know that the U.S. military presence in Hawai‘i, and its other strategically important bases in Guam, American Samoa, and the Marshall Islands, among other places, is far from new. The Pacific has been the “new frontier” since politicians and policymakers declared that westward expansion of the continental United States had been completed. In 1903, President Theodore Roosevelt announced, “The Mediterranean era died with the discovery of America; the Atlantic era is now at the height of its development and must soon exhaust the resources at its command; the Pacific era, destined to be the greatest of all, is just at its dawn.”46 Although those words were spoken more than a century ago, so little has this ideal changed that they could very well have been spoken by President Obama in 2015. I find Cloud Atlas a useful text to analyze some of the contemporary popular ideologies about the Pacific and Pacific Islanders. Cloud Atlas is a 2012 movie, directed by Tom Tykwer (of Run, Lola, Run), Andy Wachowski, and Lana Wachowski (of The Matrix). The film is based on the 2004 novel Cloud Atlas, written by David Mitchell.47 The movie clearly had epic, Oscar-winning aspirations, clocking in at nearly three hours long and starring many well-known Hollywood actors, including Tom Hanks, Susan Sarandon, Halle Berry, Hugo Weaving, and Hugh Grant, among others. Yet due to a labyrinthine plot linking six narratives and emphasizing that everything is connected, reviews were mixed at best. The movie had an estimated production budget of $102 million,

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but grossed little more than $27 million in the United States.48 The Pacific Ocean, and the people who inhabit or cross its islands and edges, are central to Cloud Atlas in both mediums. Of six interweaving narratives in both the book and the movie, two are set directly in the Pacific Islands (a vague and general designation, the film literally denotes the setting as simply the Pacific Islands). Two other narratives are situated on the Pacific Rim, namely in San Francisco and “Neo-Seoul,” a post-apocalyptic South Korean metropolis. Both the book and the movie lay bare many of the ways that the Pacific continues to be possessed through Whiteness today. A particular source of controversy surrounding Cloud Atlas the movie was the directors’ decision to make actors play multiple roles in the six stories, resulting in several instances of Yellow Face, as White actors’ faces were done up to fit into a futuristic, totalitarian Neo-Seoul.49 Although the Yellow Face (and Whitening of Black and Asian actresses in certain roles) is certainly disturbing, more deserves to be said about the overall plot’s investment in the transcendence of race and the use of the Pacific and Pacific Islanders to achieve that transcendence. I find that a close reading of the two Pacific Islands stories and the NeoSeoul story discussed in the next section of this essay, is particularly useful in thinking through settler colonialism and Orientalism in the Pacific. The opening story of Cloud Atlas is “The Pacific Journal of Adam Ewing.” In the book, Melvillian character Adam Ewing (played by British actor Jim Sturgess in the film) travels from Rehoku, or the Chatham Islands (east of New Zealand), where he has a formative experience witnessing Māori-on-Moriori slavery. The Moriori are the Indigenous people of Rehoku, who in some accounts were colonized by the Māori from nearby New Zealand. Perhaps realizing that populating real, colonized places with well-worn stories about savages and slaves could offend (or perhaps more simply betting that their audience would not be able to or care to distinguish between any Pacific Island), in the movie the location of both these narratives is glossed vaguely as Pacific Islands. So too do the Māori slavers and Moriori slaves go unidentified as such in the movie. In their place appear the echoes of a more familiar image of oppression for Hollywood: the historic slavery of Africans in the U.S. South. The movie shows the White protagonist Adam Ewing being transfixed by the stare of a slave, played by British actor David Gyasi, being beaten by an overseer. The staging of this scene is identical to other violent and at times gratuitous scenes depicting slavery in the early to mid-nineteenth century in the U.S. South, familiar in Oscar-winning films like 12 Years a Slave: a slave master beats a slave mercilessly, encircled by an audience of other slaves looking helplessly on. The only effort the film makes to distinguish this scene is to show extensive Polynesian-styled tattoos on the beaten slave, and by emphasizing that the slave master in this scene is also dark skinned and presumed to be of the same race as the slave he is beating. Ewing later discovers this same tortured slave, Autua, as a stowaway on his ship,

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declares him the “Last Free Moriori,” and becomes his advocate. Accordingly, Ewing’s journey home to San Francisco becomes a story of his reinvention of himself from a notary servant of rich colonists to an abolitionist. At first viewing, I marveled at the ease with which the movie uses an image culled from Hollywood depictions of the African slave trade to portray Pacific oppression (and, not incidentally, the use of Black British and African American actors to fill Pacific Islander roles—for instance, in this narrative Halle Barry plays a nameless, enslaved “Native Woman”). I initially understood this as a failure of Hollywood to conceive or imagine what the violence of the colonization of the Pacific Islands looked like; they substituted African slavery because it was a clear and familiar evil, and would make immediately and painfully clear that the exploitation of Indigenous Pacific Islanders was evil too. The Pacific does have its own extensive history of slavery in the guise of so-called blackbirding, where primarily Melanesians were enslaved to work in Australia, Fiji, and other locations in the late 1800s and early 1900s.50 It is troubling that, rather than engage specific histories of blackbirding and colonialism in various contexts across the Pacific, the directors felt confident in turning to African slavery as a convenient metaphor for all oppression (rather than its own specific structure, which continues to have specific legacies for African Americans today). The original story as told in the book deepened my initial misgivings with these scenes in the movie even further. The story in the book is of a Polynesian race, the Māori, who enslave another, naively pacifist Polynesian race, the Moriori of the Chatham Islands. Thus, where African slavery is used as a convenient visual metaphor of oppression, Polynesian people are used (in the book and the movie) as metaphors of the human condition—of a timeless struggle between good and evil. Significantly, in focusing on Māori-Moriori conflict, the story of violence in the Pacific is largely between Polynesians rather than by outside colonizers. Notable, too, is the absence of any substantial female characters in this episode of the book and movie, which allows this story to sidestep and erase any issues of sexual exploitation and violence against women, which was and continues to be central to settler colonialism in the Pacific.51 And despite a nascent indictment of European and American colonialism in the Pacific in the presence of unscrupulous White doctors and ship captains, neither the book nor the movie really understand the colonization of the Pacific by Europeans and Americans to be a major problem. Rather, the story is really about the curious existence of Moriori slavery at the hands of the Māori in the early nineteenth century. Māori are capable of enslaving their fellow man just as much as White Southern plantation owners were capable of enslaving Africans. This analogy, which “Whitens” the Māori, is part of the broader Cloud Atlas lesson, which hinges on a universalist sense that all humans have the power to do good or do evil, and that individuals must choose good even in the face of insurmountable odds. Autua chooses to escape slavery and Adam Ewing chooses to become an

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abolitionist of all forms of slavery (though it seems unlikely that he will ever again be in a position to intervene in the specific Māori-Moriori slavery that sparked his conversion). In telling such a simplistic story, all things become relative in the book and movie, and the evil impulses of (White or Black) slavers and (White or Black) savages become merely a characteristic of a universal human nature, rather than the historically specific products of settler colonialism and racial capitalism. In this respect, it is startling how closely Cloud Atlas echoes the narratives told by early twentieth-century social science about Pacific Islanders. In fact, the Moriori made up a special subsection of the Polynesian Problem literature, both because debate was extensive about whether Rehoku or Aotearoa had been settled first, and because, in their relative isolation, the Moriori seemed to early twentieth-century social scientists to be their absolute ideal of the civil (if not exactly civilized yet) Polynesian type. Writing for the Polynesian Society of New Zealand, Alexander Shand noted in 1911 that The Morioris do not appear to have had the same amount of energy or vivacity as the Maoris, nor were they an aggressive or war-like people. . . . All fighting . . . had been forbidden, and had ceased since the days of their ancestor Nunuku, shortly after their arrival in the island about 27 generations ago . . . It was ordered by Nunuku that man-slaying and man-eating should cease for ever . . . and that in all quarrels the first abrasion of the skin, or blow on the head or other part causing any blood to flow, was to be considered sufficient and the fight—so-called—was to cease . . . their general life was a very peaceable one.52

Michael King’s book A Land Apart: The Chatham Islands of New Zealand, published in 1990, which is the book that David Mitchell cites in Cloud Atlas as the “definitive work on the Moriori,” similarly holds Moriori up as the exemplary kind of Polynesian.53 In describing a counterpart of sorts to Cloud Atlas’s Autua, King relates the story of the “last Moriori”: Tommy Solomon, whom ethnologists declared the last “genetically pure” Moriori. King quotes ethnologist Henry Skinner’s 1919 description of Tommy Solomon: Solomon is of medium height, deep chested and stout . . . He has a brown complexion, black eyes, a well-shaped straight nose, good teeth and straight black hair. He appears to be in every respect a typical Polynesian, more so, in my opinion, than the average Taranaki Maori, and might easily be figured as a native of Tonga or Tahiti. He is very intelligent, speaks excellent English, and is a member of the local school committee. He lives in a well-built house of modern design, and farms his own land.54

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Overall, these ethnographic accounts of Moriori and Tommy Solomon fit perfectly with other writing about Polynesians at this time. Louis Sullivan, a physical anthropologist who came to work at Bishop Museum in 1921 in service of producing exhibits for a planned “Polynesian Hall” in the American Museum of Natural History in New York City, concluded that two Polynesian types existed.55 He described them as the “Polynesians of Polynesia” and the “Indonesians of Polynesia.”56 The Indonesian type was a “brown skinned type,” “a primitive Mongoloid.” The Polynesian type corresponded to a “tall, shortheaded, straight-haired type.” Sullivan’s creation of two types of Polynesian replicated social scientific distinctions between Black Melanesians and Brown or almost-White Polynesians within the Polynesian race. He made these distinctions through comparisons of physical measurements of subjects’ heads and other features. The recognition did not make the Polynesian and Melanesian categories irrelevant but conveniently allowed for the diversity of physical and moral characteristics within the Polynesian race while seeming to objectively prove the existence of the storied White Polynesian. Nearly a century later, Cloud Atlas breathes life into Sullivan’s two Polynesian types in the Adam Ewing story’s depiction of aggressive, enslaving Māori and the tragically pacifist Moriori and also in the story of Zachry (a character played by Tom Hanks), set on a future Big Island inhabited by simple, kind Valley folk and roaming, cannibalistic bandits named the Kona. In the movie, the Valley people mumble an eccentric version of Hawaiian pidgin. They are made up with facial and body tattoos, but these tattoos are less stark: they are done in graying lines that seem to be fading rather than crisp black lines of the Polynesians in the earlier Pacific story and the bright war paint of the Kona. The faded facial tattoos thereby reference Polynesian tattooing (though no Polynesian tattooist living today would author such creations) but also Polynesian degeneration, which the story sees overall as a good thing. The Valley people are pure, preyed upon by the Kona, but live quietly and simply— in contrast to the other characters and civilizations in the other narratives, whose greed leads to their downfalls. Here we do not see the familiar image of the sexualized Polynesian hula girl, but instead, a related familiar image: the innocent White (Polynesian) girl whom Tom Hanks must save from the savage Kona. In the book and the movie, the Valley people are White. Neither text offers an explanation for how Polynesians switched from being equivalent to African slaves in the Adam Ewing story to being White enough to be visually contrasted with Halle Barry, who plays Meronym, a woman from the Prescients, a technologically advanced people who occasionally visit the Big Island on space ships. Overall, Polynesians are used in Cloud Atlas to write universal truths about humanity, but only because they have long been understood as a people who are transcending their Polynesian race and becoming almost White. More

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generally too, U.S. viewers have little to no familiarity with Pacific Islanders or Polynesians, which makes the racial switching easy to accept. Yet, Polynesians as a race are uniquely capable, in the ideologies of Western science and popular culture, of moving so quickly from Black to White, from savage to civilized. Any other race would not have worked for the plot quite as well, because no other race has been constructed as originally mixed, having Aryan ancestral origins in Asia. As scholar Ralina Joseph writes, multiraciality is often associated with progress: “the mixed-race person functions as a bridge between estranged communities, a healing facilitator of an imagined racial utopia, even the embodiment of that utopia.” However, to achieve that utopia, Blackness “is presented as an internal, secret attribute of the multiracial individual, something to be struggled with or repressed in private,” or indeed, transcended.57 Essentially, the Polynesian Problem is a story in which White settlers help Polynesians transcend the Blackness of their Melanesian neighbors. Cloud Atlas is the Polynesian Problem restaged as popular and literary entertainment. Through its casting of the same actors as various characters made into different races, Cloud Atlas paints a picture of postracial (and perhaps even ­preracial) universality, in which all people are good and bad but can evolve, through eternal recurrence and reincarnation, and transcend the conditions of their particular histories and societies. It is an indication of how naturalized settler colonialism in the Pacific continues to be today that Polynesians can be used as the foundation of that transcendence, without any hint of how problematic that is in criticism about the storyline (in contrast to the also important concerns expressed about Yellow Face). As I argue elsewhere, contemporary ideologies that uncritically applaud racial melting pots, especially as attached to U.S. representations of Hawai‘i as an exceptionally racially mixed and racially tolerant society, erase the historical and ongoing racial violence of settler colonialism and White supremacy.58 Racial mixing did not prevent violence against Indigenous people in Polynesia; in fact, both the practices and discourses about racial mixing furthered the goals of settler colonialism by seeming to erase explicit forms of racism while in fact dispossessing Indigenous people of land and resources and consolidating White settler power. Thus, in the context of Hawai‘i in particular, but relevant to all Hollywood depictions of tropical Pacific Islands, narratives of racial transcendence are inextricably linked to the logic of possession through Whiteness, as it is this logic that allows White settlers to steal the resources and identities of the Polynesian race while insisting that White settlers and Polynesians are really the same (Aryan) race. Settler Colonialism Meets Techno-Orientalism on the Pacific Rim In addition to those about Polynesians transcending race (in my analysis, being possessed by Whiteness), another troubling narrative in Cloud Atlas is the story

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of Sonmi, a female cyborg-slave played by Korean actress Doona Bae in a fastfood restaurant in Neo-Seoul. Her political awakening and escape, aided by an underground revolutionary network, leads her to become a prophetess and martyr for the cause of cyborg abolition. Although not set directly in the Pacific Islands, a key subplot links the stories: namely, Sonmi becomes a goddess that future Pacific Islanders worship. Thus, the Sonmi narrative’s inclusion in Cloud Atlas is suggestive of some of the ways that Orientalism and settler colonialism are embedded in each other and mutually constitutive. Considering the Asia Pacific pivot military strategy of the United States, the so-called Pacific Rim and the often-overlooked Pacific Islands are tightly enmeshed. At work in the Sonmi narrative is a familiar form of Orientalism often found in science fiction, what David Morley and Kevin Robins have termed techno-Orientalism.59 In their formulation, techno-Orientalism ties older forms of Orientalism, in which the East is an exotic and excluded Other from the West, to fears about Asia’s seeming technological, and increasingly economic, superiority.60 Where Morley and Robins relate techno-Orientalism to the rise of Japan in the 1980s and the overwhelming postmodern and decentered metropolis of Tokyo in movies such as Blade Runner, other scholars, including Aimee Bahng, have shown how techno-Orientalism continues to move and reemerge in places like Singapore, which markets itself as a future hub of finance, biotechnology, and engineering.61 Cloud Atlas locates the Sonmi story in a future South Korea but differs little from these other articulations of techno-Orientalism. In all articulations, the “future is technological,” and thus the future is Asian, “a future that seems to be transcending and displacing western modernity.” Morley and Robins note that “The association of technology and Japaneseness now serves to reinforce the image of a culture that is cold, impersonal and machine-like, an authoritarian culture lacking emotional connection to the rest of the world.”62 In line with such techno-Orientalism, Cloud Atlas places Sonmi as a nearly indistinguishable cog in a cold, machine-filled, authoritarian Orient. Sonmi’s realization of her true humanity—that she has emotions and deserves to live outside the indignities and sexual exploitation of the restaurant she is trapped in—leads her to become the figurehead and martyr of the cyborg and allied human revolution. This narrative then operates as a cautionary tale about the consequences of allying with a rising, authoritarian Asia instead of the original capitalists, the West, who are equally rapacious but, this story seems to indicate, fundamentally more caring and more human. Neo-Seoul is presented as a doomed enterprise that will never eliminate the true human spirit, which audiences will recognize as a uniquely individualistic American spirit. Though Sonmi is represented as a Korean cyborg, her femininity and the love story interwoven with her escape and martyrdom make her an appropriate sexual object of Western audiences, and her belief in democracy and freedom bestows upon her a kind of honorary Whiteness.

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The reemergence of Sonmi in the Pacific Islander story of Zachry uses the narrative of Western freedom as always triumphant over Oriental authoritarianism to further instruct audiences to view the Pacific as naturally aligned with the West rather than the East. Revealing a towering statue of Sonmi at the summit of a volcano on Zachry’s island, the movie suggests that Pacific Islanders were tricked into superstitiously believing that Sonmi was a goddess when she was really just a cyborg. When Halle Barry’s character Meronym explains this to Zachry, one possible implication is that his Pacific Islander people are mistaken for believing in an Oriental future, rather than a Western one. Sonmi’s true spirit, after all, was a Western one, which modern people may admire but do not worship in such a Native or Oriental fashion. In any case, Meronym highlights that the admiration for Sonmi among Zachry’s people should be for her Western traits of a strong belief in freedom and democracy. Considering the juxtaposition of Neo-Seoul against the future Big Island of Zachry’s narrative, we can also see the Pacific Islands as operating directly as an antidote to the overwhelming, post-apocalyptical metropolis of Asian countries. The Big Island is visually portrayed as empty of any markers of modern life, inhabited primarily by goat herders who live in shacks and the roaming savages who prey on the goat herders. Here again, the two types of Polynesian noted by Louis Sullivan, as discussed earlier, emerge to represent rustic but innocent Whiteness on the one hand, and barbaric savagery that must be eradicated in the name of that innocence on the other hand. Where Neo-Seoul is overwhelmingly disorienting, the Big Island is still pristine, even in the distant future when the rest of the world is destroyed. The Pacific is the place where the West survives the East; it is a safer, experimental Orient that reorients the hegemony of the West. In this story, settler colonialism is the salve of a failed imperial contest, as the successful settlement of the Pacific Islands will allow the West to rise again and last beyond the boom and busts of Asia. Thus, we must recognize that stories that are techno-Orientalist also often depend on naturalizing settler colonialism in the Pacific and present occupation of the welcoming feminine Pacific as a solution to threats from the technological advances of the Asian metropolis. More specifically, the presence of Sonmi as a Pacific Islander goddess also naturalizes the presence of Asians in the Pacific, rather than situating that presence as historical and political. Asian settler colonialism, a field of scholarship that has grown in recent years, attempts to reframe such naturalized Asian and Asian American relationships to land in Hawai‘i. Although Asian settler colonialism has existed as a concept since at least the 1990s, stemming from Haunani-Kay Trask’s insistence that Asian Americans in Hawai‘i are settlers rather than immigrants, the project has more recently coalesced with the 2008 publication of the volume Asian Settler Colonialism, edited by Candace Fujikane and fellow contributor to this volume Jonathan Okamura.63 The contributors to the volume identify themselves as Asian settler scholars who are committed to respectfully confronting the ways that Asian Americans living in Hawai‘i have

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long erased Native Hawaiian claims to land and sovereignty. In contrast to histories that laud the first generations of Japanese and Chinese plantation workers as the foundation for the contemporary Asian American middle class in Hawai‘i, these scholars seek to reposition themselves and their communities outside U.S. national frames and within a squarely settler colonial one.64 Although criticism of the term “Asian settler” has denounced the potential for lumping Asians and Asian Americans along with White settlers into a category starkly opposed to Native Hawaiians, the Asian settler scholars of the volume repeatedly position their critiques as ones that do not seek to reproach Asian Americans in Hawai‘i for their presence there but rather to challenge Asian affiliations with the American nation-state. In other words, Asian settler colonialism reminds everyone (to recall Edouard Glissant and Dean Saranillio’s words) that America is a project, not a place, not only in Hawai‘i but also in Alaska, the continent, and other outposts of American empire. What does recognizing America “as a project, not a place” mean for intervening into settler colonialism and possessive forms of Whiteness in the Pacific? For Asian settler colonialism, it means asking for Asian settlers to disavow the project, not the place, and for the place to be recognized as Hawai‘i nei, not America, and not a U.S. state. Here, I understand the discourse of Asian settler colonialism as one that dovetails with Victor Bascara’s theorizing of model minority imperialism. Bascara reminds us that critiques of the Asian American model minority stereotype are also critiques of U.S. imperialism. Rather than an effort to name and divide populations into settlers and indigenes, Asian settler colonialism is a critique of, as Bascara says, the use of “the success stories of Asian Americans” to erase both the conditions of empire that involved Asians in the racial-capitalist project of America and to mask the “new terms of empire” under the more recent names of multiculturalism and globalization.65 To be sure, Asian settler scholars are not interested in dishonoring “the struggles of their grandparents and great-grandparents, the early Asian settler laborers who demonstrated tremendous courage and resourcefulness,” only in reclaiming their stories within narratives that do not valorize the settler colonial project of America.66 In a similar vein, Asian American writer Dennis Kawaharada writes about the need for all residents of Hawai‘i to educate themselves about Hawaiian language and culture, rather than assume that the plantation experience and pidgin language that developed on the plantations reflects everyone’s experience. He points to the work of Native Hawaiian poet Dana Naone Hall to remind his readers that, for many Native Hawaiians, “identity is rooted not in the plantation experience, but in the mythic world of nature and ancestral gods,” where “Kānehekili / flashes in the sky / and Moanonuikalehua changes / from a beautiful woman / into a lehua tree / at the sound of the pahu.” Kawaharada further points out that resistance on the part of Asian American residents of Hawai‘i to learning more about Hawaiian culture and history often stems from “the hurt

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and rejection they feel when they discover they cannot become Hawaiian by moving here or living here, which they believe is their right as Americans, based on the cultural myth that a person is free to be anything he or she wants to be.”67 Kawaharada’s work points out though both Asians and Native Hawaiians were crucially part of the material to be “melted” in the American melting pot image of Hawai‘i, both would assimilate and effectively disappear into Whiteness. Rather than transferring the privileges and property of Whiteness to Asians and Native Hawaiians, this logic simply strengthened the structure of Whiteness and White supremacy, allowing White American settlers to be understood as the natural leaders and owners of Hawai‘i. Asian American proximity to Whiteness thus notably works similarly to Native Hawaiian proximity to Whiteness. The model minority myth, Bascara writes, trotted Asian Americans out as, in the language of Aiiieeee!, “miracle synthetic white people.”68 Not being able to assume that synthetic Whiteness in any secure, consistent way, however, puts Asian Americans in a similar if incommensurable position to Native Hawaiians in respect to Whiteness: each is engaged in the project of America by being possessed through Whiteness, but is not extended the possession of Whiteness. Divesting from the Project of Polynesian Whiteness My point in analyzing the racial project of Polynesia in the book and movie Cloud Atlas has not been to simply correct “false” images, but rather to show that such images have a long and enduring history and continue to do significant, ideological work for settler colonialism. As Kandaswamy points out, Omi and Winant’s idea of the racial project is powerful because it asks us to consider not only the “veracity” of racial stereotypes but also “the work they do to reiterate and rearticulate racialized social structures.”69 In the case of the project of making Polynesia almost White, those social structures are always articulated with settler colonialism as well. Because the idea of Polynesian almost Whiteness endures in a variety of arenas, I hope this essay will encourage not only consumers of such films and novels as Cloud Atlas, but everyone who is ever marketed a romantic idea of Hawai‘i or Polynesia to think carefully and cautiously about the ways that settler colonialism in the Pacific is, as Patrick Wolfe has put it so well, a structure, not an event.70 I am reminded daily that recognizing and divesting from this naturalized Western linkage between Whiteness and Polynesian-ness is important for both Polynesian peoples, including my own Native Hawaiian people, who struggle to be recognized as Indigenous in the face of a common sense that they are effectively (or should be) White and American, as well as other Oceanic peoples who are caught on the other side of the Polynesian-Melanesian divide and deemed Black. For example, Micronesian people living in Hawai‘i face daily discrimination from individuals and institutions. In the historical Western

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scientific literature, Micronesians (including peoples from Guam, the Marshall Islands, Palau, and Kiribati, among others) were at times included as a related subset of Polynesian peoples, and at other times placed in closer proximity to Melanesians.71 It seems in the contemporary moment, Micronesians in Hawai‘i are placed distinctly on the darker side of the Polynesian-Melanesian divide. A 2014 federal court decision declared that the state of Hawai‘i does not have to provide Medicaid to Micronesian residents, who are nonetheless allowed to live and work in the United States on the basis of the Compact of Free Association between the United States and Palau, the Federated States of Micronesia, and the Marshall Islands. This health-care denial is stunning in part because of the direct impacts the United States has had on Micronesians’ health; namely, decades of nuclear testing in the Marshall Islands devastated many islands and has caused cancer, reproductive deformities, and other health repercussions for Marshallese people.72 A number of recent stories have also documented blatant, anti-immigrant racism against Micronesians in Hawai‘i, from radio programs making jokes about radiation damage to Micronesians to graffiti on Micronesian stores declaring, “Return my tax dollars.” 73 Marshallese poet Kathy Jetnil-Kijiner responds powerfully to such racism in much of her work, including her spoken-word poem “Lessons from Hawai‘i” that parrots and critiques the things she hears daily about Micronesians in Hawai‘i, including “You’re actually kind of smart . . . for a Micronesian,” “You don’t look Micronesian. You’re much prettier,” and “Don’t they know? This isn’t their country, this is America,” “We should have just nuked their islands when we got the chance.” 74 Jetnil-Kijiner concludes her poem: When they tell us our people are small, when they give us a blank face, when they give us a closed door, when so many in Hawai‘i hate Micronesians, when so many in Hawai‘i hate us . . . lesson number 7, that’s how I learned, that’s how I learned, that’s how I learned to hate . . . me.

She further notes in an interview following the poem that she recognizes such racism from Hawaiians as stemming from “the government . . . pushing our communities against each other,” when it does not have to be that way: “I want to see us collaborate, I want to see us working together.” Like Alice Te Punga Somerville, Jetnil-Kijner points to the entrenched, racial, and gendered divisions between Pacific Islander communities and to the desire to overcome such divisions. Those divisions are a product of the Western project of possessing Polynesia through Whiteness, which in this example allows Native Hawaiians to be represented as more like White Americans than as foreign, and visibly different, Micronesians. Here we see that divesting from the historical and contemporary Western racial project of aligning Polynesia with Whiteness will require not only a reckoning of the ways Native Hawaiians

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continue to struggle against the U.S. occupation and against having their lands made into “America,” but also with the ways that Native Hawaiians and other Polynesians can, at times, invest in the idea of Polynesian almost Whiteness to promote our communities over other Oceanic communities, whose lands have also been subject to colonial and imperial projects by the United States, such as Micronesians in Hawai‘i. Encouraging steps have been made by various allied groups in speaking out against racism towards Micronesians in Hawai‘i. The Japanese American Citizens League–Honolulu Chapter produced a short documentary in 2013 to highlight the history of U.S. military testing and the health impacts on Micronesians that shape their needs in Hawai‘i.75 The documentary, titled “We Hold These Truths . . . The Case of Equality for Micronesians in Hawai‘i,” emphasizes the responsibility of Japanese Americans in Hawai‘i to speak out in support of Micronesians and to change the discourse around Micronesians as dirty, undeserving, and a drain on tax dollars because of their weighty medical conditions. This is a familiar, racialized, and gendered trope of the welfare queen (even though Micronesians are ineligible for welfare) that has been deployed to represent Black Americans as lazy and undeserving, but it has also been used against Native Hawaiians, as in public debates about Native Hawaiian federal recognition.76 William Hoshijo, executive director of the Hawai‘i Civil Rights Commission, makes a different connection in the film, noting that ending discrimination against Micronesians is important to the Japanese American Citizens League because “there was a time here in Hawai‘i . . . when there was a question of if . . . could Japanese children learn English . . . we were seen as being disloyal . . . sneaky . . . all of the stereotypes.”77 Joakim Peter, a Chuukese PhD candidate at the University of Hawai‘i and contributor to this volume, further critiques anti-immigrant sentiment, noting that we should all remember that the United States is a country built on immigration.78 The immigrant alliances being mapped out here between Japanese Americans and Micronesians in Hawai‘i are important and, as those involved in the film argue, must be consciously forged. However, the film encourages audiences to think of all Americans as immigrants and good citizens, rather than complicating the U.S. settler national narrative and recognizing that Hawai‘i is not America, but land occupied by the United States. If racism against Micronesians in Hawai‘i was reframed to be part of the project of the U.S. militarization of the larger Pacific, which also includes, for example, using Hawaiian waters to train the Indonesian army to suppress the independence movement in West Papua, we could better oppose not only discrimination in a narrow sense, but the more fundamental structures of imperialism and settler colonialism that engulf all Pacific Islands. Micronesians are not immigrants to Hawai‘i in the same way that Japanese Americans are, but rather have particular cosmological and genealogical

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connections to Native Hawaiians and other Indigenous peoples of the Pacific. In remembering this, racism against Micronesians might be recognized as not only about anti-immigrant sentiment (which it certainly is) but also about the divisions imposed on the Pacific through Western settler colonialism and imperialism in Hawai‘i and elsewhere. Overall, I remain hopeful that Native Hawaiians, Polynesians, Asian Americans, and other residents of Hawai‘i can build alliances that will divest from the Western racial project of Polynesia as almost White, and invest in other, more open-ended futures for all people in Oceania and beyond. Notes  1. Édouard Glissant, Caribbean Discourse: Selected Essays (Charlottesville: University Press of Virginia, 1989), 2.  2. Dean Saranillio, “Colonial Amnesia: Rethinking Filipino ‘American’ Settler Empowerment in the U.S. Colony of Hawai‘i,” in Asian Settler Colonialism: From Local Governance to the Habits of Everyday Life in Hawai‘ i, ed. Candace Fujikane and Jonathan Okamura (Honolulu: University of Hawai‘i Press, 2008), 260.  3. Glissant, Caribbean Discourse, 1.  4. Nicholas Thomas et al., “The Force of Ethnology: Origins and Significance of the Melanesia/Polynesia Division [and Comments and Replies],” Current Anthropology 30, no. 1 (February 1, 1989): 27–41.  5. Michael Omi and Howard Winant, Racial Formation in the United States: From the 1960s to the 1990s, 2nd ed. (New York: Routledge, 1994), 56.  6. Noenoe K. Silva, Aloha Betrayed: Native Hawaiian Resistance to American Colonialism (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2004), 173–177.  7. Priya Kandaswamy, “Gendering Racial Formation,” in Racial Formation in the Twenty-First Century, ed. Daniel Martinez HoSang, Oneka LaBennett, and Laura Pulido (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2012).  8. See, for example, Patty O’Brien, The Pacific Muse: Exotic Femininity and the Colonial Pacific (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2006); Noelani Arista, “Captive Women in Paradise 1796–1826: The Kapu on Prostitution in Hawaiian Historical Legal Context,” American Indian Culture and Research Journal 35, no. 4 (January 1, 2011): 39–55; Adria L. Imada, Aloha America: Hula Circuits through the U.S. Empire (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2012).  9. Kandaswamy, “Gendering Racial Formation,” 32–33. 10. See, for example, Epeli Hau‘ofa, We Are the Ocean: Selected Works (Honolulu: University of Hawai‘i Press, 2008); Alice Te Punga Somerville, Once Were Pacific: Maori Connections to Oceania (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2012). 11. Jeffrey Geiger, Facing the Pacific: Polynesia and the American Imperial Imagination (Honolulu: University of Hawai‘i Press, 2007); Hinemoana of Turtle Island, “On Cameron Crowe’s Aloha and Indigenous Pacific Films We Actually Recommend,” muli.wai blog, June 16, 2015, on-cameron-crowes-aloha-and-indigenous-pacific-films-we-actually-recommend/.

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12. Somerville, Once Were Pacific, 66. 13. See, for example, Ellen D. Wu, The Color of Success: Asian Americans and the Origins of the Model Minority (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2013). 14. “Structure of dominance” is Stuart Hall’s term to describe racism. I describe colonialism as a distinct but related structure of dominance. “Race, Articulation and Societies Structured in Dominance,” in Sociological Theories: Race and Colonialism (Paris: UNESCO, 1980), 305–345. 15. Ruth Wilson Gilmore defines racism as “the state-sanctioned or extra-legal production and exploitation of group-differentiated vulnerability to premature death.” Golden Gulag: Prisons, Surplus, Crisis, and Opposition in Globalizing California (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2007), 28. 16. Aileen Moreton-Robinson, The White Possessive: Property, Power, and Indigenous Sovereignty (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2015). 17. Office of Hawaiian Affairs, “The Disparate Treatment of Native Hawaiians in the Criminal Justice System,” Honolulu, 2010, /justicepolicy/documents/10-09_exs_disparatetreatmentofnativehawaiians_rd-ac.pdf. 18. Eve Tuck and K. Wayne Yang, “Decolonization Is Not a Metaphor,” Decolonization: Indigeneity, Education & Society 1, no. 1 (August 9, 2012), .php/des/article/view/18630. 19. Candace Fujikane and Jonathan Y. Okamura, Asian Settler Colonialism: From Local Governance to the Habits of Everyday Life in Hawai‘ i (Honolulu: University of Hawai‘i Press, 2008). 20. Maile Renee Arvin, “Pacifically Possessed: Scientific Production and Native Hawaiian Critique of the ‘Almost White’ Polynesian Race” (PhD diss., University of California, San Diego, 2013), 21. This was also the case with Aryanism in respect to the European ideal of the “ancient” Aryan people from northern India as wholly separate from contemporary Indians who were their colonial subjects. See Tony Ballantyne, Orientalism and Race: Aryanism in the British Empire (New York: Palgrave, 2002). 22. Abraham Fornander, An Account of the Polynesian Race: Its Origin and Migrations, and the Ancient History of the Hawaiian People to the Times of Kamehameha I (London: K. Paul, Trench, 1880), 59. 23. Edward Tregear, The Aryan Maori (London: G. Didsbury, Government printer, 1885), 105. 24. Ballantyne, Orientalism and Race, 76–77. 25. John Dunmore Lang, On the Origin and Migrations of the Polynesian Nation; Demonstrating Their Original Discovery and Progressive Settlement of the Continent of America (Sydney, 1876); Louis R. Sullivan, New Light on the Races of Polynesia, n.d.; Louis R. Sullivan, The Racial Diversity of the Polynesian Peoples (Wellington, 1924); Louis R. Sullivan and Clark Wissler, Observations on Hawaiian Somatology, Bayard Dominick Expedition Publication (Honolulu: Bishop Museum, 1927). 26. Thomas et al., “The Force of Ethnology.” 27. Cheryl Harris, “Whiteness as Property,” Harvard Law Review 106, no. 8 (1993): 1707–1791; Warwick Anderson, The Cultivation of Whiteness: Science, Health, and Racial Destiny in Australia (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2006); Steve Garner, Whiteness: An Introduction (New York: Routledge, 2007); Matthew Frye Jacobson, Whiteness of a Different Color: European Immigrants and the Alchemy of Race (Cambridge, MA: Harvard

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University Press, 1999); Ian Haney-López, White by Law: The Legal Construction of Race (New York: New York University Press, 2006); Noel Ignatiev, How the Irish Became White (New York: Routledge, 2012). 28. Harris, “Whiteness as Property.” 29. Rey Chow, The Protestant Ethnic and the Spirit of Capitalism (New York: Columbia University Press, 2002). 30. Moreton-Robinson, The White Possessive. 31. Ibid., xix. 32. Denise Ferreira da Silva, Toward a Global Idea of Race (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2007), 125. 33. Ibid., 67, 68, 70. 34. Ibid., 74. 35. Moreton-Robinson, The White Possessive. 36. Ibid., xxiv. 37. Harris, “Whiteness as Property.” 38. Ibid., 1711. 39. Arvin, “Pacifically Possessed.” 40. Peter Henry Buck, Vikings of the Sunrise (Christchurch: Whitcombe and Tombs, 1958), 17. 41. Ibid., 19. 42. Ibid., 54, 55. 43. Somerville, Once Were Pacific, 14, 15, 17. 44. “US President Barack Obama’s Speech to Parliament,” The Australian, November 17, 2011, 45. Vernadette Vicuña Gonzalez, Securing Paradise: Tourism and Militarism in Hawai‘ i and the Philippines (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2013). 46. Quoted in David Morley and Kevin Robins, “Techno-Orientalism: Futures, Foreigners and Phobias,” New Formations 16, no. 136 (1992): 142. 47. Tom Tykwer, Andy Wachowski, and Lana Wachowski, Cloud Atlas, Drama, Sci-Fi (2012); David Mitchell, Cloud Atlas: A Novel (New York: Random House, 2004). 48. “Cloud Atlas,” Internet Movie Database, http://w w /tt1371111/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1. 49. Christopher Rosen, “‘Cloud Atlas’ & Yellowface: Wachowskis’ Film Slammed by Group for Lack of Asian Actors,” Huffington Post, October 25, 2012, http://www; Jennifer, “Cloud Atlas Review: Yellowface and Orientalism,” Mixed Race America (blog), November 4, 1012, -2-yellowface.html; Alden Habacon, “Yellowface in ‘Cloud Atlas’ Continues Hollywood Tradition of Racism,” Huffington Post, November 2, 2012, /alden-habacon/cloud-atlas-yellowface-diversity-racism-hollywood_b_2050368.html. 50. Reid Mortensen, “Slaving in Australian Courts: Blackbirding Cases, 1869–1871,” Journal of South Pacific Law 4 (2000): 7–37; Gerald Horne, The White Pacific: US Imperialism and Black Slavery in the South Seas after the Civil War (Honolulu: University of Hawai‘i Press, 2007). 51. Halle Barry does play a nameless female character in this episode, but one who does not speak and is easily unnoticed.

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52. Alexander Shand, The Moriori People of the Chatham Islands, Their History and Traditions, Memoirs of the Polynesian Society, vol. 2 (Wellington: Polynesian Society of New Zealand, 1911), 78. 53. Mitchell, Cloud Atlas, “Acknowledgments.” 54. Michael King and Robin Morrison, A Land Apart: The Chatham Islands of New Zealand (Auckland: Random Century, 1990), 15. 55. Warwick Anderson, “Racial Hybridity, Physical Anthropology, and Human Biology in the Colonial Laboratories of the United States,” Current Anthropology 53, no. S5 (April 1, 2012): S95–S107. 56. Sullivan, New Light on the Races of Polynesia. 57. Ralina L. Joseph, Transcending Blackness: From the New Millennium Mulatta to the Exceptional Multiracial (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2012), 2. 58. Arvin, “Pacifically Possessed.” 59. See also David S. Roh, Betsy Huang, and Greta A. Niu, Techno-Orientalism: Imagining Asia in Speculative Fiction, History, and Media (New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 2015). 60. Morley and Robins, “Techno-Orientalism.” 61. Aimee Bahng, “Techno-Orientalism and Finance Capital: Speculations on Asian Futures” (presentation at the American Studies Association conference, Washington, DC, November 24, 2013). 62. Morley and Robins, “Techno-Orientalism,” 153, 154. 63. Candace Fujikane and Jonathan Y. Okamura, Asian Settler Colonialism: from Local Governance to the Habits of Everyday Life in Hawai‘ i (Honolulu: University of Hawai‘i Press, 2008). 64. Gary Okihiro, Cane Fires: The Anti-Japanese Movement in Hawaii, 1865–1945 (Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 2010); Ronald T. Takaki, Pau Hana: Plantation Life and Labor in Hawaii, 1835–1920 (Honolulu: University of Hawai‘i Press, 1983). 65. Victor Bascara, Model-Minority Imperialism (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2006), 2. 66. Fujikane and Okamura, Asian Settler Colonialism, 6. 67. Dennis Kawaharada, “Local Mythologies: 1979–2000,” Hawaii Review, no. 56 (2001). 68. Bascara, Model-Minority Imperialism. 69. Kandaswamy, “Gendering Racial Formation,” 35. 70. Patrick Wolfe, Settler Colonialism and the Transformation of Anthropology: The Politics and Poetics of an Ethnographic Event (London: Cassell, 1999). 71. Thomas et al., “The Force of Ethnology.” 72. Jon Letman, “Micronesians in Hawaii Face Uncertain Future,” Al Jazeera, October 2013, 73. Will Caron, “Racism in Hawai‘i Is Alive and Well,” Hawaii Independent, June 2, 2014,; Craig Santos Perez, “ ‘Catering to Our Own People’: On Micronesia Mart,” Kenyon Review, August 3, 2013, 74. Kathy Jetnil-Kijiner, “Video Poems,” IEP JELTOK, /video-poems/.

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75. We Hold These Truths (With Intro), 2013, =hpsPeVyuyE8&feature=youtube_gdata_player. 76. On representations of Native Hawaiians as needy and undeserving, see, for example, Maile Arvin, “Spectacles of Citizenship: Native Hawaiian Sovereignty Gets a Makeover,” in Transnational Crossroads: Remapping the Americas and the Pacific, ed. Camilla Fojas and Rudy Guevarra (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2012), 201–228. 77. We Hold These Truths. 78. Ibid.

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Chapter 2

Mixed-Race Hollywood, Hawaiian Style Camilla Fojas

In 1999, a small independent film, Beyond Paradise, outperformed its blockbuster competition, The Matrix, at the box office on the islands. Both films had links to Hawai‘i, through different avenues. The Matrix is a science fiction story based in a placeless dystopian future, featuring Keanu Reeves of mixed-Hawaiian heritage as Neo, the protagonist. Beyond Paradise had made its debut at the Hawaii International Film Festival in 1997 in a rough cut that nonetheless played very well with local audiences. By 1998, the filmmaker, David L. Cunningham, was pitching around for a distribution deal at the AFI (American Film Institute) Los Angeles festival. The film is about a White teenager and aspiring film student who moves in with his mother on the Big Island and falls for a local Hawaiian girl. And, rather than the paradise he anticipates, he encounters racial tensions and ethnic conflict. The storyline draws on the experiences of the filmmaker, Cunningham, a University of Southern California film graduate, who was born in Switzerland but raised on the Big Island. At the same time that Keanu Reeves was making his name with The Matrix, he had long been estranged from his father, a Hawaiian Chinese Samuel Nowlin Reeves, who had been sentenced to ten years in a Hawai‘i prison for cocaine possession in 1994. Samuel met and married Keanu’s mother Patricia, a British expatriate, in Beirut, where his family was vacationing and Keanu was born. The couple divorced a few years later. Keanu and his sisters then lived with their mother in various cities, including Toronto, where Keanu made his start in theater and television with bit roles in film. Reeves became a star with the teen hit Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure (1989) and sealed his Hollywood destiny a few years later with Speed. The news and entertainment media began their love affair with the star, fascinated by his “exotic” moniker and heritage and stoic yet softly contoured masculinity. He was deemed mysterious, partly for his acting style, described in a People magazine article as “a detached deadpan somewhere between artful and awful,” and partly for his racial ambiguity.1 The mystery of 48

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his ethnic ambiguity is elucidated by way of Hawai‘i as the site and source of a mixed-race imaginary, a place associated with Keanu but of which he had little experience, not unlike Hollywood audiences. The Hollywood career of Hawai‘i and its populations, Native and settler, has shifted decisively from the earliest images of the islands. By the time that Keanu Reeves became a star in the 1990s, Hollywood was ready to frame the islands differently, that is, in a manner that recognized, however vaguely and superficially, the racial discord of a diverse population within a context of Native anticoloniality, thus superceding earlier images of racial harmony. Classical Hollywood productions set in Hawai‘i often featured a primitive and passive Indigenous population as a backdrop to the Anglo protagonist, rarely as central figures in the story. This practice is ongoing and is apparent in the recent film Aloha (2015), in which an Anglo male protagonist, Brian Gilcrest (Bradley Cooper) is romantically paired with a part Hawaiian and part Chinese character, Allison Ng (Emma Stone) who, in the whitewashing habit of Hollywood, is played by a White actress; similarly, the Hawaiian protagonist, Matt King, of The Descendants (2011) is played by White actor George Clooney. In Aloha, the overarching story is about the main characters’ romantic entanglement with a subplot and backdrop involving negotiations with Native Hawaiians for military access to Natives’ land. The story replays a racial dynamic based on a colonial hierarchy and power structure that persists across Hollywood film and media culture. In popular culture predating statehood, Native Hawaiian culture and peoples were depicted as picturesque and exotic primitives clad in grass skirts and draped in leis.2 Post-statehood films presented the islands as culturally contiguous with the mainland and representative of a possible future, a racial utopia and tourist paradise and idealized counterpoint to the civil unrest on the continent. Mostly Elvis and Gidget films, these movies engage the tourist gaze, present the commercial and capital opportunities in the new state, and represent the union of the islands with the continent in mixed-race relations.3 By the 1980s and 1990s, films set in Hawai‘i make use of multicultural images and rhetoric, often asserting contiguity with racial formations on the continent. For example, a number of popular films reduce colonial dynamics in Hawai‘i to a bipolar racial logic between haole or White and Native Hawaiian as racialized peoples. I use the term “Hollywood” to describe a particular style rather than a mode of production. For example, Beyond Paradise, mentioned earlier, is an independent production, but it appeals to a mainstream audience for its characterization, linear temporality, clear causality, and resolution.4 Films in this style adhere to mainstream audience expectations and subsequently are better positioned to garner interest from distribution companies. However, these independent productions tend to broach marginal or underrepresented topics, even if in a mainstream style, and typically use unknown actors and actresses. Hollywood has never been keen to portray Hawai‘i as anything other than a

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50 Chapter 2

tourist paradise with Native Hawaiians as adjuncts of White protagonists or as part of the landscape. Even Keanu Reeves, early in his career, was encouraged by Hollywood agents to drop his “unpronounceable” name and adopt the less difficult one of K.C., a short-lived enterprise. His reversion to his given name and subsequent ascension to stardom is a sign of a shift in the industry that took place in the late 1980s and 1990s, partly as a result of the gathering political currency of multiculturalism and the recognition of the power of ethnic and racialized markets—evident in the rise of “Hispanic Hollywood,” inner-city narratives featuring African American characters, and a slate of Asian American and Native American films. This Hollywood turn to a “multicultural” market paved the way for films about Hawai‘i that did not simply consolidate the tourist gaze. Some of these films punctured the idyllic image of the islands through the vector of race as a consequence of U.S. imperialism, particularly in the tensions and conflicts among characters from local (glossed as “Hawaiian”) and haole communities. These conflicts are deemed the result of Native animosity to haoles in a polarized racial imaginary. This resentment is only partly elucidated via colonialism. And historical explanation, when provided, is eclipsed by individual pathos. In these films, Native Hawaiian is a racial and not a political classification; the latter notion would constitute recognition of the rights of Indigenous selfgovernance. Instead, the visitor-settler and Native dynamic is relegated to the individual and domestic sphere during a time of policy debates about the status of Native Hawaiians in relation to the federal government. These public debates took place around several initiatives, including the 1993 Apology Resolution, the case of Rice v. Cayetano (2000), and the Akaka Bill (2001); all explored questions about the status of Native Hawaiians as either a race or an Indigenous nation. Popular culture based in Hawai‘i during this era shaped public perceptions and affected the national mood about Indigenous rights. Storylines about Native and haole—non-Native, foreign, or White—intimacies are understood through mixed-race narratives and a history of mixed-race relations. These stories work through and shape social attitudes about the political and cultural relationship of Hawai‘i to the continent. That is, rather than a harmonious and utopic racial future, it is part of the mainland’s racial past—a past of racially motivated exclusion as a violation of individual rights that formed the basis of the dubious and historically decontextualized court decision in Rice v. Cayetano.5 State of Mixed Race In the cultural imaginary generated by Hollywood film and television culture, the symbolic and actual potential of the mixing of the races is an offshore enterprise worked out in the plotlines and storyforms based in the islands—some notable examples that predate Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner (1967) are a slate of Elvis films from Blue Hawaii (1961), Girls! Girls! Girls! (1962), and Paradise,

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Hawaiian Style (1966) in which Elvis cavorts with Native Hawaiian and Asian women.6 Hollywood was merely framing the racial dynamics of the islands publicized by studies such as Romanzo Adams’s 1937 analysis of interracial marriage in Hawai‘i. This study provided the template for exploring concepts of acculturation and amalgamation through mixed-race relations. For Adams, this unique “social process” is the consequence of migration and contact among many races and peoples of diverse heritages. The islands are a laboratory in which diverse specimens might mingle within a relatively controlled and manageable insular space. Hawai‘i is a workshop of race or racecraft, providing a preview of what could take place on the continent similarly defined by its immigrant composition. For Adams, the intersection of race and culture is the nexus of his study. That is, he argues that changes in race relations enact changes in the culture at large. He erroneously predicts, ignoring the genocidal erosion of Native cultures and populations, that in two or three hundred years the population of the islands will comprise people “who will be descendants of the old Hawaiians.” At this future moment, “the practical social problems incident to the contact of races will not have been solved, but will have disappeared, thanks to the multiplication of hybrids and to their acculturation.” This seminal study of mixed-race relations is not simply the basis of a sociology of race in the islands but a coda, a speculative plan for imagining a future in which the relaxing of boundaries among the races is not a source of catastrophic social disintegration but the formation of a new, more evolved and equitable social order. Just “as the waters in the Pacific moderate temperature changes in Hawaii, the tradition of racial equality moderates the stresses incident to the assimilation of its peoples.” 7 Hawai‘i in this study and in the equally symptomatic displays of popular culture is emblematic of mixed-race relations and peoples, the depictions of which alternate between fictions of a racial utopia or dystopia. These popular mood swings about race reflect the racial preoccupations on the continent. Hollywood stories of mixed-race characters and relationships that take place in Hawai‘i tend to present interraciality in a manner congruent to similar stories on the continent. These films are unable to imagine or depict multiraciality through mixed-race characters. Instead, these characters are depicted as monoracial and Native Hawaiian is understood as a racial category. Interraciality is apparent in the tense contact between haoles or visitors and Natives. A number of feature films from the late 1980s to the early 2000s—during the multicultural vogue of the 1980s and 1990s—that take place in Hawai‘i trace the dominant racial imaginary during this epoch. North Shore (1987), Beyond Paradise (1999), and Blue Crush (2002) are surf films that feature mixed-race contact, friendships, and romances that are intensified by a local-haole or tourist dynamic particular to Hawai‘i. Each of these films elicit a “tourist gaze” typical of the tourist fare of the 1950s through the 1970s but complicate the visitor storyline by engaging with local racial tensions to varying degrees and outcomes.

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52 Chapter 2

Surf, what Isaiah Helekunihi Walker calls the “boarder-lands” of the waters abutting the islands, is a symbolic zone of contact and a place from which Native Hawaiians assert the boundaries of identity outside of the hegemony of a haole-dominated landscape. The haole protagonists of these films dramatize the efforts to retake these boarder-lands or at least cede part of them to the Anglohaole imaginary. In a reversal of the racial dynamics of the ethnic minority of multicultural feature films of the 1990s, the haole protagonist transcends his or her social subordination (as haole) through extraordinary achievement. Thus, Hawai‘i, a domain receding from mainland power centers through the threat of Native Hawaiian nationhood, is reabsorbed as integral to the United States by these enterprising protagonists. This retaking of the islands is partly dramatized through mixed-race stories that emphasize Hawaiians as a race and foreclose the discussion of nationhood or other forms of sovereign association. One of the films to set the terms for this occlusion is the popular North Shore. North Shore is a surf film featuring mixed-race Filipino Anglo actress Nia Peeples as the Native Hawaiian girlfriend of an Arizona-born Anglo surfer, Rick Kane, who dreams of surfing the epic waves on the North Shore of O‘ahu. Peeples, like Tia Carrera in Aloha Summer, is not depicted as mixed or mestiza, which would reflect a common experience in Hawai‘i, but is made to play a role as Native. The storyline is imbued with nostalgia for a racially pure and intact Hawaiian community that has maintained its culture and identity against imperialism, thus needs no further efforts at self-preservation. It reflects what the director, William Phelps, calls the “romance of the islands.” He describes his rapport to the project in whimsical terms: “Surfing in Hawaii has always attracted me as an image. It’s a ballet on water combined with incredible danger. Put that together with the romance of the islands, and I understand why people get so passionate about the North Shore.”8 Matching this naiveté, the protagonist, Rick, ventures to the North Shore as an ingénue completely unprepared for the culture he happens upon. In fact, he has only surfed artificial swells in wave pools, even winning a state title in the sport. His abilities have never been put to the test “in the wild,” as Hawai‘i is depicted, and he, like Gidget and Elvis before him, travels to O‘ahu, falls for a local Native Hawaiian, and matures into a capable and responsible adult. The storyline is consistent with a Hollywood use of “exotic” locales as testing ground for the Anglo protagonist, where he or she has the experience of being an outsider, a haole mainlander who must, like ethnic and racial minorities in the mainstream, prove his or her mettle, skill, and worth. Haole female characters are less subject to this test of their mettle and instead might be taken under the mentoring and protective care of a male character who shields her from harm. These films of the 1980s and 1990s explore mixed-race relations on the islands and, in the process, expose audiences to the idea of the haole as a colonial category. The idea that being haole would negatively define these White characters is a novel one for a mainland audience. To forestall audience

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alienation, the term “haole” is bandied about almost exclusively in relation to the protagonist. Haole in this context is emptied of its colonial import and is simply shorthand for unsavvy, awkward, and uninitiated. Rick is described as “so haole he doesn’t even know he’s haole.” His haoleness is not presented as a permanent condition but something that he can overcome through adaptation and assertion of cultural competence in the domain of surfing. North Shore is one of the first films to portray surf culture on the North Shore in a manner that goes beyond similar films of the 1960s. In fact, the director and cowriter, William Phelps, makes this critical departure a point in the production notes: “I didn’t want actors who’d have trouble in every water scene. We didn’t want Frankie Avalon standing in front of a lot of process shots.”9 The producers took great care in hiring actors that were also avid and accomplished surfers while featuring pro surfers—Mark Occhilupo, Robbie Page, Gerry Lopez, and Laird Hamilton—and debut feature film director William Phelps, who wrote and directed the documentary Wave Warriors, a popular surf video of 1986. The producers consulted with John Milius, who directed the surf drama Big Wednesday (1978), and William Finnegan, one of the producers, divided his time between California and Hawai‘i. Executive producer Randal Kleiser was a part-time resident of the North Shore. Kleiser sent Phelps to the North Shore to gather data and record “real life” in the form of “taped character studies and authentic ambience.” From this research, Phelps wrote a draft of the screenplay that Kleiser calls “a dramatic compression of North Shore authenticity” and “the first insider’s look at the center of the surf world.”10 Kleiser cites the uniqueness of the North Shore culture but paradoxically notes the commercial worthiness of the film for its “unfamiliar” and “fresh atmosphere” that defines a new generation immersed in all things surf-inspired. This is the key to Hollywood commercial viability for multicultural and ethnic fare: the combination of a universal or mainstream storyline with “fresh” contours. The foray into race relations in North Shore follows this logic. The mixed-race love story conjures a complex history of empire in the Pacific that is neatly dispensed with and neutralized in an individual story of personal triumph. A review finds North Shore “bland and predictable” and identifies it with the Western for its celebration of the genre’s moral codes, calling it “Duel in the Surf.” Although reductive, the reviewer captures a commonality with the ideology of the genre of the Old West, the role of racial mixing and encounter during an era of economic and cultural transformation.11 Duel in the Sun, cited in the review, is about the volatility of the mixing of the races and, ultimately, the imperative to neutralize racial tensions through various forms of violence. This reference is significant given that the film, like Blue Crush, presents Native resistance to haole presence in the surf as a decontextualized and unjustified form of violence. In both surf stories, Native protest is dismissed and ultimately eclipsed by a showcase of talent in the Pipeline Classic surf competition.

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Similarly, in North Shore, reference is ample to the Native Hawaiian group Hui ‘O He‘e Nalu, who fought to preserve surf culture and practices from haole intrusion, with no history or context of the group’s activist raison d’ȇtre. The racialized conflict and Native resistance is conveyed as simply a problem of Rick’s adjusting to a new culture and “fitting in,” much like the problems facing the protagonist of Beyond Paradise in his attempts to fit into a new high school. The only explanation of the group is given by Kiani, Rick’s Native love interest and cultural informant, who tells Rick that the Hui ‘O He‘e Nalu is a club whose name translates into a wave sliding club, identifiable through the logo or sign bearing the name and a stick figure on a surf board. As a logo, it is given similar cultural status as a similar logo that Rick designs for a surfboard company on the North Shore. This club is represented as little more than an exclusive fraternity bent on sending Rick home and exiling all haoles from the island out of pure hostility. Walker describes how the actual Hui ‘O He‘e Nalu was formed in the 1970s as a response to the commercialization of surfing and exploitation on the part of the International Professional Surfing organization (IPS) which hosted surf competitions on the North Shore and excluded noncompetitors from the waters. The group claimed surfing and the waves to be domains of Native Hawaiian cultural preservation and identified their primary goal as that of maintaining the surf breaks for Native Hawaiians.12 This is a reaction to exclusion and an effort to halt encroachment of Native space, not, as it is depicted in the film, a sign of arbitrary antihaole violence. Rick bemoans being targeted by Vince and members of the Hui. His mentor Chandler tells him, “Us haoles stole these islands from him and his people, ever think about that?” Yet this statement is never motivated or contextualized, and Chandler concludes by telling Rick that he has much to learn. The main arc of his education will be accomplished in the surf, where Chandler teaches him how to understand the waves. This knowledge does little to help him understand the plight of Native Hawaiians; instead it serves to augment his skills and prepare him to compete in the Pipeline Classic. Chandler is Rick’s mentor in all things surf related, but Kiani gives him a cultural tour of “authentic” Hawai‘i during a luau that features Israel “Izzy” Ka‘ano‘i Kamakawiwo‘ole singing for the community gathered together. Rick’s enjoyment of the feast is diminished by his lack of acculturation to the cuisine and the constant reminder that he is haole and not entirely welcome. After they wander off and encounter the Hui, Rick demands that they return items that were stolen from him that they have adopted as their attire. This scenario is ironic in light of Chandler’s assertion that haoles stole Hawaiian land. Rick demanding the return of his belongings reverses the dynamic of colonial expropriation. Yet Rick’s transgression in pursuing Kiani becomes a greater point of contention and a source of resentment resulting in an altercation that creates a rift between the ill-fated lovers.

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As in Beyond Paradise, haole interest in a local girl is a sign of colonial intrusion. Women are depicted as Indigenous possessions and objects of territoriality in a patriarchal order. In these haole male fantasy narratives, Native men are violent, abusive, and proprietary in a way that highlights haole civility and reconstructed masculinity, shoring up their attractiveness and appeal. Haole men treat women as equals, respect their boundaries and agency, and are rewarded for their liberalism. They are victims turned heroes who courageously fight against a racial order set against them, dramatizing the symbolic political will of the mainland centers of power to valiantly subdue colonial resistance and quell disturbances and disorder. In Beyond Paradise and North Shore, the protagonists return to the mainland to pursue higher education, leaving their love interests behind. They are ultimately redeemed by the very culture that produced their marginalization. Yet, in the exceptional and exceptionalist storyline of North Shore, Rick is given somewhat more leeway as a result of his extraordinary skill, which leads him to win the prestigious Pipeline Classic, proving not only that he is good but also that he is better than local and even professional talent (which reignites Kiani’s interest). He nonetheless leaves for art school on the mainland but promises to return, leaving open the idea and possibility of a future with Kiani, thus resolving colonial tension through this individual story. The anticolonial struggles of Native Hawaiians are reduced to racialized tensions between characters in an ill-fated love story. Anticolonial sentiment energizes parts of the storyline, but these ideas and ideology are never given form and context. Rick’s teen romance is resurrected to convey a possible future of mainland-to-island political correspondence. This is represented more fully in Chandler’s marriage to a local Hawaiian woman, deemed an example of a successful interracial union and a sign of pacific geopolitical relations. Like Elvis in Blue Hawaii, Rick takes all that the islands have to offer in raw resources, opportunities for advancement, and romance. He emerges from his colonial education a mature, capable, and culturally competent adult. He, or others like him, will return.13 Like North Shore, Blue Crush is loosely about a haole protagonist making good in the world of surf competitions. It is one of the first, the Gidget franchise notwithstanding, films about women in the male-dominated world of surf competitions. The main character, Anne Marie, faces more difficulties as a woman in a male sport than as a haole on the North Shore, which reflects, in part, the source material of the film. Based on an article by Susan Orlean, written in 1998, which features adolescent girls whose families found their way to Hana on Maui with a dream of living in paradise. Mostly they arrive with parents seeking eternal summers and an endless 1960s, refuge from larger cities and communities, in Hana, which, when the article was written, was perhaps even smaller and more remote. Even nearby Haiku is too close to reality for Hana

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56 Chapter 2

residents, where there are “high school race riots, Samoans beating on Filipinos, Hawaiians beating on Anglos” once again describing Whites as oppressed by their Native hosts. Orlean writes as an outsider, partly evident in her use of Anglo rather than the more commonly used haole as shorthand for White and outsider.14 The surfers mythologized by Orlean are all haole and they find, in Hana, a place where race or being haole is not an issue. They can surf local beaches all day long without encountering any problems for being fairly new arrivals to the islands and their surf. Orlean romanticizes these girls for the way they transcend the restrictions and constraints of gender norms and all of its messy encumbrances. This story of transcendence appeals to audiences for the way it encodes other kinds of supersessions and impunities, particularly in terms of race and colonialism. In the short time that she visits with the girls on Maui, attending a surf competition and watching them surf local beaches, she finds out little about the rest of the island or about Hawai‘i in general. Although providing a larger historical or cultural context is not the purview of this short article, the tone and mood of the islands as romantic paradise is similar to that of early Hawaiiana. Her only foray into Hawaiian history ends in a reverie fueled by an advertisement featuring an idyllic image congruent with the images and ideology of her own writing: “I stayed up late reading about how Christian missionaries had banned surfing when they got to Hawaii in the late 1800s, but how by 1908 general longing for the sport overrode spiritual censure and surfing resumed. I dozed off with the history book in my lap and the hotel television tuned to a Sprint ad showing a Hawaiian man and his granddaughter running hand-in-hand into the waves.” Blue Crush captures this dreamlike mood and reverie about the islands, one that points briefly to a reality brewing under a glossy surf magazine inspired surface, but this “reality” ultimately remains dormant. Blue Crush is explicitly about dreams, both that of the protagonist, Anne Marie Chadwick, and those of the audience. It opens with her dream, a collage of surf images, her near fatal drowning, and her friends enjoying the beach and its surf—images of fun and aspiration beset by fears. Like Rick before her, Anne Marie’s dream is to win the Pipeline Masters competition, which is interrupted by the reality of her budding relationship with a haole visitor to the islands, a professional NFL player, Matt Tollman. It is through her relationship to this tourist that aspects of the racial dynamics of the islands begin to shine through. When she takes him to a local beach for surf lessons, they happen upon a crew who drives them out with the assertion “you don’t live here, you don’t surf” and “this is a local spot,” to which Anne Marie remarks that she is local, obscuring the meaning of the category. The members of this group are deemed proprietary bullies targeting tourists. Their actions are never justified but simply glossed during the surf competition when they seek a photo opportunity with Matt—in recognition of Matt’s NFL cultural capital and a sign that peace and order has been restored.

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The film inspired by Orlean’s article follows a narrative arc about women in a male domain who face challenges along gendered lines. Anne Marie, in the days leading up to the big heat, is distracted by her new love interest, which threatens her standing. She must rally her energies and regain her focus to compete successfully; although she does not win against the odds like Rick, she curries favor with the crowd for a particularly skillful display and wins a spot on the Billabong team. She also gets the boy and secures her place in paradise. The film does little to disabuse viewers of the idyllic image of the North Shore. It does, however, reassure potential tourists of the insignificance of colonial protest. Anne Marie assures Matt that his experience of being run off the beach does not constitute one of the “real Hawai‘i,” though it remains unclear what that might be. The attempt to convey a “real” Hawai‘i is the point of departure, inscribed in its title, for the independent feature Beyond Paradise. Beyond Paradise promises an alternate view of a familiar topic but is ultimately formulaic, in what critic David Hunter describes as its “outsider-amongthe-‘savages’” storyline.15 Another review of the film summarizes the film’s mainstream position: “A coming-of-age story set in Hawaii, ‘Beyond Paradise’ is more remarkable for its stunning scenery and gorgeous bodies than for its depth of drama or pathos. Still, pic is relatively commercial for an indie item and might resonate with Gen-X audiences, who will likely respond to its youthoriented themes.”16 The film aims to get beyond postcard images of paradise but it “doesn’t go quite far enough.”17 The review does concede that the film may shift some mainstream perceptions by exploring the realities of poverty and domestic violence. The story falls in line with Hollywood—North Shore and Blue Crush—for its focalization through a haole protagonist who faces difficulties as an outsider. Yet the film did not gain much of an audience beyond the Pacific, where, as mentioned earlier, it did quite well. In fact, it was difficult for Cunningham to raise funds from entertainment companies for the lack of a recognizable lead, serious content, and targeting of a teen market.18 Although the story is more nuanced and features many more aspects of local culture, the moral of the story, conveyed by the high school Hawaiian studies teacher, is couched in a limited and conservative ideology. The teacher gives an end of the year lesson that is outside of the teachings and reflects, as he admits, his personal views that “there is only one race: the human race.” This relativist discourse is a key part of the multicultural rhetoric of the 1980s and 1990s, but what is more significant is the emphasis on race at the same time that racialist discourse is supplanted by humanism. Race is a problem that might be remedied by multicultural liberalism. Cunningham’s intention as writer and director was to show the experience of being in the minority as White; he thought it “would be interesting” to examine race relations from this vantage and, in the process, provide his perspective of how these tensions might be resolved. Unlike North Shore, racial harmony is not achieved through romance but through his friendship with three local

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boys, Zulu, Ronnie Boy, and Keao. He does fall for a local Hawaiian girl who “likes” him, but she does not sustain serious interest in him. As a result, the story is primarily a mixed-race and intercultural story about friendship in which racialized cultural differences are the source of trouble. These tensions, though resulting from colonial ire and directed at haoles, is resolved on a personal and individual level. In one tense scene, Mark cries out that not all problems can be traced back to haoles, in a refusal of the persistence of the history of colonial violence in this Big Island community. In Beyond Paradise, Mark, new to his high school, immediately joins a group of embattled haole teens who warn him not to look people in the eye, talk “stink” about anyone, and to stay off the beaches because “if the waves don’t kick your ass, the locals will.” Although local is a racially unmarked category, it is elided with Native through various characters marked as Native Hawaiian via cultural practice and language. It is also associated with violence and unmotivated rage that most often results in school fights and domestic violence and dating-related harm to women. The “real” local culture is actually depicted as deeply troubled in a way that is not resolved, discussed, or deemed resolvable. Instead, we are drawn into identification with Mark as the naïve outsider to the culture; through him we witness and experience various forms of incomprehensible and opaque violence. Beyond Paradise engages the perspective of the haole newcomer through whom we learn local racial dynamics via Mark’s difficult acculturation. His introduction to his high school is through a violent fight that leaves the less capable pugilist covered in blood and carried away by a beleaguered teacher. The story is awash in enraged violence by men of color as emanating from cycles of domestic violence against women. Mark, on the other hand, lives with his professional single mother, who is both caring and supportive of Mark and his friends. They occupy an upscale and spacious apartment with unobstructed views of the Pacific while his friends live in small dark spaces in impoverished communities. These places will determine their disparate futures. One of Mark’s friends, living in domestic violence with drug-addled parents, will be arrested for a violent school fight that ends in his opponent’s death. Mark, like Rick, finds his niche and gains acceptance through his extraordinary skill. He shows aptitude for filmmaking for which he gains a spot at the University of Southern California film school—like Cunningham. Mark’s camera within the story reminds viewers of the perspective guiding it. Beyond Paradise is Cunningham’s story and is limited by his experience and by his fantasies about Hawai‘i. The film ends with Mark’s homespun video of the four friends. By the time the boys watch it, they have moved into their post–high school lives and respective futures and the film registers as nostalgic. The video of this tight group of friends who bond beyond “race” encapsulates the multicultural rhetoric of the era of the imperative to transcend differences and achieve

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racial harmony, restoring, as the other films do, the colonial order that the haole character’s presence disrupted. These films undermine the image of Hawai‘i as paradise, making the exposure of this contradiction a common trope, one that finds its apogee in the film version of The Descendants (2011). This sentiment is neatly summarized by George Clooney’s opening voice-over narration: “My friends on the mainland think that because I live in Hawai‘i, I live in paradise like a permanent vacation. We’re all just out here sipping mai tais, shaking our hips, and catching waves. Are they insane? Do they think we’re immune to life?” In North Shore, Beyond Paradise, and Blue Crush the heartache and problems besetting the protagonists are not those of land titles and infidelity but racial discord and social unrest resulting from haole distress with Native Hawaiian anticolonialism as racially motivated violence. These mixed-race stories are not about racial hybridity or multiraciality but are premised on monoracial categories as ready shorthand for geographic and cultural distinctions of mainland and Hawai‘i. These films, through the haole characters, tell a familiar mixed-race story about getting along with other “races.” Hawaiian unrest and protest is deemed a purely racially motivated resentment towards haoles within a polarized racial order. The depiction of a harmonious friendship or romance between characters representing these two groups allegorizes a political contiguity of the mainland to its island outpost. These stories coopt and absorb Native unrest as part of a process of working through individual relationships to the betterment and benefit of the haole protagonist. For the protagonists of these films, particularly North Shore and Beyond Paradise, intimacy with Native Hawaiians is temporary, a colonial rite of passage towards a mature and more accomplished future.

Notes  1. Karen S. Schneider, Natasha Stoynoff, and Kristina Johnson, “Much Ado about Keanu,” People, June 5, 1995, 72.  2. See DeSoto Brown, Hawaii Recalls: Selling Romance to America, Nostalgic Images of the Hawaiian Islands: 1910–1950 (Honolulu: Editions Limited, 1982).  3. See Camilla Fojas, “Paradise, Hawaiian Style: Pop Tourism and the State of Hawai‘i,” in Islands of Empire: Pop Culture and U.S. Power (Austin: University of Texas Press, 2014).  4. See David Bordwell, Janet Staiger, and Kristin Thompson, The Classical Hollywood Cinema: Film Style and Mode of Production to 1960 (New York: Columbia University Press, 1985).  5. In Rice v. Cayetano, the Supreme Court ruled that the state could not restrict eligibility to vote in elections for the Board of Trustees Office of Hawaiian Affairs to those with Native Hawaiian heritage.  6. See Fojas, Islands of Empire.

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 7. Romanzo Colfax Adams, Interracial Marriage in Hawaii: A Study of the Mutually Conditioned Processes of Acculturation and Amalgamation (New York: Macmillan, 1937), 113, 295.  8. “North Shore,” Production Notes, Universal Studios, Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Library, Beverly Hills, CA, 1.  9. Ibid. 10. Ibid., 4. 11. Duane Byrge, “North Shore,” Hollywood Reporter, August 12, 1987, 3, 16. 12. Isaiah Helekunihi Walker, “Terrorism or Native Protest? The Hui ‘O He‘e Nalu and Hawaiian Resistance to Colonialism,” Pacific Historical Review 74, no. 4 (November 2005): 576. 13. See Fojas, Islands of Empire. 14. Susan Orlean, “Life’s Swell,” Women Outside, Fall 1998, n.p. 15. David Hunter, “Beyond Paradise,” Hollywood Reporter, November 11, 1998, 7, 33. 16. Lael Loewenstein, “Beyond Paradise,” Variety, November 30, 1998, 26. 17. Ibid., 39. 18. Richard Natale, “Can an Island Hit Play in Peoria?” Los Angeles Times, June 13, 1999, 21.

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Chapter 3

“I no eat dog, k” Humor, Hazing, and Multicultural Settler Colonialism Roderick N. Labrador

In November 2010, Hawai‘i’s rap supergroup Angry Locals—composed of Krystilez, Big Mox, Osna, and Mic3—celebrated the release of their album Aloha from Hawaii by hosting an emcee (or MC) battle dubbed “Angry Locals vs Da ‘Mainland.’ ”1 The event took place at a club in Waikīkī and featured several freestyle rap battles pitting those representing Hawai‘i against those from the continental United States (i.e., “da mainland”).2 These rap battles included Krystilez (from Nānākuli) versus Mic Phenom (from Washington State), Osna (from Aliamanu) against Young Throwed (from Texas), and Big Mox (from Kalihi) in a verbal duel with Fredo (from California) (YouTube 2010). The battle between Big Mox and Fredo was arguably the most closely contested, and after they went lyrically toe-to-toe for three rounds, the two MCs engaged in an overtime round in which the local Samoan rapper delivered the following verse against the Filipino American rapper from Union City, California, that pushed him to victory: Fredo can be found bloody in his proud country, feasting on pound puppies I keep spittin’ it raw, say some shit to really be pissing him off, watch him get red in the face while they feasting on Clifford the dog (makes scooping motion with his hand to his mouth) you ain’t get to blow it past me, bitch I spit, you chew over episodes of Lassie yo, I associate Marley with trees. He was watching Marley and Me all he could think was he wanted a Marley with cheese yo, you could say that it’s biased, you could say it’s biased like these raps isn’t fair but all dogs go to heaven and his peeps sent half of them there. 61

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The packed, largely Local audience composed primarily of local Asians and Pacific Islanders, including Filipinos, lapped up Mox’s Filipino dog-eating lines (pun intended). Here and throughout the chapter I use “Local” with a capital “L” to refer to the racialized identity category often used in the islands to signify those who would otherwise be labeled “Asian American” or “Pacific Islander” on the continental United States (see Okamura 1994; Labrador 2004) and “local” with a lower case “l” to characterize the specificity of a place or spatial location.3 Mox’s clever and threaded use of filmic, literary, and popular culture references to dogs—the Pound Puppies plush toys and animated series from the 1980s, the Clifford the Big Red Dog book series that began in the 1960s (as well as the animated children’s series that aired on PBS in the early 2000s), the Lassie television series that ran from the 1950s to the 1970s, the 2008 film Marley and Me starring Jennifer Aniston, Owen Wilson, and the titular Labrador retriever (a joke is in there somewhere), and the 1989 animated film All Dogs Go to Heaven—activated the audience’s local-specific cultural knowledge of Filipinos. To elicit the desired response, Mox’s punchlines depend on an insider relatability where both he and audience must “know” Filipinos and assign to the group an agreed upon set of sociocultural knowledges, values, and characteristics. In other words, for the Filipino dog-eating jokes to stimulate laughs, the audience must already attribute dog-eating to Filipinos. This implicit cultural premise provides the broader context for the punchlines, the surprise or reveal at the end that leads to the laughter and oohs and aahs. Mox’s lines in the overtime round work because he and the local audience “know” Filipinos and they “know” that Fredo and “his peeps” (or peoples), meaning Filipinos, eat dogs.4 Although the punchlines are generally designed to say, “I’m better than you” and “I’m a superior rapper,” the Filipino dog-eating lines further point to a local Filipino cultural backwardness. For example, the lines “Yo, I associate Marley with trees. He was watching Marley and Me/All he could think was he wanted a Marley with cheese” suggest different renderings of “Marley.” For Mox, Marley represents reggae legend Bob Marley and “trees” or marijuana, but for the Filipinomarked Fredo, Marley evokes the dramatic comedy featuring a yellow Lab and desiring a dog-meat burger. Mox’s overtime lines achieve the desired response of uproarious laughter not just because of the rapper’s timing, precision, rhythm, and synthesis of the theme but also because of his ability to give the audience something exaggerated and expected; dogs are pets, not food, but Filipinos eat dogs. Jokes are funny when the audience perceives something threatening in the joke (i.e., a transgression) but simultaneously perceive the joke to be harmless. Jokes are humorous when a familiar connection is disrupted, such as dogs are pets or human companions, they are not for human consumption. Although his use of Filipino dog-eating jokes was not explicitly premeditated or written (“kind of just happened that way”), Mox acknowledged that he “had that dog joke round ready, and it was all I had left. Looking back if I used it sooner, might’ve helped, but Fredo had more bars. His OT was super beast

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too” (2013). Mox’s remark that “Fredo had more bars” suggests that his opponent’s verbal play and lyricism were perhaps better and if he had used the dogeating jokes sooner, he may have been a more clear-cut winner and the overtime round could have been avoided. Yet based on crowd response, Mox easily won the overtime round. On the other hand, Fredo characterized Mox’s overtime verses in this way: “All it was was dog-eating jokes. Those references wouldn’t have worked outside of Hawai‘i” (2013). In these remarks, Fredo conceded Mox’s home-field advantage and he also suggested that not all stereotypes travel, namely, that the stereotype of Filipinos as dog-eaters is not universal, that perhaps if the rap battle took place in California or anywhere outside of the islands this type of racial and ethnic joking would not have the same resonance and relevance. As Fredo suggests, perhaps it is Hawai‘i’s racial context, and its own social, political, economic, and historical particularities, that permit Filipino dog-eating jokes (and Local humor) to continually circulate, be consumed, and elicit laughter from audiences. The production, consumption, and distribution of Filipinos as dog-­eaters are connected to U.S. colonization of the Philippines and Hawai‘i and the racialization of Filipinos as primitive, savage, inferior, and Other. Filipino dog-eating jokes in Hawai‘i mark immigrant Filipinos as buk buk, or as a recently immigrated Filipino culturally and linguistically Other.5 Filipinos provide an interesting case because as a group, they are simultaneously marked as Local and non-Local. Although Filipinos began settling in the islands in significant numbers in 1906 as labor recruits for the sugar and pineapple plantations, their more recent migration can be traced to the Immigration and Naturalization Act of 1965 that included a small group of professionals (who entered via the occupational preference provision) as well as larger numbers of workers who helped fill the labor needs of the agriculture and tourism industries (who entered via the family reunification provision). According to the 2010 U.S. Census, Filipinos are now the second largest population group in Hawai‘i (behind Whites) and the biggest Asian ancestry group (surpassing the local Japanese)—they make up 14.5 percent (single race) and slightly more than one-quarter (single and mixed race) of the total population. Although their population numbers have increased, Filipinos have not experienced the same type of collective upward socioeconomic mobility as their local Japanese and Chinese counterparts. In this chapter, I focus on the social, cultural, and ideological contexts as well as identity consequences of Filipino (dog-eating) jokes and more generally, the ethnic joking in Local humor in the islands. In other words, I explore what dogeating jokes say about Filipinos in Hawai‘i and Hawai‘i society and their impact on identity formation at the individual and collective levels. I argue that these jokes are a kind of racial hazing that constitute what Dean Saranillio has called Hawai‘i’s “liberalism, underpinning a multicultural form of settler colonialism” (2013, 281). In this chapter, I investigate how racial hazing in the islands functions in two interconnected ways: first, definitional and terminological

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obscuration leading to racial subterfuge and, second, disparaging in-group initiation activity. Focusing on racial and ethnic joking about Filipinos can help shed light on local discourses around race, ethnicity, Indigeneity, language, power, and representation. Hawai‘i’s brand of ethnic joking and Local humor exemplifies a multiculturalist ideology dependent on a settler colonial rendering of race and ethnic relations and an interpretation of the structural transformation of island society as linear and progressive. This settler colonial frame uses a developmental logic consisting of a “nation of immigrants” ideology wherein Hawai‘i society is composed of immigrants, including Kānaka Maoli (thereby figuratively eliminating Indigeneity), who have helped build and structurally change society into its current multicultural and multiethnic form. As part of this societal structural transformation, Hawai‘i has experienced both a White and a contemporary liberal multicultural form of settler colonialism. White settler colonialism corresponds to the plantation era and the consolidation of White supremacy that extends into the middle of the twentieth century. The liberal multicultural form of settler colonialism emerges after World War II as part of the movement for statehood, the “democratic revolution,” and broader U.S. empire building during the Cold War. There was White anxiety about its dominance during this moment in Hawai‘i’s history: “to reconsolidate and maintain a fragile and failing project of White racial power and privilege, White settlers were strategically seeking to converge their interests with certain East Asian settlers and forge a more liberal multicultural form of settler colonialism.” Using “a multicultural non-White face as a means to further consolidate US settler and imperial hegemony,” like Daniel Inouye or Benjamin Cayetano, is an important representational device in this contemporary version of settler colonialism (Saranillio 2013, 281). Furthermore, Saranillio argues that “In spite of a movement for genuine equality, the counter-hegemonic strategies of Asian Americans against haole supremacy challenged, modified, and yet renewed a hegemonic US settler colonial system” (287). Hawai‘i’s celebration of its multiculturalism, often exemplified in ethnic joking and Local humor, is a vital ideological support for the current form of settler colonialism. At best, the (neo)liberal multicultural form of settler colonialism depends on an ideology of color-blind racism and at worst, it is part of what Charles Lawrence calls the “Big Lie,” a postracial project that claims we have overcome racism and that race is now irrelevant (2013, 30; 2015b, 10). Instead of highlighting the historical, political, and economic aspects of this (neo)liberal multicultural form of settler colonialism, my interest in this chapter is on ethnic joking and Local humor, a particular widely produced, circulated, and consumed social and cultural component. Are ethnic jokes funny despite the fact that others may find them offensive? Can or should you ever take an ethnic joke seriously? When is an ethnic joke a racist joke? Can ethnic joking and Local humor simply be just harmless and good fun? Is Hawai‘i ethnic

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humor a socially acceptable way of being racist? Does Hawai‘i’s multiculturalism insist on culture consciousness and the use of racial and ethnic terminology but prohibit open discussion of racism? Can Local humor be funny and uphold a White supremacist ideology while promoting a liberal multicultural form of settler colonialism? What do different evaluations of ethnic joking and Local humor mean? Do different interpretations suggest different understandings and experiences of Hawai‘i society? Because jokes say as much about the teller, the audience, and the context, what does the prevalence and persistence of this type of joking tell us about Hawai‘i politics and the island ethnoscape? To answer these questions, I structure this chapter following a ternary rhythm of a joke: the set-up or premise, the punch line, and the response. The Premise: Joking and Clowning Jokes and humor can be subversive, when comics, clowns, and other joke-­tellers challenge social identities and hierarchies. According to Vilsoni Hereniko, humor or clowning has played an important role in societies across the Pacific. He argues that clowning or joking is an important indigenous form of political commentary and critique: “Within the larger social context, ritual and secular clowning, rehearsed or improvised, were avenues through which society inspected itself and commented upon its rules and regulations, and the ways in which the imposition of structure and hierarchy constrained and stifled creativity and individual expression. Through role-reversal and inversion of societal norms, an alternative world view was explored within the frame of place” (1999, 15). Put another way, in ritualized and everyday social space, clowning can be counter-hegemonic and its symbolic subversion of hierarchy can function as a form of political protest.6 More specifically, Hereniko notes that “because of the inversion of the social order and the ridicule and mockery of chiefs or those in positions of authority, as well as the flaunting of conventions, clowning is potentially a creative and progressive force that threatens to unhinge the foundations upon which society is built” (17). Similarly for Hawai‘i, in his analysis of staged and recorded Local comedy, Toshiaki Furukawa points to their “possibilities for carnivalistic acts to distort official views of reality” (2007, 382). In this light, carnivalistic humor can serve as a way to check those with power and prestige, to guard against the abuse of authority, and to provide a voice for the marginalized, an avenue for empowerment and political agency. Although jokes can create unflattering views of those in power and challenge authority, what happens when clowning is not about those in power, but the socially marginalized, those who have limited access to power and privilege, those who are not the elite? Ethnic joking has played a significant role in the development of Local culture and identity. Much of the literature on Hawai‘i ethnic joking and Local humor highlights its “positive function” and the ways this type of joking reflects the multiethnic and multicultural characteristics of Hawai‘i society (Oshima

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2000, 42). Local humor is often traced to the plantation era, when different racial and ethnic groups lived and worked near one another and joking helped to mediate social (and power) differences among the different groups (see, for example, Grant and Ogawa 1993; Oshima 2000; DeLima 1991; Blake 1996; Okada 2007). Karyn Okada suggests that humor helped ease tension or conflict by substituting laughter for physical assault or hostility: “Historically, with so many racial groups living in such close proximity to each other, locals ultimately cultivated the practice of ‘having fun with their differences,’ perhaps as a way to diffuse what could have otherwise been manifested as violent encounters” (2007, 222). Even further, Darby Price notes that Local humor is often interpreted as fostering smooth interethnic relations: “Ethnic joking is credited for promoting good-humored relations between groups in Hawaii.” He also indicates that joking can also perform a leveling effect in its focus on ethnicity: “Ethnic identities are routinely ridiculed to undermine beliefs that any group is superior” (2001, 122). In much the same way, Fred Blake argues that the “tradition of ethnic joking is an integral part of the social fabric that makes Hawai‘i society unique. The jokelore reflects this uniqueness especially in the way it plays on stereotypes” (1996, 7). As illustrated in the Mox versus Fredo rap battle, jokes usually draw on implicit references, local knowledges, and stereotypes. Shared laughter signifies shared emotional and cultural attachment, helping to create, maintain, or strengthen a sense of one’s individual and collective identities by fortifying such social bonds and solidarity. Blake emphasizes the inclusiveness of a shared sense of humor, stating that the target of the jokes is not ethnic-specific, but it is all groups and the joke is on ethnicity itself. For Blake, the emergence of this brand of ethnic joking and Local humor has helped create “a rather unique kind of civic culture” and “in-group identity and solidarity” (1996, 7). In other words, ethnic jokes and humor are integral and constitutive parts of Local culture, practices, and identity. Joking and humor can simultaneously challenge social identities and order while reinforcing them or creating new ones. In addition to the disorderly behavior and playful criticism in clowning, Hereniko stresses its “polyphonic nature,” namely that while contesting social hierarchies it can also reinforce the norm or status quo where it “serves the interests of the dominant culture that it apparently opposes” (1999, 24). Speaking specifically about ethnic joking in Hawai‘i, Price cautions against a singular, definitive interpretive lens: “Ethnic comedy in Hawaii can both transcend and play upon the tensions that exists among racial/ ethnic groups. These tensions are a reflection of the fact that Hawaii itself is both a multiethnic paradise and ethnic boiling pot” (2001, 129). Furthermore, Blake calls attention to the idea that joking can potentially aggravate racial and ethnic antagonisms: “Many people point out that the actual state of race relations in Hawai‘i falls way short of the celebrated ideal. Some of these people also feel that ethnic jokes only exacerbate these shortcomings” (1996, 8). Criticism

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of Local humor, however, particularly from outsiders, is seen negatively and often dismissed as oversensitivity and a lack of a sense of humor. Shared laughter signals in-group belonging and those who do not laugh, appreciate, or are offended by Local humor confirm their status as non-Local and outsiders.7 Blake explains this inclusion-exclusion dynamic in the following way: “This model suggests that anyone who is willing to buck the common sense and to be roasted for daring to take seriously his or her ethnic group affiliation may be included. Joking has provided a popular grass-roots method for including rather than excluding peoples of different racial and ethnic backgrounds” (1996, 8). Similarly, according to Frank De Lima, the self-proclaimed Portuguese Prince of Hawaiian Comedy, “those who place their specific ethnicities above a collective local identity are most critical of his jokes: ‘There are all these people coming in who think of themselves as specifically ethnic, for example, ‘Filipino’ instead of ‘Hawaiian.’ These newcomers have the most problems with my humor” (quoted in Price 2001, 122–123).8 Following this logic, once newcomers adapt and become Local, these types of jokes will no longer be a problem and then they can and should participate in Local-style joking. For newcomers then, laughing at and laughing with each other is a kind of “invitation to pass,” to distinguish themselves from non-Locals and to participate in the (neo)liberal multicultural form of settler colonialism (Lawrence 2015b, 10). For Filipinos, participating in local ethnic joking is to pass as Local, to differentiate from and disavow other Filipinos while contributing to the system of representation where Filipinos are inferior and culturally backward. Hawai‘i ethnic humor, then, indexes a kind of cultural assimilation predicated on racial hazing. I use the term “racial hazing” to reflect its doubleness. First, hazing can mean having to endure humiliating or denigrating initiation-type activities (like being the target of ethnic joking and Local humor) in order to gain membership into a group. Participating in such local racial hazing, as the joke teller or joke target, is a type of rite of passage. Blake suggests that the involvement of all racial and ethnic groups is an important component of Local joking: “The joking is interethnic in that every group is grist for the local joke mills. Each group takes its turn as the butt of a joke” (1996, 7). Local humor as racial hazing suggests that newcomers are subjected to joking ridicule that often reinforce stereotypes as a gesture of their impending acceptance and cultural belonging.9 Put simply, making fun of or subjecting newcomers or recent immigrants to degrading sociocultural representations is a rite of passage, a sign that they are becoming part of the Local ‘ohana. The rationale is that if these newcomers endure (where laughing at becomes laughing with), they can become part of the Local in-group. For example, Kimie Oshima explains the dog-eating jokes in this way: “In Hawai‘i, Filipino [sic] are generally joked about [as] dog eaters. Earlier during the plantation era, the poorer Japanese and Chinese immigrants used dogs as one of the very few meat resource. As the Filipinos are the most recent newcomer, considered as poor immigrants, it is subsequently their turn

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to eat dogs” (2000, 50). From this perspective, dog-eating is neither ethnicspecific nor about immigrant scapegoating, but (in American Dream–style) more about newcomers, poverty, and socioeconomic mobility. Put another way, it is argued that dog-eating jokes are not really about Filipinos, but about dogeating as a class-based or new-immigrant activity. However, the Filipinos-asdog-eaters stereotype continues to be a persistent and prevalent image despite the fact that Filipinos are no longer a newcomer group. Power in local representational politics cannot be ignored: “Since they were recruited to work on the plantation in 1906, Filipino Americans have encountered great difficulty in asserting their own conception of their ethnic identity and having it accepted by other groups. Instead, in many ways, Filipino American ethnic identity has been and continues to be defined by non-Filipinos through racist stereotypes and other denigrating representations that are pervasive throughout Hawai‘i society” (Okamura 2008, 155). Hazing also suggests a vagueness or opalescence that obscures the complex ways race and ethnicity operate in local practice and perception. This aspect of hazing points to the lack of definitional clarity or conflation of terms that often leads to race, ethnicity, culture, and nationality being used interchangeably, ethnicity usually being the preferred term. Although some have focused on ethnicity as primary organizing principle of Hawai‘i society, the local foregrounding of ethnicity elides the importance of race, racism, and racialization processes (see, for example, Okamura 2008). Local humor is often understood to mirror and constitute Hawai‘i’s brand of multiculturalism, a combination of colorblind racism (Bonilla-Silva 2002) and liberal pluralist ideology. In this light, Hawai‘i’s multiculturalism is largely ethnicity and culture conscious, but race and racism aversive. It recognizes the cultural dimensions of ethnicity, the ways different groups of people who trace their ancestries to different places make sense of their worlds, but does not necessarily concede and instead naturalizes the structural dimensions of race and ethnicity (i.e., how these phenomena help shape life opportunities such as where you live, the schools you attend, and the jobs you have access to). The local emphasis on ethnicity is a strategy that helps shift the focus away from race and constructs a racism mute ideology. Charges of racism are often countered with projection, a rhetorical device common in color-blind racism: “You’re the racist for pointing out race and racism.” In addition, this rhetorical strategy usually focuses on humorous intention or motivation while disregarding the joke’s impact: “It’s all in good fun” and “I don’t mean to be racist so the joke is harmless.” And even further, criticism is often disavowed as mere political correctness, a phenomena typically associated with the mainland and hence not Local: “Since you’re not from here or didn’t grow up here you won’t understand these jokes.” Hazing in this sense dismisses alternative interpretations of ethnic joking. There is only one way to view these jokes from a Local perspective: they are funny. From this viewpoint, the joke-teller

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and their laughing audience cannot be racist, there is no racism here, and critics are asked to figuratively and literally move along. The Punchline: Local Humor as Racial Hazing In the fall of 2012, Gemma Canto, an undergraduate student, was enrolled in my upper-division course focused on theories of race and ethnicity.10 In an assignment where she was asked to characterize her race or ethnicity and her processes of identity formation, she wrote the following haiku: Generation 2 Ewa, Cavite—my homes I no eat dog, k Her poem struck me both because of its content and the class for which it was submitted. Unlike in my Filipino-related classes, in which course assignments prompt students to specifically address local racial and ethnic stereotypes, her haiku was a bit unexpected. However, the content of her haiku can easily be a composite story of the hundreds of local Filipino students I have had in my courses. As a type of counterstory told from the perspective of the target of jokes, the haiku suggests possible identity consequences of ethnic joking and that these types of jokes are not as harmless as many believe them to be. Gemma remarked in her assignment and in my follow-up conversations with her that the haiku was meant to portray what she calls the duality of her identity as a Filipina who feels an attachment to both the Philippines and Hawai‘i. Part of this duality comes from being a second-generation Filipina (Generation 2). By highlighting her status as Generation 2, she identifies her parents as the immigrants, who she explains are usually marked as being FOB (fresh off the boat), dog-eaters, speaking English with a heavy accent, and working low-wage, low-status jobs. The second line highlights this duality and she also creates a distinction through her use of the idea of “homes.” Ewa and Cavite are two places that she identifies as her homes, one in Hawai‘i and one in the Philippines. Cavite is a largely Tagalog-speaking province in the greater Manila area in the Philippines her father came from and she has visited with her family regularly since she was two years old. She identifies Cavite as home and homeland and while there is categorized as American because she was neither born nor raised in the Philippines. She currently resides in Ewa, a relatively new residential development in the southwestern (or leeward) part of O‘ahu that has a considerable concentration of Filipinos. Being Generation 2, she and others often question whether she is indeed really Local. Part of her identity duality is about feeling both culturally Filipino and Local, being tied to the Philippines and Hawai‘i, but yet not feeling that she completely belongs to either. Her

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identity duality calls into question her process of cultural assimilation; it is incomplete because she does not wholly deny her Filipino-ness because she still claims Cavite as home. The final line (“I no eat dog, k”) resolves her identity ambivalence. Written in Hawaiian Creole English, or pidgin, and playing off the most common stereotype of Filipinos in Hawai‘i the line translates to “I do not eat dog, okay.” Here, dog-eating functions as a type of “acting your color,” of acting Filipino and more specifically, acting buk buk (Lawrence 2013, 30). Tired of hearing dog-eating jokes, the line is a matter of fact but exasperated insistence that she is not acting her (assigned) color, that she is not a dog-eater. To “act her color” she must distance herself from being Filipino, lose her accent, assimilate, and ultimately, validate that Filipinos do, indeed, eat dogs. The line acknowledges the prevalence of Filipino dog-eating jokes, but it is a simultaneous reinforcement and rejection of the dog-eating stereotype. As Gemma acknowledged, FOB Filipino stereotypes—like eating dog—are usually applied to all Filipinos, regardless of how they assert their identity. The use of pidgin in the haiku declares that such stereotypes are not applicable to all Filipinos in Hawai‘i and her use of pidgin marks her Localness. “I no eat dog, k” is also a type of deflection—there are Filipinos like that, but not me because I am not a FOB. She proclaims that she is not buk buk, that she is not that kind of Filipino. She does not want her Filipino identity to be defined by the stereotype, but to a large extent she cannot escape it. In this regard, Jonathan Okamura argues that Filipinos in Hawai‘i are an example of “an ethnic group that has been precluded from constructing its own ethnic identity by the constraining societal conditions with which they must contend, especially their historical and contemporary stereotyping by other groups” (2008, 98). “I no eat dog, k” marks ethnic joking and Local humor as norm and secures the naturalization of Filipinos as dog-eaters. Gemma’s proclamation that she does not eat dogs counters local stereotypes of Filipinos as it simultaneously affirms the denigrating imagery. Her desire to distance herself from the dominant view of Filipino illustrates a hierarchized set of Filipino types. For Gemma to not be labeled buk buk but still assert her O‘ahu, she must forcefully insist, “I no eat dog, k” and demonstrate that her racial hazing is complete. If Gemma had been in the audience of the rap battle between Big Mox and Fredo, would she have been openly and visibly upset? Would she have laughed along, even nervously, during Big Mox’s Filipino dog-eating lines? Would she have loudly and vigorously declared to Big Mox and to the audience, “I no eat dog, k!”? For Gemma and other Generation 2 Filipinos to become Local—to accept the invitation to pass as Local and to be able to claim Local—is to not only know and consume Filipino jokes, but to also participate in their circulation, whether as the teller or the target, tentatively or wholeheartedly laughing along. For immigrant Filipinos to fully culturally assimilate, they must be able to take

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the jokes. They must take the teasing and ridicule, understanding that it is part of the expected cultural adaptation process. Once they have adequately shown they are not like them, when they have denied their relationship to them, then they, too, can claim Local. And when they make fun of the new(er) Filipino immigrants, the new(er) FOBs, the new(er) buk buks, they assert their cultural identity as Local—getting teased and teasing to fit in, taking their place in the Local ‘ohana and staking their claim in Hawai‘i’s liberal multicultural settler colonialism. Asserting a Local Filipino identity requires a Hawai‘i-as-America slippage: “I am simply identified as American.” In claiming a Local identity, one becomes entrenched in a Hawai‘i that is the fiftieth state, the Aloha State, not the Kingdom of Hawai‘i under U.S. occupation. “I no eat dog, k” is also counterhegemonic. By defiantly announcing, “I no eat dog, k” Gemma calls out societal racism and effectively says, “Stop telling these racist jokes.” Her defiance is a rejection of the assimilationist demand in the broader system of representation that upholds a White supremacist ideology. She repudiates the invitation to pass, to be not buk buk. “I no eat dog, k” and her dogged insistence of having two homes is a different kind of “acting your color,” a reconstruction of Filipino and a refusal to participate in a narrative that requires her to culturally distance herself from her community and maintain the discourse of Filipino cultural incompetence and inferiority. By resisting the assimilation impulse, she no longer wants to keep telling herself and her community the little White lies of color-blind racism or the Big Lie of postracialism. The Response: State-Sponsored Cultural Assimilation? In January 2014, Hawai‘i State Senator Clayton Hee introduced Senate Bill 2026 to the legislature (Hawai‘i State Legislature 2014). State Representatives Jessica Wooley, Della Au Bellati, Tom Brower, Richard Creagen, Chris Lee, Angus L. K. McKelvey, John Mizuno, Scott Saiki, Nicole Lowen, and Kyle Yamashita sponsored the House companion bill, HB 2368. The stated purpose of the bills was “to prohibit the slaughtering or trafficking of dogs or cats for human consumption.” Proponents of the bill pointed to the weakness of state legislation with regards to animal cruelty, which in 2007 was changed from a misdemeanor to a felony, but current law does not include any language related to the slaughtering, selling, and consumption of “pet animals” such as cats and dogs. The bill sought to clarify the definition of pet animals as well as establish “humane” and “acceptable” behavior towards such animals. The bills referenced the high profile 2007 case where two recently migrated Filipino maintenance workers at the Moanalua Golf Course (on the island of O‘ahu) were arrested and prosecuted for stealing and butchering a dog (while its owner played a round of golf) as an important reason for changing the law. Although the two men, who were not directly named in the bill, were convicted of felony animal cruelty, the bill sought more stringent protections for pet animals.11 The bill also specifically

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referenced the Philippines, Taiwan, and Hong Kong as places that prohibit the sale or trafficking of dogs or cats for human consumption (though public and private jokes or talk about dog- or cat-eating among those from Taiwan and Hong Kong are relatively absent). Many of the public testimonies in favor of the Senate and House bills mirrored the sentiment expressed by the prosecuting attorney in the 2007 case: eating dogs and cats is not about “food choice” or “cultural preference” but about cruelty to animals. Supporters of the bill stated that eating dogs and cats is “cruelty” and “murder,” and that these practices and those who engaged in them were “savage” and “inhumane.” One testimony intimated that the variety of ethnic groups in the islands is, in part, the basis for the emergence and persistence of the practice: “Our ethnic diversity here in Hawaii has contributed to the practice of eating dogs and cats.” Are ethnic and cultural diversity problematic and disadvantageous? Another suggested that this culinary practice “is not an admirable Asian custom.” Are there then too many Asians in Hawai‘i who allow this cultural practice to continue? Another supporter challenged the image of Hawai‘i as a tropical and racial paradise: “I see more cruelty in this place called paradise than I have seen in my entire life.” One proponent of the bill bemoaned the possible effects of such practices on tourism: “What would our visitors to our islands think if they know we support slaughtering and trafficking of dogs and cats for human consumption? This is not humane nor compassionate nor aloha.” Applying a type of developmental logic, another supporter argued, “Often cruel practices are supported by people who claim it is ‘tradition’ or ‘culture.’ They fail to realize that many traditions throughout the world have been recognized as cruel and are now prohibited.” In this argument, Hawai‘i is not some “thirdworld country” where this “barbaric” practice should be culturally accepted. Despite the outpouring of support from animal lovers and organizations like the O‘ahu Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, the bill eventually did not pass because the two chambers could not agree on amendments. I do not advocate for the eating of dogs and cats, but my interest in SB 2026/HB 2368 is because it reflects the broader sociocultural context and discourse in which Filipino dog-eating jokes prevail. The language in the bills and in the supporting testimonies is not an exercise in cultural relativism—no discussion was had about whether it is culturally acceptable to eat cows and pigs or what constitutes culturally or religiously appropriate food, or more specifically a protein source. The basic argument goes like this: We don’t eat our pets and people who eat what we consider “pets” are “barbaric” and backward. Filipino dog-eating jokes operate within this discourse and its accompanying domain of cultural representation. When not referring specifically to Filipinos, testimonies in support of the bills mentioned stealing, selling, butchering, and eating dogs in places like Waipahu and Kalihi, neighborhoods on O‘ahu with high concentrations of Filipinos. Other testimonies were more direct in their racial coding with one specifically recalling a dog being stolen and “ending up on a Filipino’s

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dinner table.” Following the assimilationist and developmental logic and the concomitant ethnocentrism undergirding the dog-eating discourse in the bill and the testimonies, Filipinos should stop eating dogs to become part of “our society” and become one of “us.” In a sense, the bills represent a type of statesanctioned cultural assimilation, another form of racial hazing that rests on a liberal multicultural form of settler colonialism. This assimilationist logic counters the multiculturalist ideology (often expressed as openness, tolerance, and acceptance of others) usually associated with Hawai‘i, the same multiculturalist ideology that authorizes Local ethnic humor (and Filipino dog-eating jokes). As the bills acknowledge, dog-eating is a cultural trait attributed to Filipinos, and this in turn “proves” that Filipinos do, indeed, eat dogs. Because Filipino dogeating jokes are based on “fact,” supporters of these types of jokes often suggest that because they are “true,” they are not racist and criticism of this humor is unfounded. But this discourse points to more than whether these jokes are true or funny. They reveal broader political questions, namely how we represent Hawai‘i in terms of who belongs (i.e., who are the rightful members) and who Hawai‘i belongs to (i.e., who are the rightful owners). In other words, racial and ethnic joking and the broader sociocultural contexts in which they operate can elucidate what and who is “our society” and who and what is “us.” The bills and their supporting testimonies expose the second aspect of racial hazing: the blinders that often obscure our vision when it comes to race, ethnicity, culture, and politics in Hawai‘i. Conclusion: Towards a Racial Vog Perspective Kanaka Maoli scholar Noelani Goodyear-Ka‘ōpua uses the idea of rebuilding an ‘auwai (or irrigation ditches developed by Kānaka Maoli for abundant and sustainable wetland taro cultivation) as a metaphor and practice for (re)creating indigenous educational institutions, transmitting indigenous cultural knowledge, connecting the economic, ecological, and self-determination (GoodyearKa‘ōpua 2009, 49). By way of conclusion, I follow Goodyear-Ka‘ōpua’s example and introduce a Hawai‘i-centered metaphor for looking at the islands’ sociocultural and political relations: volcanoes and vog (or volcanic smog). Beverly Daniel Tatum, in her groundbreaking book “Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria?”: And Other Conversations about Race, uses the imagery of smog to examine cultural racism. She writes, “Cultural racism—the cultural images and messages that affirm the assumed superiority of Whites and the assumed inferiority of people of color—is like smog in the air. Sometimes it is so thick it is visible, other times it is less apparent, but always, day in and day out we are breathing it in” (2003, 6). Rather than the “racial smog” that covers racial and ethnic relations in the continental United States, here in the islands a “racial vog” blankets Hawai‘i society, sometimes suffocating its residents but is mostly tolerated as a naturalized part of the ecological and sociopolitical order. Vog is

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a volcanic haze that hovers in the air and forms when sulfur dioxide gas is emitted into the air and reacts with other gases, dust, moisture, and sunlight. Levels of vog exposure vary, ranging from none (very little haze and a sharp horizon) to extreme (diminished visibility with no visible horizon). Vog affects people differently depending on conditions. It may be negligible, a slight nuisance, or some may not notice it, while others can feel suffocated, making it difficult to breathe and see. The notion of racial vog helps draw attention to the ostensibly allergic reaction some island residents have to talking about race, racism, and Indigeneity and the haze that smothers local understandings of sociocultural and political difference. Race, racism, and Indigeneity (and their intersections) are often treated as noxious air or miasma, infecting and polluting the atmosphere, and we hope they can be carried away by the trade winds. The racial vog often tell us that those ideas, practices, and stereotypes we understood and experienced as racist in the past are now devoid of denigrating racial meaning (Lawrence 2015a, 94). On the other hand, the racial vog can also expose our racist past and present and insist that we engage Indigeneity.12 I have elsewhere used a similar geological metaphor, that of the volcano and the “hotspot origin” of the Hawaiian archipelago, to investigate the interrelatedness of historical migrations and modes of production (Labrador 2015). Here I extend the metaphor to suggest that rather than using the image of a “racial paradise,” “multicultural melting pot,” or Local-inspired “mixed plate” or Asian-inspired “chop suey nation,” negotiating sociocultural and political difference and understanding the liberal multicultural form of settler colonialism in Hawai‘i can be better interpreted through the image of a volcano (or perhaps more specifically, a caldera, the cauldron-shaped volcanic feature that forms following the collapse of land after a volcanic eruption). In this metaphor, magma signifies Nativeness or Indigeneity, which is often forgotten, hidden, concealed, submerged, and subterranean. Countering the eliminationist logic in settler colonialism, the volcano metaphor reinserts and centralizes Indigeneity in our understanding of Hawai‘i society.13 Indigeneity is a foundational part of society, but is often a hidden presence, unless when it rises to the societal surface (as lava) explosively or gradually by seeping through rifts and fractures. When magma rises to the earth’s surface, the lava flow can be unpredictable, changing locations and activity levels leading to different types of territorial formations. The magma is the basis for terra forma, the lands upon which “paradise” is rooted, the underground foundation. The lava flow is simultaneously productive and destructive, discharging from rift zones and fissures, current formations built upon previous eruptions. Repeated and continuous eruptions can also lead to volcanic collapse, creating new territorial structures, like the Ko‘olau Caldera on O‘ahu. Eruptions can also occur on the flanks instead of from the volcanic summit, a type of grounded instability and interlayering. Similarly, we can view sociocultural and political relations as simultaneous territorial formation and

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erosion, continually marking and erasing boundaries and constantly staking claims to place. Likewise, ethnic joke-telling can be productive and destructive, depending on whether it challenges or reinforces societal hierarchies. We can also see how White supremacy, multiculturalism, and Indigeneity (as the hidden and disguised undercurrent) are ideologies competing for societal dominance. By going beyond paradise and moving from Hawai‘i as melting pot to Hawai‘i as volcano, the shift in imagery seeks to reconcile the actual and the metaphorical and to open up paths for better negotiating power and difference where we must continually challenge color-blind and postracial ideologies and narratives. Notes  1. In line with standard practice in Hawai‘i, I use the appropriate diacritics whenever possible (primarily the ‘okina, or glottal stop, and kahakō, or macron), unless the quote, title (like the Angry Locals’ album name), organization, or entity does not use it.  2. MC or rap battles are part of the broad genre of verbal contests or conflict talk but are also more specifically linked to Black verbal artistry and African American linguistic dueling practices such as sounding and playing the dozens (for further discussion, see Alim 2006). Alim and colleagues characterize the “structure” of rap battles in the following way: “Battles often occur in rhyme ciphers, where participants come together to display their lyrical inventiveness and to share their views of the world. These ciphers are constituted by and within highly charged, communal, yet intensely competitive circular arrangements of improvisational rhymers” (Alim, Lee, and Carris 2010, 117).  3. However, Okamura has argued the Local category is also historically tied to a working-class affiliation and an ancestral linkage to nineteenth- and twentieth-century sugar and pineapple plantation workers (1994, 1980). More recently, Local is being seen less as a working-class identity and understood more as a culturally based identity marker that refers to a set of behaviors, values, and attitudes practiced by those “born and raised” in the islands or those who were “born here, not flown here” (for a discussion on haoles in the islands, see Rohrer 2010). From this perspective, those groups usually racially excluded from the Local label, such as Whites, Blacks, and Latinos, can “become Local” through processes of linguistic and cultural assimilation. These groups may not “look Local” but can “act Local” through their cultural practice and language use (for further discussion on the experiences of Blacks in Hawai‘i, see Sharma 2011; for Mexicans, see Batalova, Das Gupta, and Haglund 2013).  4. It can be argued that the line “Fredo can be found bloody in his proud country, feasting on pound puppies” suggests that dog-eating is more of a Philippine or recent Filipino immigrant trait, rather than a Local Filipino one. Others have made similar arguments elsewhere (see, for example, Labrador 2004, 2015; Okamura 2010; Hiramoto 2011).  5. Buk buk is pronounced as “book book,” and in fact, the homonyms, buk and book, have generated their own thread of jokes. For example, what do you call a short or young Filipino? A booklet.  6. Joking takes place in a wide range of spaces and contexts, from public to private, secular to sacred, everyday naturally occurring social interactions to ritualized practice, improvisational to staged, and recorded to live comedic performance.

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 7. In the rap battle quoted, Mox gestures to his awareness of how others might be offended by his words in the line, “you could say it’s biased like these raps isn’t fair.”  8. Price also suggests that it is not just “newcomers,” such as immigrant Filipinos (and, more recently, Micronesians), who are critical of ethnic humor, but critics also include Native Hawaiians and others who do not want to play on superficial and racist stereotypes.  9. Part of the logic in this type of joking argues that all racial and ethnic groups in Hawai‘i were newcomers at some point. 10. I use a fictitious name for the student to maintain confidentiality and protect their privacy. 11. Both men were sentenced to three years’ probation, required to complete several hundred hours of community service, and ordered to spend a year in prison as a condition of their probation. 12. I borrow the term “engaging indigeneity” from Labrador and Wright (2011). 13. For examples of Kanaka engagement with Local humor, see the works of James Kawika “Rap” Reiplinger, who was integral in the development of staged and recorded Local comedy in the 1970s and 1980s, and Kaui Hill aka Bu La‘ia, who incorporated a political component in his performances.

References Alim, H. Samy. 2006. Roc the Mic Right: The Language of Hip Hop Culture. New York: Routledge. Alim, H. Samy, Jooyoung Lee, and Lauren Mason Carris. 2010. “‘Short Fried-Rice-Eating Chinese MCs’ and ‘Good-Hair-Havin UNCLE Tom Niggas’: Performing Race and Ethnicity in Freestyle Rap Battles.” Journal of Linguistic Anthropology 20, no. 1: 116– 133. Batalova, Jeanne, Monisha Das Gupta, and Sue Patricia Haglund. 2013. Newcomers in the Aloha State: Challenges and Prospects for Mexicans in Hawai‘ i. Washington, DC: Migration Policy Institute. Big Mox. 2013. Interview. April 4. Blake, Fred. 1996. “Interethnic Humor in Hawaii.” In The Comic in the Culture: Laughter and Humor in Asian and Pacific Societies, ed. Mahadev Apte and Ron Jenkins. Honolulu: University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa Summer Session. Bonilla-Silva, Eduardo. 2002. “The Linguistics of Color Blind Racism: How to Talk Nasty about Blacks without Sounding ‘Racist.’ ” Critical Sociology 28, no. 1–2: 41–64. Canto, Gemma. 2012. Interview. December 15. DeLima, Frank. 1991. Frank DeLima’s Joke Book: Having Fun with Portagees, Pakes, Buddha Heads, Buk Buks, Blallahs, Soles, Yobos, Haoles, Tidahs, Pit Bulls, and other Hawaiian Minorities. Honolulu: Bess Press. Fredo. 2013. Interview. October 22. Furukawa, Toshiaki. 2007. “No Flips in the Pool: Discursive Practice in Hawai‘i Creole.” Pragmatics 17, no. 3: 371–385. Goodyear-Ka‘ōpua, Noelani. 2009. “Rebuilding the ‘Auwai: Connecting Ecology, Economy and Education in Hawaiian Schools.” AlterNative 5, no. 2: 46–77. Grant, Glen, and Dennis Ogawa. 1993. “Living Proof: Is Hawai‘i the Answer?” Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science 530: 137–154.

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Hawai‘i State Legislature. 2014. Relating to Animal Cruelty, HI SB2026 SD1 HD2, Regular session. April 14. number=2026&year=2014. Hereniko, Vilsoni. 1999. “Clowning as Political Commentary: Polynesia, Then and Now.” In Art and Performance in Oceania, ed. Barry Craig, Bernie Kernot, and Christopher Anderson. Honolulu: University of Hawai‘i Press. Hiramoto, Mie. 2011. “Is Dat Dog You’re Eating?: Mock Filipino, Hawai‘i Creole, and Local Elitism.” Pragmatics 21, no. 3: 341–371. Labrador, Roderick N. 2004. “‘We Can Laugh at Ourselves’: Hawai‘i Ethnic Humor, Local Identity and the Myth of Multiculturalism.” Pragmatics 14, no. 2–3: 291–316. ———. 2015. Building Filipino Hawai‘ i. Urbana-Champaign: University of Illinois Press. Labrador, Roderick N., and Erin K. Wright. 2011. “Engaging Indigeneity in Pacific Islander and Asian American Studies.” Amerasia Journal 37, no. 3: 135–147. Lawrence, Charles R., III. 2013. “‘Acting Our Color’: Racial Re-Construction and Identity as Acts of Resistance.” UCLA Asian Pacific American Law Journal 18: 21–34. ———. 2015a. “Local Kine Implicit Bias: Unconscious Racism Revisited (Yet Again).” University of Hawai‘ i Law Review 37: 457–500. ———. 2015b. “Passing and Trespassing in the Academy: On Whiteness as Property and Racial Performance as Political Speech.” Harvard Journal on Racial and Ethnic Justice 31: 7–30. Okada, Karyn R. 2007. “An Analysis of Hawai‘i’s Tradition of ‘Local’ Ethnic Humor.” University of Hawai‘ i Law Review 30, no. 1: 219–242. Okamura, Jonathan Y. 1980. “Aloha Kanaka me ke Aloha ‘Aina: Local Culture and Society in Hawaii.” Amerasia Journal 7, no. 2: 119–137. ———. 1994. “Why There Are No Asian Americans in Hawai‘i: The Continuing Significance of Local Identity.” Social Process in Hawai‘ i 35: 161–178. ———. 2008. Ethnic and Inequality in Hawai‘ i. Philadelphia: Temple University Press. ———. 2010. “From Running Amok to Eating Dogs: A Century of Misrepresenting Filipino Americans in Hawai‘i.” Ethnic and Racial Studies 33, no. 3: 496–514. Oshima, Kimie. 2000. “Ethnic Jokes and Social Function in Hawai‘i.” Humor 13, no. 1: 41–57. Price, Darby Li Po. 2001. “Multiracial Comedy as Commodity in Hawaii.” In The Sum Of Our Parts: Mixed-Heritage Asian Americans, ed. Teresa Williams-León and Cynthia L. Nakashima, 121–130. Philadelphia: Temple University Press. Rohrer, Judy. 2010. Haoles in Hawai‘ i. Honolulu: University of Hawai‘i Press. Saranillio, Dean Itsuji. 2013. “Why Asian Settler Colonialism Matters: A Thought Piece on Critiques, Debates, and Indigenous Difference.” Settler Colonial Studies 3, no. 3–4: 280–294. Sharma, Nitasha. 2011. “Pacific Revisions of Blackness: Blacks Address Race and Belonging in Hawai‘i.” Amerasia Journal 37, no. 3: 43–60. Tatum, Beverly Daniel. 2003. “Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria?”: And Other Conversations about Race. New York: Basic Books. YouTube. 2010. “Big Mox vs Fredo Mc Battle OT Round” [video file], November 30. https://

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Chapter 4

“Eh! Where you from?” Questions of Place, Race, and Identity in Contemporary Hawai‘i John P. Rosa

In Hawai‘i today, asking where a person is from can be a way to ask how one identifies himself or herself in relation to Hawai‘i and its history. Island residents have been quick to ask similar questions like “What nationality [are] you?” in the early to mid-twentieth century, and in more recent decades, “What high school you went?” Such queries, often in Hawai‘i Creole (colloquially called pidgin), reveal the changing nature of social and cultural identities that are inherently tied to issues of place.1 In asking for identification, the questioner might also be hinting at more blunt, and often unspoken questions: “Are you from here—and hence, do you belong?” And even more so, “How long has your family been here? Are you Kanaka Maoli, a Native Hawaiian descended from the first people to settle in the islands, or are you even related to Hawai‘i’s more recent plantation past?”2 Asking “Where are you from?” is a way to figure out where another person stands in relation to himself or herself. In essence, the questioner is asking, “Are you like me and from here? Or are you from somewhere else?” The question can also be used as an indirect way to assess the possible race or ethnicity of a person. Depending upon the tone and the way the question is raised, one might take offense—after all, the Hawai‘i Creole “Eh!” is an abrupt vocative used to get someone’s attention and almost demand a response.3 Such questions—fully articulated or not—are asked because of an impulse to readily place a person into one or more categories. This essay focuses mainly on the relationship between place and race-ethnicity. But of course, the question of where one is from also brings up issues of language, class affiliation, and status of different kinds. In everyday life in the islands, seemingly simple questions are used in a variety of contexts. The history and geography of Hawai‘ i compel its residents to make sense of their place in relationship to one another.


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In addition to asking where we are from, it can be fruitful to ask where we are now and where we are going—questions that are useful in an island environment that can potentially change more rapidly than the outside world. Asking where we have been explains the past. Asking where we are now encourages us to grapple with the present. And asking where we are going allows us to plan for the future, both near and far—not just in terms of years but of generations. These questions show an orientation toward time in which islanders continually and actively think about their history to engage with it and move toward a sustainable future.4 Where Have We Been? Over the last two centuries, four general social-cultural groupings in Hawai‘i have emerged that are mainly based on place and not necessarily on race or ethnicity alone. All four draw attention to the fact that living on a set of islands in the middle of the Pacific has given rise to groupings that are different from those found in continental places. We must consider matters of geography because they affect political, economic, social, and cultural dimensions of these group identities and the interactions among these groups. The four significant groups to have emerged are Kānaka Maoli (Native Hawaiians), haole (Whites), locals, and (for lack of a better term) Others. These categories (sometimes by slightly different names) have been used in the last several decades by humanities and social science scholars of the islands.5 These categories are broad, but they give us a starting point to look at points of commonality and conflict among people in Hawai‘i. These groupings and their definitions are shifting—and that is to be expected given that all social and cultural identities change over time and are in a constant state of flux. The question is exactly why these definitions have developed as they have. Each of these groups has historical specificity, and all of these groups have been shaped and reshaped by processes of racialization. The issue of place is central in determining each of the four. Kānaka Maoli are the descendants of the first people to come to the islands. Haole are Whites who mainly came from Europe and the United States as merchants during the late eighteenth century, as missionaries from the United States throughout the nineteenth century, or as military personnel or in other occupations throughout the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Locals are the descendants of specific immigrant groups—mostly from east Asia, the Philippines, Portugal, and Puerto Rico—who were recruited as plantation laborers from the mid-­ nineteenth century to the mid-twentieth century. Others include smaller numbers of Asians and Pacific Islanders of various ethnicities who arrived after the heyday of sugar and pineapple plantations. The category also includes Latina/ os, and people of African descent who have come largely in the post–World War

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II and post-1965 eras. Because the majority of Hawai‘i residents do not always remember this post–World War II history as readily as Native Hawaiian and plantation histories, these groups might not always be recognized as locals in mainstream understandings of Hawai‘i history. Providing some background on each of these groups helps us see how place is a central element in the ways that island residents identify themselves socially and culturally. Kānaka Maoli

Kānaka Maoli were the first to come to the islands, arriving as early as 0 to 400 CE, according to many anthropologists. More recent archaeological and anthropological research argues that human settlement of Eastern Polynesia might have been as late as 1200 CE, but even this much later estimate is nearly six centuries before the arrival of Captain James Cook in 1778.6 The deliberate voyages of these early Hawaiians across thousands of miles of ocean were daring accomplishments, and the revival of traditional wayfinding techniques since the 1970s has been a source of pride for Native Hawaiians and other island residents. In settling on the islands, early arrivals also brought plants and animals from other parts of Polynesia as food sources for their new home. Thus, early Hawaiians were more than just navigators and voyagers—they were also skilled planners and transportation specialists intent on succeeding in their new place of residence.7 Their relative isolation from other human populations enabled them to develop their own Kanaka Maoli–Hawaiian culture, distinct from other parts of what anthropologists call the cultural geographic region of Polynesia. Haole

Haole is a Native Hawaiian word that initially meant any foreigner in general. It was also an adjective for any newly introduced plant or animal species. By the mid- to late nineteenth century, the term referred mainly to Whites, most often of American and British origin.8 It was not until 1778 that we have the first written record of the arrival of outsiders to the Hawaiian Islands—the voyages of Captain Cook from Britain. Maritime trade with Western and Eastern countries since the late eighteenth century brought a range of visitors, some of whom intermingled with Native Hawaiians and produced offspring. Cook’s arrival was not the first by Westerners, but news of his landing in Hawai‘i in the late eighteenth century brought sustained contact with the outside world.9 Small numbers of merchants, missionaries, and others from the United States and Europe arrived in this early period, and though they made up a small percentage of the population, they had considerable influence. Merchants brought new goods, thus ushering in the beginnings of a capitalist system linked to a world system of trade. Missionaries from New England encouraged the transformation of an

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oral culture into one that adopted a written form of Hawaiian and English. A variety of haole individuals also served as advisors to the Hawaiian monarchy and helped establish a written system of laws for domestic use and international treaties by the middle of the nineteenth century.10 The plantation system in Hawai‘i grew rapidly from the mid-nineteenth century onward. Sugar plantations got their start in 1835 on the island of Kaua‘i, but it was the Kingdom of Hawai‘i’s Masters and Servants Act in 1850 that enabled the recruitment of laborers on a large scale from outside the islands. By the last quarter of the century, a planter and merchant oligarchy emerged that largely served the interests of Americans in the islands who had secured the Treaty of Reciprocity of 1875 that allowed for the duty free export of sugar from plantations in Hawai‘i to the United States. Throughout the nineteenth century, American influences on the islands grew stronger and other European influences (via merchants and island residents of British, French, German, and Russian ancestry) grew weaker. A haole oligarchy led by Lorrin Thurston, Sanford Dole, and others overthrew Queen Lili‘uokalani in 1893 and established a provisional government (1893–1894) in the hopes that the United States would soon annex the islands. When it appeared that it would not do so immediately, this oligarchy formed the Republic of Hawai‘i (1894–1898). During U.S. president William McKinley’s administration, the use of Hawai‘i as a stopping point for American troops on their way to the Philippines to fight in the Spanish American War brought greater interest in the islands. Because a drafted treaty of annexation requiring a two-thirds vote in the Senate failed to pass, Congress believed it could use a joint resolution requiring only a majority vote in both houses to annex the islands. The Newlands Resolution passed in 1898, but its legality as a means to cede land outside of the United States was contested then—and remains a source of debate today. Locals

The labor needs of sugar plantations brought migrants in large numbers, first from China (1852), then from Portugal (1878), and Japan (1885) in the second half of the nineteenth century. After the U.S. victory in the Spanish American War, the migration of Puerto Ricans (1900) and Filipinos (1906) was facilitated; in the first decade of the twentieth century, Koreans (1903) migrated to Hawai‘i as well. Many workers from these six immigrant groups on the sugar plantations chose to stay in the islands—and it is their descendants who have made up the core of locals in Hawai‘i since roughly the 1930s. These groups had come to see a commonality among themselves as working-class people of color, living in the same working-class neighborhoods when they moved off the plantations. Because of the increasing presence of the U.S. military and events like the Massie-Kahahawai case of 1931 and 1932, locals also saw themselves as opposed

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to a White elite composed of military personnel and the kama‘āina haole oligarchy of the Territory of Hawai‘i.11 The power of a White oligarchy extended into the territorial period (1898–1959), but during the second half of the twentieth century, the political strength of locals increased as a result of their growing representation in the electorate and in civil service and professional jobs. As the term suggests, “locals” are from a particular locality. The history of this locality—Hawai‘i—has largely determined that Native Hawaiians and the descendants of sugar and later pineapple plantation workers are the ones who, for much of the twentieth century, are mainly considered to be local. By the end of the twentieth century, however, locals are no longer only members of the working class. Although they have sometimes been racialized as a panethnic, non-White group, distinct from Whites in power, locals also have differences among themselves—especially along lines of class and among different ethnic groups within the category of local. Others

Others are those who do not readily fit in general, mainstream understandings of Hawai‘i’s history and who are often not recognized as being “from here.” This term is not used in everyday language, but I use it here to draw attention to the wide range of individuals and their ethnic affiliations who do not fit readily into the other three categories of Native Hawaiian, haole, or local. By the start of the twenty-first century, this Other grouping has become rather large and diverse. The heterogeneous category of Other also helps us critique the category of local itself because it encourages us to think about how outsiders can eventually become insiders on the basis of their acquired local knowledge and customs. The racial categories of Native Hawaiian and haole, on the other hand, are rarely in question because they are more firmly associated in public discourse as racialized categories. Others are often post–World War II arrivals who are seen to be new to Hawai‘i even though some might have come previously in smaller numbers. Sailors of many backgrounds (such as Asian Indian and Māori) came as part of maritime trade as well as paniolo (cowboys) from Mexican California of Native American and mixed ancestry. In the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, sugar planters also experimented with the importation of small groups of laborers that included Gilbertese Islanders now called I-Kiribati (1878), Germans (1881), Norwegians (1881), Ukrainians (1897), Spanish (1907), and Russians (1909).12 People of African descent have come to the islands since the late eighteenth century, but generally their presence in Hawai‘i is seen to be related to military personnel who arrived most notably during the World War II era.13 More recent immigrants from a range of racial-ethnic groups are often considered Other because their group histories have not been readily recognized as

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related to the more well-known Native Hawaiian and plantation past. Many Pacific Islander and Asian groups have actually been in Hawai‘i for decades, if not for two or even three or more generations. The first large migration of Samoans to Hawai‘i, for example, came in the 1950s after the restructuring of the administration of American Samoa as a U.S. territory. About two decades later, Southeast Asians started migrating as well, but their presence is barely mentioned in the overall history of Hawai‘i even though the islands figured prominently as a transportation hub for U.S. military operations during the Vietnam war era. At least the 1999 high school textbook A History of Hawaii spends one page describing the first wave of Vietnamese migrants who came to the islands after the fall of Saigon in 1975. The text also notes that a second wave of Vietnamese and other Southeast Asians came to Hawai‘i and other parts of the United States via refugee camps in Thailand and Malaysia.14 Each of these groups is somewhat small relative to the overall population for the islands. When we look at how individuals selected one or more racial categories in the U.S. 2010 Census, Blacks or African Americans ranked seventh among Hawai‘i’s population groups at 2.9 percent of the total, Samoans eighth at 2.8 percent, American Indian and Alaska Natives ninth at 2.5 percent, and Vietnamese tenth at 1.0 percent.15 Many of these Others may be considered local with the passage of time—especially if they come to adopt local cultural markers such as speaking Hawai‘i Creole, eating local food, and participating in other local customs. As with any social or cultural identity, however, appearances might make someone not always accepted as local. One well-known example is Barack Obama, who was indeed born and raised in Hawai‘i but has not always been considered local in the islands. As a person of African descent— and, furthermore, as the son of a Kenyan (i.e., not an African American) who came to the University of Hawai‘i and the East-West Center to study and of a White mother born in Kansas—Obama does not have many commonalities in terms of family background with Native Hawaiians or plantation descendants. Furthermore, after his birth in Honolulu, Obama was raised briefly in Indonesia. His schooling at Punahou School—a private school founded by American missionaries and often still associated with kama‘āina haole elite—has made him the subject of criticism as well. In 2008, for example, Senator Daniel Inouye, a second-generation Japanese American who graduated from the public McKinley High School, remarked that Obama could not be considered a true son of Hawai‘i because he had attended Punahou. Inouye later apologized for the remark, but his commentary underscores the importance of being able to identify as working class if one is to be considered a local from Hawai‘i. Where Are We Now? Hawai‘i’s population has increased steadily over the last twenty-five years, breaking the one million mark in 1990 and now standing at nearly one and a half

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million according to a 2014 Census estimate. Despite the decreasing number of Kānaka Maoli piha (pure Native Hawaiians) since Western contact, increasing numbers of people of who have Native Hawaiian ancestry are self-identifying as Kanaka Maoli and challenging “blood quantum” governmental and social science discourse that have historically asked “how much Hawaiian” a person is.16 If we look at the 2010 Census rankings for Hawai‘i residents selecting one race alone and in combination, we see some interesting patterns. Surprisingly to some, 41.5 percent of the total population of 1.36 million people in 2010 designated themselves as White or part White. White is a rather large census category—a racial one, actually, composed of many ethnic groups (see table 4.1).17 The next four significant census groups for race alone and in combination were Filipino at 25.1 percent, Japanese at 23.0 percent, Native Hawaiian at 21.3 percent, and Chinese at 14.7 percent (these percentages add to well over 100 because the figures are for “race alone and in combination”). A person walking down the street in the islands might not visually register that more than one-third of Hawai‘i’s population today is White or part White. Instead, a person (whether resident or visitor) is likely to see that, according to the 2014 state and county population characteristics released by the U.S. Census, an estimated 56.2 percent can trace their ancestry to one or more Asian ethnic groups. An estimated 26 percent have some Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander background.18 More recent haole arrivals sometimes have continental understandings of racial categories and hierarchies. These individuals often focus on Hawai‘i’s nonWhite character, not realizing that many Native Hawaiians, Pacific Islanders, and Asians are part White. Conversely, local residents have sometimes expressed racial prejudice against recent White arrivals in place-based terms. One example would be bumper stickers that proclaim “Grown here, not flown here” or stress “Slow down! Dis Not Da Mainland!” or “I love Kailua—Before You Came!” These bumper stickers express localism—but can, to varying degrees, convey racial prejudice. The core of the islands’ population has not changed much since the midtwentieth century, when significant parts of the islands were Native Hawaiian and, due to the plantation experience, East Asian, Filipino, Portuguese, and Puerto Rican. Not too surprisingly, the top six census groups for Hawai‘i in 2010 were still linked to the plantation experience: White, Filipino, Japanese, Native Hawaiian, Chinese, and Korean. Each of these groups except for Native Hawaiians has also grown with immigration after the dominance of the plantation era (roughly the 1850s to the 1960s). As of the 2010 Census, the largest ethnic (as opposed to racial) group in Hawai‘i is Filipino. Because of significant post-1965 immigration, Filipinos have eclipsed the older Japanese population because immigration from Japan has been light since the early twentieth century.

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For Hawai‘i as a whole, individuals from somewhat highly visible groups indicated their race-ethnicity on the 2010 Census in smaller numbers than one would anticipate. Immediately behind those who self-identified as Chinese and part Chinese (14.7 percent), Koreans and part-Koreans ranked sixth but made up only 3.6 percent of Hawai‘i’s total population. Next, ranking seventh through tenth, came Blacks at 2.9 percent, Samoans at 2.8 percent, American Indians and Alaska Natives at 2.5 percent, and Vietnamese at 1.0 percent (for a more extensive list, see table 4.1). A growing number of people in Hawai‘i identify themselves as being “from here” through birth or long-time residence in the islands. In recent decades, a more flexible definition of local has come to include almost anyone born and raised in the islands, which emphasizes the importance of place. The more restrictive definition still exists—and is evident in the frequent need to add qualifying adjectives, such as “local haole” or “local Samoan,” to clarify one’s Table 4.1 Census

2010 Rankings for Race Alone and in Combination








Asian Indian






Native Hawaiian












Black or African American








American Indian and Alaska Native
















Guamanian or Chamorro

Note: This table lists only the top twenty-five “race alone and in combination” categories, whereas the 2010 Census lists thirty-four. From twenty-sixth to thirty-fourth are Kosraean, Pakistani, Malaysian, Burmese, Yapese, Sri Lankan, Mongolian, Nepalese, and I-Kiribati—all from the Pacific or Asia. Data from “Population Characteristics by Detailed Race” (U.S. Census, Summary File 2) was used to generate “Ranking of Selected Races for the State of Hawaii: 2010.” See http://

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place of birth as being in Hawai‘i and not abroad.19 “Local” still has a strong racial and ethnic element to it: the term largely means non-Whites, and more specifically Native Hawaiians (but not always other Pacific Islanders) and East Asian ethnic groups (Chinese, Japanese, Koreans) plus Filipinos, Portuguese, and Puerto Ricans. Portuguese and Puerto Rican food and other cultural traditions are still present in the islands, but surprisingly fewer and fewer Hawai‘i residents identify themselves as such in recent censuses—perhaps because the U.S. Census assumes that Portuguese will choose White rather than Portuguese as their ethnicity. As for Puerto Ricans, the census encourages them to designate themselves as Hispanic and to check the box indicating Puerto Rican. Although the census category of Hispanic does not directly correspond with any particular race, Census 2010 indicates that 8.9 percent of Hawai‘i’s population identified their origin as Spanish, Hispanic, or Latino.20 The number of Whites in Hawai‘i recorded by the U.S. Census has increased, but part of this increase can also be attributed to changes in census taking. Since 2000, census respondents have been able to choose more than one racial category. In 2010, 23.6 percent of Hawai‘i’s population indicated two or more races. Although some in the islands consider this figure to be an undercount, Hawai‘i still leads the rest of the country in the percentage of multiracial or multiethnic individuals and is far ahead of the states that follow: Alaska (7.3 percent), Oklahoma (5.9 percent), and California (4.9 percent). The figure for the United States as a whole is only 2.9 percent.21 More than half of all Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders (NHPI as a larger census grouping) reported in Census 2010 that they were of two or more racial groups.22 Many Whites and Asians in Hawai‘i also self-reported in two or more racial categories; combinations of Whites, Asians, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders were among the most common combinations. Local as a Place, Culture, and Identity

The coming together of all of these groups in a small, isolated locality like Hawai‘i has helped produce a place-based, local culture and identity. Local identity has changed over time, is always in a state of flux, and can vary by island or even part of an island. Individuals have the ability to adopt a local identity or to reject it—and to judge whether they believe that others fit this social-cultural identity. Individuals and groups collaborate and contest with one another as to what kind of a place Hawai‘i should be. The core of local identity is moving toward a place-based commonality that does not always necessarily emphasize race. Place or locality helps define a situation—one based on geography (like being on a set of islands surrounded by water), a relationship to the mode of production, proximity to resources, places of work, recreation, cultural capital, and so on. Being from a place and being able to express a connectedness to that place, however, does not necessarily

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always produce a shared value system among all Hawai‘i residents. Groups need to negotiate what is indeed good for the islands now and in the future.23 Some Hawai‘i residents self-identify as locals, but others may not. For example, many in the islands are not phenotypically dark skinned and thus do not always register visually as being perhaps Native Hawaiian or Asian— the main local groups in Hawai‘i today. Many locals might also not care to, or might not be able to speak Hawai‘i Creole—one of the main cultural markers of localness. Local identity can also vary by situation and context.24 Also, mainstream locals can sometimes be less accepting of Whites and newer groups of Asians and Pacific Islanders because many of these groups (e.g., recently arrived Whites, Southeast Asians, and Micronesians) are not commonly associated with Hawai‘i’s Native Hawaiian or plantation experiences. Interracial marriage does not necessarily reduce racial and ethnic tensions.25 Political, economic, social, and cultural differences ultimately influence individuals and groups to identify themselves and others in terms that are often oppositional. For example, in Hawai‘i, where intermarriage is common, children today of part-Hawaiian ancestry might identify themselves as Kanaka Maoli rather than emphasizing another ancestry that might be Asian or White. In the 1940s and 1950s, similar children might have tried to downplay their Native Hawaiian background given that the social and cultural climate of the immediate post–World War II era emphasized mainstream American culture, English first names, and standard English rather than ‘Ōlelo Hawai‘i (the Hawaiian language) or Hawai‘i Creole. The advent of the Hawaiian Renaissance in the 1960s and 1970s and the increasing popularity of Hawaiian language learning since the 1980s are two broad cultural developments that have encouraged more Native Hawaiians to feel comfortable in self-identifying as Kanaka Maoli. Questions about local identity are often about racial and ethnic background—but as questions about “the local” they are inherently questions about place. The question of where one is from can also be phrased alternatively via other questions such as “What school you went?” because school attendance is often directly linked to where one grew up or a place one is at least familiar with. High rates of attendance at private schools founded by missionary groups and churches give this question added complexity because students often travel beyond their place of residence to attend private schools, or in some cases, receive geographic exemptions to attend public schools outside their neighborhoods. Stereotypes about noted distinctions among Hawai‘i schools are so commonly known that even radio station contests pit callers against each other in a local trivia game dating back to the 1980s called Public School vs. Private School. The question of what school one attended can identify place of family residence, but it is also a question of class stratification. Hawai‘i’s U.S. Senator Brian Schatz (D) explained in an interview that in the islands “where you went to high school is almost a defining characteristic.”26 Schatz is a graduate of the private Punahou School, and a handful of photos in his campaign literature

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show him as an elementary school student at a traditional, Hawai‘i-style May Day celebration outdoors. Like a few other politicians, local haole candidates use subtle ways to show how they were “born and raised” in Hawai‘i and that they are not brash “transplants from Da Mainland” who are unfamiliar with island ways. Private school attendance—often seen as a marker of the upper middle class in Hawai‘i (however correct or incorrect)—is not always equated with being local. Charles Djou, another graduate of Punahou, the 2014 Republican candidate for Hawai‘i’s 1st Congressional District and 2016 mayoral candidate for Honolulu, noted that one’s high school in the islands seems to be important to voters and the public at large. He said it “is the one thing that can easily and immediately identify individuals geographically, socioeconomically [and] demographically.” Djou told Honolulu Civil Beat reporter Eric Pape, who was covering the 2014 election season, that one’s school can provide a kind of “instant connection.”27 Democrat Mark Takai, the Democratic candidate who defeated Djou to win the 1st Congressional District seat for the U.S. House of Representatives, also acknowledged the importance of schooling. “There is a lot of knowledge (and) understanding throughout the islands of where you went to high school, and people visualize, actually, the location, the community,” he told Pape. “They see it.”28 In addition to being “born and raised” in the place of Hawai‘i, adopting local cultural ways are important to defining oneself and being recognized by others as a local. Newspaper articles in the last couple of decades have consistently emphasized cultural markers of local identity—one of the most common of which is the use of Hawai‘i Creole. Over the decades, new groups in Hawai‘i have adopted and learned Hawai‘i Creole by interacting with locals in school, work, and community settings. They learn it as well as other Pacific and Asian languages in addition to English. At the high school and college level, the most popular languages to learn aside from English are Hawaiian, Japanese, and Mandarin. European-language classes such as French and German no longer dominate in Hawai‘i schools. Although Spanish-language class enrollments at the high school level have declined over the decades, Spanish is the most widely used non-English, nonAsian, non-Pacific language in Hawai‘i today.29 Language use tells us about the current state of diversity in the islands. As of 2008, roughly one of every four island residents spoke a language other than English at home. Of these non-English languages, the top four were Asian: Tagalog (17.7 percent), Japanese (16.7 percent), Ilocano (15.0 percent), and Chinese (9.5 percent). The fifth most common language spoken at home other than English is Spanish (8.4 percent), followed by Hawaiian (6.1 percent) and Korean (6.0 percent).30 Popular definitions of what it means to be local in Hawai‘i often emphasize cultural elements—perhaps because doing so stresses points of commonality

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rather than conflict. It can be easy for people to assume that because they share local food ways, customs, jokes, and so on that they are “all the same.” This sort of logic, however, obscures the differences that locals have among themselves. Furthermore, debates over what constitutes or does not constitute local culture raise issues of class difference that are not always openly discussed. Where Are We Going? Asking about where we are from, where we are today, and where we are going can be a healthy exercise of individual and group introspection. At its best, asserting a local identity celebrates the strengths of Hawai‘i; at its worst, “the local” can be a brand of provincialism that excludes others and hinders people from learning more extensively about the outside world. This essay shows how colloquial questions about place and belonging are related to social and cultural identities that are all too often seen only as questions about race. The matter of place encourages us to think about the forms of local knowledge that affect how day-to-day social interactions play out. Physical appearances—often so central to mainstream American understandings of race—do not always function reliably in Hawai‘i. Aside from visual cues, people listen for local languages like ‘Ōlelo Hawai‘i (Hawaiian), Hawai‘i Creole (pidgin), and languages from Asia and the Pacific that are common in the islands today (like Tagalog, Ilocano, Mandarin, Cantonese, Japanese, Korean, Samoan, Tongan, and Chuukese).31 Adopting a social-cultural identity is, in effect, declaring an allegiance to the place associated with it. Once a person knows where they are from, they can develop a better sense of where they are headed in contemporary Hawai‘i and can more confidently seek a path forward and into the future. Finding that path will involve discussion and debate, and that is to be expected in any place. It is important to think things through, of course, but at times we must not overthink social processes as they unfold. Analysis is important, but so is thinking intuitively to take action more holistically and organically. One can always make slight adjustments along the way whenever there are missteps. Like so many in the islands, I grew up in an extended family with both sets of my grandparents and numerous aunts and uncles—thus hearing multigenerational stories spanning Hawai‘i’s early territorial years, the World War II era, and the Hawaiian Renaissance that was then emerging in the late 1960s and 1970s. In the spirit of moving forward, I am reminded of something my grandfather would often say and do. When our family would discuss, debate, and hem and haw about where we should go on an outing, Grandpa would urge us to choose a common destination and grab the keys to our car in an effort to get things going. Soon the family would come to a consensus about where to go. Calling out to some of our straggling relatives, he would call out to us in Hawai‘i Creole: “Come! We go!”

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Notes  1. I pose these questions in Hawai‘i Creole here but have also added words or letters in brackets to assist non-Hawai‘i Creole readers. Scholars sometimes alternate the use of the term “Hawai‘i Creole” with “Pidgin” (using a capital letter “P”), which is more commonly understood by nonacademic audiences in the islands. Local literature and American studies scholar Stephen Sumida has examined a similar range of questions asked upon meeting one another in Hawai‘i. He writes, “in the native Hawaiian way, personal introductions include these questions: What are you called (i.e., your given name)? Who is your family (i.e., your surname and genealogy)? Where are you from (i.e., your neighborhood or district)? And who is your teacher (i.e., your school or the way of thought to which you are loyal)?” (And the View from the Shore: Literary Traditions of Hawai‘ i [Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1991], xvii.)  2. The Hawaiian language word kanaka means “person” (singular); kānaka (with the kahakō for the long vowel “a”) indicates the plural, “people.” Readily found in Hawaiian language newspapers in the nineteenth century, Kānaka Maoli means “the true / original people” and is a term that many in Hawai‘i have brought back into wider use in recent decades.  3. This expression might come from the Hawaiian language vocative “E” that is used in a wide range of contexts. For more on the place of Hawaiian in Hawai‘i Creole, see Kent Sakoda and Jeff Siegel, Pidgin Grammar: An Introduction to the Creole Language of Hawai‘ i (Honolulu: Bess Press, 2003).  4. Historian Jonathan Osorio has described a similar way of contemplating history in Hawai‘i and moving into the future among Native Hawaiians. He writes, “We face the past, confidently interpreting the present, cautiously backing into the future, guided by what our ancestors knew and did” (Dismembering Lāhui: A History of the Hawaiian Nation to 1887 [Honolulu: University of Hawai‘i Press, 2002], 7).  5. Political scientist Noenoe Silva and historians Lilikalā Kame‘eleihiwa, Jon Osorio, and others have revived the use of “Kanaka Maoli” by nineteenth-century Native Hawaiian writers in Hawaiian-language newspapers. Judy Rohrer is one of the more recent scholars to write about haole analytically. Jonathan Okamura is the most prolific writer on the concept of “local” in Hawai‘i.  6. Patrick V. Kirch, “When Did the Polynesians Settle Hawai‘i?: A Review of 150 Years of Scholarly Inquiry and a Tentative Answer,” Hawaiian Archaeology (2011): 3–26. Although the anthropologist Kirch had argued into the 1990s that the date of first human settlement was probably around 300 to 400 CE, new radiocarbon sampling and dating techniques have led him to revise his position and state in 2011 that there is “no question that at least O‘ahu and Kaua‘i islands were already well settled, with local populations established in several localities, by AD 1200” (22).  7. Richard Grigg, In the Beginning: Archipelago: The Origin and Discovery of the Hawaiian Islands (Honolulu: Island Heritage Press, 2014).  8. The Hawaiian Dictionary (1986) by Mary Kawena Pukui and Samuel H. Elbert notes that ho‘o haole meant “To act like a white person . . . or assume airs of superiority [often said disparagingly, especially of half-whites]” (58).  9. Speculation is long standing that Spanish vessels might have come across the Hawaiian Islands during the era of the Spanish galleon trade in the 1500s, but no conclusive evidence of visits before Cook is known. Native Hawaiian oral traditions also include accounts of men with “bright eyes” who came to the islands. See Noenoe K. Silva,

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Aloha Betrayed: Native Hawaiian Resistance to American Colonialism (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2004). 10. For more on the use of written documents in securing international recognition for the Kingdom of Hawai‘i, see Keanu Sai, Ua Mau Ke Ea—Sovereignty Endures: An Overview of the Political and Legal History of the Hawaiian Kingdom (Honolulu: Pu‘a Foundation, 2011); Kamanamaikalani Beamer, No Mākou Ka Mana: Liberating the Nation (Honolulu: Kamehameha Publishing, 2014). 11. According to Andrew Lind (as interviewed by Eric Yamamoto), the term was definitely used during and after the Massie-Kahahawai case of 1931–1932. See Eric Yamamoto, “From ‘Japanee’ to Local: Community Change and the Redefinition of Sansei Identity in Hawaii” (senior thesis, University of Hawai‘i, 1974); John P. Rosa, Local Story: The MassieKahahawai Case and the Culture of History (Honolulu: University of Hawai‘i Press, 2014), 5. 12. Eleanor C. Nordyke, Peopling of Hawai‘ i, 2nd ed. (Honolulu: University of Hawai‘i Press, 1989); see also Ronald Takaki, Pau Hana: Plantation Life and Labor, 1835–1920 (Honolulu: University of Hawai‘i Press, 1983); Edward Beechert, Working in Hawaii: A Labor History (Honolulu: University of Hawai‘i Press, 1985). 13. For more information on the seeming invisibility of African Americans in the islands, see Nitasha Sharma’s “Pacific Revisions of Blackness: Blacks Address Race and Belonging in Hawai‘i,” Amerasia Journal 37, no. 3 (2011): 43–60. 14. Linda K. Menton and Eileen H. Tamura, A History of Hawai‘ i, 2nd ed. (Honolulu: University of Hawai‘i Curriculum Research Development Group, 1999), 353 15. Percentages calculated from the Census 2010 Summary File 2 Hawaii data. 16. Piha means “full.” In Hawaiian, adjectives usually follow the nouns that they modify. For more on the issue of blood quantum as defined through American law and policy, see Judith Schachter, Legacies of a Hawaiian Generation: From Territorial Subject to American Citizen (New York: Berghahn Books, 2013). 17. The U.S. Census uses the term “race” as a very general census category that does not always correspond directly with contemporary social scientists’ use of “race” and “ethnicity.” 18. “Hawaii Population Characteristics 2014,” popestimate/2014_county_char_hi_file/Pop_char_hi_2014_final.pdf. 19. See Keiko Ohnuma, “Local Haole—A Contradiction in Terms? The Dilemma of Being White, Born and Raised in Hawai‘i,” Cultural Values 6, no. 3 (2010): 273–285. 20. The census clarifies that “U.S. federal government agencies must adhere to standards issued by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), which specify that race and Hispanic origin (also known as ethnicity) are two separate and distinct concepts. These standards generally reflect a social definition of race and ethnicity recognized in this country, and they do not conform to any biological, anthropological, or genetic criteria. The standards include two minimum categories for data on ethnicity: ‘Hispanic or Latino’ and ‘Not Hispanic or Latino.’ Persons who report themselves as Hispanic can be of any race and are identified as such in our data tables” ( 21. Nicholas A. Jones and Jungmiwha Bullock, “The Two or More Races Population: 2010,” U.S. Census Brief no. C2010BR-13 (Washington, DC: U.S. Census Bureau, September 2012), table 3. 22. “2010 Census Shows More than Half of Native Hawaiians and Other Pacific Islanders Report Multiple Races,” News Release, May 8, 2012, U.S. Census Bureau; see also

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23. Knowing the value of a place like Hawai‘i was discussed in a series of essays in Value of Hawai‘ i: Knowing the Past, Shaping the Future (Honolulu: University of Hawai‘i Press, 2010), ed. Craig Howes and Jon Osorio. 24. As is the case with any social-cultural identity, place and time are important variables. Local identity is also a situational identity. See Jonathan Y. Okamura, “Situational Ethnicity,” Ethnic and Racial Studies 4, no. 4 (1981): 452–465. 25. Earlier social science discussions had anticipated that intermarriage would produce a “Neo-Hawaiian” mixed race. Romanzo Adams, a University of Hawai‘i professor of sociology, remarked, “This table gives some indication as to the growing mixed-blood character of the population and it shows that in the creation of the new mixed race, the Neo-Hawaiian, all of the races are participating. By computation one may find that nearly 25 percent [in 1933] of the children are of mixed ancestry. Prominent in the process of miscegenation are the Hawaiians, there being more than twice as many children with one Hawaiian parent as with two. . . . In general the proportion of children of mixed racial ancestry is increasing and one may fore that after another generation the people of mixed blood will play an important role in Hawaiian life. Any attempt to forecast long-run tendencies of a social or political character must take this into account” (Romanzo Adams, T. M. Livesay, and E. H. Van Winkle, The Peoples of Hawaii: A Statistical Study [Honolulu: Institute of Pacific Relations, 1925], 33). 26. Eric Pape, “High School Confidential: Where All Politics Is Truly Local,” Civil Beat, October 29, 2014. 27. Ibid. 28. Ibid. 29. “The Non-English Speaking Population in Hawaii,” Hawaii Economic Issues, Data Report 2011, 30. Ibid., table 2. 31. Translations by federal and state entities provide an indication of the range of languages used in the islands. For example, for the administration of the federal National School Lunch Program in Hawai‘i, the state offers translations of guidelines in Chuukese, Hawaiian, Illocano, Marshallese, and Tongan ( The Department of Agriculture offers farmer training in Burmese, Chinese, Ilocano, Korean, Lao, Samoan, Tagalog, Thai, Tongan, Vietnamese, and other languages ( want-to-learn-how-to-become-a-farmer/). Food safety reference cards available through the Sanitation Branch are in English, Chinese, Ilocano, Japanese, Korean, Spanish, Tagalog, and Vietnamese.

Selected Bibliography “Can Talk Pidgin?: A Dividing Line between Locals, Non-Locals.” Honolulu Advertiser, May 14, 1995, F-1. Chang, Diane. “Ways to Determine if You’re ‘Local’ or What.” Honolulu Star-Bulletin, February 20, 1995, A-8. Griffin, John. “Learn What You Cannot Be & Make Best of It.” Honolulu Advertiser, February 26, 1995, B-3. (Abstract: Merits of Haolehood, Locals, and Pros and Cons of Pidgin.) Honolulu Advertiser. “Defining Line Between Local, Non-Local.” February 12, 1995, E-1. ———. “Sometimes, Choices Can Define You Ethnically.” February 5, 1995, B-1.

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———. “Trying to Describe What It Means to Be Local,” Part 3: “Small Kid Time, Hawaii Ways,” Hawaii Days Special Edition. March 10, 1992, Sec 3, 3. ———. “What Does It Mean to be Local?” February 12, 1995, E-1. ———. “You Know You’re Local If . . .” August 4, 1996, D-1, D-3. Levine, Michael. “Counting Residents Begs the Question: Who’s Local?” Honolulu Civil Beat, June 17, 2011. Lum, Darrell H. Y. “What School You Went? Local Culture, Local Identity, and Local Language: Stories of Schooling in Hawai‘i.” Educational Perspectives: Journal of the College of Education / University of Hawai‘ i at Mānoa 41, no. 1 and 2 (2008): 6–16. Ohnuma, Keiko. “Local Haole—A Contradiction in Terms? The Dilemma of Being White, Born and Raised in Hawai‘i.” Cultural Values 6, no. 3 (2002): 273–285. Pape, Eric. “High School Confidential: Where All Politics Is Truly Local.” Honolulu Civil Beat, October 29, 2014. Rohrer, Judy. Haoles in Hawai‘ i. Honolulu: University of Hawai‘i Press, 2010.

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Chapter 5

Race and/or Ethnicity in Hawai‘i What’s the Difference and What Difference Does It Make? Jonathan Y. Ok amura

Since publication of my first article on contemporary ethnic relations in Hawai‘i more than thirty years ago, I have consistently invoked ethnicity as the foremost organizing principle of island social relations (Okamura 1982). Among my primary reasons for doing so is that I consider other possible structural principles, such as race or class, as not providing as cogent and insightful an analysis of post-1960s Hawai‘i society as ethnicity does, especially of the socioeconomic stratification order. In this regard, it is useful to keep in mind that ethnicity, race, and class are all social constructions. This understanding means that in the context of a given society, ethnic, racial, or class categories, as the case may be, are socially constructed and given meanings by the members of that society. As I argue, Hawai‘i’s people consider themselves as belonging primarily to different ethnic groups rather than races or classes. In this chapter, I discuss the difference between ethnicity and race by reviewing the historical transition from race to ethnicity as the dominant structural principle in Hawai‘i, persisting ethnic inequality evident from 2010 U.S. Census data, and the racial dimensions of the shooting death in 2011 of a young Native Hawaiian by a U.S. State Department agent in Waikīkī. My contention that ethnicity is more significant than race as an organizing principle in contemporary Hawai‘i is based on the social construction of its constituent groups as ethnic groups rather than races, on the lesser construction and assertion of racial categories and identities commonly invoked in the continental United States, and on the ongoing regulation of differential access to socioeconomic status by ethnicity and not race (or class). From Historical Race to Contemporary Ethnicity Regarding the difference between ethnicity and race, the former is based on culture, and hence cultural features distinguish ethnic groups.1 As observed 94

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by race theorists Michael Omi and Howard Winant, ethnicity theory “is an approach . . . that affords primacy to cultural variables” (2014, 21).2 In contrast, race is based on phenotype, and thus phenotypic or physical characteristics differentiate racial groups or races. To cite Omi and Winant again, “Race is a . . . representation or signification of identity that refers to different types of human bodies, to the perceived corporeal and phenotypic markers of difference and the meanings and social practices that are ascribed to those differences” (111). Being based on culture, which can be acquired or lost, ethnicity as a marker of identity can be changed, whereas race as a comparable signifier of identity is far less changeable. Furthermore, phenotypic features, commonly but not universally skin color and hair color and texture, are clearly visible in ways that cultural attributes are not readily so, for example, meanings or values. Thus, insofar as race can be read from human bodies, Omi and Winant emphasize the “ocularity” and “corporeality” of race that are not distinctive aspects of ethnicity (246). Underscoring another key aspect of race, they contend that it is a “fundamental principle of social organization in the United States” (2012, 304). Although I would not assert the same for ethnicity, I view both race and ethnicity similarly as organizing principles of social relations that structure inequality in societies past and present. In pre–World War II Hawai‘i, race undoubtedly was the dominant principle that organized and maintained highly unequal social relations between, on the one hand, haoles (Whites) and, on the other, nonhaoles, both groups perceived in largely racial terms. Consequently, the predominant political, economic, and social boundary in island society was between those two groups, which was demarcated and enforced by race or, in effect, haoles, given their much greater overall power. During this period, race strongly reinforced class (and vice versa) as is evident in the restricted life chances for nonhaole groups, including Native Hawaiians, Japanese Americans, Filipino Americans, Portuguese Americans, and Puerto Ricans, who shared a working-class status. Indicative of the prominence of racial discourse at this time, Hawaii’s constituent groups were commonly referred to as races, as in the “Hawaiian race” or “Filipino race,” by academics, journalists, and lay persons. In the immediate postwar period in Hawai‘i, economic and political forces were unleashed that eventually resulted in organized and successful challenges to the oligarchical rule of haoles and consequently of race as the principal regulator of social relations. On the economic front, the labor movement led by the International Longshoremen’s and Warehousemen’s Union (ILWU) had organized thirty-five thousand workers in the three major industries of sugar, pineapple, and longshore by 1946, which enabled them to challenge the power wielded by the haole-ruled Big Five companies that dominated the economy. Politically, in 1954 the Democratic Party, with considerable support from the ILWU and its members, gained control of both houses of the territorial legislature for the first time and embarked on a legislative agenda to foster racial

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equality, economic reform, and social justice. Both of these social movements were predominantly nonhaole in membership and support, although the leadership of both the ILWU and the Democrats included haoles as well as nonhaoles. Elsewhere I have described the process over the quarter century from the end of World War II to the early 1970s that resulted in ethnicity superseding race as the foremost principle of social organization: Non-Haole groups . . . successfully contested White supremacy and thereby race as the primary regulating principle during the first decade following World War II through the 1946 sugar strike and the 1954 Democratic “revolution.” . . . Starting in the 1950s, local Japanese and local Chinese gained increasing political and economic power and thus began to differentiate themselves in their class status from Native Hawaiians, Portuguese Americans and Filipino Americans. . . . Together with the breakdown of the paramount racial boundary separating Haoles and non-Haoles, the latter began to view themselves and other groups more as ethnic groups with differing cultures rather than as races with differing phenotypes. (Okamura 2014, 4–5)

This process has continued to the present such that it can no longer be claimed that race constitutes the principal social boundary or organizing principle in Hawai‘i. In contemporary Hawai‘i, ethnicity is the primary principle of social relations, as is evident from the social construction of its constituent groups as ethnic groups rather than races. The reason that Hawai‘i’s people construct themselves, including Others, into different ethnic categories is because they consider their cultural differences more significant to differentiate themselves from one another than their phenotypic or racial differences (Okamura 2008, 6). In fact, except for groups with sizable immigrant segments, such as Filipino Americans and Korean Americans, these cultural differences have diminished considerably as groups have acculturated to local and American cultures and have lost much of their traditional cultures, particularly language and religion. The high rate of interracial and interethnic marriage in Hawai‘i of about 45 percent clearly indicates that cultural differences are not that significant among its constituent groups, otherwise people would not intermarry to the extent that they do (31). Because ethnicity is socially constructed, the actual nature of these cultural differences is less important than their perception and representation, and the latter considerations result in the construction of ethnic rather than racial categories in Hawai‘i. The social construction of Hawai‘i’s people into ethnic categories aside, the lesser significance of race is evident in the lesser construction of racial categories and assertion of racial identities prevalent in the continental United States. Most significantly, these categories include Asian American, Pacific Islander, their

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awkward combination—Asian American and Pacific Islander—or worse, Asian Pacific American. Island residents are familiar with the cultural and social differences among the groups within both the Asian American and Pacific Islander categories, such as those between Filipino Americans and Korean Americans, or between Native Hawaiians and Samoans, and hence do not racialize these groups and their individual members into aggregate racial categories. Hawai‘i’s people are also generally aware of significant differences among ethnic groups other than culture, such as socioeconomic and political status and historical experiences, which results in their lesser racialization into larger racial categories. They thus know that Native Hawaiians are the indigenous people of Hawai‘i, who historically had an independent kingdom, and therefore differ substantially in political and legal status from Samoans, Tongans, and Micronesians, who are all settlers to the islands. Thus, unlike in continental America, these minorities are not socially constructed as Pacific Islanders, although academics and journalists might use this racial category. A notable example of this practice to emphasize ethnic and not racial differences is evident in the difficult experiences of the growing Micronesian population in Hawai‘i. The past decade has seen an increasing number of Micronesians settling in Hawai‘i from the Marshall Islands, Chuuk, Ponape, Belau, and other small islands and atolls in the western Pacific. Their migration has been facilitated by the Compacts of Free Association (COFA) signed between their home nations and the United States in the mid-1980s, following nearly forty years of American colonialism in Micronesia after World War II.3 COFA migrants have the legal right to reside and work in Hawai‘i but still number only about thirteen thousand, less than 1 percent of the state population of more than 1.4 million (Blair 2011).4 Because of problems obtaining employment and Hawai‘i’s high cost of living, many Micronesians have ended up in public housing or homeless in shelters and public parks, where living in their tents they are highly visible and have been made even more so by the news media. Consequently, they have been vilified by other Hawai‘i residents for being public nuisances and for using public resources, and extreme anti-immigrant attitudes have developed against them. Rather than being racialized as Pacific Islanders or misperceived as belonging to another such minority, these severe criticisms and sentiments have been specifically directed toward Micronesians, as is evident from denigrating terms used in reference to them, such as “cockaroach” in Hawai‘i Creole English. In pidgin English, cockaroach refers to stealing or taking something without permission. It is aimed at Micronesians because they are stereotypically viewed as excessively and undeservedly using public services, such as low-income housing and health care, although they are hardly the only minority to do so.5 Not all residents of Hawai‘i have welcomed Micronesians as fellow Pacific Islanders to the Aloha State. Instead, they have been the butt of racist jokes that admittedly are expressed about almost every ethnic group in Hawai‘i. But jokes

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about Micronesians are especially vile and dehumanizing and focus on their physical appearance, personal hygiene, and being homeless and are a manifestation, albeit highly detestable, of how Hawai‘i’s people differentiate among Pacific Islander groups. A typical example of such ethnic humor is evident on the Facebook page of one of Honolulu’s popular radio stations on its weekly “Stupid Joke Friday” feature: “Why do they spread doo doo on the walls at Micronesian weddings?” Given their very small number in Hawai‘i, the specificity of derogatory terms such as cockaroach and of denigrating jokes about Micronesians, instead of their racialization into larger racial categories such as Pacific Islander, is striking. But as I have contended, this nonracial categorization is understandable because Hawai‘i’s people are aware of ethnic differences among groups, even though they are often based on stereotypes. Micronesians also have been targeted for xenophobic violence at public schools in Hawai‘i, reminiscent of what was called “Kill Haole Day” and attacks against Filipino immigrant students in the mid-1970s. On December 5 and 6, 2012, at Kealakehe High School in Kailua-Kona on Hawai‘i island, several fights occurred between what were described as twenty to thirty “Micronesian and local students” (Smith 2012). These clashes followed the “bullying” of Micronesian students and resulted in the closure of the school for a day, suspension of twenty students, and arrest of eight students for disorderly conduct. A Department of Education superintendent for West Hawai‘i asserted that “ethnic tensions” played a major role in the conflicts and that the problem “is not isolated to Kealakehe [High School] . . . ”; “this is a community issue that we are addressing” (quoted in Gaddis 2012). The statement affirms that antiMicronesian racism is present in the larger society and not just among students. Thus, late on September 8, 2014, a large street brawl between “Micronesians and Samoans” residing in the Punchbowl area of Honolulu broke out, resulting in the arrest of one person for attempted murder (HawaiiNewsNow 2014). Racist jokes and violence against Micronesians demonstrate the specificity of ethnicity in Hawai‘i to mark minorities as cultural Others and hence vulnerable to such harsh treatment. Another factor that reduces the tendency for racial aggregation common in the continental United States is the relatively large percentage of each of Hawai‘i’s major ethnic groups. Based on “race alone or in any combination” data from the 2010 U.S. Census, the largest groups are Whites (41.5 percent), Filipino Americans (25.1 percent), Japanese Americans (23 percent), Native Hawaiians (21.3 percent), and Chinese Americans (14.6 percent) (Hawai‘i Department of Business, Economic Development, and Tourism 2012b). These substantial percentages and related population figures result in groups being viewed by Hawai‘i’s people and viewing themselves as distinct communities with their own cultures, political power, socioeconomic status, and collective interests. These groups hence do not consider it necessary to form race-based

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coalitions among themselves, as often is the case in continental America and results in the social construction of racial categories such as Asian American and Asian American and Pacific Islander. In this regard, more than twenty years ago, I wrote an article with the facetious title “Why There Are No Asian Americans in Hawai‘i,” and this racial, as opposed to demographic, situation still prevails (Okamura 1994). In contrast to the continental United States, in Hawai‘i there is no “Asian American community,” “Asian American vote,” “Asian American issues,” or “Asian American candidate” in electoral politics because islanders are cognizant of the political, social, and cultural differences among Asian ethnic groups. As a notable example of the lack of currency of the term “Asian American” in Hawai‘i, during the 2008 presidential campaign, some sectors of the Asian American community in the continental United States proclaimed Barack Obama as potentially the “first Asian American president.” Indeed, he was claimed as such after the election but not in the state of his birth, despite (or perhaps because of) its majority Asian American population (Okamura 2011). Similarly, during the 2016 presidential election campaign, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders across the nation formed coalitions, such as “Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders for Hillary Clinton for President,” in support of the Democratic presidential nominee. In marked contrast in Hawai‘i, separate groups of Filipino American, Japanese American, and Native Hawaiian political and community leaders issued public endorsements of her candidacy. They were organized by the local Hawai‘i for Hillary team before the Democratic presidential preference poll in late March, but no Asian American organizations endorsed Clinton (Blair 2016). In Hawai‘i, political candidates, whether Asian American or not, are quite knowledgeable about how to appeal to different ethnic groups for their support and are far more likely to pursue the larger “local vote” than the specifically Asian American vote (Okamura 2014, 158). Indeed, among the latter, candidates especially seek Japanese American voters because of their acknowledged higher rate of both registering and voting in a state that has among the lowest such rates in the nation, despite Japanese Americans constituting a rapidly declining third largest group in Hawai‘i. Furthermore, in island electoral politics, all groups engage in ethnic, but not necessarily racial, bloc voting to varying degrees. That is, whereas a Filipino American candidate can expect many of her fellow group members to vote for her primarily because she is Filipino, this expectation does not extend to voters from other Asian American groups. The same argument applies to other Asian American candidates for electoral office. White is another racial category asserted far less in Hawai‘i than in the continental United States. Island Whites generally identify themselves as Caucasian. Non-Whites refer to them as haole, the term in the Hawaiian language commonly used for a White person. Given its emphasis on phenotype, haole can be considered a racial category and thus an exception to the

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general social construction of Hawai‘i’s constituent groups based on ethnicity.6 However, important cultural features and practices also differentiate haoles from nonhaoles. Historically, one of the most significant cultural differences that distinguished the two groups was Hawai‘i Creole English. Given their limited interactions with non-Whites, haoles did not speak pidgin, whereas nonhaoles or locals did but also spoke standard English less fluently. More recently, haoles are still perceived as cultural Others and outsiders who, as “mainlanders” and people associated with the U.S. military, are unfamiliar with and unwilling to adapt to the local culture of Hawai‘i and its distinctive values, traditions, and behavioral norms. Thus, locals commonly distinguish among “local haoles,” “mainland haoles,” and “military haoles” based on their knowledge of and interest in local culture besides origins. These distinctions highlight how being haole is constructed quite differently in Hawai‘i than White is in the continental United States to include cultural criteria and not only phenotype (see DeedyElderts Case). Although the racial category Latino is expressed in Hawai‘i, it is generally used interchangeably with Hispanic, even by Latinos, and Hispanic is more commonly invoked because of lack of knowledge of the political significance of the former term.7 According to the 2010 Census, the “Hispanic” population of Hawai‘i numbered about 120,000, approximately 9 percent of the state total, and was the “fastest growing ethnic group” in the islands (Stankov 2013). However, a sizable proportion of Latinos are associated with the U.S. military as active personnel or their dependents (Das Gupta 2016, 46).8 The two largest ethnic groups among Hawai‘i Latinos are Puerto Ricans (36 percent), who were recruited in the early 1900s as plantation laborers, and Mexican Americans (29 percent), who began arriving in significant numbers in the late 1980s as farm workers (Das Gupta 2016, 47; Stankov 2013).9 The different immigration periods of these two groups, their substantial cultural differences, given that Puerto Ricans have fully integrated into local culture, and the racialized “hypervisibility” of Mexicans (Das Gupta 2016, 54–57) contribute to the lesser construction of Latino as a racial category. Despite my arguments for applying ethnicity as a principle of social organization to contemporary Hawai‘i, other scholars continue to use race. One reason they do so, especially those not based in the islands, is because race is theoretically a sexier concept with greater scholarly cachet than ethnicity in the social sciences and humanities in the United States and elsewhere. Hence, if one writes about race in Hawai‘i society, one’s work is more likely to resonate with that of other scholars who explicitly employ race-based theories and concepts, such as critical race theory, racial formation, and racialization. Nonetheless, I continue to apply ethnicity as the leading principle of social relations in my analyses of post-1960s Hawai‘i, as in my long-term research on ethnic inequality.

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Ethnicity and Inequality in Hawai‘i 2010 In my book Ethnicity and Inequality in Hawai‘ i, I argue that the “principal problem in ethnic relations in Hawai‘i is persisting inequality,” which I have been analyzing since the late 1970s (2008, 190). For the book, I used 2000 U.S. Census data on occupational, income, and educational status to establish that “ethnic groups hold differential socioeconomic status in island society, and those relative positions have not changed much since the 1970s, indicative of how ethnic inequality, rather than equality of opportunity, is becoming further entrenched in Hawai‘i” (190). In this section, I extend my longitudinal study to 2010 using American Community Survey (ACS) data from the U.S. Census Bureau from 2006 to 2010, although the information is not as extensive as the decennial census reports.10 Nonetheless, the ACS data demonstrate that ethnicity, rather than race (or class), continues to structure socioeconomic stratification in Hawai‘i, and therefore ethnic, and not racial, inequality prevails. During the five-year period to 2010, Hawai‘i’s tourism-overdependent economy began by performing especially well, at least as measured by having the nation’s lowest unemployment rate below 3 percent for nearly two years and by producing a state budget surplus of more than $700 million in 2006 (Okamura 2008, 60). However, starting in 2008, the global recession resulted in an unemployment rate well above 7 percent, annual budget deficits exceeding $1 billion, and 5 percent salary cuts for state and county workers. Perhaps the crippling impact of the recession on Hawai‘i will be especially remembered for the “Furlough Fridays” during the 2009–2010 school year, when the public schools were shut down for seventeen days, resulting in the state having the shortest school year—163 days—in the nation, if not the developed world. Hawai‘i’s economy did eventually recover. By 2012, the unemployment rate was less than 6 percent, and the annual number of tourists reached a new high of more than eight million, and increases were predicted for the next several years. In 2013, the president and CEO of the state-funded Hawai‘i Tourism Authority crowed about the record-setting numbers and the industry’s enormous contributions to the local economy. He highlighted the $44 million spent every day by so-called visitors, the 167,000 jobs created directly or indirectly by tourism, and the $5 million in state tax revenues generated each day by the industry (McCartney 2013, F1). If anything, these huge numbers demonstrate beyond doubt Hawai‘i’s massive overdependence on tourism and thus the state’s vulnerability to economic disruption when those figures decline, as they did beginning in 2008. As in the past, these record numbers, adjusted for inflation, cannot be sustained, and a downturn in the tourist industry is virtually inevitable because it has occurred with regularity since the 1970s. The global recession in the late 2000s limited any reduction in ethnic inequality during that decade between the dominant groups (Japanese

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Americans, Whites, Chinese Americans) and subordinate groups (Native Hawaiians, Filipino Americans, Samoans, other smaller minorities). The ACS data covering the period from 2006 to 2010 on socioeconomic status indicators make this conclusion abundantly clear. With regard to occupational distribution, the ACS 2010 data differ from those provided previously by the decennial census in combining the two highest occupational categories of “management, business, and financial operations” and “professional and related occupations” into a larger grouping called “management, business, science and arts” (Hawai‘i Department of Business, Economic Development, and Tourism 2012a). In addition, data are not given on gender differences in the various occupational categories. Rather than review the distribution of ethnic groups in all of the categories, I provide information for the highest and lowest of them—management, business, science and arts, and, at the lowest level, service work. In the highest occupational category, Japanese Americans (38.4 percent), Whites (38.4 percent), and Chinese Americans (34.3 percent) are represented above the Hawai‘i median (33.2 percent), as they were in 2000. On the other hand, Native Hawaiians (24.4 percent), Filipino Americans (20.6 percent), and Samoans (17.2 percent) are considerably below the median, as also was the case in 2000. For service occupations, Japanese Americans (14.2 percent), Whites (19.1 percent), and Chinese Americans (20.6 percent) are employed lower than the Hawai‘i median (21.8 percent) as they were in 2000. In contrast, Filipino Americans (31.3 percent), Samoans (28.8 percent), and Native Hawaiians (23.6 percent) are substantially above the median, which also prevailed for both men and women in those groups in 2000. In terms of median family income, the three dominant groups—Japanese Americans ($88,700), Whites ($78,200), and Chinese Americans ($77,400)— all exceed the Hawai‘i median ($77,300), as the former and latter groups did in 2000. In contrast, Filipino Americans ($75,100), Native Hawaiians ($70,200), and Samoans ($57,800) are below the median in the same rank order as in 2000. As for educational status, for the percentage of persons (twenty-five years and over) with a bachelor’s degree or higher, Whites (35.0 percent), Japanese Americans (34.9 percent), and Chinese Americans (31.1 percent) continue to surpass the Hawai‘i median (29.4 percent) as they did in 2000. In contrast, Filipino Americans (17.3 percent), Native Hawaiians (14.5 percent), and Samoans (8.8 percent) are well below the median as in 2000. With regard to college or graduate school enrollment, only Whites (28.3 percent) are above the median for Hawai‘i (28.0 percent); the two other dominant groups, Japanese Americans (26.1 percent) and Chinese Americans (22.4 percent), are below it. The seemingly anomalous results for Japanese Americans and Chinese Americans might be due to significant numbers of persons among them who already have completed their college or graduate education, as is evident from their relatively high percentages for college completion or higher, and hence are no longer enrolled in higher education. As for the subordinate groups, Filipino Americans (20.9

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percent), Native Hawaiians (16.9 percent), and Samoans (14.0 percent) all had considerably lower percentages than the Hawai‘i median in college or graduate school. Unfortunately, this situation is not an especially positive indicator of socioeconomic mobility in the near future given the importance of a college degree for both occupational and income advancement. If the three socioeconomic status indicators—occupational status, income level, and educational attainment—for the 2006 to 2010 period are considered together, they demonstrate that Japanese Americans, Whites, and Chinese Americans continue to be the preeminent groups, as they have been since 1990. They rank the highest in terms of proportion of employed in management, business, and the professions, percentage of bachelor’s degree or higher completion, and median family income consistently above the median for Hawai‘i. At the opposite end of the stratification order are Native Hawaiians, Filipino Americans, and Samoans, who have occupied their subordinate position since the 1950s, when Samoans first immigrated in significant numbers to Hawai‘i. Those groups have the highest percentage of employed in service work, the lowest percentage of bachelor’s degree or higher attainment, and the lowest median family income, and for each of these indicators they are all above or below the Hawai‘i median, as the case may be. Thus another decade has gone by in which the ethnic inequality gap is not being closed, which was predictable given the adverse impact of the global recession on employment and income. But what is even more disturbing is the absence of any clear indications during the 2000s and beyond that viable avenues for collective socioeconomic mobility for aggrieved minorities are forthcoming as the state government continues to bank on tourism as the mainstay of the economy. An issue that can be raised regarding my analysis of socioeconomic stratification in Hawai‘i is whether it demonstrates ethnic or racial inequality. In other words, does ethnicity or race as an organizing principle regulate access to socioeconomic benefits, such as occupation, income, wealth, home ownership, and higher education? Beginning with my first analysis of 1970 census data on socioeconomic status, I have argued that ethnicity is the primary principle structuring this highly unequal distribution, and my discussion of the 2006 to 2010 ACS data is remarkably consistent with that and my other analyses of the decennial census data for 1980, 1990, and 2000 (Okamura 1982, 1990, 1998b, 2008). In terms of socioeconomic stratification, it would be difficult to contend that racial inequality prevails in Hawai‘i given the widely divergent status of Asian American groups. Japanese Americans and Chinese Americans occupy an ascendant position; Filipino Americans and Vietnamese Americans hold a subordinate status; and Korean Americans continue in an intermediate position (Okamura 2008, 52–53). Whites have always been one of the socioeconomically privileged groups since Hawai‘i’s annexation in 1898, if not earlier, but they have had to share that standing with Chinese Americans since 1970 and with Japanese Americans since 1990. Race as an organizing principle cannot explain

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why those two Asian American groups have been able to rise so high in their socioeconomic status that they have surpassed or approximate haoles, yet other long-resident Asian American groups, such as Filipino Americans and Korean Americans, have been much less successful. However, if ethnicity instead of race is acknowledged as regulating differential access to socioeconomic benefits and resources in Hawai‘i, these racial anomalies are far less difficult to explain. They can be understood as resulting from the greater specificity of ethnicity to differentiate groups and their socioeconomic status and experiences at lower categorical levels than race does. Deedy-Elderts Case: A Racial Exception Antihaole violence and racism are an important exception to my primary argument that ethnicity is more significant than race as an organizing principle of social relations in contemporary Hawai‘i. The most recent highly publicized case of violence between haoles and locals concerns the shooting death in Waikīkī of Kollin Elderts, a twenty-three-year-old Native Hawaiian from Kailua, O‘ahu, by twenty-eight-year-old White U.S. State Department special agent Christopher Deedy, based in Washington, DC, on November 5, 2011. The afternoon before he killed Elderts, Deedy had arrived in Honolulu to provide security for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) conference, which began a few days later at the Hawai‘i Convention Center. Despite his claims of self-defense, Deedy was charged with second degree murder for killing Elderts with his handgun and put on trial in July 2013. The prosecution’s argument was that a drunken and inexperienced Deedy did not identify himself as a law enforcement officer, aggravated the situation by initially kicking Elderts, and shot Elderts without justification (Kobayashi and Gima 2013a, A8). Deedy’s defense was that he acted in accordance with his training as a law enforcement officer and shot Elderts to defend himself because Elderts was punching him and reaching for his gun. Both Deedy and Elderts had been drinking with their separate groups of friends the previous night in Chinatown and Waikīkī before their fatal encounter at a McDonald’s restaurant at approximately 2:40 a.m. In discussing this incident, I am not concerned with arguing for the guilt or innocence of Deedy but with analyzing what it reveals about continuing racialized conflicts in Hawai‘i between haoles and locals. The use of the term “haole” figures prominently in the Deedy-Elderts case and in the altercation between the two of them. In May 2012, more than a year before Deedy’s trial began, his lawyer, Brook Hart, who has been described as Hawaii’s “dean of criminal defense attorneys,” filed a motion that requested permission to question prospective jurors more thoroughly about their possible biases. In his motion, Hart argued, “This case became a symbol of the federal government wrongfully exercising jurisdiction over the Hawaiian Kingdom; it became a sign of the 1% oppressing the 99%; it became an example of a

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mainland ‘haole’ allegedly expressing malice and prejudice towards a local Hawaiian. . . . Through in-depth media coverage, Special Agent Deedy’s case raised deep-seated social, psychological, and philosophical issues, especially those particular to Hawaii, such as oppression, sovereignty, and racism” (quoted in Grube 2012). Hart can be credited with recognizing the larger political implications of the case, such as U.S. settler colonialism over Native Hawaiians and their subjugation in their homeland, rather than a simple fight between two intoxicated young men that escalated into the shooting death of one of them. In an interview the following month, Hart added that “some pretty strong anti-mainland, anti-haole sentiment” had developed since the killing (quoted in Grube 2012). Interviewed for the same news article, I observed how Hart was “racializing” the incident. However, so were the news media and many other people from Hawai‘i in their online comments about it (see Auman 2012). This extension of racial meaning to the case should not be surprising given that the confrontation between Elderts and Deedy resonates with much larger and more significant historical and contemporary conflicts between Native Hawaiians and U.S. settler colonialism and its primarily White representatives such that “antihaole sentiment” had developed decades before the killing and is not limited to Native Hawaiians. As a first-time visitor to Hawai‘i, Deedy was given a crash course on haolelocal relations the day of his arrival by another federal agent. At Deedy’s trial, State Department agent Ben Finkelstein testified that he and Deedy flew together to Hawai‘i on November 4 for the APEC conference (Kobayashi and Zoellick 2013, A14). Finkelstein said that he had lived previously in Hawai‘i and had a talk with Deedy in the afternoon on the day of their arrival. He related he told Deedy that the vast majority of the people are friendly, but some “locals,” as he described them, do not like “mainlanders” and federal agents. Finkelstein also testified that he informed Deedy of the terms “haole” and “f——ing haole,” which he said was a “highly derogatory racial slur.” Hence, although he had been in Hawai‘i roughly twelve hours when he encountered Elderts, Deedy knew that haole referred to a White person. Because of the murder charge against Deedy, the media focus on the case has been the altercation between him and Elderts. However, in terms of its racial dimensions, the incident can be seen to have begun when Elderts addressed another young White male, Michel Perrine, as “haole,” “multiple times” according to Perrine, while he was placing his order at the McDonald’s counter within earshot of Deedy (Kobayashi 2013b; Kobayashi and Zoellick 2013, A14).11 Perrine testified at the trial that he did not feel threatened by Elderts’ calling him haole, “shrugged off” the comment, and did not feel a need for any assistance. However in later testimony, a McDonald’s cashier said Perrine asked Elderts whether he was trying to be a “racist” because Perrine was “White” (cited in Kobayashi 2013a, A17). The defense maintained that Elderts and his friend Shane Medeiros had racially harassed Perrine and that that was the reason

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Deedy subsequently approached Elderts. Supporting their position was the testimony of a McDonald’s security guard who testified that Elderts “bullied and irritated” Perrine, although she also said Elderts began by joking with him (cited in Kobayashi 2013c, A17). When he took the stand, Deedy stated under defense questioning that he went to speak with Elderts and Medeiros at their table because he considered their interaction with Perrine a “hostile incident,” and that he thought it was “appropriate for [him] to intervene” because he was a law enforcement officer (cited in Kobayashi and Gima 2013a, A8). Deedy said he asked Elderts, “What’s going on?” and Elderts shortly challenged him to a fight, at one point saying, “Hey, f——ing haole, you like beef?” Deedy testified that he then showed Elderts his federal agent badge and identified himself as such, although other witnesses stated in court that he did neither. He also denied on the stand that he had threatened to shoot Elderts (Kobayashi and Gima 2013a, A8). However, a prosecution witness, Alexander Byrd, a U.S. Marine stationed in Hawai‘i at that time, testified that he heard and saw Deedy tell Elderts at least four times, “I’m going to shoot you in the face” (quoted in Kobayashi 2013a). After this quick, heated verbal exchange between the two of them, Deedy said Elderts came toward him, so Deedy kicked Elderts with his right leg on Elderts’s thigh. Elderts then punched Deedy, knocking him down, and they began grappling with each other. When Elderts was straddling and punching him, Deedy testified that he shot Elderts because of “the totality of all the circumstances here, I needed to respond with the deadly force option” (quoted in Kobayashi and Gima 2013b, A6). After twenty days of trial testimony and almost five days of jury deliberation in what was described as “one of the state’s most highly publicized trials,” on August 26 circuit court judge Karen Ahn declared a mistrial after the jury informed her they could not reach a verdict. A coalition of activist groups immediately called for a “Justice for Kollin Elderts” protest march to the McDonald’s restaurant in Waikīkī the following evening and emphasized the racial dimensions of the case in its email announcement: “The facts of this case were clear. Agent Deedy, a Caucasian agent who had been briefed that afternoon about potentially hostile “locals,” was drunk and armed with a gun. Kollin Elderts, a young Hawaiian man, was unarmed. Agent Deedy shot Kollin. Kollin is dead. Agent Deedy is guilty of murder!” In an interview a few days after the mistrial was declared, the jury foreman, Justin Odagiri, revealed that the jury of eight men and four women was deadlocked at eight to four for acquitting Deedy (Kobayashi 2013d, A1). He added that the split between the jurors was “across the board” and not “haoles think one way or locals think one way,” that the jury consisted of a “good set of different races,” and “it [race] was not a factor” in their voting (quoted in Kobayashi 2013d, A6). Odagiri also said the jurors did not give much consideration to the

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racial aspects of the case, including Deedy’s testimony that Elderts called him a “f——ng haole.” Almost a year later, in July 2014, Deedy was retried on the same murder charge and, after five weeks of trial testimony and jury deliberation, a mistrial was again declared by the same presiding judge, Karen Ahn. A major difference in the retrial was that the judge allowed the jury to consider manslaughter and assault charges besides second degree murder (Daranciang 2014a, A10).12 After deliberating over parts of seven days, the jury was able to reach a not guilty verdict on the murder charge but was deadlocked on the manslaughter and assault charges eight to four in favor of acquittal, according to “a source close to the case” (Daranciang 2014b, A6). The manslaughter and assault charges have not been dismissed, so a third trial of Deedy is still possible. Again shortly after the court verdict was issued, the Justice for Kollin Elderts Coalition held a march through Waikīkī to the McDonald’s restaurant to protest the “racial injustice” of the acquittal of Deedy of murder (Tsai 2014, B1). One of the march organizers, Kalama Niheu, asserted, “We understand that here in Hawai‘i young men of color—kanaka maoli—cannot find justice. Police officers, [federal] agents can go with impunity and kill young men.” Insofar as Deedy has been acquitted at least of murder for killing Elderts, the latter can be compared with another young Native Hawaiian also shot to death by a White representative of the U.S. government temporarily in Hawai‘i in 1932, and whose killers literally got away with murder—Joe Kahahawai. In his case, his four killers, including three U.S. Navy personnel, were convicted of manslaughter despite clear evidence of their premeditation and intent to murder Kahahawai. Several days later, their ten-year sentences at hard labor were commuted by the territorial governor to one hour in custody and they were all freed (Stannard 2005). My interest in the Deedy-Elderts case is on what its racial dimensions indicate about the continual marking of haoles in Hawai‘i and what that targeting of them reveals about the nature of relations between them and locals.13 The case demonstrates that being haole in Hawai‘i is quite different from being White in the continental United States. In Whiteness studies, White is commonly understood as the “unmarked [racial] category against which difference is constructed” (Lipsitz 1998, 1) and as the taken for granted social category that represents the normative standard to the extent that many Whites view themselves as the “raceless people” (Bonilla-Silva 2012). These understandings about Whiteness do not prevail in Hawai‘i because being haole as a situated identity specific to the state does not have the same meanings and representations as being White in continental America. These meanings include being perceived, targeted, and often harassed as the racial and cultural other in Hawai‘i, as is evident in the experience of Michel Perrine in the Deedy-Elderts case. Thus, White supremacy in Hawai‘i also differs from its continental U.S. counterpart in being

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much less publicly expressed because of an awareness that it will generate an immediate backlash reaction from nonhaoles and some haoles. In contrast to Whiteness or haoleness, locals consider themselves and their culture and identity as constituting the social and cultural norm in Hawai‘i. As such, local represents the unmarked category in relation to which ­nonlocals— including haoles, immigrants, military, and tourists—are constructed as socially and culturally different, if not inferior, especially as outsiders to island society and culture. Being viewed and treated as a perpetual stranger is certainly not part of the meaning and experience of being White in the continental United States, where being American is commonly racialized as White. In Hawai‘i, local has decentered Whiteness, especially White supremacy, from its paramount position of power and privilege in continental America, although locals do not necessarily wield power over nonlocals. Thus, as an expression of resistance, the emphasis on being local underlies the racism against haoles, as well as Micronesians, both groups being perceived as unwelcome cultural and social outsiders to Hawai‘i. One can ask why haoles are racially targeted for verbal and physical harassment seemingly more often than other groups in Hawai‘i. In an interview with Honolulu Weekly, the late Hawaiian studies professor Kanalu Young offered some possible reasons for antihaole racism (cited in Haire 2007).14 He began by clarifying that haole is not a racial slur: “Not if you just use the term in an everyday sentence, and you’re speaking Hawaiian or English. . . . It has no innate or intrinsic derogatory meaning.” As for antihaole attitudes, Young continued, “Over the years there have been examples of white people, of haoles, behaving very badly here. That’s not to say that others don’t. But if we are just talking about that particular group and their bad behavior, then I think what we need to probably understand is that of all of those many adjectives that can come before haole or how haole is referenced in a sentence, it comes as a reflection of some experience that someone has had in connection with such an individual.” This “bad behavior” extends well beyond the experiences of individuals and includes for Native Hawaiians the overthrow of the Hawaiian monarchy, annexation by the United States, and statehood as political actions that usurped the sovereignty of the Hawaiian nation. For non-Hawaiians, haole oligarchical domination of the government and economy through institutional racism until the 1950s and their continuing power and privilege are major sources of antihaole resentment. More recently for Native Hawaiians, the U.S. Supreme Court Rice v. Cayetano decision in 2000 and several other lawsuits against the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands, and the Kamehameha Schools probably have been other sources. In these suits, the plaintiffs, mostly but not only haoles, claimed, like Rice, a wealthy haole rancher, racial discrimination and sought to abolish state and private programs for Native Hawaiians.

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Conclusion: The Difference Ethnicity Makes As discussed in the introduction, on September 16, 2015, a public forum, “What Can Hawai‘i Teach America about Race,” cosponsored by the National Museum of American History of the Smithsonian Institution and Zócalo Public Square of Arizona, was convened in Honolulu (Wilcox 2015). Given its title and timing, the forum can be considered a response to the racial turmoil in the continental United States that emerged following the killings of young African American men by the police. The discussion featured four speakers—three Asian Americans, including the half-sister of former President Barack Obama, and one Native Hawaiian, all of whom are relatively well known and well placed in the islands. Despite the title, particularly the focus on race, the speakers devoted most of their comments to representing Hawai‘i as a multicultural paradise in contrast to the racially conflicted continental America. Among the standard multicultural tropes about Hawai‘i they expressed were that it is “the most racially harmonious place where you can live and speak English,” and that it “offer[s] an example, maybe the only example, that it [a racially diverse society] can work.” Thus, the forum served as an affirmation of the Hawai‘i multicultural model, which represents island society as a setting of tolerant, harmonious, and egalitarian relations, rather than as a frank discussion about our own longterm problems with race and racism (Okamura 1998a). It thereby contributed to maintaining the ethnic status quo and to the persisting oppression of Native Hawaiians, Filipino Americans, and Samoans. Another primary reason the panelists did not specifically address race and its significance is because people in Hawai‘i do not really talk about “race” and are far more likely to mention “ethnicity,” “ethnic” groups, and “cultural” rather than “racial” differences when discussing Hawai‘i and its people.15 These discursive practices reflect how multiculturalism is the dominant ideology related to ethnicity and race in Hawai‘i rather than color blindness as in the continental United States. Race and ethnicity clearly differ in meaning, significance, and expression in Hawai‘i and elsewhere. I have argued that it is important to maintain that conceptual difference in analyzing island society primarily because of the contemporary social construction of ethnicity and ethnic categories. I have applied ethnicity as an analytic framework in my research and analyses of contemporary Hawai‘i because race matters significantly less to its people, as is evident from the social construction of their differences as based primarily on ethnicity rather than race. Thus, I do not believe that I have reduced race to or subsumed it under ethnicity. Ethnicity provides explanations and insights into island social relations that race does not, especially with regard to the structure and nature of inequality in the socioeconomic stratification system. But I am not an ethnicity ideologue; when appropriate, I have invoked race to analyze Hawai‘i society as in its pre-1970s past. In my book From Race

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to Ethnicity: Interpreting Japanese American Experiences in Hawai‘ i, I present a “racial history” in discussing the historical experiences of Japanese since their immigration as plantation contract laborers in the late nineteenth century to their economic and political ascendancy by the early 1970s (Okamura 2014). In my current book project on the Myles Fukunaga case of 1928 and 1929, I argue that he was “raced to death,” insofar as he was convicted and sentenced to be hanged less than three weeks after committing his crime, because by killing a ten-year-old haole boy he had grossly violated the dominant racial boundary between haoles and nonhaoles. In the contemporary situation, race can be usefully applied to a few groups in Hawai‘i, particularly haoles and African Americans, who tend to be racialized to a greater extent than other groups. Given the visibility of race, it is especially significant for haoles and Blacks in their interpersonal relations with nonmembers of their respective groups, as is evident in incidents of antihaole and anti–African American violence and racism. Perhaps for most people in Hawai‘i, it does not make much difference whether ethnicity or race is the dominant organizing principle of their society, whether its constituent groups are viewed as ethnic groups or races, or whether socioeconomic inequality is based on ethnicity or race. They may well consider discussion, research, and writing about these issues as purely academic exercises that scholars like to engage in that have little to do with their everyday lives. In fact, these issues and their related problems have everything to do with Hawai‘i’s people and their individual and collective lives because without a clear and valid understanding of how island society works and how it is structured according to ethnicity, we cannot resolve continuing problems of inequality, oppression, and racism. Notes I thank Rod Labrador and Camilla Fojas for reviewing and commenting on an earlier draft of this chapter.  1. Because I am emphasizing the differences between ethnicity and race, I am ignoring that the former can also be based on ancestry or descent, as Rod Labrador emphasized to me.  2. In a lecture—“The Difference between Race and Ethnicity”—for the California Pluralism Project, Winant states, “Ethnicity is a matter of culture. . . . Ethnicity is about your religion, your language, your cuisine, perhaps your national origin, your dress. It can be changed. It can change in ways that race cannot.” The lecture was posted on YouTube on October 22, 2015.  3. The COFA nations are the Republic of the Marshall Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, and the Republic of Belau.  4. Other Micronesians in Hawai‘i include Chamorros from Guam and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, but they are not COFA nations.

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 5. Micronesians also are falsely accused of using federal need-based benefits, such as welfare assistance and food stamps, but they have been ineligible to receive them since 1996.  6. African American or Black also can be considered a racial category asserted in Hawai‘i.  7. Even at the University of Hawai‘i School of Law, there is a Hispanic Law Students Association.  8. “Mexican-origin” military personnel constitute 17 percent of the state labor force (Batalova, Das Gupta, and Haglund 2013).  9. As to the remaining 35 percent of the Hispanic population of Hawai‘i, my hypothesis is that a majority are Filipino Americans, who also claim Spanish descent, rather than persons whose ancestry can be traced to Latin America (Okamura 2008, 28). 10. Unless otherwise indicated, the data in this section are from the American Community Survey 2010 Selected Detailed Race Profiles (5-Year Estimates) for “race alone or in combination with one or more other races” (Hawai‘i Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism 2012a). 11. McDonald’s security camera video coverage is available of the entire incident (www, although it lacks sound and skips every few seconds. 12. The judge may have decided to allow the jury to consider the lesser charges after the Hawai‘i Supreme Court overturned convictions in two separate trials over which she presided. The court ruled that she should have permitted the jury in those trials to consider lesser offenses (Perez 2014, B1). 13. By local, I refer to the shared identity of those in Hawai‘i who have an appreciation of and attachment to the land, peoples and cultures of the islands (Okamura 2008, 117). 14. According to the article, the interview with Young was prompted by an assault by a Native Hawaiian father and his sixteen-year-old son, who both pled guilty, on a young haole military couple earlier in the year in which they were called “f___ing haole” (see Boylan and Pang 2007). Several other incidents of antihaole violence occurred in 2007, two of which were initially investigated as hate crimes (see Dayton 2007; Park 2007; Thompson 2008). 15. People in Hawai‘i will ask, “What’s your ethnicity?” rather than inquire about one’s “race.” Older residents still often question, “What’s your nationality?” but mean ethnicity and not citizenship.

References Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders for Hillary Clinton for President. 2016. Auman, Ann. 2012. “Death in Waikīkī: The Significance of the Geo-cultural Context in News Media Framing.” Paper presented at Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication Conference, Chicago. August. Batalova, Jeanne, Monisha Das Gupta, and Sue Patricia Haglund. 2013. “Newcomers to the Aloha State: Challenges and Prospects for Mexicans in Hawai‘i.” Washington, DC: Migration Policy Institute. in Hawaii .pdf. Blair, Chad. 2011. “No Aloha for Micronesians in Hawaii.” Honolulu Civil Beat, June 10.

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———. 2016. “Where Are the Haoles for Hillary?” Honolulu Civil Beat, March 26. http:// Bonilla-Silva, Eduardo. 2012. “Commentary in Race 2012.” PBS, October 16. http://video Boylan, Peter, and Gordon Pang. 2007. “Hate Crime Not Ruled Out in Waikele Assault.” Honolulu Advertiser, February 27. Daranciang, Nelson. 2014a. “Deedy Not Guilty of Murder.” Honolulu Star-Advertiser, August 14, pp. A1, A10. ———. 2014b. “Third Deedy Trial Set for September 2015.” Honolulu Star-Advertiser, August 30, pp. A1, A6. Das Gupta, Monisha. 2016. “Shadowed Lives: Invisibility and Visibility of Mexicans in Hawai‘i.” In Transpacific Americas: Encounters and Engagements between the Americas and the South Pacific, ed. Eveline Durr and Philipp Schorch, pp. 42–63. New York: Routledge. Dayton, Kevin. 2007. “Hawaii Schoolgirl Fight May Be ‘Hate Crime.’” Honolulu Advertiser, December 14, pp. B1, B9, hawaii712140378.html. Gaddis, Nate. 2012. “Twenty Kealakehe Students Suspended after Mass Brawl.”, December 19. Grube, Nick. 2012. “Can a White Federal Agent Who Killed a Hawaii Local Get a Fair Trial?” Honolulu Civil Beat, June 19. Haire, Chris. 2007. “Eh, haole.” Interview with Kanalu Young. Honolulu Weekly, August 8–14, p. 31. Hawai‘i Department of Business, Economic Development, and Tourism. 2012a. “American Community Survey 2010 Selected Detailed Race Profiles (5-Year Estimates).” http:// race_5_yr_estimate/. ———. 2012b. “Population Characteristics by Detailed Race.” Summary File 2. http:// HawaiiNewsNow. 2014. “Ethnic Tension Leads to Huge Street Fight in Honolulu, 4 Injured.” September 9. Kobayashi, Ken. 2013a. “Cashier Tried to Stop Quarrel that Led to Fight.” Honolulu StarAdvertiser, July 15. ———. 2013b. “Deedy’s Friend Says He was ‘Severely Beaten’ before Shooting.” Honolulu Star-Advertiser, July 23. ———. 2013c. “Elderts Bullied, Bugged Customer, Guard Says.” Honolulu Star-Advertiser, August 2, pp. A17, A21. ———. 2013d. “Jury Deadlock Was at 8–4 for Acquittal, Foreman Says.” Honolulu StarAdvertiser, August 28, pp. A1, A6. Kobayashi, Ken, and Craig Gima. 2013a. “Agent Describes Victim’s Hostility.” Honolulu Star-Advertiser, August 7, pp. A1, A8. ———. 2013b. “I Hoped, I Prayed that He Would Stop.” Honolulu Star-Advertiser, August 8, pp. A1, A6. Kobayashi, Ken, and Sarah Zoellick. 2013. “Testimony Turns to Race.” Honolulu StarAdvertiser, July 12, pp. A1, A14.

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Lipsitz, George. 1998. The Possessive Investment in Whiteness: How White People Profit from Identity Politics. Philadelphia: Temple University Press. McCartney, Mike. 2013. “Benefits of 24/7 Visitor Industry Reach Far into Local Community.” Honolulu Star-Advertiser, May 12, p. F1. Okamura, Jonathan. Y. 1982. “Ethnicity and Ethnic Relations in Hawaii.” In Ethnicity and Interpersonal Interaction: A Cross-Cultural Study, ed. David Y. H. Wu, pp. 213–235. Singapore: Maruzen Asia. ———. 1990. “Ethnicity and Stratification in Hawai‘i.” Operation Manong Resource Papers No. 1. Operation Manong Program, University of Hawai‘i. ———. 1994. “Why There Are No Asian Americans in Hawai‘i: The Continuing Significance of Local Identity.” Social Process in Hawai‘ i 35 (September): 161–178. ———. 1998a. “The Illusion of Paradise: Privileging Multiculturalism in Hawai‘i.” In Making Majorities: Constituting the Nation in Japan, Korea, China, Malaysia, Fiji, Turkey, and the United States, ed. Dru C. Gladney, pp. 264–284. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press. ———. 1998b. “Social Stratification.” In Multicultural Hawai‘ i: The Fabric of a Multiethnic Society, ed. Michael. Haas, pp. 185–204. New York: Garland Publishing. ———. 2008. Ethnicity and Inequality in Hawai‘ i. Philadelphia: Temple University Press. ———. 2011. “Barack Obama as the Postracial Candidate for a Postracial America: Perspectives from Asian America and Hawai‘i.” Patterns of Prejudice 45, nos. 1–2: 132– 151. ———. 2014. From Race to Ethnicity: Interpreting Japanese American Experiences in Hawai‘ i. Honolulu: University of Hawai‘i Press. Omi, Michael, and Howard Winant. 2012. “Racial Formation Rules: Continuity, Instability, and Change.” In Racial Formation in the Twenty-First Century, ed. Daniel Martinez HoSang, Oneka LaBennet and Laura Pulido, pp. 301–331. Berkeley: University of California Press. ———. 2014. Racial Formation in the United States, 3rd ed. New York: Routledge. Park, Gene. 2007. “Law Student Accepted to UH Is Killed.” Honolulu Star-Bulletin, May 4. Perez, Rob. 2014. “Deedy Jury Struggled through Deliberations, Notes Show.” Honolulu Star-Advertiser, August 19, p. B1. Smith, Dave. 2012. “Kealakehe Reopening Peaceful; Some Students Demonstrate for Unity.”, December 10. Stankov, Pavel. 2013. “Hawaii’s Latinos Defy Stereotypes.” Hawaii Business Magazine, May. Stannard, David E. 2005. Honor Killing: How the Infamous “Massie Affair” Transformed Hawai‘ i. New York: Viking. Thompson, Rod. 2008. “5 Indicted in Big Isle Attacks.” Honolulu Star-Bulletin, May 21, p. A5. Tsai, Michael. 2014. “March Decries Deedy Acquittal.” Honolulu Star-Advertiser, August 16, p. B1. Wilcox, Leslie, moderator. “What It Means to Be American: What Can Hawaii Teach America about Race?” A National Conversation Hosted by The Smithsonian and Zócalo Public Square, Honolulu, September 16, 2015. http://www.zocalopublicsquare .org/2015/09/15/is-hawaii-a-racial-paradise/ideas/up-for-discussion/. Winant, Howard. 2015. “The Difference between Race and Ethnicity.” California Pluralism Project, October 22.

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Chapter 6

The Racial Imperative Rereading Hawai‘i’s History and BlackHawaiian Relations through the Perspective of Black Residents Nitasha Tamar Sharma

In line with the broader mission of this collection, this essay explores how race is central to group dynamics and contemporary life in Hawai‘i. It analyzes how race comingles with indigeneity through relationships between Blacks and Hawaiians in ways that disrupt the predominant paradigms of culture and ethnicity that tend to obfuscate dispossession, racism, and unequal power relations. Black people are an understudied group in Hawai‘i despite their lengthy history and growing numbers.1 I highlight this vital history and call upon my findings from interviews with Black residents in the islands, including Black Hawaiians (locals whose fathers are Black and whose mothers are Kanaka Maoli or Native Hawaiian), to reflect shifting evaluations of Blackness and Hawaiian-ness over time. Race is the imperative analytic when we view the history and experiences of Hawai‘i through the eyes of those of African descent. In fact it is race—not ethnicity or culture—that is central to understanding social and political life in the islands through a review of the history of Black people in Hawai‘i, from the migration of whalers in the first part of nineteenth century to the arrival of military personnel, all the way through the ramifications of the Black Power movement upon Native Hawaiian political movements for sovereignty.2 Ultimately, an ethnographic examination of the experiences of Black people in Hawai‘i— and particularly Black Hawaiians—tells us how race operates in the islands in ways that affect all groups, including Native Hawaiians. This chapter is part of a larger project in which I offer an ethnographic description of “the Black Pacific,” a growing field generally attended to by historians.3 My research focuses on people who belong—or attempt to belong—to what are seen as disparate Native or African descent communities.4 Although this essay rereads people of African descent into Hawaiian history, my larger 114

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project and articulation of racial dynamics in the islands centers the words of Black Hawaiians who have generally been overlooked in the scholarship in Pacific Island studies and in African American studies because they may not identify strictly as Black and because of their small numbers.5 The contemporary experiences of Black Hawaiians specifically and residents of African descent more generally narrate a history of the islands in which Blacks figure as a group that has long interacted with Kānaka Maoli to tell us how race is an alternative to the accepted paradigms of ethnicity.6 Conceptions of Race Changing ideas of Blackness in Hawai‘i over time reveals how the circulation of continental notions of race is both oppressive and resistant within the Hawaiian Islands. I deploy “race” in three ways to understand the relationship between Black and Hawaiian people, see what their lives can tell us about belonging, and challenge the dominant theories of ethnicity and culture as the operative dynamic among groups in the islands. Maintaining the specificity of Kanaka indigeneity rather than viewing Hawaiians as another ethnic group in Hawai‘i also exposes how they have been racialized through colonization and ongoing forms of disenfranchisement.7 Although race and indigeneity are distinct identity, legal, historical, and material categories, for Black residents of Hawai‘i, and particularly Black Hawaiians, they can overlap in important ways. Social science analyses of the islands reflect the broader continental post– World War II shift from the dominance of race to ethnicity as the standard for understanding difference in the United States.8 Scholars and the tourist industry advance representations of Hawai‘i as a site of exception that forecasts demographic changes on the continental United States, using the islands to illustrate what a harmonious multicultural and multiracial society looks like. Social scientists have focused on its diversity, group relations, and mixed-race marriages and their children to depict Hawai‘i as a “racial frontier.” Shelley Lee and Rick Baldoz review Hawai‘i’s twin reputation as an interracial paradise of race mixing or nightmare of Asian dominance from a continental perspective, or as a “fascinating interracial experiment station,” whose study by those affiliated with the Chicago School of sociologists could “yield insights about racial dynamics and social change that might be brought to bear on understanding and solving race problems in other parts of the United States.”9 Today, Hawai‘i’s multiculturalism continues to interest scholars, demographers, and mainstream populations whose perceptions of the isles are shaped by a tourism industry that is invested in obscuring its direct links to militarism, plantation histories, and the illegal overthrow of the monarchy. It is this history, however, that scholars have analyzed to develop their blueprint for understanding social relations. I use race in three ways in this essay. First, I refer to the process of racialization in the United States, or the ideological processes by which dominant groups

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categorize others based on phenotype and develop ideas that are imputed onto those Others, who are valued or devalued within a hierarchy. This process is amplified by racism, in which the ideologies of racialized Others are then called upon to justify practices of exploitation of the Other (genocide, slavery, indentured servitude) for the benefit of those in power. This notion of race is constructed over time through systemic dispossession (such as access to land rights) and exclusion (from education and health care, for example). Such historic processes become expressed through stereotypes of Blacks and Hawaiians that make “difference” in the islands appear simply to be innocuous ideas (rather than ritualized practices) about various groups. For instance, Whites’ constructs of the hypersexuality and criminality of African Americans that have roots in the slave economy were spread by White soldiers in Hawai‘i about their Black counterparts during World War II. These ideas are currently expressed in popular culture (music and film, for instance). Behind these ideas are tense relations between the military presence and locals and the ongoing cooptation of land in Hawai‘i for U.S. strategic goals in the Pacific.10 The racial coding of Hawaiians and other peoples of the Pacific as feminized, happy natives who are commercially unproductive on their land are the ideological constructs were used to justify the colonization and militarization of the Kingdom, and accompanies the current dispossession of Native Hawaiian land and rights (see Arvin in this volume). Although Whites differentially racialized Blacks and Hawaiians, the two groups have experienced overlapping racialization. Noenoe Silva illustrates haoles’ expropriation of Black stereotypes onto Hawaiian monarchs to discredit their royal ancestries.11 Whereas in the pre-statehood era, haoles (oligarchs from the continental United States and those who set up shop in Hawai‘i) were the dominant group in power, today processes of racialization—and racism—operate through different groups in political and economic power, including haoles, Chinese, and Japanese. Whites do not have a monopoly on racialization and racism, and this is particularly evident in Hawai‘i. My second deployment of race illustrates how both Black and Hawaiian people have been the object of and have used U.S.-based blood illogics. The one-drop rule (also known as hypodescent) states that any person with a single drop of African ancestry is Black.12 This strain of racial logic was part of a legal regime that categorized mixed-race offspring—including the children of White masters and Black female slaves—as Black and enslaveable. This thinking continues to circulate, exemplified by Black-White multiracials, including Obama, acknowledging their multiple ancestries only to face those who say, “if you are part Black then you are just Black.” In the case of Kānaka Maoli, the importation of racialized logic includes the blood quantum rules in place today to regulate who is and who is not “Hawaiian enough” to own Hawaiian homestead land. According to the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands, the Hawaiian Homes Commission Act designated that “Native Hawaiians are defined as individuals having at least 50 percent

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Hawaiian blood.”13 Additionally, both Hawaiians and Blacks, despite their multiple ancestries, often highlight their Hawaiian-ness or Blackness or, as Brandon Ledward writes in his study of Hawaiian hapas, “rather than playing up our many ethnicities often times most of us choose to posture ourselves as simply Hawaiian.”14 If in practice, both Black and Hawaiian communities engage in much more elastic practices of belonging, these continental ideologies of race nonetheless hold ground, both ideologically (in debates over who is and who is not Black or “Hawaiian enough”) and materially (access to land). My third deployment of race offers a contrasting definition of the concept: race is not solely an imposed and oppressive tool of exploitation, but also an empowered articulation of resistance against ideological and material dispossession. Identity-based social movements of the 1960s and 1970s illustrate this notion, such as the Black Power movement that reclaimed the power and beauty of Blackness rather than viewing it solely as a denigrated identity. Despite the limitations of identity-based organizing that impedes broader coalitional and future-based politics, the Black Power movement showed race as an axis around which to forge community, resist oppression, and organize for rights.15 In this way, “Blackness,” like “Hawaiian-ness,” functions as a resistant racial response to group oppression and denigration, and is expressed through identity-based activism and pride linked to cultural expressions of peoplehood (we see this, albeit in multicultural form, operating in the African American Diversity Culture Center Hawaii). In this essay, I reread Hawai‘i’s history through the insights I gained from my interviews with more than sixty people of African descent in Hawai‘i to illustrate these three meanings of race. Race is central to our comprehension of the dynamics in play for all of Hawai‘i’s people. Regarding Ethnicity Scholarship on Hawai‘i tends to privilege ethnicity and culture, akin to the theoretical deployments of ethnicity by sociologists since the 1960s, and particularly since the multicultural 1990s.16 Ethnicity is a selected identity that, according to Jonathan Okamura, refers to a group’s “shared identity, culture, and social relationships,” which can be the basis for shared social interests.17 However selfidentification (as opposed to imposed, or racial identification) does not fully explain the lives of Hawai‘i’s Black residents or the political economy of resource distribution in the islands. A 2014 Black Enterprise article called Hawai‘i the number one “Best [State] for Black Household Wealth”: “Topping our list is one of the most beautiful places created by God’s design. Better known as ‘Paradise,’ black residents who live in Hawaii make the most per the U.S. Census Bureau at a whopping $66,629.”18 I suggest that the economic opportunities for Black residents result from the moderating impact that a predominantly non-White society plays upon White racism in Hawai‘i. Additionally, those who come to Hawai‘i from the continental United States tend to be professionals. The class

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status of local Blacks and particularly mixed-race Blacks like Black Hawaiians is much lower. An ethnicity-only analysis highlights a group’s ancestry and cultural practices, and attendant concepts like “multiculturalism” flatten out difference (for instance, by defining Hawaiians, haoles, Filipinos, Japanese—and Black people—as generally equivalent ethnic groups). How does this speak, then, to the material inequalities whereby “people of Japanese and Chinese descent and white people make the most money on average, while Native Hawaiians and people of Filipino and Samoan descent make the least on average”?19 Ethnicity is not adequate in describing and understanding group identity and intergroup dynamics in Hawai‘i because it conceals the unequal methods and material impacts of power. It is, rather, the valence of race in uncovering these realities that provides the impetus for this volume. Employing an ethnicity-alone paradigm without analyzing the intersection of race and racism with indigeneity emphasizes additional blind spots. Okamura’s recent work (2014 and his essay in this volume) argues that the Japanese in Hawai‘i shifted from a racial minority that was once dominated by haoles in the pre–World War II era to a politically and economically powerful ethnic group since the 1970s. In support of this argument, Okamura looks to terminology and the ways that various groups self-refer. For example, he writes that Native Hawaiians “began to view themselves and other groups more as ethnic groups with differing cultures rather than as races with differing phenotypes, a process referred to as ethnicization.”20 The situation of Native Hawaiians today, under Japanese and haole political and economic dominance, actually fits better into Okamura’s older definition of racial formation, which draws on Omi and Winant’s formulation, but because his narrative centers haole-Japanese relations and the Japanese agency to self-define as an ethnic group, Hawaiians (not to mention Blacks) are sidelined, which makes it appear as if race and indigeneity do not structure island life at the level at which ethnicity does.21 If, because of their agency that arises from their economic, political, and demographic power, local Japanese may consider themselves to be an ethnic group in alliance with other groups and see shared interests and cultural identities as predominant, the same may not necessarily be said for the perspectives, life chances, and agency of other groups, particularly Pacific Islanders like Micronesians, Samoans, Tongans, and Hawaiians along with Filipinos (see Roderick Labrador’s essay in this volume). Conversely, the experiences of Black islanders, most clearly illustrated in Christopher Lopa’s essay, lead to an alternative reading of group relations where race is inescapable. Applying an ethnic paradigm to Native Hawaiians is specifically problematic because “talking about Hawaiians as simply another ethnic group tends to negate their indigenous claims to land and government in Hawai‘i.”22 The ethnicization or redefinition of Kānaka Maoli absent the specificity of their indigeneity, parallels

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The redefinition of Indigenous Peoples by the [Guyanese] state [that] allows for the management of an identity that threatens the state itself by continually gesturing towards its limits and illegitimacy . . . The continued identification of Indigenous Peoples in terms other than those in which they see themselves, and consequently relate to the land, represents their real and figurative displacement. It also reflects attempts to not necessarily disappear Indigenous Peoples but to subvert the radical difference they represent.23

Jodi Byrd levels a similar critique in her interpretation of Black feminist scholar bell hooks’s listing of groups that include “Native,” “Asian,” and “Hispanic Americans” as those who express anti-Black sentiments in order to “not be seen as residing at the bottom of this society’s totem pole, in the category reserved for the most despised group.”24 “Ironically,” writes Byrd, “hooks’s framing of whiteblack paradigms [and Okamura’s framing of haole-Japanese paradigms] refract a . . . foreclosure with regards to indigenous dispossession.”25 In a twofold move, ethnicity flattens out power differentials among groups (including the simplistic settler-Native binary) and complicates the racial and state power of non-White groups, including the Japanese. Examining ethnicity alone not only conceals the workings of power but, more insidiously, is also part of the process of how in the Caribbean, Canada, and Hawai‘i “those brought in as forced labor (racialized capital) now contribute to the disenfranchisement of Indigenous People.”26 Indigeneity brings to the fore the present and particular colonized status of Native Hawaiians. Kānaka Maoli, who make up more than 20 percent of the island population if we include part Hawaiians, make up 39 percent of the incarcerated population. With regard to the material living conditions of Kānaka Maoli and the experiences of Blacks in Hawai‘i, it is evident that race (which in my definition highlights relations of dominance and oppression and access to material resources) and indigeneity (which highlights colonialism and dispossession) structure island life well after the initial haole oligarchy was replaced by local leaders. Income inequality affects access to quality food and health care, ultimately affecting the mortality and quality of life of Black and Hawaiian people. According to the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, Native Hawaiians have higher than average rates in Hawai‘i for seven of nine diseases.27 The NAACP reports that “heart disease is the leading cause of death among African Americans,” that almost half of adult Blacks have cardiovascular disease, and that they have diabetes at 1.5 times the rate of Whites.28 Blacks and Native Hawaiians are both grossly overrepresented in Hawai‘i’s incarcerated population. According to a Prison Policy report based on 2010 numbers, Blacks are 2 percent of the state population but 4 percent of the incarcerated population. Hawaiians, whom the report counts at only 10 percent of the state population (they did not take those who selected more than one race, who make

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up 20 percent) make up 39 percent of the state’s jail and prisons and in some prisons more than 50 percent.29 With seemingly so much in common, what are the dynamics of Black-Kanaka relations and what do Black people—and especially the Black Hawaiians I spoke with—tell us about the role of race in contemporary Hawai‘i? The Focus on Hawai‘i’s Multiracial Population and the Discursive Role of Hapas Hapas, or people of “mixed blood” in Hawai‘i, are another focus for scholars of Hawai‘i. Researchers and popular representations use multiracials as allegories of positive (race) relations in the islands, a part of the United States that did not institute antimiscegenation laws. Almost 25 percent of Hawai‘i’s population checked more than one racial category on the 2010 Census and 34 percent of its Black population selected two or more. Contemporary patterns of intermixing are informed by islanders’ contact with Europeans since the arrival of Captain Cook in 1778, along with the organization of plantation, tourist, and military economies. Lee and Baldoz review sociological studies of Hawai‘i’s hapas in the 1920s and 1930s that reflect the islands’ legacy as exceptional and a portal to the continent’s future. Unlike contemporary scholarship that focuses on ethnicity, these earlier studies used race as an analytic (see Arvin in this volume). Chicago School sociologists, including Robert Park (who worked for a few years at the University of Hawai‘i) attempted to challenge biological notions of inherent racial difference but, according to Lee and Baldoz, ended up reinforcing rather than challenging hierarchies of race and gender (men over women, and the hierarchy of haole, Asian, and Hawaiian). “Their overarching analysis of interracial marriage and race relations in Hawai‘i tended to exaggerate the levels of egalitarian relations in the islands and downplayed the persistence of racial divisions among the population.” The authors also show how the work of the sociologists “on race mixing in Hawai‘i neither blurred nor challenged racial boundaries, but remapped them.” Challenging the notion of Hawai‘i as a model of tolerance and the erasure of race prejudice, Lee and Baldoz reveal how “interracial sex and marriage can perpetuate racial and gender inequality.”30 Race, along with gender, is the central tenet for understanding the historical and social processes that help explain both marriage patterns and large numbers of hapas. Most of this scholarship, mirroring U.S. mixed-race studies, has centered on hapa haoles (those who are part White), such as Japanese, Chinese, or Hawaiian haole. Examining nonhaole hapas leads us to different questions and insights. Analyzing how Black Hawaiians navigate Pacific ideas of cultural belonging contributes to Pacific Island studies. Additionally, their reactions to locals’

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understanding about Blackness and stereotypical expectations of what constitutes Black behavior speak to debates in African American studies. Ledward’s important work “On Being Hawaiian” and his dissertation titled “Inseparably Hapa” explore group dynamics among Hawaiians whose communities are filled with people of multiple ancestries. Ledward wants to “examine the implications of multidentity among Hawaiians who feel strong connections to diverse ethnic groups.” His ethnography illustrates “social factors contributing to the notion of ‘Hawaiian enough’ and discuss[es] the implications processes of racialization have within the contemporary lāhui Hawaii (Hawaiian community).” The vast majority of Hawaiians—like African Americans—are of mixed ancestry (Ledward says up to 98 percent of Kānaka Maoli). His study of hapa haoles attempts to bridge the divide of hapa and Hawaiian as separate categories, which emerges as one impact of U.S. racialist thought upon discourses in Hawai‘i that my research also emphasizes. At the center of his dissertation, Ledward offers the concept of “multidentity,” which emphasizes hybridity and intragroup diversity “in contradistinction to the conventional notion [of] identity, which tends to be singular in nature.”31 If the experiences of Black people in Hawai‘i clearly illustrate how race operates, the lives of Black Hawaiians reveal how race and indigeneity intersect. As Ledward looks at White and Brown Hawaiians, or Hawaiians who cross the categories of Hawaiian, local, and haole, what do Black Hawaiians tell us about the unique ways that Blackness (rather than haoleness) functions and is valued and devalued within Native communities? What is the relation between Blackness and Hawaiian-ness? How has Blackness been both denigrated and also viewed as a model for self-determination and pride? And in what ways are the continental racial frameworks of civil rights or Black nationalism applicable to Native claims for self-determination? This essay does not intend to conflate Black and Hawaiian struggles for independence, freedom, and equality, but rather looks to the generative thinking that emerges once we center Blacks and race in our analysis of power and inequality in the islands. The History and Significance of the Black Residents of Hawai‘i: Beyond a Military Account For the Black experience, for a lot of Black locals . . . especially those that come from broken homes where the dad went back [to] where he came from [on the mainland, and] the mom stayed, their window to Black experiences is almost closed, it’s a crack in the door. —a local Black Samoan

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I’ve always been outspoken, because I come from a proud family and a proud tradition, [I come from an] educated [African American] family for many generations, teachers. And so the fact that people [in Hawai‘i] (sigh) were so uninformed was injurious. . . . People just didn’t know who we were. And it was injurious to me. Because I knew that we had a proud history. —an African American kama‘aina from the U.S. South

The invisibility of Hawai‘i’s Black people in today’s scholarship, tourism literature, and local discourse could be due to their demographics, at 2.9 percent of the population, or almost forty thousand civilian and military Blacks. However, their population increased from 1.6 percent in just five years and they actually exceed the number of Samoan residents, whose everyday and cultural presence is substantial.32 The historical and current erasure of the presence of Black people, whom islanders routinely identify only as members of the military on short rotations or as temporary vacationers, is belied by their growth (up 16 percent in the last ten years), and the prevalence of Black culture, particularly hip hop and reggae music and aesthetics. Locals’ blindness to the contemporary presence of Black people, including Black locals in this study, mirrors an historical erasure of what has, in fact, been a two-hundred-year-old story.33 Also under-recognized is the role of continental Black political struggles upon Kanaka movements for self-determination. As the numbers of Black islanders have generally increased and their position in the local economy changes, so have locals’ ideas about them, especially with the global popularity of Black popular culture.34 What their history tells us, however, is a relatively consistent narrative of the integration of civilian nonmilitary Blacks into island life seen through intermarriage and their geographic dispersal. I use the term “Blacks” rather than African Americans because those who have come to the islands are mostly but not exclusively from the continental United States (participants in my project were primarily African American but also from the Caribbean and Africa). Eleanor Nordyke also uses the term “Black” and addresses the diasporic roots of those arrivals who include up to eight thousand Cape Verdean whalers. Hawaiians used the term haole ‘ele‘ele, which Nordyke translates to “foreign Black,” along with the term popolo—sometimes, like haole, used descriptively and sometimes derogatively—referring to the berry of the black nightshade plant. The census has also categorized people of African descent variously, including as Portuguese (who were later categorized as White) and Puerto Rican. The U.S. Census classified persons of African descent in the early 1900s as “Negro,” and Puerto Ricans were counted as Puerto Rican and then later as Caucasian or White. The 1940s classification of part Puerto Ricans reduced numbers of Blacks when, according to Romanzo Adams, the Black population was probably growing.35

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Scholar and poet Kathryn Takara offers another possible explanation for their decreasing numbers in the last century: Because of the stigmas and negative stereotypes associated with descendants of slaves, some Blacks in the past chose to be identified with another race that was more acceptable and familiar to the local Hawaiian community. Blacks who called themselves part-Negro in the 1910 census found it easier to become part-Hawaiian in 1920. Even today, a few fear the possible or imagined repercussions of being discovered to be of Negro origins.36

The first Black men arrived on whaling ships as early as the turn into the nineteenth century, well before the larger migrations of Asian plantation workers.37 Later, two Black men became the first two band leaders of the King’s Band (now called the Royal Hawaiian Band) commissioned by King Kamehameha III in the 1830s.38 Others became advisors to the monarch and, in the early 1900s, owned small businesses like boarding houses.39 Several individuals whose profound presence is detailed in existing historical scholarship came in the nineteenth and the first half of the twentieth centuries as missionaries, educators, and entrepreneurs.40 Anthony Allen, an escaped slave from the U.S. East Coast, came to live in Honolulu from 1810 and developed the first resort in Waikīkī and a hospital for sailors. Illustrating the integration of Black men into island life, he married a Hawaiian woman and was a steward to King Kamehameha, whose high priest granted Allen his land.41 His time on the islands overlapped with Betsey Stockton, a former slave known for her missionary zeal who may be the first Black woman in Hawai‘i, arriving from the East Coast. She lived on Maui for two years from 1823, where she learned Hawaiian and founded a school for the maka‘ainana, or commoners.42 In the twentieth century, many voluntary Black civilians also came, migrating as individuals rather than through the plantation system of group migration. Alice Ball, the daughter of a family of Black professionals from Seattle, was the first African American and first woman to graduate with a master of science degree in chemistry at what became the University of Hawai‘i.43 She played a crucial and under-recognized role in developing an antileprosy treatment used for decades after her early death in 1916 when she was just twenty-four years old. Initially, and prior to the transplantation of slavery-based ideologies of Black inferiority, Hawaiians welcomed Black sailors and saw dark skin as a sign of “strength and courage.” According to Takara, some went on to earn citizenship in the Kingdom and may have formed nearly a quarter of the foreign settler population at that time.44 Since the early 1800s (and possibly as early as 1790) and prior to their participation through the U.S. military, Blacks integrated themselves into island life without forming distinct communities by intermarrying with local and particularly Hawaiian women. Sailors and plantation workers

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who stayed after their contracts “assimilated” to local culture by adopting local customs and sometimes learning Hawaiian.45 The scholarship on “race mixing” does not tell us much about the lives of these early Black Hawaiians. “Marriages occurred with Hawaiians,” writes Nordyke, “and these people and their children became classified in censuses as Portuguese or PartHawaiian.” Black Hawaiian children were often classified as part Hawaiians, which, according to Horne, stands in contrast to the improbabilities of integration in the United States.46 Since the 1950s—when Hawai‘i formally became part of the United States as its “fiftieth state”—the Black population living on the islands has nearly doubled each decade, and about 85 percent were associated with the military in 1980. In 1930, the Hawai‘i population included 322 Black men and 241 Black women, reflecting an historical gender imbalance. Census numbers describe the gender differentials of Black men and women because, as Nordyke states, the numbers included military and their dependents, and so the demographics of Blacks in the latter 1900s were young men, who married young and had more children than other groups in Hawai‘i. Black and local people continued to intermarry. As on the continental United States, Black women in Hawai‘i outmarried at much lower rates than Black men, but the rates are quite significant in comparison: in 1980, 19.3 percent of Black women and 51 percent of Black men outmarried.47 The 2000 Census shows that 34 percent of Black people in Hawai‘i checked two or more races, growing to 44 percent ten years later, versus 7 percent nationally.48 When one considers the long history of intermarriage in Hawai‘i, Black peoples’ high interracial marriage rates are only partially a result of gender imbalance and have resulted in a population of local Black hapas, some of whom I interviewed. Along with the dispossession of Native land and the development of Hawai‘i’s plantation economy—and its need for cheap labor—U.S. racialist discourses about Black people entered the islands in disputes over a Black labor force in the 1900s and later through the expanding presence of the U.S. military. Plantation owners did not generally think that Blacks were suitable sources of labor in the 1850s (leading up to the Civil War) and some members of the Hawaiian government and missionaries were abolitionists against the contract labor system, thereby limiting the overall numbers of Blacks in the 1900s.49 Nonetheless, some plantation owners on Maui attempted to resolve their labor shortage by recruiting several hundred Black Southerners starting in 1901, when the Hawaiian Sugar Planters Association brought thirty families from Tennessee, Mississippi, and Alabama to a Maui plantation in 1907.50 Starting a historical trend that continues through the 2000s, many of these arrivals “merged with the residents through intermarriage and association with local groups, but others returned to the Mainland. They did not establish a separate homogenous community, and their identity as Blacks were diffused with that of other Island ethnic people.”51

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Over time, as American oligarchs debated the future of the islands, they increasingly applied U.S. continental notions of Blackness to Hawai‘i and onto Hawaiians—especially the monarchy. In the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, Whites brought with them U.S. conceptions of Black inferiority developed in the context of slavery and applied them to Hawaiians, calling them a heathen and “shiftless” people to justify colonization.52 This illustrates the overlapping racialization of Blackness and Hawaiian-ness as well as the intersection of racialization and indigeneity of Hawaiians, in which they were Native peoples subjected to the ideological constructs (of being Native and of the land; as feminized non-Christians unfamiliar with capitalist modes of production) in order to materially dispossess and eradicate them through disease, neglect, assimilation, and intermarriage. Black people, in contrast, were central to U.S. labor needs, and thus Patrick Wolfe argues that there were practices to increase their numbers. Such material processes were accompanied by ideological notions of inferiority, which crossed over from Blacks, with their continental slave history, applied to Hawaiians by White missionary and big business settlers. To discredit the monarchy, colonizers crafted rumors of King Kamehameha’s African ancestry by pointing to his dark complexion.53 Queen Lili‘uokalani faced the same “Negro-ification” when a news writer claimed that she “had no ‘real hereditary royalty’ ” and that she and King Kalākaua “were instead the illegitimate children of a mulatto shoemaker.”54 According to Noenoe Silva, American cartoonists depicting the Queen as a “pickaninny” in the 1890s “borrowed stock images of Africans and African Americans” to racialize and denigrate Hawaiian royalty.55 Takara writes, “That the very possibility of being Black could threaten to depose a king in late nineteenth-century Hawai‘i, a land where prior to Western contact ‘Black’ had symbolized the greatest political and spiritual powers, should indicate just how much had changed in less than 100 years.”56 The sociologist Shirley Abe in 1945 clarified that “Underneath the surface of racial harmony as seen in public life, there are prejudices in the private lives of the people, socially as well as economically. . . . If things had gone on naturally, without any introduction of the Mainland pattern of race relations, the Negroes would very likely have been gradually accepted and absorbed into the community, just as the Portuguese, Chinese, Japanese and Filipinos have become part of the community, each one starting towards the bottom of the social scale and working its way up.”57 That the numbers of Black residents remain small, despite their steady increase, gives credence to her prediction of integration into local communities. However, military Blacks, who are generally on three-year rotations and may arrive with Black family members, have developed a more structured Black community and presence near military bases, at churches, and in Honolulu nightlife. Not so certain is her assertion that each community has been able to work “its way up” over time.

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The twentieth century reflected a shift in the roles of Black labor to primarily serve in a military capacity. Black people—primarily men—came through the military after Hawai‘i became a territory with the arrival of the all-Black 25th Infantry Regiment in 1913. In 1985, more than 85 percent of the Black population was military and their dependents.58 The demographic, historical, and associative link between Black men and the U.S. military is the predominant trope of Blacks in Hawai‘i, such that all the participants have had to negotiate their relationship to Hawai‘i through this assumption. This history also affects relations among Black people in the islands, including groups such as Hawai‘i-born Black locals, newer African-descent arrivals to the islands (including athletes recruited to play at the college level), and other educated Black professionals in law and medicine, for instance. The prevalence of Black military men in Hawai‘i shapes local ideas and assumptions of these newer groups and their relationship to the military (and thus assumptions of not being local), and family histories in which the military played a large role in the circumstances of their birth and family structures. The U.S. military since World War II has brought the largest numbers of Blacks, and with this military presence came the ideologies of its rank and racial hierarchies.59 Negotiating race relations in a society structured differently than on the continent, White soldiers spread notions of Black inferiority and hypersexuality to influence islanders’ understandings of Black soldiers.60 Although the military is the primary vehicle through which Black people have come to Hawai‘i, my research focuses on civilians who were either born in Hawai‘i or who chose to make it their home. Frank Marshall Davis was another influential Black professional who moved to the islands during the Jim Crow era and who reflected upon the changing ideologies of Black people since World War II. Davis was a journalist and a pro-labor spokesman who moved to pre-statehood Hawai‘i in 1948, where he lived until his death almost four decades later. Davis is the transplant from Chicago whom Obama recounts in his memoir as an important figure he spent time with in Waikīkī. Davis used his news columns to articulate how power operated in Hawai‘i, drawing links between Blacks and Hawaiians, and evoking instances of racism in the islands to highlight the relevance of race in mid-twentieth-century Hawai‘i.61 Takara, who authored a biography of Davis, writes that he “openly discussed imperialism and colonialism” and “compared Hawai‘i with other colonies and attacked the press for its racist propaganda.”62 Davis articulated links between Blacks and Hawaiians in his Frank-ly Speaking column in 1950: To the people of Hawai‘i, Africa is a far-away place, almost another world. And yet in many ways it is as close as your next door neighbor. The Dark Continent suffers from a severe case of the disease known as colonialism which Hawai‘i has in much milder form. The sole hope of the dying empires of Western Europe is intensified exploitation and continued

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slavery of African workers through US money and munitions. There are strikes in Africa against the same kinds of conditions that cause strikes in Hawai‘i.63

This history and the story of Black migration to Hawai‘i has been the primary focus of scholars on Blacks in Hawai‘i, but the general public remains unaware of this legacy, and thus has little context for understanding their growing presence. This partially accounts for the lack of information on Black locals, or Hawai‘i-born and -raised Blacks. Filling this void not only provides a more accurate depiction of Hawaiian history; it also has a direct impact on the lives of contemporary Black residents. Simply stated, we need to teach these stories more broadly in the islands, something one Black Samoan has attempted to do. Walt, a Black Samoan graduate student from the islands who has spent time with his African American family on the continent, wants to integrate African American history into Hawai‘i’s K–12 system. “There needs to be a ton of different changes,” he says, “and a ton of different interlinking.” Walt explained that There is African American and African history. . . . And there’s an existent piece of the pie, historical pie, in Hawai‘i that exists and it needs to be taught, not just during the month of February. [T]his is Hawai‘i history, and all kids need to know about this. But it’s especially for African American kids, for Black kids, because in many ways they have no anchors that are rooted in Hawai‘i, but there’s history. It’s just underrepresented, right? So that needs to happen at an educational level within the school system.64

Linking these histories to the current civilian—not just military—presence expands our understanding of the islands’ diversity. This knowledge also provides people of African descent, including those born and raised in Hawai‘i outside Black communities, with a location and sense of belonging in the islands. Finally, this particular experience leads to less sunny depictions of group relations in the Pacific. The racialized histories of people of African descent in the islands, from those who worked on whaling ships, to the military, to contemporary professionals, reveal an expansive and detailed view of the Black Pacific as a site and set of dynamics that contemporary Black residents continue to negotiate. Part of this negotiation includes routine experiences with and resistance to racism. Race and the Shifting Meanings of Blackness in the Islands The 1970s clearly illuminate the impact of race in Hawai‘i with its shifting valuations of Blackness and Hawaiian-ness and critically illustrates how the experiences of Black people and the Black Power movement affected Native

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Hawaiian identity and struggles for self-determination. The surfacing of racial dynamics also influenced the founding of the Department of Ethnic Studies at the University of Hawai‘i. The 1970s was a decade of racial (Black Power), (Hawaiian) sovereignty, and on-campus (ethnic studies) movements that affected the islands in ways that illustrate my three definitions of race. The Black Hawaiians I spoke with described the 1970s and 1980s as a difficult time to be Hawaiian or Black. Hawai‘i’s various groups experienced racial formation—a process through which the haole oligarchy taxonomized and ranked them, placing differential value upon each group based on the logic of White supremacy brought to Hawai‘i. According to Kay Brundage, “the myth of Black inferiority that has come here most often through the media” is another reason for the small population of Black people.65 Locals may have adopted these global ranking processes forged through slavery and colonialism and exercised them through everyday interpersonal relations. Additionally, demographics and dominant cultural representations of Black people affected the way family and community members raised and reacted to Black Hawaiians. Negative associations with Blackness in combination with their small demographics worked to distance local Blacks from their claims to an African American identity, which often traveled to the islands through television, film, and music. Black locals have had to search hard for role models, especially given that they were usually raised without their Black fathers within their mother’s Asian or Polynesian families and communities. One Black Hawaiian explained in a 2009 interview with the author that growing up, I used to watch the Partridge Family, I used to watch Brady Bunch, I thought I was White. [Laughs.] Because, that’s all I saw, you know. That was popular America on television. . . . I’d watched these other, um, colored shows or Black shows, but, I never really (pause) I never really felt that it connected to me. At that time in my life [in the 1970s and 1980s], I didn’t know anything about Blacks or Black history. So for me, it didn’t have a connection at that time.

Black Hawaiians were not the only ones without Black role models. A Black Okinawan man I talked story with was also raised without his father and, as we spoke about facing racism, he said, “I never had that father figure, and you know, that rock to teach me how to be strong and stand up for it.” He articulates how his father’s presence signified the intersection of race and gender—as someone “strong,” a “rock” from whom he could have learned how to confront racism.66 Black locals in the 1970s and 1980s had a difficult time accessing the emergence of Black pride through the Black Power movement that exemplifies my third definition of race as a resistant and empowering identity. Black Hawaiians note that their lack of Black role models had an impact on their self-identification. This mirrors Ledward’s research finding that “an alarming number

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of Hawaiian respondents do not feel ‘Hawaiian enough’ due to a perceived lack of racial phenotypes, the inability to speak their native language or their birthplace and residence,” which leads to feelings of marginalization.67 Black hapas expressed a parallel ambivalence toward other Black people, not by looks necessarily but by cultural capital or knowledge of African American norms and practices. Black locals related a sense of not having had “the Black experience,” generally constructed to be a Black urban experience within predominantly working-class communities on the continent. Thus, one major difference between the continental United States and Hawai‘i is that the latter lacks an established geographically based Black community. Rather, mixed-race Blacks were hānai (adopted) into their mother’s communities—although not without painful experiences because of their African ancestry—revealing how race and Pacific Islander practices intersect. Whereas the majority of Hawaiian (and Samoan) mothers met the participants’ fathers in the continental United States or, in one case, West Africa, where they had left the island for work, most did not marry and returned home pregnant and without the fathers. Thus, like Lincoln (who had no interaction with his father) and Vienna, another Black Hawaiian, Ka‘ala, had very little interaction with his father. Childhood without their fathers affected Black Hawaiians’ identifications with and knowledge of Blackness. They were often adopted into their extended families and raised by mothers, their mother’s new partners, grandmothers, aunties, and other family members. Some Black Hawaiians attended the Kamehameha Schools for Hawaiians and others attended local public schools, such as the one I attended in the 1980s, Roosevelt High School in Makiki. Experiences with nonbelonging reflect the specificity of anti-Blackness that other non-Black hapa children did not face, and highlights the salience of racism that an ethnicity-based system does not explain. In their interviews with me, Black Hawaiian men and women recounted instances of nonbelonging and ostracism within their Hawaiian families and communities, from Papakolea to Nanakuli. Raised in Hawaiian communities, they were among the only partBlacks in their neighborhoods and families and felt (or were made to feel) like outliers and outsiders because of their darker skin, their absent fathers, and because most of their cousins, who were also mixed, were part haole. Ledward reveals that being part haole, or looking “White Hawaiian,” is common and thus is a way of being Hawaiian, whereas Black Hawaiians were made to feel distinct. They recounted facing race-specific epithets and other pejorative comments about their skin difference and Blackness from family members, teachers, and classmates. Every participant recounted being called “nigger,” and some were also called popolo. They were teased for what was thought to be stereotypical Black behaviors, such as eating fried chicken or knowing (or not knowing) how to dance.

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Race intersects with gender, class, and Kanaka Maoli epistemologies to affect the experiences of Black Hawaiians who faced racial denigration from multiple— not just White—communities in Hawai‘i. Parents and extended family often taught Black Hawaiians, especially girls, to not speak pidgin and, in one case, a young Black Hawaiian’s tutu (grandmother) told her that she had four strikes against her: she was Black, Hawaiian, from the leeward or west side of O‘ahu, and a female. With two exceptions (two Black Hawaiian men from the same Hawaiian homestead community), none of the participants spoke pidgin with me during their interviews; they also commented upon the need to distinguish who they were from how they looked—or their abilities from people’s expectations of them. Although they were accepted as family, the participants nonetheless recounted ostracism. One described himself as an “outlier” and felt that he stood out as the tallest and darkest of the cousins. In a particularly poignant interview, a Black Hawaiian woman recounted the racism and abuse she faced not only from family members, but also from teachers and the parents of Asian friends who did not want her to enter their homes. These difficult experiences were compounded in families that faced economic struggles and substance abuse. In the early 1970s, when these youth were growing up, Black identities were both little understood and racially disparaged. The disparagement, sometimes through silencing and sometimes through explicit scolding, of expressions of Blackness is tied to their racialization and their role (land-labor) in the White American expansionist capitalist market. Although Whites in power constructed Native peoples as being outside the domain of “useful” (or cooperative) labor and therefore pushed for eradication or removal for their resource— land—Blacks have been more closely tied in the New World to their labor in a growing capitalist market. Blacks in Hawai‘i, however, are less tied to such constructions with the major exceptions of their history in whaling and the military industries. The position of Blacks in the military and their overall higher income profile in the islands distance them from an association with working class or U.S. “urban” identities. Things have somewhat since shifted with the global celebration of Black popular culture, the rise of America’s first Black or biracial (or hapa or even Asian American) president—Barack Obama—who comes from these islands. Today one can see the proliferation of public expressions of affect, aesthetics, and identification or knowledge of self among the increasing numbers of Black residents. However, it was the rise of the Black Power movement in the 1960s and 1970s that affected the cultural renaissance of Hawaiian practices, including language and land-based practices.68 Black Power’s Influence on Hawaiian Sovereignty Participants that I interviewed experienced changing images and perceptions of Black people in the 1980s when they witnessed ensuing expressions of Black and

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Hawaiian pride. This expression of racial pride coincides with my third definition of race as empowering, and was supplemented with some Black Hawaiians’ growing interactions with continental Blacks when they went to visit their fathers’ families. Some Black Hawaiians described rearticulating positive racial identifications encouraged by what locals were absorbing from Black people in the continental United States regarding pride, history, and resistance. Historical precedent affirms the impacts of the civil rights and Black Power movements on the development of ethnic studies in Hawai‘i and Kānaka Maoli struggles on and off university campuses in the 1970s. Soli Niheu recollected both of these developments and cites the impact of his time in college in 1960s San Jose, California, just a few cities away from the birth place of the Black Panthers, where “there was a black students’ union group” and he “made many friendships with people from the Black Panther Party.” This confluence, along with reading Martin Luther King Jr. and Mohandas Gandhi, helped form his politics. Upon his return to the islands, Niheu joined the antiwar movement and linked it to local land struggles (particularly the fight to stop the eviction of farmers in Kalama Valley), both of which were central to the foundation of the University of Hawai‘i’s Ethnic Studies program. “This activity” in 1970, Niheu writes of the Kalama Valley struggle that included campus and community leaders, “initiated the renaissance of Hawaiian self-determination and, in a certain respects, sovereignty, because we wanted the military out of Hawai‘i.” Some of the activists linked the Black Power struggle and aesthetics to land struggles in Hawai‘i, including those who attended the Black Panther conference in Washington, DC, and came back with “the idea of wearing berets.”69 In her classic text, From a Native Daughter, Haunani-Kay Trask reviews the establishment of Hawaiian studies at the University of Hawai‘i in 1987 through Native student organizing. Nationalism expressed by the Black Power movement and the consciousness-raising of the civil rights movement influenced this process. She recounts that when she was an undergraduate and graduate student at the University of Wisconsin from the late 1960s through the mid-seventies, the Vietnam War [which also affected the rise of Ethnic Studies at the University of Hawai‘i] focused a great deal of our organizing and protest. The Black Civil Rights Movement came also to define our resistance as did one of its offshoots, the fight for a Black Studies (now African American) studies program.

Trask highlights another critical parallel with the civil rights movement: Women are at the forefront of our sovereignty movement. Women lead our Hawaiian Studies Center. Women represent most of our leadership in established organizations. In brief, women are on the front lines, the battle lines. . . . The reality is simply that women are there, where the action

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is, where the people live, where the nation resides. . . . This was true of the 1960s Black Civil Rights Movement in the South. Then, women and young people led the organizing efforts. The same is true for our sovereignty movement today. And the same is true for our campus organizing. Women lead.70

An old video of Haunani-Kay Trask resurfaced recently on the internet through the Facebook feeds of many people (including eight of my friends)—some of whom had never heard of this Hawaiian revolutionary. The one and a half minute video, titled “Native Hawaiian woman responds to racist caller,” shows Trask as a panel member who educates a haole caller questioning why Whites are blamed for taking Native land. Trask calls the woman “woefully ignorant” and discusses the colonization of Hawai‘i. This video gained broad circulation on the continental United States in 2016 because Trask’s one-minute lesson cited a global history of land loss that resonated not just with Native Americans but also in regard to European history. The Native Hawaiian sovereignty activist’s global understanding of race, colonialism, and land dispossession reveals the cross-circulation of movements for self-determination that resonated with African Americans on the continental United States. The development of ethnic studies and Hawaiian studies in Hawai‘i corresponds to Martha Biondi’s illustration of the rise of Black studies across the nation, where students and community members were invested in exposing institutional power and in increasing the numbers of underrepresented minorities on campus.71 Hawaiians made up only 5 percent of the student body before the establishment of Hawaiian studies.72 Upon establishing that field of study, with the influence of Black activism and through Kanaka student mobilization, Trask incorporated the political and intellectual impacts of Black thinkers into her courses. Former student and Pacific Island studies scholar Teresia Teaiwa notes that “Trask assigned readings by revolutionary writers from outside the Pacific, such as Frantz Fanon and Malcolm X” in her “first ever decolonization seminar.” 73 Thus, activist intellectuals like Niheu and Trask attended continental universities where they met Black activists and read philosophers who formed their political worldviews. They linked global antiwar and continental racial movements with indigenous struggles for land rights, demilitarization, and self-determination. The history of Black people in Hawai‘i—including their silences—reveals a number of ways that race, and not just ethnicity and culture, affects the experiences of people in the islands and their intergroup relations. From Hawaiians’ early acceptance of Black whalers to locals’ negative associations between Black men and the military, the institutional role Black people have played in the maintenance and destruction of Native land and their approach to local culture shapes their experiences. Whites racialized Kānaka Maoli, Black people, and other groups in the islands in ways that located them within a particular

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social, economic, and political hierarchy that benefitted White oligarchs and later included Chinese and Japanese power brokers. Black and Hawaiian interactions, however, do not reflect a simply mimicking of White supremacist ideas. The cross-fertilization of powerful ideas of racial identity and liberation between these groups in the islands and on the continental United States also reflects the empowering potential of racial identity and community. The burgeoning presence of more recent representations of Blackness through the popular expression of hip hop in the 1980s coincided with a Hawaiian cultural renaissance and calls for sovereignty, marking contemporary Hawai‘i as a unique time to be Black Hawaiian. If back in the day, the participants describe not speaking pidgin, being ashamed of their culture, valuing Whiteness and Americanness, and denigrating Blackness, things seem to have changed with the resurgence of Hawaiian culture and pride. Growing up, however, participants who are now in their thirties and forties recall tutus and uncles instilling the lesson of not speaking pidgin or Hawaiian when they were young in order to become proper Americans. This played out in the unequal treatment of part-Black hapas in comparison with hapa haole family members, reflecting a general desire for fair skin and the adoption of anti-Black racism. This embrace of a colonial mentality, which includes the global disparagement of Blackness, explains the contradiction of embracing Whiteness, fairness, and hapa haoles in the Hawaiian community while being anti-Black to Black Hawaiians. We can read anti-Black racism among Hawaiians as a symptom of colonial oppression—that mechanism by which Blacks and Hawaiians are ironically linked and continue to be so through enduring forces of racism and colonialism. Anti-Black racism is a symptom of Hawai‘i’s colonial past, yet in their articulations of links between Blacks and Hawaiians, Black Hawaiians reveal shared oppressions connecting their two ancestries, communities, and racial identities. But, as one Black Hawaiian said, things have changed: now, being White is not a good thing as a result of the sovereignty movement and increasing politicization of islanders, including some local Asians’ recognition of their status as settlers.74 Thus, the historical, social, racial, and political context shapes the relative valuation of racial identities in the islands, including positive and negative notions of Hawaiian-ness and Blackness. These evaluations of race, clearly observed in the experiences of Hawai‘i’s Black residents then frame the shifting options and experiences of Blacks and Hawaiians, including Black Hawaiians, over the course of their lives. Conclusion The history of Hawai‘i includes the early arrival of Blacks as whalers, educators, and scientists who shaped the islands in addition to their more sizable entry through the U.S. military. Black struggles on the U.S. continent informed Hawaiian sovereignty struggles, which in turn have an impact on

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the contemporary experiences of Blacks in Hawai‘i detailed in my larger project. What emerges from an analysis of Hawaiian society through the lens of its Black residents is how race-based politics alongside indigenous struggles for self-determination and equality in the islands are motivated by race-based (i.e., racism) historic and material inequalities. An ethnicity-based paradigm, though operating in the islands with regard to groups’ cultural practices and ancestral ties, does not adequately address material inequalities, historic ties, or the overlapping racialization that various groups in Hawai‘i face. Race—including placing certain people into particular categories—and racial inequalities shape the location of various groups within particular sectors of the economy and well as their access to political representation, solid education, and rights to land. And these daily conditions, influenced by the decisions of other locals in positions of power (such as politicians who have brought billions of dollars to the islands through military contracts) along with the U.S. military and transnational companies, give rise to such movements for rights. These movements reflect race as an empowering factor in forming community. Race offers both a top-down approach to the analysis of island life and is attuned to the adjacent everyday dynamics of a person’s life. At the individual level, we see how Black residents negotiate historical and exotic stereotypes of Black people, anti-Black sentiment within their families and communities, and the perception in the islands that Blacks are not locals. These racialized processes intersect with the experiences of other groups, including Native Hawaiians’ histories of racial mixing, ideas of belonging, ‘āina, and expansive openness to difference. Notes I thank Martha Biondi, Rudy Guevarra, Camilla Fojas, Jinah Kim, Rekha Radhakrishnan, Sylvester Johnson, Daniel Immarwarh, Hi‘ilei Hobart, and Mimi Sharma for their fantastic suggestions and comments. Mahalo nui loa to the wonderful people who agreed to be interviewed for this research project and to the scholars at the University of Hawai‘i at Manoā, from whom I always learn. Funds and support for this research were provided by the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and Northwestern University Research Grants.  1. Other work on this topic includes Miles Jackson, ed., They Followed the Trade Winds: African Americans in Hawai‘ i, Social Process in Hawai‘ i, vol. 43 (2004) and Kathryn Waddell Takara’s contribution to that volume, “The African Diaspora in Nineteenth-Century Hawai‘i.” See also Eleanor Nordyke, “Blacks in Hawai‘i: A Demographic and Historical Perspective,” Hawaiian Journal of History 22 (1988): 241–255; Lori Pierce, “Creating a Racial Paradise: Citizenship and Sociology in Hawai‘i,” Race and Nation: Ethnic Systems in the Modern World, ed. Paul Spickard (London: Routledge, 2005).  2. This chapter is part of a larger project on Blacks in Hawai‘i, drawn from ethnographic fieldwork I conducted since 2009, including interviews with sixty people of African descent

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mostly in Honolulu, O‘ahu, where the majority of Black residents live. The participants in this project are civilians who range from ex-military old-timers in their eighties to those in their twenties, thirties, and forties, who include college students, nurses, academics, security workers, and musicians. The manuscript (in progress) offers a more expansive view into the experiences of Blacks in Hawai‘i, as it includes the stories of African Americans and diasporic Black transplants along with local, Hawai‘i-born and -raised Blacks. This essay zeroes in on six local mixed-race Blacks, two of whom are women, whose fathers are Black (all African American save one whose father is from a West African nation) and whose mothers are Hawaiian or part Hawaiian. I supplement these narratives with interviews with other participants, including two Black Samoans and an African American adoptee into a Hawaiian family, to articulate how Black Hawaiians’ perspectives and lives reflect changing notions of the value of Hawaiian-ness and Blackness over time.  3. These scholars include Gerald Horne, The White Pacific: U.S. Imperialism and Black Slavery in the South Seas after the Civil War (Honolulu: University of Hawai‘i Press, 2008); Etsuko Taketani, The Black Pacific Narrative: Geographic Imaginings of Race and Empire between the World Wars (Hanover, NH: Dartmouth College Press, 2014); Heather Smyth, “The Black Atlantic Meets the Black Pacific: Multimodality in Kamau Brathwaite and Wayde Compton,” Callaloo 37, no. 2 (Spring 2014): 389–403; Gary Okihiro, “Afterword: Toward a Black Pacific,” in AfroAsian Encounters: Culture, History, Politics, ed. Heike RaphaelHernandez and Shannon Steen (New York: New York University Press, 2006).  4. See also Okihiro, “Afterword: Toward a Black Pacific.” For a critical and global history of Hawai‘i, see Gary Okihiro, Island World: A History of Hawai‘ i and the United States (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2009).  5. This is the topic of Dr. Miles Jackson’s documentary, “Holding Fast the Dream: Hawai‘i’s African American Experience,” and his 2004 edited volume Social Process in Hawai‘ i.  6. See Jonathan Y. Okamura, Ethnicity and Inequality in Hawai‘ i (Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 2008); J. Kehaulani Kauanui, Hawaiian Blood: Colonialism and the Politics of Sovereignty and Indigeneity (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2008). I met Black Hawaiians largely through word of mouth, including from local friends I had grown up and gone to schools with. They reminded me of part-Black students who had gone to school with us and my interviews with old classmates led to, through snowball sampling, a list of other people who were also Black Hawaiian, living in or from Hawaiian communities from across O‘ahu, such as Wai‘anae, Nanakuli, and Papakolea. Although most of the Black Hawaiians are first-generation Black—meaning their fathers are Black (predominantly African Americans in the military or musicians from the continental United States) and their Hawaiian mothers may have been hapa, but not Black, one, for instance, was the third generation of Black Hawaiian women who had married or had had children (the fourth generation) with African American men in the military. Other participants also had a few other family members with Black ancestry (sometimes hidden from them), though most recounted being the exception.  7. I state this without asserting that a racial or civil rights framing, such as those used by African Americans, is the mode through which Hawaiians should pursue legal claims for belonging or rights.  8. Okamura, Ethnicity and Inequality; John McDermott and Naleen Naupaka Andrade, People and Cultures of Hawaii: The Evolution of Culture and Ethnicity (Honolulu: University of Hawai‘i Press, 2011).

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 9. Shelley Lee and Rick Baldoz, “‘A Fascinating Interracial Experiment Station’: Remapping the Orient-Occident Divide in Hawai‘i,” American Studies 49, no. 3/4 (Fall/ Winter 2008): 87–109, 88. 10. Vernadette Vicuña Gonzalez, Securing Paradise: Tourism and Militarism in Hawai‘ i and the Philippines (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2013). 11. Noenoe Silva, Aloha Betrayed: Native Hawaiian Resistance to American Colonialism (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2004). 12. Winthrop Jordan, “Historical Origins of the One-Drop Racial Rule in the United States,” Journal of Critical Mixed Race Studies 1, no. 1, /item/91g761b3. 13. Hawaiian Homes Commission Act of 1920, /laws-and-rules/. 14. Brandon Ledward, “Inseparably Hapa: Making and Unmaking a Hawaiian Monolith” (PhD diss., University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa, 2007), p. 20; see also Brandon Ledward, “On Being Hawaiian Enough: Contesting American Racialization with Native Hybridity,” Hulili 4, no. 1 (2007): 107–143. 15. See Amy Ongiri, Spectacular Blackness: The Cultural Politics of the Black Power Movement and the Search for a Black Aesthetic (Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2010); Peniel Joseph, ed., The Black Power Movement: Rethinking the Civil Rights-Black Power Era (New York: Routledge, 2006). 16. Okamura, Ethnicity and Inequality; John McDermott and Naleen Naupaka Andrade, People and Cultures of Hawaii: The Evolution of Culture and Ethnicity (Honolulu: University of Hawai‘i Press, 2011). 17. Jonathan Y. Okamura, From Race to Ethnicity: Interpreting Japanese American Experiences in Hawai‘ i (Honolulu: University of Hawai‘i Press, 2014); compare Judy Rohrer, Haoles in Hawai‘ i (Honolulu: University of Hawai‘i Press, 2010). 18. Kevin Clark, “10 Best States for Black Household Wealth,” Black Enterprise, September 29, 2014, -black-household-incomes/11/. 19. Stacy Yuen, “Which Ethnic Group Makes the Most Money?” Hawai‘i Business, October 2013, 20. Okamura, From Race to Ethnicity, p. 5. 21. Michael Omi and Howard Winant, Racial Formation in the United States: From the 1960s to the 1990s, 2nd ed. (New York: Routledge, 1994). 22. Ledward, “Inseparably Hapa,” p. xiii. 23. Shona Jackson, Creole Indigeneity: Between Myth and Nation in the Caribbean (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2012), p. 25. 24. Cited in Jodi Byrd, “‘Been to the Nation, Lord, but I Couldn’t Stay There.’ ” Interventions: International Journal of Postcolonial Studies 13, no. 1 (2011): 31–52, 42. 25. Jodi Byrd, The Transit of Empire: Indigenous Critiques of Colonialism (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2011), p. 134. 26. Jackson, Creole Indigeneity, 3. This is also detailed in Fujikane and Okamura’s seminal 2008 book, Asian Settler Colonialism; see also Iyko Day, Alien Capital: Asian Racialization and the Logic of Settler Colonial Capitalism (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2016). 27. “Native Hawaiian Health Fact Sheet 2015,” Office of Hawaiian Affairs, p. 4. 28. “Health Care Fact Sheet Health Disparities,” NAACP, /health-care-fact-sheet.

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29. “50 State Incarceration Profiles, Hawaii Profile,” Prison Policy Initiative, http://www 30. Lee and Baldoz, “Fascinating Interracial Experiment,” pp. 20, 24, 7. 31. Ledward, “Inseparably Hapa,” pp. 35, 47, 16. 32. The 2010 Census counted 38,820 Black or African Americans alone or in combination and Samoans were counted at 37,463. “Samoan Population by County, Island and Census Tract in the State of Hawai‘i: 2010” (Hawai‘i Department of Business, Economic Development & Tourism Research and Economic Division Data Center, February 2012), p. 5. 33. Kiyoshi Ikeda, foreword in They Followed the Trade Winds, ed. Jackson; Nitasha Sharma, “Pacific Revisions of Blackness: Race and Belonging in Hawai‘i,” Amerasia Journal 37, no. 3 (2011): 43–60. 34. My use of the term “local” draws directly from Roderick Labrador’s definition in this volume, who uses the capitalized version of the word as a “racialized identity category often used in the islands to signify those who would otherwise be labeled “Asian American” or “Pacific Islander” on the continental United States.” However, my understanding of locals includes Hawai‘i-born and -raised haoles. 35. Nordyke, “Blacks in Hawai‘i,” p. 245. 36. Takara in Nordyke, p. 246. 37. Takara, “African Diaspora,” p. 11. 38. David Bandy, “Bandmaster Henry Berger and the Royal Hawaiian Band,” Hawaiian Journal of History 24 (1990): 69–90. 39. John Hawkins and Emily Hawkins, “The Blacks,” in People and Cultures of Hawai‘ i: The Evolution of Culture and Ethnicity, ed. John McDermott and Naleen Andrade (Honolulu: University of Hawai‘i Press, 2011), p. 223; Miles Jackson, introduction in They Followed the Trade Winds, ed. Jackson, p. xv; Horne, White Pacific, p. 130. 40. Kathryn Waddell Takara, ed., Oral Histories of African Americans (Honolulu: Center for Oral History, University of Hawai‘i, 1990); Jackson, They Followed the Trade Winds, 2004. 41. Marc Scruggs, “ ‘There Is One Black Man, Anthony D. Allen . . . ,’ ” in They Followed the Trade Winds, ed. Jackson, pp. 38–40, 34. 42. Takara, “African Diaspora,” p. 15; Gary Okihiro, Island World: A History of Hawai‘ i and the United States (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2008). I write briefly about these important arrivals in “Pacific Revisions of Blackness: Blacks Address Race and Belonging in Hawai‘i,” Amerasia Journal 37, no. 3 (2011): 43–60. 43. Miles Jackson, “Ball, Alice Augusta (1892–1916),” ball-alice-augusta-1892-1916. 44. Takara, “African Diaspora,” pp. 1–2. 45. Jackson, introduction, p. xvi; “Prelude to a New Century,” in They Followed the Trade Winds, ed. Jackson, p. 63. 46. Horne, White Pacific, p. 30. 47. Nordyke, “Blacks in Hawai‘i,” pp. 245, 249. 48. U.S. Census Bureau, “Race Alone or in Combination: 2010,” Census Summary File 1, _SF1_QTP5& prodType=table. 49. Nordyke, “Blacks in Hawai‘i,” p. 244; Takara, “African Diaspora,” p. 7; Jackson, “Prelude,” pp. 60–63; Jackson, personal communication. 50. Gaylord Kubota in Holding Fast the Dream: African-Americans in Hawai‘ i, produced by Miles Jackson, directed by Steve Okino (2010); Nordyke, “Blacks in Hawai‘i,” p. 245.

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51. Nordyke, “Blacks in Hawai‘i,” p. 245. 52. Noel Kent, Hawaii Islands Under the Influence (Honolulu: University of Hawai‘i Press, 1993), p. 28; Ty Tengan, Native Men Remade: Gender and Nation in Contemporary Hawai‘ i (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2008), p. 44. 53. Takara, “The African Diaspora,” p. 18. 54. Horne, White Pacific, p. 129; Bishop in Noenoe Silva, Aloha Betrayed: Native Hawaiian Resistance to American Colonialism (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2004), p. 173. 55. Silva, Aloha Betrayed, pp. 176–177; Sharma, “Pacific Revisions,” pp. 50–51. 56. Takara, “African Diaspora,” p. 19. 57. Abe in Nordyke, “Blacks in Hawai‘i,” pp. 245–246. 58. Ibid., p. 241. 59. Jackson, “A Different Drummer: African Americans in the Military in Hawai‘i,” in They Followed the Trade Winds, ed. Jackson, p. 189. 60. Beth Bailey and David Farber, The First Strange Place: Race and Sex in World War II Hawai‘ i, repr. ed. (Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1994). 61. Kathryn Waddell Takara, “Frank Marshall Davis in Hawai‘i: Outsider Journalist Looking In.” Social Process in Hawai‘ i 39 (1999): 126. 62. Ibid., p. 132; Kathryn Waddell Takara, Frank Marshall Davis: The Fire and the Phoenix. A Critical Biography (Ka‘a‘awa, HI: Pacific Raven Press, 2012). 63. Takara, “Frank Marshall Davis,” 132; Frank Marshall Davis column, Honolulu Record, January 12, 1950. 64. Interview with the author, May 8, 2013. 65. Brundage in Nordyke, “Blacks in Hawai‘i,” p. 246. 66. Interview with author, May 16, 2013. 67. Ledward, “Inseparably Hapa,” p. 40. 68. Tengan, Native Men Remade. 69. Soli Kihei Niheu, “Huli: Community Struggles and Ethnic Studies,” Social Process in Hawai‘ i 39 (1999): 43, 44–45, 49. 70. Haunani-Kay Trask, From a Native Daughter: Colonialism and Sovereignty in Hawaii, rev. sub ed. (Honolulu: University of Hawai‘i Press, 1999), pp. 187, 191. 71. Ibid., pp. 187–188. See also Martha Biondi, The Black Revolution on Campus, repr. ed. (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2014). 72. Trask, From a Native Daughter, p. 191. 73. Teresia Teaiwa, “The Ancestors We Get to Choose: White Influences I Won’t Deny,” in Theorizing Native Studies, ed. Audra Simpson and Andrea Smith (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2014), p. 46. 74. Fujikane and Okamura, Asian Settler Colonialism.

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Chapter 7

Local Boy, East Coast Sensibilities Christopher Joseph Lopa

The African American community in Hawai‘i has numerous strengths and faces as many challenges. In this chapter I provide an overview of several particular strengths: choice, history of cultural advocacy, and connections to Black island music. I then analyze integrating Hawai‘i-specific African American contributions into education and intercultural disconnections and my personal experience as a local Black man who grew up in Hawai‘i. My reason for writing this chapter is rooted in the Black experience I’ve had in Hawai‘i. My hope is to strengthen the Black community in Hawai‘i by unifying the larger transient (military and civilian move-ins) portion of the total Black population with the smaller portion of local Blacks whose Hawai‘i-based Black experience has been limited by a population size, issues with connectivity, and geographical isolation. Challenges Larger concentrations of African Americans in Hawai‘i are typically found living on or near military bases. The Black civilian population is composed generally of transplants, or individuals and families who have moved to the islands after acquiring employment, continuing to live here after military service, or the products of interracial marriages or relationships. Military personnel tend to be isolated not only by the experience of being new to Hawai‘i but also by the structure of life on military installations. Most of the military bases on O‘ahu include many of the resources one would need to live: “If you live on-base, you will be closer to support functions, such as the Base Exchange, commissary, youth center, or child care center. Many people like the idea that all their neighbors will be military members” (Powers 2013, para. 8). The secure status of military installations makes it inconvenient for nonmilitary personnel and their families to enter and leave the base. When you also factor in the transient nature of military service, including deployments, 139

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reassignment, and retirement outside Hawai‘i, you severely limit the impact on local culture of the largest part of Hawai‘i’s Black population. Hawai‘i-born African American residents have a smaller pool of Blacks to interact with (off base) and, depending on their cultural perspective, might not be inclined to interacting with military personnel. Aspects of historical trauma related to the U.S. military’s role in the overthrow of the Hawaiian monarchy can foster tension with, on the one hand, Native Hawaiians and local residents who view the U.S. military as an occupying force and, on the other, the military service members and their families who lack context as to the impact of these events. This also presents challenges for the local Black population, members of which have limited cultural resources to begin with in regards to their ability to connect to this larger Black military community. These challenges, coupled with low overall numbers of Blacks, contribute to a lack of cohesion in the local African American community. Another challenge for the Black community is integrating historical facts about Black culture in Hawai‘i in an educational setting. According to Kimetta Hairston, “African-American history is a valuable asset for all children, and the history of Blacks living in Hawaii is most important for Hawaii students who wish to understand fully the history that formed contemporary Hawaii” (2004, 227). Historical African American references to Hawai‘i are the pre-missionary arrival of Black sailors on O‘ahu; the establishment of businesses (barbers, blacksmiths, boarding house operators); community-based support groups; and interaction with the Hawaiian monarchy. During the monarchy, colonialists interested in dethroning King Kalākaua spread rumors that a Black man (due to the dark hue of the king’s skin) had fathered him. Discrediting his genealogy could thus sabotage the king’s claim to the throne (Hairston 2004). Booker T. Washington, the founder and president of the Tuskegee Institute, spoke out against the unfair takeover of Hawai‘i’s land and government by American businessman and the U.S. military (Hairston 2004, 227). These largely unknown historical references provide context to the long-standing Black presence in the Hawaiian Islands. Choice Hawai‘i has always been a point of choice for African Americans and other people of African descent. I make this point because none of them arrived here to be greeted by the institution of American slavery. From the beginning, Blacks in Hawai‘i were afforded the opportunity to make Hawai‘i their home or to move on. The initial Black experience in the Americas was framed as a “unique experience as an involuntary ethnic minority in the United States” (APA Task Force 2008, 9).

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Men of African descent (American and others) first travelled to Hawai‘i on whaling ships between 1820 and 1880. “On these ships were decendants of Black Portuguese men from the Cape Verde Islands off the coast of West Africa, Blacks from the Caribbean, slaves and free Blacks from the Northeast of the United States. Some seamen stayed, married and worked as musicians, cooks, barbers, tailors and sailors” (Adams 2010, 4). From the first Blacks to arrive to the men and women who live here currently, all were faced with the choice at some point to stay and build community. My Black experience was and is uniquely influenced by the people, geography, and social mores in Hawai‘i. In fairness, I feel compelled to mention that my Black experience was ultimately determined by my mother’s preference (choice) for Black men as life partners. My origin story started in the City of Los Angeles in 1969. My existence is the direct result of an interracial union between an African American man and a Samoan woman who met in their late teens. My mother had moved to LA from Hawai‘i after joining the Job Corps program. She met and fell in love with my dad and, as these things often go, a child was conceived. My Black experience would have begun in South Central LA, where my father was raised. The war in Vietnam changed his life, however, and ultimately determined where I in turn was raised. My father enlisted in the U.S. Army, served in Vietnam, and returned to LA significantly altered by his combat experience. His condition and my impending birth prompted my mother to make the call to return to O‘ahu, where she would raise her child among the Samoan half of my family. There were a few wrinkles in the plan, however. My mother was returning from LA after having moved there to learn a trade. Not only was she returning home without said trade, but she was also coming back unwed and pregnant with a half-Black child. My mother’s parents were each of two minds on the matter. My grandfather was disappointed and angry. My grandmother was happy to have her daughter back and that her daughter was with child was a bonus. I have no recollection of the first two years of my life, but by all accounts mine was a pretty standard childhood—first steps, first words, and so on. However, it was different in the sense that I was the only Black child in my family and one of the few in my neighborhood. After returning to Hawai‘i, my mother was busy raising me at my grandparents’ home in the Makalapa Manor area of Halawa housing on O‘ahu. After being a single mother for the first two years of my life, my mother met and fell in love with the man I would come to know as my father. He was a student athlete at the University of Hawai‘i who had come to the islands on a basketball scholarship. I doubt he ever had plans to become a father during his undergraduate experience in college. Nonetheless, he graciously accepted me as part of the package of loving my mother. I became his son, not just his girlfriend’s kid. This relationship has guided me through every stage of life that I have experienced thus far.

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He took me to practice in Klum Gym and on occasion to class with him at the University of Hawai‘i and introduced me to an ecosystem of Blackness that was uncommon in Hawai‘i. Here you had a group of young, Black college students sharing their Black experience in an academic and social environment that was unavailable anywhere else in the state. This was indispensable to my development as a young Black child in Hawai‘i. If my mother had fallen in love with a man of any other ethnicity, I believe my overall Black experience in Hawai‘i would have been stunted, secondary to a lack of exposure to Blackness. My father played on a popular basketball team, which came with its own set of perks, like not having to pay for meals at certain establishments and being able to spend a good portion of my youth running around a gymnasium. My father’s status as a basketball player also went over well with my grandfather, who was still upset at my mother for returning from Los Angeles pregnant and unwed. Too many times my grandfather would have a drink or two too many and blurt out hurtful statements regarding my race and lack of connection with my biological father. I remember one instance when he was watching an episode of Wide World of Sports that featured two Black boxers challenging one another. My grandfather asked me, “Which one do you think is your real father?” Or the numerous times he’d address me as Meauli, the Samoan term commonly used to identify Blacks. Meauli is often used in negative context: its literal translation is “black” (Uli) and “thing” (Mea). These interactions were both confusing and frustrating because I didn’t understand why my grandfather was so angry at my being Black mostly (though not exclusively) when he was intoxicated. The long and the short of it was that I was a reminder of how his daughter had lived her life outside of his expectations. It was even more confounding when he’d get drunk yet still express love and concern for my well-being in a way that betrayed his stoic sober self. Despite his disdain for how I was conceived and raised, my grandfather was accepting of the Black college athlete my mother had brought home to meet him and my grandma (the unconditionally loving buffer to my grandfather’s parental angst). This was the beginning of my journey as Tyrone’s son. Being Tyrone’s Son and Developing a Black Worldview in Hawai‘i All of my dad’s closest friends were Black: teammates and fellow Black students who had made their way to the University of Hawai‘i. I was fascinated by his record collection, which included the likes of Ramsey Lewis, The Spinners, The Stylistics, Ray, Goodman & Brown, Denise Williams, Marvin Gaye, and Stevie Wonder. I was raised with knowledge of soul music that went well beyond the pedestrian hits played on the radio. My father’s friends were Black males from various parts of the United States including the East Coast, the Pacific Northwest, Southern California, and Texas. Their shared Blackness was a social

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safety zone for one another as they navigated the new linguistic, multicultural terrain of Hawai‘i. My dad described his transition as a student athlete moving from a predominately Black environment in high school to a predominately White environment in junior college in Iowa. He described Hawai‘i as the first multicultural place he’d ever moved to, which was in 1971. This relocation presented him with exposure to ethnic groups he’d never experienced with any type of regularity: Polynesians and Asians. He was compelled to learn the differences between local Korean, Japanese, and Chinese folks (not just lumping them into whatever Asian ethnicity he had first contact with prior to moving to Hawai‘i, when he hadn’t needed to make the effort to differentiate and understand one from the other). Most of them integrated fairly easily, often thanks to being minor celebrities; they were players on a successful college basketball team in a state that only has one NCAA Division I program. This afforded them easier social access and a supportive fan base. If this peer group had been made up of military recruits who had just arrived to the islands (the largest group of Blacks in Hawai‘i), their reception would likely have been quite different. “We built friendships across the islands through basketball,” Tyrone Bradshaw explained in a 2015 telephone interview. “If you were smart you could build relationships with all the people who lived there. Hawai‘i is what America should be. The hard part is that they (America) hasn’t gotten it yet.” Most of my dad’s friends were integrating into local culture through dating relationships that connected them to local women of various ethnicities including, but not limited to, Native Hawaiians, Samoans, Fijians, and Asians. Many of these relationships yielded multicultural children. I mention this because these children had the opportunity to be exposed to a Black worldview as children in Hawai‘i through the sociopolitical, spiritual views of our fathers. As a result, topics like civil rights, Black music and art, and the advancement of Black culture through education and sports influenced the way we in turn saw the world. Slavery, “Nigger,” and Racism in Hawai‘i The first time I heard the word “nigger” used, the context wasn’t negative. It was a term of endearment my father used for his friends. Initially, when I asked him what the word meant, he brushed it off. Then came the miniseries Roots, which aired in 1977, when I was seven years old. We watched the show together as a family and it filled me with questions: Why were these people who looked like my dad, his friends, and myself being treated so poorly? Why did they use the word “nigger” in a way that seemed so counterintuitive to the way it was used when I was first exposed to it? I had never really considered the institution of slavery, which made sense given that I was only first exposed to it at the age of seven. My father took the time to explain to me that the word “nigger” was first

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used was as a means of marking people as property, whereas when he used it among his friends it indicated friendship and fondness. He was also sure to make me aware that if the word was ever used towards me, I could read the person’s intent by the emotion that accompanied the word. I played Little League Baseball in Kalihi at the age of seven and remember being called a nigger by a kid who played on another team that was sharing the practice field. His use of the word wasn’t endearing. It was infuriating. There was an altercation, and I don’t recall who won. All I remember was feeling hurt and alone in that moment because I was the only Black kid on the field. I was also a latchkey kid at the time and knew I wouldn’t be able to see my parents until they got off work some time later, so I walked to my grandma’s house in Makalapa, a good five miles away, in search of support. Black in Hawai‘i vs. Black on the Continent I experienced other instances of racism growing up in the fiftieth state, but don’t want to misrepresent the frequency and intensity with which they occur in the islands. I have witnessed overt and covert bigotry exercised by people of all cultural backgrounds towards one another in Hawai‘i. It is demoralizing and hurtful whenever it occurs. My experience has been one of general acceptance and strong good will. I haven’t had to worry about being profiled by law enforcement officers or leaving my home fearful of being the victim of a race-based hate crime. I can’t say the same for when I lived outside Hawai‘i. I did live on the mainland numerous times throughout my childhood and adolescence (approximately a combined eight years, primarily on the East Coast in the Washington, DC, and Maryland area). When I first moved to DC, I was eleven years old and I expected that I’d have very little trouble fitting in. When I got there, I realized I had never seen so many Black folks before. The density of the Black population in DC stunned me. Dumbfounded, I asked my father: “Dad! Where did all these Black people come from?!” My expectation of instant acceptance by virtue of shared Blackness was not realistic. I wasn’t insightful enough to factor in the fact that I was different. Based on the way that I spoke (primarily pidgin), the way that I dressed (I almost never wore sneakers or jeans in Hawai‘i), I was clearly not from around the way. Initially my differences made me a target, but my two closest friends wound up being some of the first boys I fought with at school. I then did adapt quickly, with the help of my friends and family. I went from being “Hawai‘i boy” to “Todd’s cousin,” “Ms. Bradshaw’s grandson,” and eventually “Chris.” My time living in the DC area was indispensable in that it exposed me to a broader Black and American experience than the one available to me in the islands. I got to see Stevie Wonder, at a rally in Southeast DC on Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, champion the cause to make Dr. King’s birthday a holiday. I stood on the Beltway with my classmates to wave and cheer on the buses filled

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with the hostages returning from Iran. I was exposed to “Rapper’s Delight,” a multitude of other hits off of the Sugar Hill label, “The Breaks” by rapper Kurtis Blow, and Planet Rock for the first time there. I was also exposed to separation within the Black community fostered by differences in income, in the form of affluent Blacks attempting to socialize their children within affluent circles through the implementation of Jack and Jill parties. Living in the DC area led to an expansion of my awareness as to what it meant to be Black. It helped me understand that being Black in America is a shared experience yet a unique one as well. Being Black in Hawai‘i is unique, just as being Black in LA, Louisiana, Miami, or Virginia is unique. Every geographical location came with its own set of rules. I was acutely aware in DC and Maryland that if I was in a certain neighborhood that didn’t have a significant Black presence, the likelihood of being approached by law enforcement increased dramatically. In Hawai‘i, however, there were so few Blacks that it really didn’t matter where you went. You could pretty much go anywhere you wanted. If you were going into a “bad area,” you weren’t going to get roughed up because you were Black, but because you weren’t from that area. As a teenager it dawned on me that there were also similarities in the way that race was perceived in different regions of the United States. Shuffling Stereotypes I was intrigued by the way the deck of stereotype cards was shuffled and distributed differently in the mainland. Table 7.1 presents a short list of island and continental ethnic stereotypes both unfairly and inappropriately applied to certain cultures present in both areas. Seeing these stereotypes mixed up, shuffled, and applied to different people reinforced in my mind that they really weren’t true. No matter how long I lived on the mainland, I always found myself wanting to return to Hawai‘i. I felt like my time on the continent provided me with the broader view that I needed to round out my worldview. If someone asked me to describe myself in one statement I’d have to reply, “I’m a local boy with East Coast sensibilities.” Table 7.1 Ethnic



DC and Maryland


Lacking intelligence, common sense



Hyper frugal



Lazy, nonpunctual



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History of Cultural Advocacy Another strength of the Hawai‘i-based African American community is a rich history of cultural advocacy that Blacks in the islands can draw from as a source of direction, organization, and support. The struggle for freedom and equality is a core ongoing component of the African American experience in the United States. The end of the Civil War saw three key constitutional amendments, the “13th Amendment (1865) officially abolished and prohibited slavery, the 14th Amendment (1868) granted former slaves (and all US citizens) ‘equal protection’ under the law and the 15th Amendment (1870) prohibited denial of the vote because of ‘race, color, or previous condition of servitude’ ” that created the constitutional context for African American self-determination and equality in the United States (Kirk 2009, para. 2). The formation of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) has been instrumental in many forms of civil rights victories for African Americans (and non–African Americans alike). My contribution to cultural advocacy in Hawai‘i is rooted in my experience as a substance abuse counselor. While working in Hawai‘i in that capacity, I received a referral for a male adolescent client who was living in a foster home setting in a community I counseled. When he came in for his first session, we introduced ourselves and I asked him about his background. He told me that his father was Native Hawaiian and that his mother was Black. He said that his mother raised him until she was unable to any longer and that he was then placed in foster care. I asked him what happened to his dad and he explained that he had no contact with his father. This young man had no idea that I had reviewed records indicating that he had no other ethnicity other than African American. He went on to make a few other claims that I omit from this writing for the sake of protecting his confidentiality; however, after about an hour of listening to him share his story about a life that didn’t match any of the accompanying information the school had provided, I chose to take a therapeutic risk in hopes of creating better rapport. I told him that I had reviewed his records and that there was nothing in them indicating that he was Native Hawaiian. I told him that I wanted to discuss some of the observations that I had made about his case. I said, “You can stop me anytime you feel that I’m wrong.” He agreed to hear me out. I told him that I could see that his foster placement was in an area heavily populated by Native Hawaiians. I went on to share with him that I believed that he wasn’t actually Native Hawaiian, but that he portrayed himself as such to gain social access. I shared with him the history of a practice called “passing” that lightskinned Blacks had used to pass themselves off as White in America to gain the social advantages and privilege that came with being identified with the dominant culture. I related that I believed that he was passing himself off as being Native Hawaiian to gain social acceptance among his male peers and to garner dating privileges from his female peers. I let him know that I didn’t fault him

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for trying to use this tactic as a survival skill. I asked him whether he ever found himself hanging out with his buddies in the neighborhood who had posters of Tupac on their walls and Bob Marley streaming out of their stereos and used the word “nigger” freely because they didn’t identify him as being Black but instead as a fellow Hawaiian. He became very quiet, at which time I told him that I know that it can be frustrating to see people pick and choose the parts of Blackness that they want to accept, like our music, our dance, our athleticism, our cool, yet not open the doors of their hearts and homes to our people. I told him that there are parts of them who want to be us, yet who are not completely sure of what that means. I ended our conversation by telling him, “I know you’re Black and that’s more than enough. We don’t have to talk about that until you’re ready, however, I don’t think I can treat you until I really know who I’m dealing with. You let me know when you’re ready.” I saw him a few more times after that initial interview and our discussions were shallow at best. It took him a little over two weeks to come back in and tell me, “Chris, I want you to know that I’m Black.” I told him, “I know, I just wanted to make sure that you knew that being Black is plenty, it’s more than enough.” We went on to have a fruitful therapeutic relationship and I was able to celebrate his high school graduation with him and had the good fortune to run into him again in his adulthood where I found him as a happy father and husband. Cultural Mentorship for Hawai‘i’s Black Youth This interaction has prompted me to conceptualize a cultural mentoring program that will initially focus on African American youth in Hawai‘i. The design of the program is to create an environment that will enhance the cultural experience of Black kids in the islands. We will meet once a week, four times per month. During week one, group facilitators will meet with local Black youth who want to broaden their knowledge of Black culture through a curriculum based on prior programs that have produced positive outcomes for their participants, one that would teach them about the African American experience in the United States far beyond what is presented during Black History month in school settings. The second week will include participants who are Black but happen to be transplants to Hawai‘i. During these sessions, we will teach these participants about both the role of Blacks in Hawai‘i and about Hawaiian and local history to give them an understanding of the sociopolitical forces that have shaped the place they now call home. In the third week, both groups will be able to meet and share their experiences about what they’ve learned during their assigned sessions. Week four will be a community service project designed to give back to the community we all live in. The goal of this program will be the proliferation of Black culture for local Blacks whose Black experience might be limited to pop culture references, thus putting them in the same range of

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knowledge as a hip Polynesian or Asian kid. It will also provide an opportunity for kids (ages thirteen to eighteen who have even a drop of Black blood) who are transplants to Hawai‘i to develop some context in the local culture to make them feel empowered by knowledge rather than confused by ignorance. Last, the goal of the program will be to create a social network for Blacks in Hawai‘i, both local and transient, that has been previously unavailable on a broader scale. Connections to Black Art The impact of reggae music on the local music and social culture in Hawai‘i has been massive. Currently two full-time local radio stations have formats dedicated to local reggae-influenced artists as well as established reggae artists from Jamaica and other parts of the globe. How did this historically Black music come to acceptance in a remote island setting with a 2 percent representation of Blacks in its population? Reggae music has been part of the popular music scene on O‘ahu since the late 1970s. The early reggae audience included at least three distinct ethnic and social groups that remained relatively isolated from one another: Black service members of Caribbean descent stationed in Hawai‘i; local and Native Hawaiian youth primarily from the areas of Wai‘anae, Waimanalo, and the North Shore of O‘ahu; and college students centered around the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa (Weintraub 1998, 78). The transformative effect of reggae music on local contemporary Hawaiian music is attributed to the themes of struggle, oppression, and unity (experienced by both Blacks and Native Hawaiians), and to similarities in island-based lifestyles, attitudes, and natural environments of Hawai‘i and Jamaica (Weintraub 1998, 79). The influence of reggae as Black, island music on the Hawaiian Islands is undeniable. The Black community there uses this common musical interest as a strength to build greater community cohesion among disenfranchised Blacks and to more deeply integrate socially with the broader local population. Members of the Black community also connect with one another through Black art. From a hip hop perspective, “park jams”—outdoor, park-based celebrations that focus on the four foundational elements of hip hop (graffiti, DJing, b-boying/girling and MCing)—are a way of perpetuating the culture within cities and might offer Hawai‘i-based Blacks a template for community outreach via reggae. These gatherings could also be a place to provide education on Black culture in the islands and a forum to discuss effective access and cohesion for those who see value in those concepts in the local Black community. My hope is that this would generate and foster an increase in unification among Hawai‘i-based Blacks that would lead to a recognized presence and louder community voice. I would love to see forums at these gatherings where Blacks would have the opportunity to speak with local adapters of this facet of Black art, asking

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those who self-identify as reggae fans to weigh in on their connection to reggae and their response to its unmistakeable Blackness. Do you (local reggae fan) get to deify the likes of Marley, Isaacs, and Tosh, yet distance yourself from their people (the way my client had while trying to pass himself off as Native Hawaiian)? How can the universal themes expressed in reggae (purpose in struggle, unity in the face of oppression, and love) be realized in real time in Hawai‘i? How can we truly “get together and feel all right”? Hip Hop I was first exposed to hip hop as a ten-year-old in the DC area through the early Sugar Hill records catalogue, the juggernaut of “Rapper’s Delight,” and the seminal works of the Sugar Hill Gang, Grandmaster Flash, and the Furious Five as well as the early works of Kurtis Blow on the Mercury label. These records fascinated me in their use of the spoken lyrics as a new form of conveying a musical message separating itself (structurally and stylistically) from the popular formats of funk, disco, and R&B. I was unaware at the time that I was being introduced to culture as opposed to a musical style. I had no clue that there was art as graffiti, dance as b-boying, fashion, sonics as DJing, and vernacular connected to this music that so strongly resonated with me. These songs were an introduction to a culture that would achieve global reach during my teens. The musical landscape in the DC area was dominated by go-go music, a percussive style of funk that originated there. Go-go, like hip hop, is primarily a youth culture movement complete with its own customs, language, fashion, and dance. Hip hop’s founding father is DJ Kool Herc, go-go’s was Chuck Brown. Despite having a presence through the popularity of these artists and later b-boying, hip hop did not really begin to have an impact on the DC area until between 1984 and 1987. As a young b-boy and hip hop head, I was often told by my go-go loyalist peers that rap was a fad that would eventually die out, that I was foolish for investing so much time and focus on it. Time would prove that this was not case. In fact, many of my go-go loyalist peers converted to rap fans after local go-go bands started to incorporate hip hop into their sets covering Kool Moe Dee tracks like “Do You Know What Time It Is” and “Go See the Doctor.” This development did more than confirm my faith in hip hop. It showed me its greatest strength and adaptability because it thrived everywhere it went. By this time, I had evolved from strictly b-boying into DJing and returned to Hawai‘i from Maryland as a high school sophomore with a copy of the Get Fresh Crew’s single “The Show.” The breakdance craze had settled down and rap was more than the sound of New York. It was becoming the global face of hip hop. Hawai‘i was a hotbed of dance culture during this time. Most of the b-boying that had occurred here was done to funk classics (Rodger & Zapp, One Way, Gapp Band), R&B (Michael Jackson), and electro beats (Kraftwerk, Soul Sonic Force, Egyptian Lover). I started clubbing at the age of fifteen and joined

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a dance crew, the Masters of Funk, formed by fellas from the Halawa housing area who all went to Aiea High School. Our group included Samoans, Native Hawaiians, a Puerto Rican cat, and my Black Samoan behind. Everybody had an assigned role in the crew: popping, locking, and so on. The elements that separated the Masters of Funk from other local crews at the time was that I had schooled one of my partners on how to cut and scratch, and we also had a member who was nice on the human beat box. When I was asked what role I wanted to take in the crew, I told them that I wanted to rap. I wasn’t just interested in dancing to music. I wanted to make the music we danced to! A local rapper inspired me from the Skream Team crew who went by the name of MC Glass. He was the first Native Hawaiian kid I saw get on the mic and flow effortlessly. His example let me know that being a Hawai‘i-based MC was not a concept in my head, Adam (AKA MC Glass), was the prototype. Over time, the Masters of Funk evolved into a rap crew, which went through roster and name changes and even laid down some tracks. We settled on the name P.O.P. (Princes of Percussion) and started focusing strictly on making music. We were a bunch of local kids making party raps getting paid in props and taking cues from our Black musical role models. This experience wasn’t just happening with my crew. Other crews, like Club Rox Rock, were making noise as well emulating the Black music they were inspired by. Hip hop was evolving too: Public Enemy, Eric B & Rakim, Big Daddy Kane, Boogie Down Production, and N.W.A. were spreading messages regarding Black struggle and empowerment over dope beats. Black service members were connecting to the message and spreading it to locals they socialized with. DJ Hollywood Tony (a heavyset brother with a Jheri curl) would hold the first Hawai‘i-based equivalent of park style jams I witnessed. They were held at Richardson Field park across from the overflow parking lot at Aloha Stadium on Sundays. Hollywood Tony would set up a sound system and a barbeque grill at the pavilion area (reserved for military members and their guests). The area was fenced off but the view of the park jam was visible through the chain link fence. You could see and hear a group of young (mostly Black) military cats and their friends (including what appeared to be a few local kids) dancing to a hip hop soundtrack. The sonic impact of the music and DJ chants coming out of the speakers had on the surrounding area was profound. It identified the DJ, provided exposure to hip hop we might not have heard otherwise, and drove us to seek out the music and emulate the music we heard. This was the impact of Black culture in Hawai‘i through hip hop at a grassroots, word-of-mouth level. It would have likely spread more quickly were it not for the physical barrier of the fence. I have had the pleasure of seeing hip hop in Hawai‘i advance beyond the earlier sounds my contemporaries and I produced, we who had a tendency to sound like our favorite MCs. Hawai‘i hip hop (not “Hawaiian” hip hop, but hip hop from the region of Hawai‘i rather than from the Indigenous culture

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here—like the difference between being Hawaiian and being local) today is diverse within the bounds of the islands. Stylistically, it is still largely influenced by Black art and culture but it is also free to incorporate the use of pidgin, local lore, and custom as brilliantly displayed on the Mo’Illa Pillaz album Raps to Da Max. Hawai‘i hip hop has Black cultural fingerprints and DNA all over it. My concern as a local Black man is that these contributions can be and are taken for granted. They have the potential to not be used as a point of intercultural exchange and reduced to mere entertainment lost in the universal aspects of hip hop culture. Hip hop, like reggae, is an artifact of a broader Black genius that deserves careful examination not just selective appropriation. Over the years, there have been advances in the proliferation of Black culture in the islands, including a larger celebration for Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on the holiday that marks his birthday as well as a less formal Juneteenth celebration. There is also an enduring NAACP chapter and the African American Diversity Cultural Center of Hawai‘i. The future of the Black community and its ongoing impact on Hawai‘i appears to be growing in proportion to its size. I eagerly look forward to contributing to and building its legacy. Bibliography APA Task Force on Resilience and Strength in Black Children and Adolescents. A Vision for Optimal Development. Washington, DC, 2008. /resources/resiliencerpt.pdf. Adams, A. M. African Americans in Hawaii: A Search for Identity. Ka‘a‘awa, HI: Pacific Raven Press, 2010. Dierscheide, Christa. “Thomas Jefferson and Slavery.” The Jefferson Monticello, 2008. http:// Hairston, Kimetta R. “Transitioning to Paradise—A Challenging Journey.” In They Followed the Trade Winds, edited by Miles M. Jackson. Honolulu: University of Hawai‘i Press, 2004. Kirk, John. “The Long Road to Equality for African-Americans.” History Today 59, no. 2 (February 2009). Powers, Rod. “Living in Military Family Housing or Living Off-Base—Which Is Better?” The Balance, 2013, updated November 10, 2016. /housingallowance/a/marriedhousing.htm. Weintraub, Andrew N. “Jawaiian Music in Local Cultural Identity in Hawaii.” In Sound Alliances: Indigenous Peoples, Cultural Politics, and Popular Music, ed. Philip Hayward, 78–79. London: Cassell, 1998.

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“Latino Threat in the 808?” Mexican Migration and the Politics of Race in Hawai‘i Rudy P. Guevarra Jr. Techniques that have capitalized on the complex issue of “immigration” to race bait, scapegoat and demonize persons of Mexican-ancestry, have now crossed the Pacific Ocean to Hawaii. Hawaii’s reputation as a progressive, multiethnic culture, diverse, and racially tolerant state appears now to have been either a façade, or never existed. —Herman Baca in a letter to Marie Villa, 20081

At the May 13 zoning committee meeting in 2008, Honolulu City Councilman Rod Tam—a Chinese American—used the term “wetbacks” to refer to the undocumented Mexican migrants working at the then proposed University of Hawai‘i West Oahu campus. Tam stated, “The concern from [labor unions] is basically [that] they [the developers’ workers] have to be skilled, licensed workers. We don’t want any, uh, wetbacks basically . . . OK. We’ve been receiving [reports about] developers or contractors been bringing in wetbacks from New Mexico, uh, Mexico. I’m sorry.”2 Tam’s use of the word “wetback” ignited a firestorm of protests and outrage by the larger Latina/o community, who saw this as not just a Mexican issue.3 The Latin Chamber of Commerce, led by Marie and José Villa, organized the first demonstration on June 12 at Honolulu Hale (City Hall). Demonstrators included Latina/o groups such as Mexicans, Puerto Ricans, Panamanians, and others, as well as non-Latina/os, including Native Hawaiians, locals, and even representatives from the NAACP. Protestors also came from all walks of life, including laborers, professionals, service workers, and students.4 In response to the news of Councilman Tam’s remark, Marie Villa, then president of Latin Business Hawaii and coeditor of Hawaii Hispanic News, responded, “Being born in Mexico, I found that derogatory remark insulting.”5 152

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Appalled by Tam’s comment—and more so by the lack of coverage of the incident—Villa criticized the news media for letting this story go unreported for three weeks.6 With the help of her husband José and others, she organized protests to denounce Councilman Tam’s racial slur, demand a public apology, and call for Tam to be removed as chairman of the Zoning Committee. In response to his public relations debacle, Councilman Tam issued an apology stating that he had no idea that the term was a racial slur towards Mexicans. He backpedaled, “Over here in Hawaii, we’re so liberal we don’t think in the same terms of the mainland. People look at it different. I learned something, and I apologize if I offended anybody.”7 Marie Villa, however, was not convinced of his sincerity. In responding to his excuse that “people interpret it differently now. . . . it’s a terminology used in the past,” Villa commented, “How ignorant is that? That’s an excuse, not a reason to say that. . . . As a politician, to say something like that, are we so far away from the mainland that we can get away with saying stuff like that?”8 What made his excuse and apology even less convincing is that Tam also stated he had spent time in California and was at times mistaken for a Chicano. If that was the case, he should have been well aware of the racial politics and implications behind the slur.9 Instead, Councilman Tam’s statement suggests that his use of this racist term is actually influenced by continental U.S. ideology towards Mexicans. These statements are also ironic given that, as a Chinese American, Tam comes from a community that has also experienced racial slurs, racism, and discrimination in the United States. Moreover, Tam’s assertion that Hawai‘i racial politics differed from those of the continental United States—and could thus be perceived as “liberal”—also seemed to justify his own racism and ignorance about Mexicans. As Marie and José organized demonstrations against Councilman Tam, Marie reached out to veteran Chicano rights activist Herman Baca, president of the Committee on Chicano Rights in San Diego, to assist her with how to best deal with the situation. Baca urged Villa and the Latina/o community of Hawai‘i to demand that the state’s political leadership publicly denounce Tam for his racist comments.10 Marie also informed Herman that they were verbally attacked by “bigots from Hawai‘i and nationwide because we dared express one notion: ‘That a publicly elected Hawai‘i official should not use the term “wetbacks” when referring to Mexican undocumented workers in an official government meeting.’ That’s it.”11 For example, Marie received hate mail, particularly one letter that shocked her: Marie Villa Tam is right. “Ignorant”—say what? mexican [sic] workers are “illiterate peasants” No country, no state, no county or city needs un-controlled waves of illegal, stupid, ignorant, dirty mexicans [sic]

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Take a look at these photos of mexican [sic] peddlers pushing their garbage to the 3rd and 4th generations of illegal alien beaner mexicans who feel like eating in mexico [sic]. Do you want these scenes repeated in Waikiki, Kahala, Manoa, Punchbowl - how about on the Puowaina or Azores Streets? Shame on you! What are your thoughts of living in a community where thousands, even millions of Guatemalans, El Salvadoran, Peruvians, etc. who have invaded your neighbor with their spray canned graffiti, their stupid 14 year old pregnant children, beggars, un-educated, cheap workers, criminals, drug users, unlicensed animals, gang members, etc. Why do you think mexicans [sic] have the right to ruin the United States of American [sic] and the State of Hawaii? Go back to that filthy, corrupt beaner country—mexican [sic] and fix that stinking hole of ½ breeds. Hey, is that racist enough for you?12

In her correspondence to Baca, Marie Villa expressed her dismay: To me the amount of venom and hatred for Mexicans and other Hispanics expressed in this letter is incomprehensible, and overwhelming. . . . In my 18 years here, I always thought Hawai‘i was better than the mainland in our ability to get along racially. I felt Hawai‘i was “Hispanic-friendly” and, quite frankly, used our societal model as an excellent example when discussing this topic with family and friends on the mainland.13

For Villa, her initial assumptions about Hawai‘i were now being challenged as a result of her publicly critiquing Councilman Tam’s anti-Mexican statements. Because this incident also revealed an array of public opinion in Hawai‘i regarding Tam’s racial slur, it further complicated the status of Mexicans and the larger Latina/o community in Hawai‘i. This chapter explores the experiences of Mexicans and to a lesser extent Central Americans who migrated to Hawai‘i from 1990 to 2010.14 In particular, I examine the discourses that emerged in Hawai‘i’s local newspapers during this time, such as the Honolulu Advertiser, Honolulu Star-Bulletin, Pacific Business News, the Maui News, as well as other smaller, ethnic-based community newspapers. These include Hawaii Hispanic News Angulos and Latina Lista, which are operated by Latina/os.15 I interrogate how rhetoric surrounding Mexicans in Hawai‘i—including U.S. citizens, legal residents, and undocumented migrants—has been framed. Latina/o media portrayals have ranged from a once positive reception and inviting climate when their labor was needed to a

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more inhospitable and threatened mood once the Mexican community grew and economic circumstances changed in Hawai‘i.16 Currently Latina/os make up 9.8 percent of Hawai‘i’s population, of whom 32 percent are Mexican.17 As a pan-ethnic group, Latina/os have been a part of Hawai‘i’s multicultural history for nearly two hundred years. For example, Indigenous and mixed-race ancestry Mexicans were welcomed as part of Hawai‘i’s emerging diversity during the reign of King Kamehameha III in the 1830s when the first group of vaqueros, or cowboys, came to teach Native Hawaiians their culture and skills in controlling the cattle population on the islands.18 Next, at the dawn of the twentieth century, Puerto Ricans were recruited to be part of the multiracial labor force on the island’s sugar plantations. During acute labor shortages such as those that began in the early 1990s, the need for cheap labor initiated the first large-scale movement of Mexicans to the region to work in the pineapple industry. Subsequent migrations of Mexicans and Central Americans arrived to work in the island’s coffee, papaya, and macadamia nut industries in the twenty-first century. Although Latina/o labor—especially the Mexican population—was vital to the success of these crops in Hawai‘i, their near invisibility on the islands has made them seem more like newcomers than long-term residents. In this chapter, I also chart how the Mexican-origin population and larger Latina/o community responded to moments of racial tension and racism. Examples from news sources challenge the long-held contention by other scholars and proponents of tourism that Hawai‘i is a racial paradise where the “aloha spirit”—the concept of racial tolerance and belonging—is tested by a growing Mexican presence.19 Let me be clear. I am not suggesting there is no aloha for Mexicans and other Latina/os in Hawai‘i. Indeed, aloha is extended and reciprocated between Native Hawaiians and locals in Hawai‘i every day. Earlier migrations of Latina/os intermarried with Native Hawaiians and other locals, integrated into these larger communities over time, and continue to be part of Hawai‘i today.20 Day-to-day relations are not based solely on the marginalization of Mexicans in Hawai‘i, but rather on a complex set of interracial relationships involving more recent moments where Mexicans as an ethnic group become racialized using racist language and ideology. This is further exacerbated within the politics of immigration for recent migrants, which in some ways have led to an increasing practice of racial profiling and anti-Mexican nativism in Hawai‘i, whether those of Mexican ancestry are U.S. citizens, legal residents, or undocumented. This chapter discusses those moments where the increasing migration of Mexicans and Central Americans has in fact challenged the aloha sprit. Terms like the “aloha spirit” mask the reality that public sentiment is not always welcoming and that this experience is buried under the image of Hawai‘i as a racial paradise. This contradiction is evident with the racialization of Mexicans in Hawai‘i’s newspapers and in the post-9/11 era political discourse

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over immigration through federal institutional practices of racial profiling and anti-Mexican nativism. It is a practice that I contend is similar to what is occurring on the continental United States. For example, the racial profiling by Transportation Security Administration and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials in Hawai‘i as well as their collaboration with local law enforcement illustrate how U.S. state and federal practices of racializing and targeting Mexicans on the continental United States have also traveled across the Pacific to expose how racial tolerance has its limitations even in the Aloha State.21 This leads to the question of what we can learn from these events and subsequent news debates about race and ethnic relations in Hawai‘i and what these debates tell us about the ways in which ethnic groups are singled out in racialized terms. Moreover, how do the experiences of Mexicans in Hawai‘i speak to discourses around settler colonialism and what historian JoAnna Poblete refers to as “intra-colonials” for whom the processes of U.S. colonialism in Latin America, the Caribbean, and the globalization of colonized labor come to occupy the “secondary colonized space of Hawai‘i”?22 Racializing Mexicans Currently, Latina/os make up 16 percent of the total U.S. population, increasing by 43 percent between 2000 and 2010. This growth was four times that of the total population, which was 10 percent. This demographic shift is being felt in states that have large Latina/o populations. In 2014, for example, Latina/os surpassed whites as the largest racial-ethnic group in California. They were the second state to do so, following New Mexico in 2003.23 As a result of this population increase, rising xenophobia and nativism on the continental United States continues to fuel the recent attacks with controversial immigration bills in states such as Arizona with SB1070 (2010) and Alabama with HB 56 (2011), for example, which were criticized and challenged for their implications surrounding racial profiling.24 The public discourse over the criminalization, racialization, and marginalization of the Latina/o community, and in particular the Mexican population, continues to frame them as recent arrivals and not part of the United States regardless of citizenship. This is nothing new when looking at historical moments of anti-Mexican political discourse and action such as the forced repatriation—or rather, deportation—of both Mexican nationals and U.S. citizens during the Great Depression of the 1930s and the terror campaigns of Operation Wetback during the 1950s.25 The events in Hawai‘i are significant because this racialization and rhetoric of fear has also made its way across the Pacific—and ironically by other settlers from the continental United States who also claim Hawai‘i as their home. They essentially brought a racist and xenophobic ideology with them. The increasing animosity towards those of Mexican descent demonstrates that even in Hawai‘i

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the debate and fear over rising migration in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries—particularly towards the undocumented—can challenge even one of the most diverse places in the United States, where racial and ethnic inclusivity is supposed to be the norm. Thus, Councilman Tam’s remarks extend beyond an isolated incident; this xenophobia constitutes a larger narrative of anti-Mexican rhetoric that has been surfacing in Hawai‘i since the mid-2000s, particularly evident in the newspapers that have documented their presence on the islands. Tam’s ignorance about the use of the word “wetback” as a derogatory, racial slur is indicative of the underlying but growing hostility towards recent Mexican migration to Hawai‘i, and particularly the undocumented community.26 These events also speak to underlying racial and ethnic tensions in Hawai‘i that have been discussed at length by scholars such as Jonathan Okamura, Paul Spickard, Roderick Labrador—all from this volume—and Lori Pierce, who have written on racial and ethnic hierarchies. In fact, Pierce examines “the discourse of aloha” that is used to maintain these hierarchies and, moreover, White supremacy in Hawai‘i at both the institutional and interpersonal level.27 Mexicans and Central Americans have been coming in larger numbers and working in agricultural industries out of which locals have moved. As a result, Mexicans and Central Americans are the targets of racial slurs as they now occupy the bottom of this ever-shifting labor hierarchy with Micronesians, Samoans, and recent Filipino migrants. In this context, we now turn to the construction of Hawai‘i as a “racial paradise” and how increasing Mexican migration is challenging this notion. Paradise Contested: Problematic Myths of the Aloha Spirit Much has been written on the early chroniclers of Hawai‘i that describe it as a racial laboratory, a racial paradise where racial mixing frequently occurs, illustrating exemplary race relations on the islands.28 These early scholars set the stage for subsequent writers, travelers, and visitors to the islands, who celebrated Hawai‘i’s multiculturalism in both academic and popular discussions, and, more influentially, the boosterism propagated by the tourist industry and the media. These entities capitalized on Hawai‘i’s reputation for racial tolerance and the aloha spirit, thus detracting from the racial and ethnic tensions that have existed since various groups came to settle in Hawai‘i. More important, these terms also undermine Native Hawaiian self-determination and claims for sovereignty by dismissing their movement as not showing aloha.29 Indeed, labeling Hawai‘i as a racial paradise and evoking the aloha spirit of tolerance and acceptance dismisses the contentious feelings Kānaka Maoli have towards all settlers on their islands—and rightly so—for the dispossession of their lands, political rights, and sovereignty all for the sake of capitalistic and imperial desires.30 Scholars who have written on this topic, such as Okamura,

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Pierce, Sharma, and Rosa, critique the ways in which this plays out in terms of interracial and interethnic relationships. Okamura explains: Hawaii’s people do believe and endorse as a behavioral norm that they should treat others of differing ethnicity than their own with tolerance and cordiality. There is much to be valued in having such a norm of interethnic relations that is certainly not the case in other ethnically or racially divided communities. . . . However, this cultural norm, popularized as the “aloha spirit,” is more significant in interpersonal relationships [author emphasis] than in ethnic group relations.31

Moreover, Nitasha Sharma, in this volume, demonstrates how the experiences of Black locals and mixed-Black Hawaiians also reveal the profound limits to the notion that the islands are a racial paradise because they have also dealt with catalyzing moments of marginalization, racism, and discrimination.32 The Latino Threat to Hawai‘i’s Racial Paradise The rising Mexican population in Hawai‘i has elicited a growing, underlying tension with the general public in many ways, which I suggest has been prompted by continental U.S. immigration and racial politics.33 Though the undocumented migrant population is the target of such contempt, this affects the larger Mexican population and Latina/os as a whole. Councilman Tam’s comment was just one of possibly countless other slurs against Mexicans that were never publicized. Rather, what brought this incident to light was that it was recorded. According to writers at the Honolulu Advertiser, “A public official’s use of the term [wetback] taps into this history and these stereotypic images: Latinos are outsiders and therefore unfit for our community.”34 This leads to the notion that Mexicans are not part of Hawai‘i’s multiethnic fabric despite their historical presence since the 1830s.35 Rather, their recent migrations are seen as part of this larger “Latino Threat Narrative” now surfacing in Hawai‘i, which anthropologist Leo Chavez has documented extensively on the continental United States. According to Chavez, the Latino Threat Narrative assumes that “Latinos are unwilling or incapable of integrating, or becoming part of the national community. Rather, they are seemingly part of an invading force from south of the border that is bent on reconquering land that was formerly theirs—the U.S. Southwest—and destroying the American way of life.”36 Chavez further notes, Mexicans in particular have been represented as the quintessential “illegal aliens,” which distinguishes them from other immigrant groups. Their social identity has been plagued by the mark of illegality, which in much

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public discourse means that they are criminals and thus illegitimate members of society undeserving of social benefits, including citizenship.37

The discourse involving Mexicans in the continental United States, especially those who are undocumented, has criminalized them without understanding the sociohistorical, political, and economic forces that have brought workers to cross continental borders and Hawaiian shores. Indeed, the trope of a Mexican invasion was part of U.S. political fearmongering following the U.S. war of aggression against Mexico from 1846 to 1848, during the Mexican Revolution of 1910 to 1930, and resurfacing with greater intensity during the recession of the 1970s and again in the 1990s as a result of the North American Free Trade Agreement, better known as NAFTA.38 This was further compounded by the fear of terrorism on U.S. soil, and increased militarization of the border and surveillance of Mexican migrants, which took center stage in the post-9/11 era.39 The recent yet steadily increasing negative images of Mexicans in Hawai‘i’s news media—the Honolulu Star-Bulletin, Maui News, and the Honolulu Advertiser, among others—have depicted these populations as being undocumented and, by default, involved in other criminal activities. Through these portrayals as social parasites, anti-Latina/o discourses closely resemble those found on the continental U.S. despite the fact that recent studies show that 86 percent of the Mexican population in Hawai‘i are actually U.S. born.40 These stereotypes in Hawai‘i have not only portrayed the Mexican community negatively, but also and more so have overlooked the significant sociohistorical, cultural, economic, and political contributions Mexicans and the larger Latina/o population have made to Hawai‘i, which many now consider their home.41 As stated, these are not the experiences of all Mexicans and other Latina/os living in Hawai‘i. Rather, I suggest that federal and state immigration practices, stereotypes brought over by transplanted mainlanders and the ever-present visual trope of Mexicans as invaders are broadcasted almost daily in the national news (e.g., CNN, FOX, MSNBC). In turn, this influences how the local population in Hawai‘i views those of Mexican ancestry regardless of citizenship status. As such, the discourse over their status as well their place in Hawai‘i has steadily become determined by the need for cheap labor in the agricultural, construction, and service industries. During periods of acute labor shortages, Mexicans and Central Americans from 1990 to 2000 have come to fill the void and were even responsible for the growth of pineapple, coffee, papaya, macadamia nuts, and other vegetable crops in the state. Mexicans have participated in various trades in the construction industry, most notably drywall and tile work. Service-related positions in tourism, restaurant work, and landscaping have also been filled primarily by Mexican laborers. Their presence on the islands has thus become more than just seasonal. It is precisely here that the aloha spirit is challenged—and

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ultimately deconstructed—because of the growing intolerance of their presence despite the need for their labor. Mexican Migration in the 1990s In 1990, Latina/os in Hawai‘i numbered 81,390, or 7.3 percent of the total population, an increase of 66 percent from the previous decade. Although 43 percent of this population were U.S. citizens born and raised in Hawai‘i, 10 percent (a growing proportion) were foreign born.42 Census reports indicated that in 1990, the Mexican population was 15,490, a 64.7 percent increase from 9,404 since 1980.43 Other sources showed similar population growth. For example, in a 1997 study conducted for Angulos, a Latina/o community newspaper, writer Kyle Ko Francisco Shinseki surveyed the Mexican population of Hawai‘i and found that 86 percent of those he interviewed had arrived in Hawai‘i since 1990.44 Most of them followed economic opportunities. Thousands of migrants were recruited to labor in coffee, macadamia nut, papaya, pineapple, and vegetable farms throughout the islands.45 Starting in 1989 and continuing well into the 1990s, a large-scale recruitment targeted Mexican workers from the continental United States and Mexico to Hawai‘i. These early efforts were so successful that Hawai‘i newspapers such as the Honolulu Star-Bulletin called the recent phenomenon “A New Mexican Migration,” noting how Mexican migrants were fast becoming the state’s upcoming major ethnic group.46 A series of acute labor shortages in the 1990s affected the agricultural industry of Hawai‘i. What had been an Asian- and Filipino-dominated workforce was now shifting to Mexican and, to a lesser extent, Central American labor. According to labor experts and state officials in Hawai‘i, most locals left their jobs in agriculture to find employment in less physically demanding occupations in the tourist industry, such as hotels, resorts, and restaurants.47 In addition, the number of people moving from Hawai‘i to the continental United States increased beginning in 1991, but most notably between July 1995 and July 1996. According to the Honolulu Advertiser, “Much of Hawaii’s domestic out-migration can be attributed to the relocation of military people and their families. . . . But there also is a heavy out-migration of civilians—many of them in search of jobs that Hawaii no longer offers.”48 The high cost of living in Hawai‘i economically forced many residents to migrate to the continental United States to find more job opportunities and a lower cost of living. As a result, a labor shortage vacuum was created in particular labor-intensive industries—namely agriculture—that required recruiting labor from California and Mexico, among other locations, to help sustain the island’s agricultural economy. Hawai‘i agribusiness thus turned to Latina/o labor. Beginning in 1989, fifty-one Mexican migrants were recruited to Wailuku’s macadamia nut and pineapple fields on the island of Maui.49 To drum up interest among workers, Hawai‘i coffee farmers advertised in newspapers or employment

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agencies in California and Arizona, among other locations. Kyle Ko Francisco Shinseki provided an example of another group of Mexican migrant workers who came to Hawai‘i: An ad for coffee pickers placed in the Star-Press of Ventura, California caught the attention of Javier Méndez of Puruándiro, Michoacán who had been working as a lemon picker and in gardening, but who was looking for “un trabajo que no fuera . . . muy duro” [a job that was not so hard]. He called the owner of Kona Kai Farms and ended up speaking to his Chicana girlfriend who spoke Spanish. Although at first no one believed him, Méndez eventually found six others from Puruándiro to come with him to Hawai‘i and the group arrived in Kona on June 4, 1989.50

Other recruitment efforts also made local Hawai‘i news, this time with the importation of Mexican women to labor in the canneries. In October of 1990, sixty women were recruited to participate in a four-month program to work for Maui Land and Pineapple Co., which was experiencing a labor shortage in Kahului. These women arrived from western U.S. states on the continent, including Idaho, Arizona, Oklahoma, Montana, and New Mexico. This was the first time they had been in Hawai‘i and they were excited about the opportunity to work in a different environment, which was for some of them an improvement from their former working conditions. Those who came from more strenuous working conditions, moreover, seemed to prefer the pineapple cannery. The $5.50 per hour after living expenses was more than what they earned on the continent, which allowed them to then send money home every two weeks. As Maria Ortega, one of the workers, noted, “The job’s not hard and the working conditions are good.” Another worker, Claudia Mora, who worked the potato fields of Idaho, remarked, “This is nothing compared to the work we have done. We have worked in the fields 14, 15 hours a day. Here we are working in the cannery we don’t have to be out in the fields getting burned. It’s a pretty easy job.”51 This initial group of women, however, was part of a larger recruiting effort by Maui Economic Opportunity Inc. programs, a nonprofit agency that recruited other workers from Mexico to plant and harvest macadamia nuts in Waikapu and tend onions, zucchini, and other crops in Kula. According to executive director Gladys Baisa, who was in charge of overseeing migrant programs in Hawai‘i, these workers were part of a larger force of some two hundred migrant workers hired to labor in pineapple and other agricultural pursuits. Other jobs included working for Del Monte Corporation in Honolulu on the island of O‘ahu. Still other workers were sent to work on Lanai and Hawai‘i (Big Island). By September of 1991, Maui Land and Pineapple Co. was said to have hired hundreds of Mexicans to harvest its pineapples and work in the canneries.52 Although those who fulfilled their contracts went home with their

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airfare covered by their employer, others decided to stay and continue working in Hawai‘i. In an interview with the Honolulu Star-Bulletin, Baisa acknowledged the essential role of Mexican migrant labor: “if the canneries and the fields did not get the migrant laborers, I believe they probably would have had to shut down. Right now the situation is critical.”53 Because of this situation, Baisa predicted that Mexicans would become the next group to settle in Hawai‘i: they filled the positions left vacant by local workers. Other employers also understood the importance of Mexican migrant workers to agribusiness. According to Wailuki company employee relations manager Lori Tokunaga, “Without them [Mexican workers], I don’t know what we would do.”54 The survival of Hawai‘i’s agricultural industry relied on importing migrant workers from California and other U.S. states, as well as from Mexico. The labor shortage resulted in high demand for workers to help ensure Hawai‘i’s major crops such as pineapples, macadamia nuts, coffee, and papayas. As Gladys Baisa recalled, “Everybody’s sitting around the table crying because they can’t find jobs for people they’re serving. We have just the opposite problem. We have jobs and can’t find people who qualify.”55 Similarly, Maui Land and Pineapple Co.’s employment program administrator Fred “Skip” McDonnell echoed Baisa’s statement, “It’s tough. There’s been a labor shortage for a long time.”56 Thus, these workers constituted a larger investment over time and attested to the need for a permanent labor pool to fill the shortage of agricultural workers. Together, a concerted effort by the State of Hawai‘i’s agricultural industries, social service and economic agencies, and nonprofit organizations jointly recruited Mexican migrant workers and ensured that they not only contributed temporarily, but also considered the possibly of settling permanently, bringing their families, and building their communities. Part of this would help workers eventually leave migratory and seasonal work and move them into long-term employment, whether in agriculture or other occupations.57 In turn, Gladys Baisa took on the role of helping workers adjust to their new life in Hawai‘i, achieve steady employment, and bring their families. Baisa explained, “When they are ready to bring the family . . . we will assist that family in moving into the community, getting the children in school, helping them with immigration. . . . Our goal is that they will stay here and become part of our permanent workforce.”58 In an interview with the Honolulu-Star Bulletin, Skip McDonnell of Maui Land and Pineapple Co. also remarked, “We constantly tell them that it’s a permanent, full-time position for as long as they want. . . . We want them to bring their families when they can. We think that if they are going to be stable they need that family unit.”59 This is a clear indication that Mexican migrant workers were desired and at one time welcomed to be part of Hawai‘i’s multiethnic community as vital economic contributors. The large-scale recruitment efforts of Mexican migrants ended in 1993 with a change in Hawai‘i’s labor market for local residents. A nationwide

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recession from 1990 to 1992 resulted in a decline in the state’s tourism industry, which in turn led to a labor surplus in Hawai‘i by 1993.60 Comparing that time with the present, Baisa elaborated, “Now there are local people who do those jobs.” Similarly, Andy Aguillon, program director of Hawai‘i Human Development agency, conceded that there was “some resentment from local people, who said they’d pick coffee and mac nuts too if we gave them housing, three meals a day and transportation to the fields.”61 This, of course, occurred at a time when the employment situation in Hawai‘i was changing rapidly and jobs in agriculture were needed for local residents. Despite the end of formal recruiting, Mexican migrants continued to come to Hawai‘i to seek employment and join family and friends who had settled there. Those who were already in Hawai‘i and overstayed their visas, moreover, now had to contend with being undocumented.62 Overlooked Perspectives: Undocumented Immigrants in Hawai‘i Being undocumented posed additional problems for Mexican migrant workers in Hawai‘i. Most workers were hired with temporary work visas, and those who extended their stay in Hawai‘i after their work visas expired now, for fear of being deported, had to live in the shadows. Jesús Sánchez, a resident of Hilo, summarized their situation: “They lead a very secret life.”63 According to the Migration Policy Institute, part of the issue was that no permanent Mexican Consulate services were available on the islands to assist Mexican nationals with keeping their identification documents updated.64 Furthermore, the Honorary Consulate of Mexico’s mobile services that visit the islands at least once per year are severely limited.65 The inability to file their documents on time or overstaying their visas has led many workers to become undocumented, making them more prone to exploitation such as having pay withheld, wages lowered, and other labor abuses. More broadly, Mexicans have remained a small segment of the overall undocumented population in Hawai‘i, but they hold an interesting status tied to continental U.S. immigration politics. For example, although Filipinos were the largest group of undocumented immigrants being apprehended in Hawai‘i at the time, John O’Shea, district director of the then U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS), remarked, “What bothers me is the fact that we are finding a few Mexicans, not that I want to single out Mexicans.”66 Despite not wanting to “single out Mexicans,” O’Shea’s comment illustrated the perceived threat undocumented Mexicans had in his imagination, even if it was a miniscule number compared with other groups. This concern paved the way for INS raids at both businesses and homes.67 These actions reflected continental U.S. discourses about undocumented Mexicans, which would be more pronounced throughout the 1990s.

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Furthermore, by the mid-1990s, undocumented Mexican migrants who were arrested and deported from Maui began making headline news in the Honolulu Advertiser and Honolulu Star-Bulletin. For example, in 1995 in Wailuku, Maui, federal immigration agents arrested thirty-one undocumented Mexican laborers at local restaurants and hotels who worked as dishwashers, cooks, and waiters. According to Donald Radcliffe, district INS director, “Maui has the fastest growing illegal Mexican population in the state.”68 He also noted that Mexicans are second only to Pacific Islanders in terms of ethnic groups with the highest number of undocumented persons in Hawai‘i. For example, in 1995, about one hundred undocumented Mexican immigrants were arrested, which Radcliffe identified as twice the number as the previous year. It also accounted for about a third of the more than three hundred undocumented immigrants overall arrested in Hawai‘i that year.69 Because Hawaii’s economy required cheap labor to fill specific labor-intensive industries, Mexican migrants would continue to come to seek employment well into the next century. As a result, the Mexican and overall Latina/o community continued to rise precisely as hostile anti-immigrant attitudes also increased. Although Radcliffe’s comments on undocumented Mexican migrants in Hawai‘i cited minuscule numbers, he still relied on Chavez’s Latino Threat Narrative to sound the alarm regarding their presence. Mexicans were thus racialized as a threat to national security and subject to racial profiling. The undocumented segment of the population faced the added fear of deportation. Mexican Migration in the 2000s The twenty-first century was marked by increased migration and rising hostility towards the Mexican community of Hawai‘i. By 2010, the Latina/o community numbered 120,842, or 9.8 percent of the total population; Mexicans numbered 35,415, making them the second largest Latina/o group in Hawai‘i behind Puerto Ricans. This was an increase from 2000, when the corresponding figures were 87,699 for the Latina/o group, or 7 percent of the total population, and 19,820 for Mexicans.70 The undocumented Mexican population is estimated at 4,000, or 10 percent of the 40,000 undocumented migrants living in Hawai‘i as of 2005. This is an increase from 2000, when the overall undocumented population was estimated at 25,000, and 1990, at 5,000. The report also indicated that the largest industries undocumented workers labored in were farming, building, and groundskeeping maintenance and cleaning, construction, and food service.71 With the increase of Mexican migration to Hawai‘i throughout the 2000s, the fear of an uncontrolled, undocumented population continued. According to a report by the Pew Hispanic Center in 2008, undocumented immigrants made up 4 percent of Hawai‘i’s workforce—approximately twenty-five thousand people.72 Although the number is small relative to the total state population,

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unwarranted fears fueled immigration policies and law enforcement practices that mimicked the racial profiling, arrests, and harassment occurring in Arizona, Ohio, and other continental states. As a result of the growing fear and resentment of the undocumented Mexican population, Hawai‘i’s local newspapers regularly reported that ICE agents conducted a series of high-profile immigration raids—spanning agriculture, construction, and service-related sites—on O‘ahu, Hawai‘i, and Maui between 2007 and 2008. On December 20, 2007, for example, nineteen suspected undocumented workers were arrested in downtown Honolulu on O‘ahu. Eight of the workers were arrested at the Pinnacle construction job site in downtown and another eleven at the Halawa industrial area. All were held in custody pending deportation proceedings.73 On July 20, 2008, ICE agents raided the Oasis Apartments complex in Waipahu, O‘ahu, and arrested forty-three undocumented migrants. All were Mexican nationals who worked for an agricultural company in Kunia known as The Farms, Inc.74 Of those arrested, seven pled guilty to immigration crimes and agreed to cooperate in the investigation against their employer. According to Assistant U.S. Attorney Tracy Hino, in return for their cooperation they were given “temporary liberty and permission to enter Hawaii’s workforce.” 75 At the time the article was published, twenty-three of the fortythree were indicted on counts of using false identity documents, one case was dismissed, and fifteen were pending. As a result of the workers’ cooperation, two company managers, David Kato and Glen Kelley McCraig, were arrested and indicted on a “criminal scheme to hire illegal aliens to do work for ‘The Farms.’ ”76 On September 24, 2008, the Honolulu Advertiser and Pacific Business News reported another high-profile ICE raid in Maui. According to the articles, ICE agents—with the help of Maui Police Department—arrested twenty-one undocumented workers with ties to Mexico, Brazil, Peru, Honduras, Guatemala, and Slovakia. They all worked for Global Stone Inc., a commercial stone and tile company, and were employed at the Honua Kai construction project.77 Pacific Business News and the Honolulu Advertiser both reported that this was the second time workers were apprehended at the same site in a month; forty-one had been apprehended on August 20. Similar to what happened in September, some of those arrested also worked for Gold Stone Inc.78 U.S. Attorney Ed Kubo stated that he was “deeply troubled by what seems to be the same companies repeatedly employed undocumented workers in our state.” Kubo also noted that before the September arrests, there had been 120 worksite apprehensions since the previous December.79 These included worksite and home raids, and twenty-two suspected undocumented restaurant workers being arrested in May of 2008 at several chain restaurants on Maui—eight at Cheeseburger Island Style and Cheeseburger in Paradise, and fourteen at Bubba Gump Shrimp Co.80 The use of undocumented labor fostered antagonism with local and Native Hawaiian union members across these agriculture, construction, and

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service-related industries. In the construction industry, for example, hiring undocumented Mexican workers who were skilled in areas such as drywall, roofing, and other building trades was necessary to fill the labor shortage when development flourished in Hawai‘i. With the recession and scarcity of jobs in 2008, however, tensions rose between labor union members and undocumented workers as they competed for the same jobs. For example, employers at the Pinnacle worksite hired undocumented laborers for $6 to $8 an hour, versus local union workers for $18 an hour plus full benefits. As Honolulu Magazine reported, “One thing that everyone seems to agree on is that the current state of affairs isn’t satisfying anyone. Local workers are being undercut on jobs, undocumented immigrants are being underpaid and exploited.”81 The economic instability from the recession also exacerbated the myth that Mexicans and other Latina/os were taking away jobs from the local community without taking into account that most Latina/os work in positions that local labor do not want to do (e.g., agriculture) and fill positions in booming economies when there is a surplus of work; employers are in fact the culprits for pitting workers against each other to increase their own profits during times of economic instability.82 As a result of employers hiring undocumented workers at their construction sites, the Pacific Resource Partnership (PRP), which represented the Hawaii Carpenters Union, launched the Play Fair in Hawaii campaign to alert the public of the use of undocumented labor in the islands.83 Television spots pointed to an accident at a construction site that used undocumented nonunion labor, suggesting that these workers were a hazard to the public and that employers needed to be more responsible and “play by the rules” by using local union labor.84 The general campaign, however, seemed to be a critical indictment of employer abuses rather than a focus on undocumented workers as the key issue. In an editorial, PRP executive director Kyle Chock explained his view regarding the recent media coverage on the worksite raids: “Hopefully this coverage will continue and focus on not just the presence of undocumented workers but those who hire them, since illegal employment is the reason they are here. . . . The issue is not immigrants but renegade developers and contractors who come from outside of Hawaii or the United States and ignore the longstanding sense of fair play to which most in the local industry subscribe.”85 Chock went on to say, “No one should blame the desperate people who are taken advantage of to save unscrupulous companies a buck. They are as much victims as the Hawai‘i workers they displace. But without immigration policies and programs that enable unskilled workers to come in to fill periodic shortages and return home when finished, we must continue to protect jobs badly needed by our own citizens and legal immigrants.”86 The increasing visibility of immigration raids at worksites throughout 2007 and 2008, as well as the public discussion surrounding the use of undocumented labor, eventually led to the Tam incident and subsequent media firestorm.

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The status of Mexican migrant workers in Hawai‘i, whether documented or not, reflects this idealization-fear binary of migrant workers in the United States during times of need versus economic crisis. Evoking Bonnie Honig’s binary of xenophilia-xenophobia—or attraction to versus fear of foreigners—Kathleen Arnold asserts, “Mexican immigrants are often lauded for their work ethic, their willingness to take jobs most Americans will not . . . Mexican immigrants are also criticized for being lazy, having no work ethic, stealing jobs from citizens . . . and generally overpopulate the country.”87 In particular, this rhetoric shaped the discussion regarding Mexican migration in the 1990s and has carried over in increasing intensity especially in the post-9/11 era. Post-9/11 Racial Profiling in Hawai‘i The increasing ICE raids targeting Hawai‘i’s undocumented community—and the larger Latina/o community for that matter—from 2007 to 2009 became the subject of criticism and protests by clergy members.88 Despite an article in Pacific Business News in January of 2010 that no arrests of undocumented workers were reported in 2009, harassment and terrorizing of the Mexican community continued.89 The Honolulu Advertiser published a story in April of 2009 about a group of clergy from Maui and O‘ahu who organized a protest at the regional office of ICE in Honolulu, pointing out the aggressive measures that ICE agents were using to apprehend undocumented residents. On Maui, for example, this included entering people’s homes without consent or search warrants and pulling people over for no reason, which amounted to racial profiling because they were Latina/o. In September of 2009, local police collaborated with ICE agents on Maui to set up traffic checkpoints, taking anyone into custody who could not show proof of legal residency.90 According to Pastor Susana Arvizu of Maui, “They’re stopping people’s cars . . . just because they look Hispanic. . . . They don’t even ask for license or insurance card. They just ask: Do you have papers? Do you have a green card?”91 Similarly, Big Island resident Angela Dean described an incident involving her mother, Herlinda Jacobo-Roque, who is Puerto Rican. Dean recalled that her mom was cleaning the back end of her house and had a stereo loudly playing salsa music. At some point someone called out, so Herlinda replied, “Hold on,” and made her way to the kitchen. By that time, though, she saw ICE agents already in her living room. Herlinda yelled, telling them to get out of her house and immediately asked them for their warrant. She told the ICE agents that she knew her rights. They had no warrant and had entered her house without her consent. When they exited her home Herlinda noticed several more agents in her driveway and garage. Angela explained that her mother was furious: “Just because someone is playing salsa music does not make them Mexican or undocumented. You would think they [ICE agents] could tell the difference between

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salsa music, which is Puerto Rican, and Mexican music like banda.”92 This incident illustrates how federal agents were not only ignorant of the diversity of Latina/o cultures, but also generalized them all as Mexican and by default undocumented. Moreover, this was not an isolated incident; rather, ICE agents collaborated with local law enforcement to locate, racially profile, and harass Herlinda by invading her home. In response to the allegations of racial profiling and ICE agents abusing their authority with the local Latina/o population, ICE agency spokeswoman stated in an email to the Honolulu Advertiser: “We do so professionally, humanely and with an acute awareness of the impact enforcement has on the individuals we encounter. . . . ICE expects its officers to uphold the highest standards of professional conduct and personal integrity.”93 However, the situation regarding the agency’s targeting of the Mexican community has deteriorated to the point that, according to the newspaper Latina Lista, the Mexican government issued a travel advisory for its citizens traveling or working in Hawai‘i. As the government advisory details, “They have been detained in airports and handed over to immigration authorities. The majority of the cases have dealt with workers in construction and the tourist industry who have traveled to the Hawaiian Islands for seasonal employment.”94 Racial profiling and the use of intimidation against Hawai‘i’s Mexican residents has left many in the community traumatized, especially those who were wrongfully detained for no reason other than that they were Mexican or a member of another Latina/o group. Chicana/o studies scholar Alex Saragoza posits, “The negative representation of Mexican newcomers after 9/11 intensified the polarization of the debate over immigration in general, that from Mexico most specifically.”95 Indeed, 9/11 prompted increased surveillance of migrant labor, fueling the fear surrounding the perceived “invasion” of Latina/os and other nonwhite migrants in the United States. This fear, coupled with the economic insecurity surrounding the recession, only intensified these attacks on the Mexican population.96 These experiences in Hawai‘i are alarmingly similar to what has occurred in Arizona under Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s reign of terror against the Mexican community in Maricopa County, which has infamously involved the violation of civil rights of U.S. citizens and legal residents.97 The same group of clergy who are part of an interfaith alliance dedicated to social issues known as Faith Action for Community Equity (FACE) instituted the Know Your Rights campaign to help migrants understand their civil rights and be aware of what questions agents are allowed and not allowed to ask a person whom they “suspect” to be undocumented.98 In conjunction with the American Civil Liberties Union, FACE also organized about two hundred people at Ala Lani United Methodist Church to rally for U.S. immigration reform in May of 2011. As Terri Erwin, lead organizer of FACE explained, ICE agents on Maui were targeting “single mothers, parents and people who are going about their business,” rather than prioritizing their efforts on dangerous

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criminals as they are ostensibly supposed to be doing.99 According to the Maui News, those in attendance at the rally shared stories of “families torn apart, of people trying for decades to get family visas and of indiscriminate enforcement of illegal immigrant laws.”100 These issues not only affected the Mexican and larger Latina/o migrant community, but also Filipinos, Tongans, and Micronesians living and working on the islands. Conclusion The federal practices of racial profiling and anti-Mexican nativism by ICE agents in collaboration with local law enforcement make it clear that Councilman Tam’s remarks were not an isolated incident, but rather part of a larger series of events that have culminated in negative experiences for some Mexicans in Hawai‘i, particularly for more recent arrivals, whose numbers have grown in recent years. As the recruitment of Mexican and Central American workers has increased over time, their reception by the local population has changed to reflect continental U.S. racist stereotypes and ideology of Mexicans, not as those contributing their labor to the development of the region and its agricultural sector, but as invaders and foreigners who do not belong. This is their reality despite being recruited by local industries and state agencies. Local news media has also promoted anti-Mexican nativism and continental U.S. racial discourses on undocumented workers in Hawai‘i—to be undocumented seemingly meant being Latina/o, specifically Mexican or Central American. These incidents only reinforce the feeling among recent Mexican migrants that they are not always welcome. Ethnic groups like Mexicans in Hawai‘i are thus racialized and experience racism similar to that on the continental United States, which both challenges and complicates the trope of a racial paradise that Hawai‘i evokes. This is particularly true when labor competition and animosity is instigated through the machine of capitalism, as immigration politics racialize Mexicans as Others and create tensions among racial groups in Hawai‘i. Even public officials such as Councilman Tam have found themselves referring to Mexicans in demeaning and derogatory ways. The Latino Threat Narrative—ever pervasive in continental U.S. politics and daily life and perpetrated by federal and state agencies—has followed recent Mexican and Central American migrants across the Pacific. It haunts those who come to find work, contribute to their communities, and find a place that they can be a part of the ever-expanding “Latino Pacific Boarder-lands” they inhabit, both terrestrial and aquatic.101 As recent migrations have shown, Mexicans have also been a part of the historical fabric of the islands since the Hawaiian monarchy era. Their increasing presence leads to challenging questions about where they fit in within these larger debates over Hawaiian sovereignty and self-determination and the existing local culture. Councilman Tam’s remarks speak to the ways in which Mexicans

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and other Latina/os have been marginalized and face moments of racism in Hawai‘i. It also shows how these experiences contradict the aloha spirit as a real feeling, but even more how it has been constructed and is still used by nonHawaiians to fuel the tourist economy in Hawai‘i. It is a precarious position to be in and a discussion that will continue to unfold. For the growing Mexican and larger Latina/o community, which now makes up almost 10 percent of the state’s population, the hope is that they can move from the margins of invisibility towards the center of Hawai‘i’s multiracial society and be accepted as one of the oldest settler groups to the islands.

Notes  1. Marie Villa from Herman Baca, letter, June 10, 2008, personal collection, Herman Baca Archive.  2. Laurie Au and Leila Fujimori, “Tam Apologizes for Using Racial Slur,” Honolulu Star-Bulletin, June 3, 2008, A1, A6.  3. I use the term “Latina/o” with some hesitance intellectually and politically because the term is a U.S.-based moniker for individuals from Latin America, one that helps the government and media unify under a pan-ethnic identity communities that in fact have very few real commonalities. Throughout this chapter I use the term cautiously and pay close attention to the ways in which people self-identify. Furthermore, to add a/o at the end of the term reflects a desire to be gender inclusive when describing the Latin American–origin communities of Hawai‘i.  4. José Villa, telephone conversation, August 6, 2015. With regards to the term “local,” as some scholars suggest, it is an identity and culture that primarily nonwhites who were born and raised in Hawai‘i share, including a plantation-era past, a language (pidgin), and cultural practices that define one as local. For more on this, see Jonathan Y. Okamura, “Why There Are No Asian Americans in Hawaii: The Continuing Significance of Local Identity,” Social Process in Hawai‘ i 35 (1994): 161–178; Judy Rohrer, Haoles in Hawai‘ i (Honolulu: University of Hawai‘i Press, 2010), 3; John P. Rosa, “Local Story: The Massie Case Narrative and the Cultural Production of Local Identity in Hawai‘i,” Amerasia Journal 26, no. 2 (2000): 93–115; Haunani-Kay Trask, “Settlers of Color and ‘Immigrant’ Hegemony: ‘Locals’ in Hawai‘i,” Amerasia Journal 26, no. 2 (2000): 1–24.  5. Au and Fujimori, “Tam Apologizes,” A6.  6. Malia Zimmerman, “Propensity for Outbursts Finally Lands Eccentric Council Member in Political Hot Water,” Hawaii Reporter, June 5, 2008, propensity-for-outbursts-finally-lands-eccentric-council-member-in-political-hot-water/.  7. Au and Fujimori, “Tam Apologizes,” A6; Richard Borreca, “In the Land of Racial Harmony and Ethnic Slurs,” Honolulu Star-Bulletin, June 8, 2008, E1.  8. Au and Fujimori, “Tam Apologizes,” A6; Peter Boylan, “Rod Tam Sorry for Insulting Comment,” Honolulu Advertiser, June 3, 2008, B1, B5.  9. Laurie Au, “Tam, Sorry about Use of Slur, Survives Furor,” Honolulu Star-Bulletin, June 5, 2008, A6. 10. Ibid. 11. Herman Baca from Marie Villa, letter, June 9, 2008.

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12. Marie Villa from anonymous sender, letter, n.d. (circa June 2008), personal collection, Herman Baca Archive. 13. Ibid. 14. Although Central Americans were migrating to Hawai‘i at this time, their numbers were not recorded specifically by group in the population data I examined. Interviews I conducted for my larger book project revealed that Hondurans, Guatemalans, and Nicaraguans were among the Central American groups who also worked with Mexicans in Hawai‘i. Oftentimes they were mistaken as Mexican because the public was unaware of the diversity of the Latina/o population in Hawai‘i. For more on Central American migrations, see José Luis Falconi and José Antonio Mazzotti, The Other Latinos: Central and South Americans in the United States (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2007); María Cristina García, Seeking Refuge: Central American Migration to Mexico, the United States, and Canada (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2006); Juan Gonzalez, Harvest of Empire: A History of Latinos in America, rev. ed. (New York: Penguin Books, 2011). 15. Hawaii Hispanic News and Angulos are specific to Hawai‘i’s Latina/o communities. 16. In my discussion with border studies scholar Michelle Téllez regarding terminology, she noted that “when looking up the term immigrant in the glossary, the glossary refers back to the term ‘permanent resident alien,’ indicating that an immigrant is a migrant who has permission to stay in the United States. Therefore to say ‘illegal immigrant’ or ‘undocumented immigrant’ or even ‘unauthorized immigrant’ is contradictory for a person who is an immigrant has permission to migrate (” I thus use the terms “migrant” and “migration,” but also use “immigrant” and “immigration” as they pertain to certain language with regards to policies. 17. See Sharon R. Ennis, Merarys Ríos-Vargas, and Nora G. Albert, “The Hispanic Population: 2010,” Census Brief no. C2010BR-04 (Washington, DC: US Census Bureau, May 2011); Jeanne Batalova, Monisha Das Gupta, and Sue Patricia Haglund, “Newcomers to the Aloha State: Challenges and Prospects for Mexicans in Hawai‘i” (Washington, DC: Migration Policy Institute, 2013), 2, 5. 18. The first Mexican vaqueros who came to Hawai‘i were made up of both Indios and mestizos from California, which at the time was part of Mexico. 19. For more on the discussion of the aloha spirit, see Lisa Kahaleole Hall, “ ‘Hawaiian at Heart’ and Other Fictions,” Contemporary Pacific 17, no. 2 (Fall 2005): 404–413; Keiko Ohnuma, “ ‘Aloha Spirit’ and the Cultural Politics of Sentiment as National Belonging,” Contemporary Pacific 20, no. 2 (Fall 2008): 365–394; Glen Grant and Dennis M. Ogawa, “Living Proof: Is Hawaii the Answer?” Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science 530 (1993): 137–154; George S. Kanahele, “The Dynamics of Aloha,” in Kū Kanaka, Stand Tall: A Search for Hawaiian Values (Honolulu: University of Hawai‘i Press, 1986), 375–494. 20. See Kyle Ko Francisco Shinseki, “El Pueblo Mexicano de Hawai‘i/The Mexican People of Hawai‘i” (master’s thesis, University of California, Los Angeles, 1997), 18–23. 21. The Hawai‘i State Legislature designated Hawai‘i as the Aloha State in 1959 when it became the fiftieth state in the union. For more on the collaboration of local law enforcement with state and federal immigration agencies, see Batalova, Das Gupta, and Haglund, Newcomers to the Aloha State, 22–25. 22. For more on the term “intra-colonials” and workers as colonized labor, see JoAnna Poblete, Islanders in the Empire: Filipino and Puerto Rican Laborers in Hawai‘ i (UrbanaChampaign: University of Illinois Press, 2014); Gilbert G. González, Guest Workers or

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Colonized Labor? Mexican Labor Migration to the United States (Boulder, CO: Paradigm Publishers, 2006); Mario Barerra, Race and Class in the Southwest: A Theory of Racial Inequality (Notre Dame, IN: University of Notre Dame Press, 1989). 23. Ennis, Ríos-Vargas, and Albert, “The Hispanic Population: 2010,” 2; Nicole Akoukou Thompson, “California’s Latino/Hispanic Population Now Outnumbers the Non-Hispanic White Population,” Latin Post, July 10, 2015, articles/65220/20150710/californias-latino-hispanic-population-now-outnumbers-nonwhite.htm. 24. Bill Ong Hing, “Like It or Not, Arizona’s SB 1070 Is about Racial Profiling,” Huffington Post, April 27, 2012, 25. For more on the repatriation of Mexican Americans and other deportation campaigns, see Natalia Molina, How Race Is Made in America: Immigration, Citizenship and the Historical Power of Racial Scripts (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2014), 112–138; Mae M. Ngai, Impossible Subjects: Illegal Aliens and the Making of Modern America (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2004); Zaragosa Vargas, Crucible of Struggle: A History of Mexican Americans from Colonial Times to the Present Era (New York: Oxford University Press, 2011); Kelly Lytle Hernández, Migra!: A History of the U.S. Border Patrol (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2010); Camille Guerin-Gonzales, Mexican Workers & American Dreams: Immigration, Repatriation, and California Farm Labor, 1900–1939 (New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 1994); Paul Spickard, Almost All Aliens: Immigration, Race, and Colonialism in American History and Identity (New York: Routledge, 2007), 298–306; Rodolfo F. Acuña, Occupied America: A History of Chicanos, 8th ed. (New York: Pearson, 2015), 216–218, 276­–277; Francisco E. Balderrama and Raymond Rodríguez, Decade of Betrayal: Mexican Repatriation in the 1930s (Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1995); Daniel Kanstroom, Deportation Nation: Outsiders in American History (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2007), 155–160, 214–230. 26. When I discuss the Mexican community, I refer to it collectively, which includes U.S. citizens, legal permanent residents, and undocumented migrants. 27. Jonathan Y. Okamura, Ethnicity and Inequality in Hawai‘ i (Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 2008); Lori Pierce, “‘The Whites Have Created Modern Honolulu’: Ethnicity, Racial Stratification, and the Discourse of Aloha,” in Racial Thinking in the United States: Uncompleted Independence, ed. Paul Spickard and G. Reginald Daniel (Notre Dame, IN: University of Notre Dame Press, 2004), 124–154; Judy Rohrer, Haoles in Hawai‘ i (Honolulu: University of Hawai‘i Press, 2010); Roderick N. Labrador, Building Filipino Hawai‘ i (Chicago: University of Illinois Press, 2015); Roderick N. Labrador, “ ‘We Can Laugh at Ourselves’: Hawai‘i Ethnic Humor, Local Identity and the Myth of Multiculturalism,” Pragmatics 14, no. 2/3 (2004): 291–316. 28. See Romanzo Adams, Interracial Marriage in Hawaii: A Study of the Mutually Conditioned Process of Acculturation and Amalgamation (Montclair, NJ: Petterson Smith, 1969); Romanzo Adams, The Peoples of Hawaii (Honolulu: American Council, Institute of Pacific Relations, 1933); Romanzo Adams, “Race Relations in Hawaii: A Summary Statement,” Social Process in Hawaii 2 (1936): 56; Andrew Lind, Hawaii’s People (Honolulu: University of Hawai‘i Press, 1967); Andrew Lind, Hawaii: The Last of the Magic Isles (New York: Institute of Peace Relations, 1969); Lawrence Fuchs, Hawaii Pono: A Social History (New York: Harcourt, Brace & World, 1961); Shelley Sang-Hee Lee and Rick Baldoz, “‘A

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Fascinating Interracial Experiment Station’: Remapping the Orient-Occident Divide in Hawai‘i,” American Studies 49, no. 3/4 (Fall/Winter 2008): 87–109. 29. Pierce, “The Whites Have Created Modern Honolulu,” 124–154. 30. Okamura, Ethnicity and Inequality in Hawai‘ i, 9; Candace Fujikane and Jonathan Y. Okamura, eds., Asian Settler Colonialism: From Local Governance to the Habits of Everyday Life in Hawai‘ i (Honolulu: University of Hawai‘i Press, 2008); Haunani-Kay Trask, From a Native Daughter: Colonialism and Sovereignty in Hawai‘ i (Honolulu: University of Hawai‘i Press, 1999); Ohnuma, “Aloha Spirit,” 365–394; Kahaleole Hall, “Hawaiian at Heart,” 404– 413; and Noenoe Silva, Aloha Betrayed: Native Hawaiian Resistance to Colonialism (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2004). 31. Okamura, Ethnicity and Inequality in Hawai‘ i, 11. 32. See also Nitasha Sharma, “Pacific Revisions of Blackness: Blacks Address Race and Belonging in Hawai‘i,” Amerasia Journal 37, no. 3 (2011): 43–60; Pierce, “The Whites Have Created Modern Honolulu,” 124–154. 33. By general public, I include locals, transplanted mainlanders, military personnel, and visiting tourists on extended stays in Hawai‘i. For more on public sentiment towards Mexicans, see Batalova, Das Gupta, and Haglund, Newcomers to the Aloha State, 22. 34. Yamamoto, Serrano, and Haia, “Harsh Stereotypes Damage Our Community.” 35. See Billie Bergin, Loyal to the Land: The Legendary Parker Ranch, 1750–1950 (Honolulu: University of Hawai‘i Press, 2003); Joseph Brennan, Paniolo (Honolulu: Ku Pa‘a Publishing, 1978), 33. 36. Leo R. Chavez, The Latino Threat: Constructing Immigrants, Citizens, and the Nation (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2008), 2–3. 37. Ibid. 38. See David Bacon, The Children of NAFTA: Labor Wars on the U.S./Mexico Border (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2004); Vargas, Crucible of Struggle, 79–111, 177–194, 344–347, 366–369; Spickard, Almost All Aliens, 129–133, 148–180, 298, 369– 376; Acuña, Occupied America, 45–51, 169–170, 376–377; Gilbert G. González and Raúl Fernández, “Empire and the Origins of Twentieth-Century Migration from Mexico to the United States,” Pacific Historical Review 71, no. 1 (February 2002): 19–57; Roger Bybee and Carolyn Winter, “Immigration Flood Unleashed by NAFTA’s Disastrous Impact on Mexican Economy,”, April 25, 2006, http://www.commondreams .org/cgi-bin/print.cgi?file=/views06/0425–30.htm; Bill Ong Hing, Ethical Borders: NAFTA, Globalization, and Mexican Migration (Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 2010). 39. Border studies scholar Michelle Telléz noted in a conversation that the recession of the 1970s was the context within which the INS first conceptualized Mexican immigrants as a national security threat. Politicians and U.S. federal agencies tied the country’s economic problems on unauthorized migrants, often employing metaphors suggesting an invasion. In fact, former CIA director William Colby stated that “the most obvious threat, is the fact there are going to be 120 million Mexicans by the end of the century, the Border Patrol will not have enough bullets to stop them.” For more, see Joseph Nevins, Operation Gatekeeper: The Rise of the “Illegal Alien” and the Making of the U.S.-Mexico Boundary (New York: Routledge, 2001), 52; Vargas, Crucible of Struggle, 378–391; Spickard, Almost All Aliens, 433–464; Alfonso Gonzales, Reform without Justice: Latino Migrant Politics and the Homeland Security State (New York: Oxford University Press, 2014); Chavez, Latino Threat. 40. Batalova, Das Gupta, and Haglund, Newcomers to the Aloha State, 8–9.

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41. John F. McDermott and Naleen Naupaka Andrade, eds., People and Cultures of Hawai‘ i: The Evolution of Culture and Ethnicity (Honolulu: University of Hawai‘i Press, 2011), 166; Batalova, Das Gupta, and Haglund, Newcomers to the Aloha State, 22–24. 42. Shinseki, “El Pueblo Mexicano de Hawai‘i,” 45. 43. This total includes those who identified as being of Mexican origin and those who are Mexican nationals. For example, in 1990 the total population of 15,490 included 14,367 who identified as being of Mexican origin, and an additional 1,123 as Mexican born. See Shinseki, “El Pueblo Mexicano de Hawai‘i,” 7; U.S. Census Hispanic Population Briefs/ Reports 1980, 1990, and 2000. 44. Kyle Ko Francisco Shinseki, “The Mexicans of Hawaii,” Angulos, August 1997, 4, and September 1997, 4, Hawaii and Pacific Collection, Special Collections, University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa. 45. Ibid. 46. Joan Conrow, “A New Mexican Migration,” Honolulu Star-Bulletin, February 8, 1995, A1, A8. 47. Ibid. 48. Sandra S. Oshiro, “Hawaii’s Out-Migration Rate among Nation’s Highest,” Honolulu Advertiser, December 31, 1996, A1; “Hawaii: Mexicans and Natives,” Migration News 4, no. 3, March 1997. 49. Lila Fujimoto, “Migrant Labor Gives Valley Island a Boost,” Honolulu Star-Bulletin, October 29, 1990, A3. 50. Shinseki, “El Pueblo Mexicano de Hawai‘i,” 33. 51. Lila Fujimoto, “Imported Worker Plan Bears Fruit on Maui,” Honolulu Star-Bulletin, October 29, 1990, A3. 52. Lila Fujimoto, “Migrant Labor Gives Valley Island a Boost,” Honolulu Star-Bulletin, October 29, 1990, A3; Christopher Neil, “Jobless? Dole Is Pine(ing) for You,” Honolulu Advertiser, September 28, 1991, A1. 53. Fujimoto, “Migrant Labor Gives Valley Island a Boost,” A3. 54. Ibid. 55. Fujimoto, “Imported Worker Plan Bears Fruit on Maui,” A3. 56. Ibid. 57. Joan Conrow, “A New Mexican Migration,” Honolulu Star-Bulletin, February 8, 1995, A8. 58. “Migrants from Mexico Sign up for Maui Jobs,” Honolulu Star-Bulletin, December 1991, A2. 59. Ibid. 60. Carl Walsh, “What Caused the 1990–1991 Recession?” Economic Review of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco (1993): 34–48, projects/debt/1990srecession.html. 61. Joan Conrow, “Isle History of Imported Mexican Laborers Rocky,” Honolulu StarBulletin, February 9, 1995, A8. 62. Conrow, “A New Mexican Migration,” A1; Conrow, “Paradise Lost,” A1. 63. Conrow, “Paradise Lost,” A1. 64. Another route is for migrants to travel to and stay in San Francisco to renew their identification documentation, because the Mexican Consulate General has handled Hawai‘i’s Mexican national population. For many migrants, the cost of travel from Hawai‘i

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to California is too high. For Central American nationals, there are no honorary consulates in Hawai‘i, so migrants have no choice but to travel to California or back to their home country. This poses additional hardships on these populations. See Batalova, Das Gupta, and Haglund, Newcomers to the Aloha State, 1,4; personal field notes, Kailua-Kona, Hawai‘i, February 28, 2015. 65. Batalova, Das Gupta, and Haglund, Newcomers to the Aloha State, 27–28. 66. Helen Altonn, “Mexicans Join Influx of Illegal Aliens Here,” Honolulu Star-Bulletin, December 9, 1976, B3. 67. Batalova, Das Gupta, and Haglund, Newcomers to the Aloha State, 23. 68. Gary Kubota, “31 Illegal Aliens Working on Maui Arrested,” Honolulu Star-Bulletin, September 6, 1995, A1. 69. Kubota, “31 Illegal Aliens Working on Maui Arrested,” A8. 70. U.S. Census Bureau 2010 Demographic Profile Data, Hawaii, http://factfinder2; U.S. Census Bureau, Census 2000 Summary File 1, A0884102.html; Susan Essoyan, “Hispanic Population Growing in Hawaii,” Hispanic Business, January 4, 2012, growing_in_hawaii.htm, and–171/ pltable9_County.pdf. 71. Batalova, Das Gupta, and Haglund, Newcomers to the Aloha State, 13; Jeffrey S. Passel and D’Vera Cohn, “A Portrait of Unauthorized Immigrants in the United States” (Washington, DC: Pew Hispanic Center, 2009). 72. Passel and Cohn, “A Portrait of Unauthorized Immigrants,” 30; “New Americans in the Aloha State: The Political and Economic Power of Immigrants, Asians, and Latinos in Hawaii” (Washington, DC: Immigration Policy Center, July 2010), 73. “Feds Arrest 19 in Immigration Raids,” Pacific Business News, December 20, 2007, 74. “ICE Executes Federal Search Warrants at Waipahu Apartment Complex in Ongoing Worksite Probe,” News Release, July 21, 2008, .htm; “43 Busted in Illegal Immigration Raid on Oahu,”, print/16949374/detail.html. 75. In a rare case, even though they were eventually acquitted, employers were actually arrested and indicted for immigration crimes. See Jim Dooley, “Illegal Workers Given Permits,” Honolulu Advertiser, September 21, 2008. 76. United States Attorney’s Office, District of Hawaii, “The Farms—Indictment of Company Managers,” Press Conference, December 4, 2008, 1–3, usao/hi/media/081204farms.html; Rob Shikina, “Isle Illegal Immigrant Hiring Was a Scheme, U.S. Official Says,” Honolulu Star-Bulletin, December 5, 2008; Dooley, “Illegal Workers Given Permits”; “Managers Innocent in Illegal Workers Case,” Pacific Business News, December 31, 2009, 77. Global Stone Inc., includes commercial stone, fabrication and installation. See http:// 78. “21 Held in Immigration Raid,” Honolulu Advertiser, September 24, 2008, http://; Linda Chiem, “Feds Arrest 41 Illegal Workers at Maui Condominium Project,” Pacific Business News,

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August 22, 2008,; Linda Chiem, “21 More Illegal Workers Arrested at Maui Condo Job Site,” Pacific Business News, September 23, 2008, .html. 79. Numbers of undocumented arrested in a one-year period varied depending on what newspaper was reporting these incidents. Pacific Business News reported both 120 and 140; Honolulu Weekly noted 150. Given that the Honolulu-Star Bulletin and the Honolulu Advertiser also mentioned 120, I cite that number because it appeared most consistently in newspapers. 80. The numbers reported were twenty-one and twenty-two, depending on the news report. I opted for twenty-two because reports separated numbers of those arrested at each restaurant. These reports also included no information about whether the companies were fined for using undocumented labor. See “21 Held in Immigration Raid,” Honolulu Advertiser; “21 Illegal Immigrant Workers Arrested on Maui,” Maui News, September 24, 2008, http://www; “Feds Grab 22 Illegal Maui Restaurant Workers,” Pacific Business News, May 8, 2008, http:www.bizjournals .com/pacific/stories/2008/05/05/daily48.html; Michael Keany, “Undocumented: The State of Illegal Immigration in Hawaii,” Honolulu Magazine, April 2009, http://www 81. Keany, “Undocumented.” 82. Aviva Chomsky, “They Take Our Jobs!” and 20 Other Myths about Immigration (Boston, MA: Beacon Press, 2007). 83. Keany, “Undocumented.” 84. I had the opportunity to watch these television spots when I was living and conducting research in Hawai‘i in 2008. The underlying message seemed to suggest that undocumented laborers hired at this worksite were not skilled and that was the reason for the accident. This is a misleading assumption considering most workers get hired for specific positions based on their experience. Although I understood that the message was meant to save local union jobs, the notion that citizenship status is linked to skill level is troubling. Even unionized workers have accidents on work sites. I have since gone back to view these television spots online; they have all been taken down. 85. Kyle Chock, “Hiring Illegal Aliens Cheats Hawaii Workers and Hurts State,” Honolulu Star-Bulletin, June 29, 2008, editorial/commentary.html. 86. Ibid. 87. Arnold, American Immigration after 1996, 59. 88. The Immigration and Naturalization Service is now known as the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency. 89. Linda Chiem, “Feds Say They Will Still Pursue Illegal Hires in Hawaii,” Pacific Business News, January 10, 2010, story4.html. 90. Batalova, Das Gupta, and Haglund, Newcomers to the Aloha State, 24. 91. According to the article, although the group of clergy supports current immigration laws regarding unauthorized entry into the United States, they do not condone it at the expense of an individual’s civil rights. See Eloise Aguiar, “Immigration Raids Protested,” April 2, 2009, .html.

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92. Field notes, March 4, 2015; Angela Dean, email correspondence, September 17, 2015. 93. Aguiar, “Immigration Raids Protested.” 94. “ICE Continues Targeting Hawaii’s Undocumented Community with Worksite and Home Raids,” Latina Lista, April 7, 2009, breaking_news_ice_continues_targeting_ha. 95. Alex M. Saragoza, “Cultural Representation and Mexican Immigration,” in Beyond la Frontera: The History of Mexico–U.S. Migration, ed. Mark Overmeyer-Velázquez (New York: Oxford University Press, 2011), 239. 96. See Tanya Maria Golash-Boza, Immigration Nation: Raids, Detentions and Deportations in Post-9/11 America (Boulder, CO: Paradigm Publishers, 2012); Alfonso Gonzales, Reform without Justice; Chavez, Latino Threat, 38–47. 97. David Schwartz, “Judge Orders Monitor Be Appointed to Oversee Joe Arpaio,” Huffington Post, October 2, 2013, -arpaio-monitor_n_4032077.html; Andrew Cohen, “Sheriff Joe Arpaio: The Most Lawless Lawman in America,” The Atlantic, March 26, 2014, archive/2014/03/sheriff-joe-arpaio-the-most-lawless-lawman-in-america/359613/; “Joe Arpaio, Arizona Sheriff, to Pay $200,000 in Racial Profiling Case,” Huffington Post, July 8, 2011, 98. Marisa Treviño, “Breaking News: ICE Continues Targeting Hawaii’s Undocumented Community with Worksite and Home Raids,” Latina Lista, April 7, 2009, http://latinalista .com/general/breaking_news_ice_continues_targeting_ha. 99. Chris Hamilton, “Rally to Raise Awareness of Issues Facing U.S. Migrants,” Maui News, May 17, 2011, 100. Ibid. 101. I use the term “boarder-lands” from historian Isaiah Helekunihi Walker to refer to the Pacific Ocean, which he describes as “a highway linking the myriad islands and the peoples to each other and the bordering continents of the Pacific.” See Isaiah Helekunihi Walker, Waves of Resistance: Surfing and History in Twentieth-Century Hawai‘ i (Honolulu: University of Hawai‘i Press, 2011), 12. A more in-depth discussion what I call the “Latino Pacific Boarder-lands” can be found in Rudy P. Guevarra Jr., Aloha Compadre: Latina/os in Hawai‘ i, 1832–2010 (New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, forthcoming).

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Chapter 9

Local Haole? Whites, Racial and Imperial Loyalties, and Membership in Hawai‘i Paul Spick ard

White people and other outsiders who come to Hawai‘i have been known to write stories about the islands and the people of Hawai‘i. Captain Cook’s men, who came in the 1770s, wrote stories of heathen savagery and sexy women about the islanders they encountered.1 Succeeding generations of visitors and long-term residents wrote stories of trials and triumphs during their time in the islands. An early English missionary named William Ellis, for example, published his A Journal of a Tour around Hawaii, the Largest of the Sandwich Islands, in which he described “the History, Traditions, Manners, Customs and Language of the Inhabitants.” An American, Sarah Joiner Lyman, kept a diary from 1830 to 1885 (it was later edited and published) in which she detailed the missionary work that she and her family conducted in Hilo. Sanford Dole and Lorrin Thurston, leaders of the racially tinged 1893 coup against the Hawaiian monarchy and advocates for Hawai‘i to be incorporated into the United States in 1898, wrote Memoirs of the Hawaiian Revolution.2 More than a century later, the writing about Hawai‘i continues. People who go to Hawai‘i to be married, to honeymoon, or simply to vacation in Waikīkī or Kīhei come back with pictures and stories of tropical paradise and South Seas romance.3 The archetype of the White outsider story is James Michener’s novel Hawaii, which told a lot of Hawaiian history through the lives of the people he designated as the Golden Men—the polyglot, multiracial people whom he imagined to be the harbingers of an idyllic postracial future.4 Inevitably, such White people’s stories probably tell more about the storytellers than they do about Hawai‘i.5 Hawai‘i is a story object. I lived in Hawai‘i for a long time and I continue to have many ties there. I go back when I can, and often I wish I lived there still. But I am reluctant to be one of those White people who write stories about Hawai‘i—who tell people, “This is what Hawai‘i is like.”6 Because I respect the editors of this volume, I talk 178

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in this essay about being White in Hawai‘i; yet I do so with a tentativeness that I cannot escape. For an insightful and theoretically and experientially informed treatment of Whiteness in Hawai‘i, I urge the reader to consult a book by Judy Rohrer, Haoles in Hawai‘ i.7 The History that Frames the Present There are four kinds of White people in Hawai‘i. By far the largest number are tourists, who come in the millions each year to experience paradise for a few days or a few weeks.8 Next in number come the thousands of military and naval personnel and their families who live in the islands during their tours of duty for two or three years.9 There are also longer-term residents who have moved to Hawai‘i permanently from other places, primarily the continental United States. All these are people who grew up unfamiliar with the word “haole.” Haole is a combination of two Hawaiian words: ha (breath) and ole (without). The term originally applied to all foreigners, but it has functionally come to mean White people. The term suggests that this particular kind of outsider may not understand the ways of Hawai‘i and of Kānaka Maoli (Native Hawaiians).10 Finally, the smallest number of White people in Hawai‘i are local haoles—people who grew up in the islands, who practice local culture, who speak pidgin (the native common language spoken by Hawai‘i’s peoples), and who, though White, are part of the everyday fabric of island life. The experiences of all White people in Hawai‘i are framed by a long history of encounters between White outsiders and Kānaka Maoli.11 Together those encounters constitute a familiar narrative in the islands. The first encounter was the coming of the British explorer Captain James Cook in 1776 and 1778. He and his crew made the first contact between Europeans and Kānaka Maoli; after their visit, other Europeans, and later Americans, kept coming. They brought several things that are important for this discussion: disease, Christianity, transport out of the islands, embryonic capitalism, a colonizing mentality, and Euro-American ideas of racial hierarchy. White people’s diseases resulted in a greater than 90 percent decline in the Kanaka Maoli population within three generations.12 Christianity, first brought by missionaries in the early 1800s, transformed Hawaiian culture: the kapu system (the previous mode of law and social organization) was banned and missionaries converted large swaths of the Kanaka Maoli population.13 The children of the missionaries married into the ali‘ i, or noble, class. They (and some of the ali‘ i) clamored for the Kingdom to grant individuals the right to own land that had formerly been held in common (they succeeded in the Mahele land division of 1848).14 In time, their descendants became wealthy landowners and political power brokers and the remaining Hawaiians descended in wealth and status. The White landowners brought in large numbers of laborers from China, Japan, the Philippines, and elsewhere to work on sugar and pineapple plantations. The plantations connected the local

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economy and its people to the international capitalist market system that was developing in those decades.15 By the 1880s, White islanders were mocking the king in racist terms akin to White Americans’ mockery of African Americans, and pressuring him to cede his powers to the populace (specifically, to the White oligarchy).16 In 1893, they overthrew the monarchy and established what they called a republic. Five years later, they engineered the formal incorporation of Hawai‘i into the American empire.17 The territorial period, which lasted six decades, was the high point of colonialism and White dominion in the islands. Hawaiian culture such as language and hula declined; in some instances these expressions of Hawaiian-ness were banned. Many Kānaka Maoli resisted, but Whites came to hold all the reins of political and economic power.18 They introduced a foreign concept— blood quantum—into the islands as the criterion for Native Hawaiian membership, thus taking away further land and autonomy from the Hawaiian people.19 All this was cloaked in what historian Lori Pierce calls “the discourse of Aloha.” The Hawaii Tourist Bureau and business interests promoted the islands as “the Paradise of the Pacific.” In this fantasy, Hawai‘i was a happy “melting pot of the Pacific” where the East and the West could meet in harmony; the Kānaka Maoli, however, were left out of this picture. Academics and others went along with the romance of a happy, multicultural, Asian-flavored Hawai‘i melting pot.20 Meanwhile, US colonial power was nearly total: the governor was appointed by the federal government, the military dominated the islands, the oligarchs controlled the economy, and the local legislature was in haole hands. This power was racialized. Not only were haoles at the top, but they also habitually cast Hawaiians, Filipinos, and other pigment-rich peoples in terms parallel to those that continental White Americans used to denigrate American Blacks. After World War II, a new coalition entered politics: Japanese American soldiers returning from war joined with White Democrats and a few others to wrest control of the legislature and press for Hawai‘i statehood, which came in 1959.21 Statehood brought total incorporation into the United States. Many of Hawai‘i’s people began to leave the islands, seeking higher education and economic opportunities. In the islands, racial hierarchy did not disappear, but beginning in the 1970s a movement arose promoting Hawaiian culture and consciousness amid the continuing institutional colonialism. The Hawaiian language, hula, and other cultural expressions made a comeback. By the 1990s, strong demands emerged for the return of some form of sovereignty to the Native Hawaiian people. At the same time, due to rapidly rising housing costs and limited economic opportunities in Hawai‘i, a large percentage of island people (Native Hawaiians and others) found themselves living in exile.22 So over many generations in Hawai‘i in a colonial, capitalist setting, a racial hierarchy developed. White people came to inhabit the top rung in terms of wealth, status, and power. The descendants of Chinese and Japanese immigrants come next in the racial hierarchy. The business elite are mainly White or

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Chinese, although some are Japanese. People of Japanese descent tend to dominate education, government, and social services. Most of the people doing body labor are distinctly browner: Hawaiians, Samoans, Filipinos, Micronesians (all colonized peoples themselves).23 Ways of Being White in Hawai‘i The story of White-Hawaiian encounters I have told in these paragraphs is one that is familiar to every politically minded person who has spent any significant amount of time in the islands. It is an inheritance that frames the lives of all White people in Hawai‘i—they are all indisputably heirs to the colonial imposition by earlier generations of White Americans—but the four kinds of White people inherit these issues in somewhat different fashions. For White tourists (even those tourists who have come repeatedly and who feel they know the islands well) and for military people (even those with long hitches and a high degree of local knowledge), this history means that they are not part of Hawai‘i. They love the surf and sun. They love the laid-back pace of life. They love the gentle warmth of the welcome they receive from the tourist industry. They love the exotic feel of peoples and foods from all over the Pacific and Asia. Some among them love to feel in the know, to learn a little Hawaiian culture, to try to talk pidgin. By far the majority of tourists and military people are more or less oblivious to the history of racial hierarchy and dispossession that has characterized Hawai‘i’s past and that shapes its present. They are generally welcomed in the islands as visitors, but they are not local. “Local” is a designation that is expressed mainly in pidgin and only sometimes in national standard English. “Local” denotes people who are part of the fabric of life in Hawai‘i. Most local people have at least part Hawaiian, other Pacific Islander, or Asian descent. They were born in the islands or at least received most of their schooling there. Although racial divisions are manifest in Hawai‘i, the most significant social dividing line is between people who are local and people who are not local. People who are local speak pidgin as their mother tongue, though they may also be adept at national standard English. They know and embrace the joys of plate lunch. They are automatically a little distrustful of haoles. Some haoles were born and brought up in Hawai‘i, but it is more difficult for a White person to be accorded local status than it is for a person of color. For a haole to be considered local by other local people, he or she has to perform localness with special vigor—by speaking thicker pidgin, for instance (this is also true for those hapas, people of mixed race, who bear the marks of a White phenotype).24 Some White people have lived much longer in the islands than either tourists or military people, yet still are not local. Some such people—generally they are nice people and sometimes quite knowledgeable—try to position themselves as “Hawaiians at heart.” The women wear mu‘umu‘u, the men aloha shirts; both

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wear slippers (what continental Americans call thongs or flip-flops). They may learn hula, read Hawaiian history, collect Hawaiiana, and study island flora or cuisine. In doing these things they are making a move toward Hawaiian culture, but not toward localness. For all that they may be people of knowledge and good will, they do not become Native Hawaiians and they do not become local. They are just haoles who have been in Hawai‘i for a long time.25 Some White people who have lived long in the islands, and even some whose roots go back a century or more, profess to be aggrieved on racial grounds. Thurston Twigg-Smith, grandson of the 1893 haole revolutionary leader Lorrin Thurston, contests the version of Hawaiian history I recited at the beginning of this chapter. Perhaps unsurprisingly, he views the overthrow as a noble and benign act and the achievement of statehood as a universally popular development.26 Kenneth Conklin, a Boston schoolteacher, retired to Hawai‘i in 1992. He “came to Hawaii for spiritual rejuvenation. . . . visited Hawaii on summer vacations since 1982 and felt drawn to its beautiful rainbow of races and cultures, especially native Hawaiian. It was easier to feel the presence of the gods in Hawaii than anywhere else.” Conklin’s love affair with the islands did not last long. Soon he was calling the advocates of Hawaiian sovereignty “evil” and their movement “apartheid.” Conklin joined a 2000 lawsuit that overturned the long-standing practice of allowing only people of Kanaka Maoli ancestry to serve as trustees of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs; then he ran unsuccessfully for the board himself. He has been an indefatigable writer of letters to the editor. He self-published a book, Hawaiian Apartheid: Racial Separatism and Ethnic Nationalism in the Aloha State, and maintains an anti–Kanaka Maoli website.27 Some White tourists, some White college students who come from other places, some White military people, even some long-time residents of Hawai‘i have experienced race in ways that make them feel uncomfortable, out of place, marked by their Whiteness. They aren’t used to being called out racially and sometimes they resent it. Some object to being called haole or White; that is, they dislike having their race marked. They say they would rather be called Caucasian or just American. Some haoles feel threatened when they are not deferred to as they are used to being deferred to in the places from which they came. A public debate from 1990 captures this dynamic. Joey Carter, a White University of Hawai‘i philosophy major from Louisiana, wrote an article for Ka Leo, the student newspaper. He complained about “Caucasian-bashing” in Hawai‘i. He claimed that he had been “chased and beaten” by local toughs, though he gave no details. He positioned himself as a raceless individual: “Am I a haole? Am I even a Caucasian? I’m not sure. . . . As a unique person who has a unique background and unique ideas and opinions, I, too, often find myself as part of the minority in situations.” Honest to God, only a White person could write like this. Carter relentlessly sought to posture himself as a raceless individual and a victim of local racism against haoles.28

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It was a pretty tawdry and self-serving exercise, but he was an undergraduate and perhaps sophomores are entitled to be sophomoric in the school paper. Hawaiian studies professor Haunani-Kay Trask responded to Carter politely but firmly. She addressed him as “Mr. Carter” throughout, but there was no mistaking her dismissal of his argument: Mr. Carter . . . wants to pretend that he is outside American history. . . . Mr. Carter is a privileged member of American society because he is haole, whether he acknowledges his privilege or not. . . . As an American in Hawai‘i, Mr. Carter is benefiting from stolen goods. Part of that benefit is the moral blindness of the settler who insists on his “individuality.” . . . Mr. Carter could examine his own presence here, and how things haole, including the English language, the political and economic systems, and the non-self-governing status of Native Hawaiians allows him to live and work in my country when so many of my own people have been driven out. . . . The hatred and fear people of color have of white people is based on that ugly history Mr. Carter is pretending to have an “individual” exemption from. . . . On the rare occasions that we feel something other than hostility, something like trust or friendship for certain haole, it is because we have made an exception for them. . . . If Mr. Carter does not like being called haole, he can return to Louisiana.29

Okay, Professor Trask was not overly polite. One can debate the wisdom of a professor taking on a student so directly.30 But Carter did put his ideas out there in the public press, and so he invited a public response. I remember reading Professor Trask’s words at the time and, as a haole then living in Kāne‘ohe, agreeing with every word that she wrote. It’s not a problem to be called a haole in Hawai‘i. That is what you are. You have a racial position of a certain privilege because of the colonized nature of Hawaiian society. The legacy of racialized colonial domination in the islands means that haoles, and Hawaiians, Pākēs (Chinese), Japanese, Filipinos, Portuguese, Samoans, Tongans, Micronesians, Mexicans, Blacks, and other peoples are all racially marked in local discourse. That marking is not necessarily a negative thing. It’s just noting a person’s social location.31 A lot of White people from outside Hawai‘i, it turns out, seem to be unused to having their Whiteness marked, so apparently they feel threatened by that marking when it happens locally. No one is attacking them by calling them haoles. They need to get over it. Judy Rohrer, a local haole, recounts a story from a political science class at the University of Hawai‘i that captures the situation: A haole student from California on a one-year exchange program ended up in one of my classes. Almost from day one she expressed irritation at being called out as a haole. She complained in the usual continental style that

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it was rude and discriminatory for others to affix this label to her. After a few weeks of listening to this student, our haole professor spoke from her fifty-plus years of experience in Hawai‘i. Phyllis Turnbull instructed the student: “You have three choices. You can be a haole, a dumb haole, or a dumb fucking haole. It’s up to you.”32

Is It Possible for a Haole to Be Local? Last, we turn to local haoles. They exist. Chad Blair, the “senior haole correspondent” for Civil Beat, an online Honolulu newspaper, is not a local haole, but he poses a provocative question: How long do malihini [newcomers] have to live in Hawaii before they are local? One year. Twenty years. Never. When you understand Pidgin. When you begin using Pidgin. When you favor Zippy’s over California Pizza Kitchen. When you say “shoyu” instead of “soy sauce.” When you stop pouring shoyu on rice. When you pronounce and spell “Kalanianaole” correctly. When you buy a Japanese car. When you start watching K-dramas. When you marry a local. When you have a child born in Hawaii. When that child is called a keiki.33

Blair’s answer is clever, and it highlights the fact that there is no ironclad rule for what can turn a haole into someone who is local. Yet it is still an outsider’s answer. It implies that becoming local is something one can aim for and achieve. I would suggest, rather, that you cannot work to become local. Rather, you are local when local people see you as one of themselves and not an outsider. That depends on your performance, to be sure: on what they see in your behavior and in your heart. But it is not a status to which you can aspire. It is certainly not a right; you cannot claim it. It is a social position that you may have only when local people recognize it in you.34 It is easier to be considered local if you were born in Hawai‘i. It is easier if you speak pidgin. It is easier if you went to elementary school in Hawai‘i. In those circumstances some local people know you and you know how to behave in a way that fits local norms. It is harder to be considered local if you are pigment poor than if you are pigment rich. I know of several mixed-race families in which one sibling has dark brown hair and eyes and golden brown skin and a sister or brother is lighter though still visibly mixed; in every such case, the darker sibling has an easier time being accepted as local. More important, it is harder to be accorded local status if you act in ways that local people identify with haole outsiders. Mary Kawena Pukui and Samuel H. Elbert describe it this way: “Ho’o haole. To act like a white person, to ape the white people, or assume airs of superiority (often said disparagingly, especially of half-whites).” Chas Smith, a surf magazine writer, puts it this way: “Maybe shifty, pretentious,

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two-face behavior is haole. Maybe an entitled attitude is haole.” A commenter who identified him- or herself as “Born & Raised. Not Hawaiian” put it this way in response to an article in “‘just be nice.’ asians, hispanics, haole, portuguese—technically they aren’t hawaiian, but anyone born here can be ‘local-minded’ based on how they act towards others.”35 Is it possible for haoles who were born or who grew up in the islands to be local? Yes, although there are real difficulties for White-identified young people who grow up in the islands and they should not be minimized. Children don’t make the social rules, but frequently they enforce them on their classmates and playmates. Adult racial resentments, however legitimate, may work their way into cruel behavior by children. A White or part-White child may feel some stigma from being called haole and from other children assuming that she is stuck up because she is a haole. She may in fact not be acting in a way that an objective observer would see as haolefied, but little children do not always make the most subtle distinctions. It is indisputable that some haole and lightskinned children face taunting and subtler social pressures. That probably is unjust. Although one can argue that they benefit from White privilege just as much as their parents do, I don’t think it is reasonable to punish a small child for structural oppressions that she did not create and that she likely does not yet understand. When she has grown to maturity, it will be reasonable to call her to account, but when she is a child I think we ought to err on the side of kindness. Megan Herndon described her experience of growing up haole in Hawai‘i: Where I come from, white people are not the majority. I grew up with the stereotype of being the “haole” kid, the white kid. Even though I could walk barefoot on burning pavement—a talent of all kids from Hawaii— and I would eat ahi poke over a cheeseburger any day, I would never be considered local because of my blonde hair and green eyes. However, if you were to x-ray or ultrasound me and someone who looked more local, you probably would find the same thing: skin damaged from the sun and battered bones from outdoor adventures. . . . I grew up in a place where I was teased for being white, but I also grew up in a place where they use the word “aloha” to say hello, goodbye, and I love you; to say hi to someone is to love them. I grew up learning Hawaiian history and how immigrants from around the world moved there to work together on plantations, which created the melting pot of races that live there today. My home is a place where you can tease someone a little bit for her race, but it is not based in hate. Everyone gets teased a little because there are numerous races living together and each has its own idiosyncrasies.36

Jeff Moniz offers us a way to conceptualize who is likely to be accorded local status.37 Please notice I did not say “eligible”—it is not a set of rules, it is a map

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of possibilities. The map is based on the interaction of two factors: one’s racialized identity and one’s embodied worldview. Moniz divides people in Hawai‘i into groups by their ancestry: haole, hapa, or mixed race—which he further subdivides into those who are part Hawaiian and those without any Kanaka Maoli ancestry—and monoracial nonhaole—which he further subdivides into Kānaka Maoli and settler peoples of color such as Chinese, Japanese, and Samoans. Across those categories he lays a grid according to people’s worldview, the way they conceive and live their lives: haole or Euro American, local, Kanaka Maoli, and Asian or other settler monocultural worldview. In Moniz’s schema, haoles may be local, but only if their worldview, social connections, and loyalties are local. If they cling to their haoleness (and most do) then they will never be local. Whether a haole can become part of the fabric of Hawai‘i life depends in part on his or her ancestry. It is partly about how he feels, the degree to which he identifies with Hawai‘i and its peoples. But it is mainly about how he behaves, and about who accepts him as local. Local status, in Moniz’s understanding, is not necessarily fixed; it is fluid. Some people are regarded as local almost all the time. Others almost never. Many are accorded local status in some contexts and not in others. Only White people who live out a Euro-American worldview can never be accorded local status. Other people may be accorded and may embrace local identity or they may not. As Moniz writes, A Kanaka Maoli who possesses an indigenous worldview may choose to identify as local. This choice would not be contested because Kanaka Maoli [sic] are usually considered the most authentically local identity associated with Hawai‘i. By contrast, a haole possessing a Kanaka Maoli or local worldview [such as someone who was adopted by a Hawaiian family by the practice of hānai] is not automatically granted local status, due to his or her appearance. In order to prove one’s localness, that person would have to perform localness or Hawaiian-ness by practicing language or cultural expressions associated with being local or Kanaka Maoli. This can often be accomplished through speaking Pidgin or Hawaiian or adopting

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Hawaiian cultural practices like surfing, performing hula, or any of a number of traditions associated with local culture in Hawai‘i.38

The lives of haoles and all other peoples in Hawai‘i are inevitably framed by the long history of colonial imposition and White privilege that continues to the present day. There are racial fissures in Hawaiian society: between Kānaka Maoli and everybody else, between people who are local and people who are not. In recent years, racism and profiling have been visited especially upon Blacks, Latinos, Filipinos, and Micronesians. All these fissures are reinforced by class inequality. Racial antipathy is not nearly as strong as it is in many parts of the United States, but it exists. Racialized relationships are part of everyday life, and race is marked verbally in every social encounter. The vast majority of White people one encounters in Hawai‘i are simply haoles: foreigners. They come as tourists or military people for a time, and for all that they may like Hawai‘i and may learn some things about Hawai‘i, they are not part of the fabric of local life. Most other haoles, even ones who live many years in the islands, never become local. A few do. Most of those are people who were born and grew up in the islands, who speak pidgin at least some of the time, who adopt a local lifestyle and view of the world. The big question for haoles in Hawai‘i is: Where does your ultimate loyalty lie? Are you on the side of Hawai‘i and its peoples, or are you on the side of the colonizers? At the beginning of this chapter, I expressed the tentativeness with which I approach the subject of White people’s place in Hawai‘i. I am not eager to proclaim, “This is the way it is in Hawai‘i.” There are other White people who have lived long in the islands, as well as Kānaka Maoli and Asians and others who have ideas about haoles, who may see these things differently than I do. But this is the way it seems to me. Notes Many people had a hand in teaching me the things I recount here. None was more important than the late William Kauaiwiulaokalani Wallace III. I am only one of thousands of people from Hawai‘i who miss him terribly. I am also grateful to Naomi Kelly and Daniel Spickard for the comments they made on this chapter and the life lessons they taught me. I am further grateful for close readings and suggestions made by Rudy Guevarra, Camilla Fojas, and Nitasha Sharma.  1. Places to begin on Cook’s encounter with Hawai‘i include Karina Kahananui Green, “Colonialism’s Daughters: Eighteenth- and Nineteenth-Century Western Perceptions of Hawaiian Women,” in Pacific Diaspora: Island Peoples in the United States and across the Pacific, ed. Paul Spickard, Joanne L. Rondilla, and Debbie Hippolite Wright (Honolulu: University of Hawai‘i Press, 2003): 221–252; James R. Cook, The Journals of Captain Cook (New York: Penguin, 1999); John Cawte Beaglehole, ed., Voyage of the Resolution and Discovery, 1776– 1780 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1967); R. T. Gould, Captain Cook (1935;

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repr. London: Gerald Duckworth, 1978); John Ledyard, John Ledyard’s Journal of Captain Cook’s Last Voyage, ed. James Munford (Corvallis: Oregon State University Press, 1963); Marshall Sahlins, Islands of History (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1985); Gananath Obeyesekere, The Apotheosis of Captain Cook: European Mythmaking in the Pacific (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1992); Marshall Sahlins, How “Natives” Think: About Captain Cook, for Example (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1995); Richard Alexander Hough, Captain James Cook: A Biography (New York: Norton, 1995); Martin Dugard, Farther than Any Man: The Rise and Fall of Captain James Cook (New York: Washington Square Press, 2001).  2. William Ellis, A Narrative of a Tour through Hawaii, or Owyhee, with Remarks on the History, Traditions, Manners, Customs and Language of the Inhabitants of the Sandwich Islands (Honolulu: Hawaiian Gazette, 1917); Sarah Joiner Lyman, The Lymans of Hilo (Hilo: Lyman House Memorial Museum, 1979); Hiram Bingham, A Residence of Twenty-One Years in the Sandwich Islands (New York: Sherman Converse, 1848); Charles S. Stewart, Journal of a Residence in the Sandwich Islands during the Years 1823, 1824, and 1825 (1828; repr., Honolulu: University of Hawai‘i Press, 1970); Amos Starr Cooke and Juliette Montague Cooke, Amos Starr Cooke and Juliette Montague Cooke: Their Autobiography Gleaned from Their Journals and Letters, ed. Mary Richards (1941; repr., Honolulu: Daughters of Hawai‘i, 1987); Mark Twain, Mark Twain’s Letters from Hawai‘ i, ed. A. Grove Day (New York: Appleton-Century, 1966); Sanford B. Dole and Lorrin A. Thurston, Memoirs of the Hawaiian Revolution, ed. Andrew Farrell (Honolulu: Advertiser Publishing Co., 1936). For a collection of such White people’s accounts, see A. Grove Day and Carl Stroven, A Hawaiian Reader (Honolulu: Mutual Publishing, 1959).  3. SilverFoxx1972, “Our Hawaiian Vacation with My New GoPro Hero 3,” http://; Katie Lane, “My Hawaiian Vacation!”; “Swept Away: Model Tori Praver and Surfer Danny Fuller’s Hawaiian Wedding,” Vogue, swept-away-model-tori-praver-and-surfer-danny-fullers-hawaiian-wedding/.  4. James A. Michener, Hawaii (New York: Random House, 1959).  5. A case in point is an elegantly written book by two of America’s most distinguished historians, Beth Bailey and David Farber. As one reads The First Strange Place, it turns out the book, though quite good, is not about Hawai‘i at all, but rather about how US military men experienced Hawai‘i during their sojourns there in World War II. Hawai‘i, Native Hawaiians, and other local people are almost invisible in their account. Beth Bailey and David Farber, The First Strange Place: Race and Sex in World War II Hawaii (New York: Free Press, 1992).  6. That may be one of the reasons why, although I agreed nearly a decade ago to write a book under the title This Is Our Kuleana: Race and Power in Hawai‘ i, I have never succeeded in getting very far with that project. I hope that in the years ahead of me I may overcome this particular case of writer’s block.  7. Judy Rohrer, Haoles in Hawai‘ i (Honolulu: University of Hawai‘i Press, 2010).  8. Jane C. Desmond, Staging Tourism: Bodies on Display from Waikiki to Sea World (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1999); Lori Pierce, “ ‘The Whites Have Created Modern Honolulu’: Ethnicity, Racial Stratification, and the Discourse of Aloha,” in Racial Thinking in the United States: Uncompleted Independence, ed. Paul Spickard and G. Reginald Daniel (Notre Dame, IN: University of Notre Dame Press, 2004): 124–154; Elizabeth Buck, Paradise Remade: The Politics of Culture and History in Hawai‘ i (Philadelphia: Temple

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University Press, 1993); Noel J. Kent, Hawaii: Islands Under the Influence (Honolulu: University of Hawai‘i Press, 1993); Mansel Blackford, Fragile Paradise: The Impact of Tourism on Maui, 1959–2000 (Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 2001); Christine Skwiot, The Purposes of Paradise: US Tourism and Empire in Cuba and Hawai‘ i (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2012); Adria L. Imada, Aloha America: Hula Circuits through the American Empire (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2012).  9. Kathy E. Ferguson and Phyllis Turnbull, Oh, Say, Can You See? The Semiotics of the Military in Hawai‘ i (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1999); Vernadette Vicuña Gonzalez, Securing Paradise: Tourism and Militarism in Hawai‘ i and the Philippines (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2013); Brian Ireland, The US Military in Hawai‘ i: Colonialism, Memory, and Resistance (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2010). 10. Mary Kawena Pukui and Samuel H. Elbert, New Pocket Hawaiian Dictionary (Honolulu: University of Hawai‘i Press, 1992), 21. Some suggest this usage stems from the ancient custom of greeting one another by coming close and sniffing near each other’s cheek. If that be the case, “haole” would probably refer to non-Hawaiians’ lack of knowledge of the proper form of greeting: they don’t sniff. On the other hand, it might suggest that these foreigners smelled bad. 11. Common places to begin on that history include Gavan Daws, Shoal of Time: A History of the Hawaiian Islands (Honolulu: University of Hawai‘i Press, 1968); Lawrence H. Fuchs, Hawaii Pono: A Social History (New York: Harcourt, Brace and World, 1961); Ralph S. Kuykendall, The Hawaiian Kingdom, 3 vols. (Honolulu: University of Hawai‘i Press, 1938– 1967); and James L. Haley, Captive Paradise: A History of Hawaii (New York: St. Martin’s, 2014). They contain much useful information, but for interpretation they should be supplemented by the books cited in the notes immediately following, as well as Ward Churchill and Sharon H. Venne, eds., Islands in Captivity: The International Tribunal on the Rights of Indigenous Hawaiians (Cambridge, MA: South End Press, 2004); Haunani-Kay Trask, From a Native Daughter: Colonialism and Sovereignty in Hawai‘ i, rev. ed. (Honolulu: University of Hawai‘i Press, 1999); Jonathan Kamakawiwo‘ole Osorio, Dismembering Lāhui: A History of the Hawaiian Nation to 1887 (Honolulu: University of Hawai‘i Press, 2002); Michael Kioni Dudley and Keoni Kealoha Agard, A Call for Hawaiian Sovereignty (Waipahu, HI: Nā Kāne O Ka Malo Press, 1990). 12. David E. Stannard, Before the Horror: The Population of Hawai‘ i on the Eve of Western Contact (Honolulu: University of Hawai‘i Press, 1989); O. A. Bushnell, The Gifts of Civilization: Germs and Genocide in Hawai‘ i (Honolulu: University of Hawai‘i Press, 1993); Kerri A. Inglis, Ma‘ i Lepera: Disease and Displacement in Nineteenth-Century Hawai‘ i (Honolulu: University of Hawai‘i Press, 2013). 13. Jennifer Thigpen, Captive Queens and Mission Wives: How Gender and Empire Remade Hawai‘ i’s Pacific (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2014); Patricia Grimshaw, Paths of Duty: American Missionary Wives in 19th-Century Hawaii (Honolulu: University of Hawai‘i Press, 1989); Lyle Alexander Dickey, Portraits of Protestant Missionaries to Hawaii (Honolulu: The Hawaiian Mission Children’s Society, 1901). 14. Lilikalā Kame‘eleihiwa, Native Land and Foreign Desires: Pehea Lā E Pono Ai [How shall we live in harmony]? (Honolulu: Bishop Museum Press, 1992); Linda S. Parker, Native American Estate: The Struggle over Indian and Hawaiian Lands (Honolulu: University of Hawai‘i Press, 1989); Riley Moore Moffett and Gary L. Fitzpatrick, Surveying the Mahele: Mapping the Hawaiian Land Revolution (Honolulu: Editions Limited, 1995); Jon J. Chinen,

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The Great Mahele (Honolulu: University of Hawai‘i Press, 1958); Sally Engel Merry, Colonizing Hawai‘ i: The Cultural Power of Law (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2000). 15. Ronald T. Takaki, Pau Hana: Plantation Life and Labor in Hawaii (Honolulu: University of Hawai‘i Press, 1983); Ed Beechert, Working in Hawaii: A Labor History (Honolulu: University of Hawai‘i Press, 1985); George Cooper and Gavan Daws, Land and Power in Hawaii (Honolulu: University of Hawai‘i Press, 1990); Moon-Kie Jung, Reworking Race: The Making of Hawai‘ i’s Interracial Labor Movement (New York: Columbia University Press, 2006); Candace Fujikane and Jonathan Y. Okamura, eds., Asian Settler Colonialism: From Local Governance to the Habits of Everyday Life in Hawai‘ i (Honolulu: University of Hawai‘i Press, 2008); Jonathan Y. Okamura, Ethnicity and Inequality in Hawai‘ i (Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 2008). 16. Noenoe K. Silva, Aloha Betrayed: Native Hawaiian Resistance to American Colonialism (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2004). 17. Tom Coffman, Nation Within: The History of the American Occupation of Hawai‘ i (Kīhei, HI: Koa Books, 2009); Michael Dougherty, To Steal a Kingdom: Probing Hawaiian History (Waimānalo, HI: Island Press, 1992); Stephen Kinzer, Overthrow: America’s Century of Regime Change from Hawaii to Iraq (New York: Times Books, 2006); Helena G. Allen, The Betrayal of Liliuokalani: Last Queen of Hawaii, 1838–1917 (Honolulu: Mutual Publishing, 1991); Julia Flynn Siler, Lost Kingdom: Hawaii’s Last Queen, the Sugar Kings, and America’s First Imperial Adventure (New York: Atlantic Monthly Press, 2012). For comic relief, see Thurston Twigg-Smith, Hawaiian Sovereignty: Do the Facts Matter? (Honolulu: Goodale Publishing, 1998). Full incorporation did not occur until the Organic Act of 1900 made US law the law of Hawai‘i; 18. Isaiah Helekunihi Walker, Waves of Resistance: Surfing and History in TwentiethCentury Hawai‘ i (Honolulu: University of Hawai‘i Press, 2011); American Friends Service Committee, Resistance in Paradise: Rethinking 100 Years of US Involvement in the Caribbean and the Pacific (Philadelphia: Office of Curriculum Support, School District of Philadelphia, 1998): 131–158. 19. J. Kēhaulani Kauanui, Hawaiian Blood: Colonialism and the Politics of Sovereignty and Indigeneity (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2008); Paul Spickard, “Pacific Islander American Multiethnicity: A Vision of America’s Future?” Social Forces 73, no. 4 (June 1995): 1365–1383. 20. Pierce, “Discourse of Aloha”; Lori Pierce, “Creating a Racial Paradise: Citizenship and Sociology in Hawai‘i,” in Race and Nation: Ethnic Systems in the Modern World, ed. Paul Spickard (New York: Routledge, 2005), 69–86; Adria L. Imada, “ ‘Aloha ‘Oe’: SettlerColonial Nostalgia and the Genealogy of a Love Song,” American Indian Culture and Research Journal 37, no. 2 (2013): 35–52. Tourism promoters and scholarly writers concentrated on the many Asian peoples who lived in Hawai‘i and gloried in racial mixing as a panacea for social hierarchy, to wit: Romanzo C. Adams, Interracial Marriage in Hawaii (New York: Macmillan, 1937); Andrew W. Lind, Hawaii’s People, 4th ed. (Honolulu: University of Hawai‘i Press, 1980); Sidney L. Gulick, Mixing the Races in Hawaii: A Study of the Coming Neo-Hawaiian Race (Honolulu: Hawaiian Board Book Rooms, 1937). See also early twentieth-century booster magazines like Paradise of the Pacific and Mid-Pacific Magazine. 21. Tom Coffman, The Edge of America: A Political History of Hawai‘ i (Honolulu: University of Hawai‘i Press, 2003); John Whitehead, Completing the Union: Alaska, Hawai‘ i,

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and the Battle for Statehood (Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 2004); Fuchs, Hawaii Pono. 22. Dudley and Agard, Call for Sovereignty; Trask, Native Daughter; Kauanui, Hawaiian Blood; Noelani Goodyear-Ka‘ōpua, Ikaika Hussey, and Erin Kahunawaika‘ala Walker, eds., A Nation Rising: Hawaiian Movements for Life, Land, and Sovereignty (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2014); Kamanamaikalani Beamer, No Mākou Ka Mana: Liberating the Nation (Honolulu: Kamehameha Publishing, 2014); George H. S. Kanahele, Kū Kanaka: Stand Tall: A Search for Hawaiian Values (Honolulu: University of Hawai‘i Press, 1985); Davianna Pōmaika‘i McGregor, Nā Kua‘āina: Living Hawaiian Culture (Honolulu: University of Hawai‘i Press, 2006). 23. Okamura, Ethnicity and Inequality. 24. Eric Yamamoto, “The Significance of Local,” Social Process in Hawai‘ i 27 (1979): 101–115; Eric Chock, James R. Harstad, Darrell H. Y. Lu, and Bill Teter, eds., Growing Up Local: An Anthology of Poetry and Prose from Hawai‘ i (Honolulu: Bamboo Ridge Press, 1998); Lee Cataluna, Folks You Meet in Longs and Other Stories (Honolulu: Bamboo Ridge Press, 2005); Lois-Ann Yamanaka, Saturday Night at the Pahala Theater (Honolulu: Bamboo Ridge Press, 1993). 25. Mark Blackburn, Hawaiiana: The Best of Hawaiian Design, rev. ed. (Atglen, PA: Schiffer, 2001); Desoto Brown and Linda Arthur, The Art of the Aloha Shirt (Waipahu, HI: Island Heritage Publishing, 2008); Sophia W. Schweitzer, Tiki of Hawai‘ i: A History of Gods and Dreams (Honolulu: Mutual Publishing, 2005); Chris Pfouts, Hula Dancers and Tiki Gods (Atglen, PA: Schiffer, 2001); Linda B. Arthur, Aloha Attire: Hawaiian Dress for the Twentieth Century (Atglen, PA: Schiffer, 1999); Don R. Severson, Finding Paradise: Island Art in Private Collections (Honolulu: University of Hawai‘i Press, 2002); Mary Philpotts McGrath, Hawai‘ i, a Sense of Place: Island Interior Design (Honolulu: Mutual Publishing, 2005); Jacy L. Youn, “Hawaiiana Gets a Helping Hand: Cultural Consultants Support Local Companies Wanting to ‘Go Hawaiian,’” Hawaii Business 49, no. 5 (November 1, 2003). 26. Twigg-Smith, Hawaiian Sovereignty. 27. Kenneth R. Conklin, Hawaiian Apartheid: Racial Separatism and Ethnic Nationalism in the Aloha State (Montgomery, AL: E-Book Time, 2007); see also hi2/hawaiiansovereignty/. 28. Joey Carter, “Being Haole in Hawai‘i,” Ka Leo (September 6, 1990; repr. November 15, 2002). 29. Haunani-Kay Trask, “Caucasians Are Haole,” Ka Leo (September 1990, repr. 2002). Full disclosure: I seem to be one of the haoles for whom Professor Trask has made an exception. We don’t hang out, but we have known each other and interacted in mutually supportive ways several times over the last twenty-five years. At the time of the Carter-Trask interaction, I was teaching at the arch-conservative Mormon school, Brigham Young University–Hawai‘i. That she could embrace someone who came to her on such a conservative, White-dominated colonial vector suggests that she did not have a problem with haoles as such as much as with haoles who did not want to own up to the privilege they possessed. 30. At worst, one might assert that Professor Trask’s professorial power position about evenly matched Mr. Carter’s racial power position. Nonetheless, the two articles summoned up a debate in the islands about the appropriateness of Professor Trask’s comments, including criticism on the floor of the state legislature. For outside comment, see Susan Esoyan, “Race Relations: Aloha Spirit of Love Gives Way to ‘Yankee Go Home’: Professor’s Anti-Whites

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Stand Sets off Debate on Racism in Hawaii,” Los Angeles Times, November 28, 1990; Richard Halloran, “Hawaii Journal: Rare Storm over Race Ruffles a Mixed Society,” New York Times, December 26, 1990. The Hawai‘i controversy is laid out in Mahjid Tehranian, ed., Restructuring for Ethnic Peace: A Public Debate at the University of Hawai‘ i (Honolulu: Spark M. Matsunaga Institute for Peace, University of Hawai‘i, 1991). 31. Spickard, “Pacific Islander Multiethnicity.” 32. Rohrer, Haoles in Hawai‘ i, 54. 33. Chad Blair, “Haole? The Unbearable Whiteness of Being,” Civil Beat, June 19, 2012, 34. Keiko Ohnuma, “Local Haole—A Contradiction in Terms? The Dilemma of Being White, Born and Raised in Hawai‘i,” Cultural Values 6, no. 3 (2002): 273–285. 35. Pukui and Elbert, New Pocket Hawaiian Dictionary, 21; Chas Smith, “Haoles, Take Note,” Surfing Magazine, February 12, 2014, haoles-take-note/; “Born & Raised. Not Hawaiian,” comment on Nate Gaddis, “Once a Haole, Always a Haole,”, June 15, 2012, opinion-once-a-haole-always-a-haole/. 36. Megan Herndon, “Race Project: Race Exhibit from a Haole Girl’s Perspective,” Seattle Times Blog, November 12, 2013, /race-project-race-exhibit-from-a-haole-girls-perspective/. 37. Jeffrey Moniz and Paul Spickard, “Carving Out a Middle Ground: The Case of Hawai‘i,” in Mixed Messages: Multiracial Identities in the “Color-Blind” Era, ed. David L. Brunsma (Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner, 2006), 63–81. I was second author on this article, but the portion I am citing here is Jeff’s. 38. Ibid., 75.

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Chapter 10

Reconnecting Our Roots Navigating the Turbulent Waters of HealthCare Policy for Micronesians in Hawai‘i Joakim Peter, Wayne Chung Tanak a, and Aiko Yamashiro

Cultural reciprocity, sharing, and trust between Native Hawaiians and Micronesians has strong foundation, as most visibly illustrated with the continued voyaging of the Hōkūle‘a (a wa‘a kaulua, a traditional double-hulled Polynesian voyaging canoe). However, this relationship contrasts starkly with the groundswell of anti-Micronesian sentiment underlying recent discriminatory health-care policies for Compact of Free Association (COFA) residents in Hawai‘i. These are the turbulent waters community advocates must navigate in the new politics of race in Hawai‘i. This chapter argues for a revisiting of the deep Pacific Islander cultural values inherent in the lessons of Grand Master Navigator Pius “Papa” Mau Piailug, whose sharing of traditional wayfinding knowledge in the 1970s helped establish a deep relationship of respect and co­operation between Hawaiians and Micronesians, and made possible the ongoing progress of the Hōkūle‘a in uniting the Pacific, and the world. Contrasting these values with the rhetoric- and stereotype-based approach of the United States and Hawai‘i in establishing discriminatory health-care policies for COFA residents, it offers suggestions for a more progressive and mutually beneficial policymaking approach through culturally grounded foundational themes and suggests principles for better engagement among COFA communities in Hawai‘i, Hawai‘i’s larger communities, and government leaders. Introduction Hōkūle‘a’s historic worldwide voyage is the recent culmination of a dream reawakened in the 1970s renaissance of the Polynesian Voyaging Society, a celebration of Pacific Islander navigation, and a refreshing lesson in the potential for global collaboration in caring for our planet.1 Oceanians were sailing 193

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through new seas, breaking down barriers, showing the world what is most powerful about ourselves. Indeed, this is just one indication of the lessons and potential gifts that can arise through mutual sharing, cooperation, patience, and respect for our humanity and the human value inherent in our unique heritages and genealogies. Unfortunately, the strategy of collaboration and respect culminating in Hōkūle‘a’s ongoing success has not always been readily adopted by even those societies closely associated with Pacific Island nations. In Hawai‘i, the issue of Micronesians’ equal access to health-care safety nets has been a storm of controversy mired in court battles, community protest, political scapegoating and finger-pointing, media speculation, apathy, ignorance, and racial anger. Micronesians are increasingly characterized as a “problem” and unfair burden to the state, to be addressed with restrictive migration and other legal policies mired in the contradictions of the new politics of race in Hawai‘i. The question of health-care safety nets for Micronesians living in Hawai‘i has become the most recent major test of the long, unique relationship between the United States and the COFA nations. We argue that the path currently taken to address the health-care needs of indigent Micronesians in the United States contradicts the history and spirit of this relationship. The result is unhealthy, costly, and unproductive social policy. As community advocates for social justice who work primarily with Native Hawaiian, Micronesian, and local immigrant or Asian settler communities in Hawai‘i, we offer an alternative path based on strong Indigenous cultural foundations of knowledge-sharing, respect for space and mutual humanity, patience, and guidance. More specifically, we want to point out that the peoples of Micronesia and Hawai‘i have long been engaging with each other in mutually empowering ways. This would serve well as a starting platform for a better approach to realizing stronger and healthier futures in the Pacific. A Model for Social Change Based on the Teachings of Papa Mau From February to May 1999, the Hawaiian double-hulled outrigger canoe Makali‘ i sailed through Micronesia on its way to Satawal. The purpose of this voyage, named “E Mau / Sailing the Master Home,” was to “bring the master home” and honor Grand Master Navigator Pius “Papa” Mau Piailug. During the days they were on Satawal, the Makali‘i crew gathered around the thatched canoe house, relaxing with fellow islanders, playing music, singing, and dancing for each other. One of the songs the crew shared, “E Mau Ē,” was written by crewmember Kainani Kahaunaele in tribute to Mau’s great gift to the Hawaiian people, and shared then for the first time.2 The song begins, “E Mau ē, ka ihu pani ho‘okele wa‘a / Ho‘ohanohano ‘ ia i kona ‘āina hānau iho no” (To you, Mau Piailug, the grandmaster navigator / Recognized and honored in his own land).3

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For nearly thirty years, Papa Mau had reached across the Pacific, sharing his traditional and sacred Pacific wayfinding knowledge with Native Hawaiians just beginning to reclaim their cultural identity, heritage, and pride. This journey, then, was not just a gesture of the deepest appreciation for Papa Mau’s gifts, but also a reflection of the resulting progress Native Hawaiians had made towards realizing their ancestral legacy as voyagers of the Pacific. In 2007, on Satawal once again, Mau Piailug performed the traditional pwo initiation ceremony and bestowed the title of pwo—master navigator—on five of his students, empowering them to share and teach this knowledge to others. With this gift, he more fully realized a vision he had described just two years prior: “I have laid the stick that connects people together. Now it is up to you, your generation and the generations to come, to build upon that stick a bridge that will ensure the free sharing of information and teaching between the two peoples until the day we become united again as a single people, as we were once before; before men separated us with their imaginary political boundaries of today’s Polynesia and Micronesia.”4 These scenes carry deep lessons about courage, vision, remembering, and reciprocity. The first lesson is the courage to stand apart from the prevalent views of your own society, and hold a more farseeing vision of a connected Oceania. As crewmember Bonnie Kahape‘a-Tanner remembers, for over twenty years Mau had “given his time and his sacred knowledge; he sacrificed his own family to teach us Hawaiians.”5 As Captain Nainoa Thompson reflected after Hōkūle‘a capsized in 1978, “We needed a teacher. . . . Mau was the only one who was willing and able to reach beyond his culture to ours.”6 The second lesson is the reciprocal act of remembering and honoring our long and continuing relationships as connected islanders. This can be seen in Makali‘ i’s voyage to return and honor Mau in his own home, a way of giving back not only to their teacher but also to Mau’s community and family. This lesson can also be seen in the act of writing songs and chants to help Hawai‘i’s community remember Mau’s gift, how, as Kahaunaele reflects, recording these stories in song “increased waiwai and connections between Hawaiians, locals, our Pacific cousins.” 7 Finally, we can see this memory and reciprocity live in the work of Bonnie Kahape‘a-Tanner, captain of the educational canoe Kānehūnāmoku and leader of educational programs that bring Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders together to learn how to navigate: “When you’re voyaging, you kind of forget that you are Hawaiian, or Micronesian, or these various categories that mark our difference. You realize that there is a globalness to the world that is not as scary as globalization; it’s more about realizing the commonality of human beings. You are together, and you have to rely on one another for everyone to be safe and to make the journey.”8 Courage, vision, remembering, and reciprocity. How can we take these lessons and apply them to community activism that educates elders about healthcare changes or empowers young Micronesians to learn more about their cultures

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and languages? How can we apply them to combat daily and systemic racism against Micronesians in Hawai‘i and address economic inequality that affects all of Hawai‘i’s people? How can we apply them to the processes of policy making and building meaningful interaction between government leaders and community members? This story of connection and revitalization between Indigenous islanders challenges the dominant narrative of race in Hawai‘i, in which nonWhite immigrants rightfully win economic, social, and political power through overcoming their experience as nineteenth- and early twentieth-century plantation slave labor, and at the expense of Indigenous claims to land and sovereignty. Unfortunately, the lessons inherent in the legacy of Papa Mau and Hōkūle‘a have not translated to other areas of public policy in Hawai‘i and the United States. The bridge envisioned by Papa Mau is clearly far from complete. Despite the numerous sticks laid down by the people and nations of Micronesia over the last thirty years, Micronesians in their home islands, in Hawai‘i, and in the continental United States continue to struggle with unfulfilled promises and unreciprocated love and respect as illustrated by the current struggle over health care in Hawai‘i. Ugliness and Disconnection On August 28, 2009, in response to the state’s administrative decision to save costs by moving citizens of the COFA nations residing in Hawai‘i from the state health-care safety net, Med-QUEST, to a bare bones health-care plan called Basic Health Hawai‘i, a number of Micronesian community groups convened at the State Capitol and conducted a sit-in. Holding signs like “Give me dialysis” and “MedQuest for Micronesians,” they sang traditional songs from home, as they passed the time waiting for an audience with the governor that was never to come. One of the groups there, Micronesians United, was led by a number of elder women from the different COFA nations. They were told that the governor would not see them, but they persisted for many days, thinking of elders and other family members who would not be able to receive adequate care under the proposed policy changes. The song the women sang is a Chuukese song about sustaining a common bond of history, heritage, and attendant human connection through compassion. Ach etto esapw usun pakutang Our being here is not like the destruction of a bomb A atai fonu o pwun o ira, [That] destroys land earth and the trees Sa eto sipwe chok chufengen We come so we can just meet Sipwe chu ren pwapwa We’ll meet in joy Pwapwa o tipeuw tong fengen Joy and common understanding and common love

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Tipewu enlet tong fengen Understanding in true common compassion Epwe cho nonomw lon lefilach That must bind us together9 The lesson of this song, reminiscent of Papa Mau’s legacy, is to come together in peace and meaningful connection, not in antagonism. “We waited for days, just sitting and singing, feeling so unwelcomed, like we were bothering people there,” recalled community advocate Innocenta Sound-Kikku. “We quietly and solemnly sang our song. But the governor did not want to talk to us.”10 In the governor’s office, there was no room for their words, their perspectives, or the gifts of compassion and common love that could have avoided an oncoming socioeconomic and public health disaster. Sound-Kikku’s account clearly illustrates the stark disconnect between the islander approach of connection, collaboration and respect for the shared humanity of all people—where visitors seek peaceful and joyful connection and compassion through the sharing of knowledge and cultural values—and the traditional Western approach of colonial paternalism, if not outright hostility, towards those less understood by mainstream sentiment and popular discourse. How did this disconnect happen? To see clearly again the true potential of acknowledging our shared humanity and unique abilities to contribute to a stronger, stabler, and more enlightened society, we need to understand the history of colonialism and racism in Western policymaking, which informed the governor’s decision to target the health of the most vulnerable and indigent members of Hawai‘i’s COFA communities. We need to break from the anguish of these devastating stories. We need to chart a new, better way forward.11 When the Compacts of Free Association were signed by the former Trust Territories, access to federal funding for public health-care safety nets was provided on an equal basis to all immigrants and U.S. citizens alike, including those who would take up residence in the United States under the compacts. Such an understanding may have been a key part of the COFA nations’ acquiescence to the compacts. Two factors in particular suggest this possibility: the failure of the United States to ensure adequate public health infrastructure and sustainable development as the trustee of these former Trust Territories, and long-standing public health concerns directly resulting from U.S. militarization and colonial governance. This governance, not incidentally, included not just years of nuclear testing but also the disruption of traditional lifestyles and economies as well as other detrimental impacts to social determinants of health.12 However, in 1996, the U.S. Congress passed both the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (PRWORA) and the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act (IIRAIRA), which enacted sweeping reforms of federal welfare programs as well as U.S. immigration law. Critics noted the underlying context of racism, misogyny, and xenophobia driving the rhetoric behind these measures. With regards to

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welfare reform, feminist critic Barbara Ehnrenreich noted that “the stereotype of the welfare recipient—lazy, overweight, and endlessly fecund—had been a coded way of talking about African Americans at least since George Wallace’s 1968 Presidential campaign.” She also pointed out that the years leading to PRWORA’s passage saw the routine description of those without jobs—which under the new law would include unmarried new mothers—as “ ‘parasites’ who were content to loll around at the ‘public trough.’ ”13 Accordingly, the severe restrictions on federal public assistance under PRWORA—in reality providing U.S. business leaders with substantial exploitative leverage over an increasingly desperate working class across all ethnic demographics—were accepted by a mainstream constituency blinded by “racism and misogyny.”14 Similarly, the harsh reforms implemented by IIRAIRA were driven in large part by highly generalized and unsubstantiated rhetoric relating to dangerous “criminal aliens” and of those taking “advantage” of public benefits. Again, fear-based stereotyping and an us versus them perspective provided justification for policymakers. The law they passed included provisions calling for— among other things—the mandatory detention and deportation of a broad range of immigrants convicted of even minor offenses, extremely lengthy delays and complex new requirements for multinational families seeking unification through immigration, and restricting educational opportunities for all undocumented students. For the COFA community in the continental United States, the net effect of PRWORA and the immigrant classifications of IIRAIRA resulted in the termination of their access to a number of federally funded safety nets, including Medicaid. States were granted the discretion to provide—with state funding only—services from federally funded programs to COFA migrants and certain legal permanent resident immigrants. Hawai‘i, with its long history of immigration and its relatively large population of working immigrants and COFA migrant residents, declined to reduce public health-care access for these important members of its island communities. This changed under Republican Governor Linda Lingle’s administration. In 2009, Governor Lingle first unveiled her Basic Health Hawai‘i (BHH) plan for COFA and other immigrant residents. Hawai‘i’s COFA community found itself facing an increasingly volatile and racist climate. Familiar sentiments that had targeted various disenfranchised ethnic groups throughout the history of Hawai‘i—from Chinese to Puerto Ricans to Filipinos to Tongans and Samoans—starkly belied the popular narrative of a transcendent, multiracial Hawai‘i, whose settler achievements made it an ostensible poster child for postracial America. Micronesians of all ethnicities were and continue to be the subject of pervasive, invidious, and vitriolic discourse in all manner of social spheres.15 The internet and radio had become platforms for racial epithets, race-baiting, and Micronesian jokes and often perpetuated disturbing images of Micronesians as lazy, opportunistic leeches who unscrupulously prey on the

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social services system. Such images likened COFA citizens as invasive “cockroaches,” “dirty,” and “stupid.”16 Traditionally colorful Chuukese skirts and dresses marked Chuukese women as targets of derision and disrespect. School children of all Micronesian ethnic backgrounds were and continue to be confronted by students and teachers alike with hurtful, blatantly negative stereotypes. As described in a report by the Hawai‘i Appleseed Center for Law and Economic Justice, prevailing acts of racial prejudice have even been well documented against Chuukese and Micronesians in medical services, housing, and the judicial system.17 Taking a page from the national rhetoric regarding immigration and tax policy, Governor Lingle used both Hawai‘i’s Micronesian residents and the federal government as scapegoats for asserted but unsubstantiated “burdens” on “state taxpayers.” She thus proposed to significantly reduce access to healthcare safety net services for most immigrants and all residents present under the COFA agreements. By this time, the pervasiveness of vitriolic and explicitly racist rhetoric in social commentary and media indicated an undeniable level of social animosity that likely made politically acceptable, and even expedient, such a discriminatory policy despite the lack of objective, much less moral, justification.18 Regardless of their health-care needs or ability to work, her plan would have left many with no affordable option for vital services until some kind of federal “resolution” occurred. The direction seemed clear. English-only notices described the life-impacting changes to health-care coverage to COFA MedQUEST enrollees. No sensitivity or awareness of the human and socioeconomic impacts of her policy decision was demonstrated. The governor was entirely unwilling to even meet with those seeking an audience in the fall of 2009. The policy thus seemed devoid of any consideration for the humanity of those whose lives were being traded for ambiguous and highly dubious budgetary “savings.” Governor Neil Abercrombie, who succeeded Governor Lingle, did little to address this morally indefensible approach. Instead, he continued to pursue Lingle’s Basic Health Hawai‘i policy despite a federal district court decision declaring it unconstitutionally discriminatory. After winning a Ninth Circuit appeal overturning the district court, Abercrombie pursued an even more devastating policy. It was twofold: the termination of any Med-QUEST access for 7,500 indigent COFA residents, and their automatic enrollment onto private insurance plans through the beleaguered “Hawai‘i Health Connector” (HHC).19 Unfortunately, the immediate human consequences of Abercrombie’s policy, currently implemented by Governor David Ige, have already become apparent. As of April 2015, many former Med-QUEST enrollees still had no idea their insurance had changed. Some were no longer able to see the physicians they had known for years. Prohibitively expensive cost-sharing and co-pay requirements of the so-called affordable private plans have discouraged many— including the chronically ill—from seeking any services at all. Community health centers, activists, and volunteers have been forced to spend countless

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hours assisting COFA patients with their questions and navigating the confusing administrative framework of their new private plans, on a nearly daily basis. The future consequences may be even more dire. Families beleaguered by unprecedented out-of-pocket costs for medical care may have to forego their education and career development and ability to contribute to island society. The health of those abstaining from timely medical care for fear of medical bills will only deteriorate to the point of necessitating emergency room services. This is turn will lead to much higher health-care costs for patients, their families, and in some cases emergency service providers.20 Community health centers, the cornerstones of public health throughout the islands, may lose vital revenues from those who no longer qualify for their services. Last, racial tension and conflict will likely be exacerbated. Prohibitive health-care costs will limit indigent Micronesian families’ social mobility for a generation or more. Service providers under fiscal strain as well as the general public will find it easier to scapegoat Micronesians than the policymakers whose policies have compromised funding for important social safety nets. An alienated insular Micronesian community will find it easier to retreat into itself rather than build social bridges that that could ease racial tensions on the interpersonal and communal levels. Sadly, the energies and resources invested in mitigating these consequences will likely do nothing towards realizing the untold opportunities that a collaborative and community- and fact-based approach could have otherwise facilitated. Charting a New Course In many ways, the ship has sailed, and we—all who call Hawai‘i home—will now have to deal with the harms of the ill-fated health-care policy approaches taken by the federal and state governments. Indeed, dwelling in the emotional anguish of missed opportunities, of lost humanity, of wasted time and resources and lives, will do little to move us forward. It will certainly not address the socioeconomic difficulties and arrested social development that our greater Hawai‘i community has likely now assigned to our children and future generations. However, inherent in the mistakes of our past—both historical and more recent—may be important lessons in community building, societal strengthening, and policymaking. These lessons may be critical to understanding and guiding a better and more enlightened approach towards living and sailing onward together, towards a better place for all who live in these islands, this country, and even, perhaps, this planet. Accordingly, this essay hopes to reflect upon both our historic successes and failures and to provide suggestions on how we can truly move forward together beyond the limited horizons of our recent past. In this section we as coauthors offer reflections and forward ideas based on our own research and committed community work. Our shared wish is that we can chart a new course cognizant

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of the past and present impacts of colonial racial discourse on race and policy in Hawai‘i. Lessons for Our COFA Family

The primary author for this section is Joakim Jojo Peter, an Indigenous Micronesian from Chuuk and a community and disability rights advocate. JoJo is completing his PhD studies in exceptionality at the University of Hawai‘i Mānoa focusing on immigrant families of children with disabilities from Micronesia living in Hawaii. He is the co-founder of COFA-Community Advocacy Network and We Are Oceania, two organizations that focus on advocating for rights for Micronesians living in Hawai‘i.

Many COFA Micronesians have learned about and understand the issues they are facing in health-care access and other services in Hawai‘i. Individuals and groups have been active in organizing and advocating for citizens of the COFA nations residing in Hawai‘i, including Micronesians United, Micronesians United—Big Island, Micronesian Health Advisory Coalition, COFA-Community Advocacy Network, and We Are Oceania. These individuals and organizations have been instrumental in bringing attention to COFA issues in both the state and federal legislative, judicial, and executive systems. These groups deserve much credit for their community organizing and advocacy because where they are taking leadership roles, evidence of success is strong. However, COFA Micronesian communities in Hawai‘i can contribute to the discussions about our shared future in many other ways, one of which is developing better relationships with the larger community. One way to approach the relationship-building process is to first identify, understand, and articulate our situation in the context of our Indigenous traditions. This is not about disavowing the negative effects of our current reality, but instead about using the power of our language and cultural roots to put our realities in proper perspective and to be familiar with them. This familiarity creates space for our empowerment through a better understanding of our position in this community relationship. Acknowledging our place and role as newcomers to these islands is not a sign of weakness, but may guide our sense of empowerment through the potential cultivation and sharing of our roots here in Hawai‘i. In many of the Chuukic languages, Micronesians in these islands are wasola (“visiting guests”) in Hawai‘i, and Hawai‘i is our host. As wasola, we have to demonstrate our patience and respect in appropriate ways to facilitate our host’s guidance and acceptance. We must meet our host with open hands, free to receive their guidance, because we want them to also offer their support with open hands, with a true willingness to give; that is trust.

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Our Micronesian cultural traditions and values may be the most unique and powerful gifts that we, as the newest cultural group to arrive on the shores of Hawai‘i, can offer our host. We must therefore be willing to maintain the roots of our cultures from our home islands, and cultivate them in this community of Hawai‘i. The Rematau community of the Big Island is a good example of this point. These Yapese and Chuukese outer islanders actively support their children’s education and infuse it with strong traditional learning. Every year, they hold a special graduation ceremony reflecting their traditions, in a spirit of sharing their culture with the larger community. Likewise, in response to the growing prevalence of negative stereotypes of Micronesians in Hawai‘i, the Polowat community in Wahiawā have made great efforts to integrate their group cultural performances in larger community events. They call themselves Polowaiians.21 Many of our children are learning the hula, haka, and many other Polynesian dance genres by joining hālau or through school performances. Micronesians must also be willing to share and teach our traditional dances and arts, such as suru porou, wiira, and appengak, with our host communities as well. This teaching of our traditional performances and arts requires our own diligent learning of and innovation with our own cultural knowledge—preservation and innovation through active practice and sharing, just as Papa Mau and his Hawaiian students have modeled for us. The efforts to teach and share our cultural performances, stories, and other traditions can also give energy to wider cultural engagements such as the Micronesian Culture Fair in 2008 and the Carrying Culture: Navigating Anew Micronesian art exhibit in March 2015. These are regular events that can be jointly supported by our communities and government entities. With a solid foundation of cultural identity and pride, and with both patience and perseverance, we can rise above the racial noise that has brought so much anguish and pain to our communities here in Hawai‘i and that has broken our confidence in ourselves and in our place. Empowered with our culture, with our roots, we can then establish strong relationships of trust and mutual respect with our host communities, which may lead to a shared future of true prosperity. Lessons for Hawai‘i

The primary author of this section is Aiko Yamashiro, a poet and scholar of literature and social movements in Hawai‘i and the Pacific, who helps organize community events for arts and social justice dialogue. As a descendant of Japanese and Okinawan settlers in Hawai‘i, Ms. Yamashiro is committed to the work of decolonizing our local communities who benefit from the settler colonial occupation of Hawai‘i, and the collective work of rebuilding foundational structures of Indigenous sovereignty and health in her beloved home. She sees every day the power of narratives to shape our histories and our futures.

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The dominant narrative of Hawai‘i as a multicultural melting pot of racial harmony has created the conditions for the ugly and disconnected treatment of Micronesians in Hawai‘i. Micronesian immigrants have been denied access to a “local” immigrant-settler identity in Hawai‘i, an identity affiliated with descendants of Native Hawaiians and other ethnic groups (usually including Chinese, Japanese, Filipino, Korean, Portuguese, and Puerto Rican communities) who worked on the plantations of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.22 Although this identity is often cited as evidence of racial harmony in Hawai‘i, in this instance it has proved a convenient way to exclude and ignore the specific historical and social context of Micronesian migration, explaining away the unique hardships Micronesian communities face as merely the natural hazing that the newest immigrant group in Hawai‘i faces.23 We need to fully acknowledge and interrogate the growing archive of painful racism against Micronesians in Hawai‘i.24 When we do, it becomes apparent that the popular local melting pot narrative ultimately serves the settler colonial state of Hawai‘i, disciplining Indigenous, newer immigrant, and local settler peoples of Hawai‘i in dramatically different ways. To add to the growing body of scholarship revealing the ways the “local” settler state relies on dispossessing Native Hawaiians of sovereignty, health, and connection to land, we call for more conversation and theory that offer ways to meet each other along Oceanic, islander genealogies.25 We call for vigilant solidarity between Micronesian health activism and other movements seeking our collective liberation of bodies and land: those calling for sovereignty for Hawai‘i, gender justice and the dismantling of patriarchy, criminal justice reform, a living wage for the working class, human rights for the homeless and undocumented immigrants, appropriate land use and environmental protection, energy independence, food self-sufficiency, and demilitarization in the Pacific. As we search for a hopeful and complex vision of islander community, we in Hawai‘i can return to our own nuanced histories of multiethnic activism for models that move beyond recognizing our melting pot diversity, to calling us to fight together for our interconnected health and well-being.26 Recovering and reciting these genealogies of resistance—to protect land and water that nourish us, to battle rampant development and evictions—become increasingly more urgent in a world that posits global capitalism and militarism as medicine for our fears about diminishing resources and increasing competition with dangerous strangers. In her critique of the “militarized capitalism” manifested in the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation 2011 conference held in Hawai‘i, Asian American scholar and activist Candace Fujikane narrates counter examples of grassroots organizing around an alternative economy of abundance, grounded in Indigenous wisdom and Oceanic flows that can realize “a future beyond empires.”27 Her politics and methods demand that locals of Asian ancestry in particular turn away from the settler United States and back towards Indigenous communities because “only by achieving justice for Kānaka ‘Ōiwi

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and for American Indians can we as Asian American settlers liberate ourselves from our positions as agents in a settler colonial system of violence.”28 These are the sticks we need to continue to lay between all the Pacific peoples of Hawai‘i. The more we can critique the ways we have succumbed to divisive settler colonial racism and rejected our Pacific relatives, the better we can strengthen our projects of returning to decolonized cultural value systems. Micronesians have come to Hawai‘i asking for space, light, and hope for a healthy future. Multiple local settler and Native Hawaiian communities in Hawai‘i have recoiled from this request, responding with fear and anger at the idea of invaders threatening our own livelihoods, and contempt for people we see as too different, too backwards within our modern American society. What is so precarious about our economic and social structures that we do not have the resources to welcome relatives who need our help? How can we reclaim our histories of resistance as well as our longer relationships in the Pacific, before colonialism? How can we recover our own cultural values of generosity and welcome in ways that are not co-opted by expanding tourism, militarism, and other colonial economies? We need to look for the sources of our own sickness, because we in Hawai‘i cannot act and feel in generous ways until we also feel healthy until we feel abundance, strength, and sovereignty again. We call to our COFA relations to help heal us too. As Hawaiian movements for life, land, and sovereignty continue to teach all of Hawai‘i to recenter our unique island values, stories of amazing Micronesian community resilience can inspire us to return and “re-remember” our own identities as Pacific Islanders.29 Only a connected Oceanic community will be able to face the battles ahead and around us: the devastation of climate change on our fertile and fragile lands, the militarization and desecration of sacred sites, the diminishing returns of transnational corporations and agreements treating our economies as inconsequential game pieces in their pursuit of global profit. The words of Marshallese poet and activist Kathy Jetnil-Kijiner resound here: “We are nothing without our islands.”30 We continue to search for a path towards a flourishing regional identity that does not depend on colonial, anthropological, political, and economic boundaries of control. Artist and teacher Epeli Hau‘ofa envisioned it this way: “Just as the sea is an open and ever-flowing reality, so should our oceanic identity transcend all forms of insularity, to become one that is openly searching, inventive, and welcoming.”31 What wisdom and nourishing lines of sight will we find when we turn away from the US settler state and look instead to our Oceanic constellations of infinitely rich peoples and cultures? Lessons for Government and Policy Leaders

The primary author of this section is Wayne Chung Tanaka, an attorney and public policy advocate for issues affecting the environmental and cultural interests of the Native Hawaiian community. Mr. Tanaka has also

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worked closely with members of Hawai‘i’s diverse COFA community, who have organized to ensure access to health care consistent with the Compact agreements, the long history of Micronesian islanders’ relationships with Native Hawaiians and the United States, and the principles of equality and health as internationally recognized human rights. As the son of a first-generation immigrant from Korea and a third-generation “American of Japanese Ancestry,” Mr. Tanaka has a personal interest in the intersection between racial discourse and social policy, including immigration law, and has dedicated himself to pursuing social justice and a progressive vision for the islands that have hosted him his entire life.

We understand that there is always uncertainty in policymaking, and that it is the responsibility of our government leaders to make difficult decisions that may not satisfy everyone—that may even cause deep anguish and pain for some—in exchange for the greater good, and a fairer and more just distribution of seemingly limited resources. However, by virtue of their position, government officials have the greatest opportunity, and utmost responsibility, to protect and uplift some of the most vulnerable among their constituents and communities: those who have arrived on our shores with “still-salty feet” (Chuukese call this concept peche seset, denoting newly arrived ocean voyagers) and gifts of culture, of labor, of insight and love to share. Doing so not only is the essence of the social contract, but also makes our whole society stronger, more cohesive, stable, fair, and productive in both culture and economy. Neglecting to take advantage of this opportunity—to instead make decisions further disenfranchising those most needing and deserving of support, based on unfounded, detached, and dehumanizing assumptions devoid of community input and feedback—only weakens the society these leaders are tasked with guiding, draining its economic and cultural capital in favor of perpetuated scapegoating and conflict. We have already seen the ugliness of this latter approach. Accordingly, our suggestions for government leaders and policymakers are as follows. Resist the unfortunately familiar racist sentiments that make politically feasible, or even expedient, decisions that are clearly morally untenable. Remember that the recent history of our Westernized society only indicates that such sentiments, as they relate to our COFA family, may soon fade into obscure pockets of the most isolated, fearful, and ineffectual individuals. Understand that in looking back through time, our national pride, or our national shame, may depend on your ability to discern between imagined fears and real human beings, to envision a future of abundance in a present of perceived scarcity. Require the most clear and factual justification, accounting, and analyses for any policies that would trade the entire worth of some human lives—particularly of those categorically scapegoated for societal ills far beyond their own fault or control—for alleged budgetary savings. Keep in mind the potential

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socioeconomic value of an empowered islander community, demonstrably willing and able to contribute in any myriad number of ways towards a future of abundance and mutual growth. Consider what may be lost when such a community must instead dedicate its foreclosed human potential to fighting for the lives of aunties and uncles, grandparents and parents, in a system and social context of express discrimination and oppression. And, most important, please take the time to see the sticks that our COFA family have already laid down, with our feet and hands and backs and lands and lives—in cultural, economic, political, and military contributions, among others—and know that we and the generations after us have so many more sticks to offer. In this regard, know that our ability and sincere will to contribute to the islands we all live on may depend less on the reality you may imagine for our community and more on your ability to help us define and grow it for ourselves. Together—and only together—can we voyage beyond the horizons of our imagination. Conclusion and Closing Thoughts “We’re ALL paddling the same [COFA] canoe.”

In closing, we offer the following thoughts, to bring a more inclusive perspective on this familiar “canoe” rhetoric. First, since the 1970s, Micronesians and Hawaiians have been paddling the canoe of cultural revival and voyaging renaissance based on courage, sharing, and trust. This is the relationship that we feel has and will set our course towards a future of respect, care, and dignity for our sea of islands. Second, the popular discourse around COFA migrants and Micronesians generally implies a one-sided, one-direction, position of weak, noncontributive, and opportunistic Pacific Islanders taking advantage of the largesse of the United States. However, with a more informed and careful reflection of the Compact of Free Association relationship, it becomes increasingly clear how much the citizens of the United States have enjoyed the numerous contributions of Micronesian islanders. These contributions include the national security provided through the exclusive advantage and control the United States has over the northern Pacific, with the acquiescence of its Micronesian partners. They include the many Micronesians who continue to fight and die in service of the U.S. armed forces. They include the skilled and unskilled labor of Micronesians supporting major domestic industries of Hawai‘i and the continental United States. Last but not least, they include the federal and state taxes Micronesians pay in the United States without equal access to the services their taxes support. Although we do not argue that assimilation into the United States is the answer to our people’s struggles, we demand this record of contributions be accounted for, to honor just how special the term “free association” truly is.

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As we continue to fight for policy that recognizes justice and our shared humanity, we will also continue to navigate the turbulent waters of new race politics in Hawai‘i by pointing our wa‘a towards the genuine wealth of cultural wisdom and imagination of our Moana Nui, our tremendous and storied ocean. Only when we fully remember and reclaim our Pacific roots and relationships can we realize our power as connected Pacific peoples—to voyage around the world spreading messages of community strength and responsible environmental stewardship, to unite our nations against nuclear proliferation and warfare, to be the loudest and most heartfelt advocates steering the planet away from catastrophic climate change. We remember reciprocity and care when we remember Innocenta Sound-Kikku saying to us, “we are strangers here and we tend to get lost because no one has shown us how to navigate the new place. If you come to my place, we assign you someone to guide you so you know what to do, where not to go so as not to be in trouble.”32 We remember patience when we remember Nainoa Thompson remembering Papa Mau, teaching Hawaiian navigators by holding their hands.33 We will remember to keep our hands open, not for a handout, but to steady and guide each other on our journey towards a shared home.

Notes  1. “News and Social Media,” Polynesian Voyaging Society, news-and-social-media.  2. Mau Piailug Society, “Kainani Kahaunaele and the Makali‘i Wahine Sing E Mau E,”, uploaded June 28, 2009,  3. Kainani Kahaunaele, “E Mau Ē,” Na‘u ‘Oe (‘Aha Pūnana Leo, 2003), CD.  4. Chad Kalepa Baybayan, “Piailug’s Greatest Lesson Is that We Are a Single People,” Honolulu Star-Advertiser, July 29, 2010.  5. Bonnie Kahape‘a Tanner, “Voyaging: Sailing the Ancestral Bridges of Oceanic Knowledge,” in The Value of Hawai‘ i 2: Ancestral Roots, Oceanic Visions, ed. Aiko Yamashiro and Noelani Goodyear-Ka‘ōpua (Honolulu: University of Hawai‘i Press, 2014), 174.  6. Nainoa Thompson, “Reflections on Mau,” Hawaiian Voyaging Traditions, Polynesian Voyaging Society, 2010,  7. Kainanai Kahaunaele, “Music: The Welo and Kuleana of Mele Integrity,” in Value of Hawai‘ i 2, 57.  8. Kahape‘a-Tanner, “Voyaging,” 175.  9. Innocenta Sound-Kikku, interview and translation by Joakim Peter, May 18, 2015. 10. Ibid. 11. Gabriel J. Chin, “Segregation’s Last Stronghold: Race Discrimination and the Constitutional Law of Immigration,” University of California Los Angeles Law Review 46, no. 1 (1998),; Carolyn Lochhead, “Senate Measure Regrets 1882 Chinese Exclusion Act,” San Francisco Chronicle, October 11, 2011, .DTL; Plessy v. Ferguson, 163 U.S. 537 (1896), cf. Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka,

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347 U.S. 83 (1954); Korematsu v. United States, 323 U.S. 214 (1944), compare Comm. on Wartime Relocation and Internment of Civilians, Personal Justice Denied (Washington, DC: Government Printing Office, 1982); Lorraine K. Bannai, “Taking the Stand: The Lessons of Three Men who took the Japanese American Internment to Court,” Seattle Journal for Social Justice 4, no. 1 (2005), Bannai-FINAL.pdf. 12. Seiji Yamada, “Cancer, Reproductive Abnormalities, and Diabetes in Micronesia: The Effect of Nuclear Testing,” Pacific Health Dialog 11, no. 2 (2004): 219–220; Oversight on the Compact of Free Association with the Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI): Medical Treatment of the Marshallese People, U.S. Nuclear Tests, Nuclear Claims Tribunal, Forced Resettlement, Use of Kwajalein Atoll for Missile Programs and Land Use Development: Hearing Before the Subcommittee on Asia, the Pacific and the Global Environment of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, 111th Cong., 2nd sess., 2–5 (May 20, 2010) (statement of Neal Palafox, MD, MPH), htm; see also Donald F. McHenry, Micronesia: Trust Betrayed—Altruism vs. Self Interest in American Foreign Policy (New York: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, 1975), 13; Patsy T. Mink, “Micronesia: Our Bungled Trust,” Texas International Law Forum 6 (1970–71): 184. For more on the social determinants of health, see Ingrid Ahlgren, Seiji Yamada, and Allen Wong, “Rising Oceans, Climate Change, Food Aid, and Human Rights in the Marshall Islands.” Health and Human Rights: Climate Justice and the Right to Health 16, no. 1 (June 2014): 69–80; Neal A. Palafox and Allen L. Hixon, “Health Consequences of Disparity: The US Affiliated Pacific Islands,” Australasian Psychiatry 19 (2011): S84–S89. 13. Barbara Ehnrenreich, “Flip Side: Chamber of Welfare Reform,” The Progressive, April 30, 2002, 14. Ibid. 15. Will Caron, “Racism in Hawai‘i Is Alive and Well,” Hawaii Independent, June 2, 2014,; Jon Letman, “Micronesians in Hawaii Face Uncertain Future: COFA Agreements Provide US Regional Control in Exchange for Limited Access to America,” Al Jazeera, October 3, 2013,; Litha Joel Jorju, “For Marshallese, Hawaii Is the Only Home We Have Left,” Honolulu Civil Beat, May 1, 2013, http://www.civilbeat .com/2013/05/18955-for-marshallese-hawaii-is-the-only-home-we-have-left; Chad Blair, “No Aloha for Micronesians in Hawai‘i,” Honolulu Civil Beat, June 10, 2011, http://www 16. “Broken Promises, Shattered Lives: The Case for Justice for Micronesians in Hawai‘i,” Hawai‘i Appleseed Center for Law and Economic Justice, November 17, 2011, 15, http://www.; “Honolulu Forum: Micronesians and Rape,” updated June 8, 2015,; “What Did One Micronesian Say to the Other Micronesian?” Vine video, June 11, 2014,; Kat Lobendahn, “Stop the Derogatory Racist Jokes and Comments against the People of Micronesia,” petition, 2014, 2015,–5-radio-station-honolulu-hi -stop-the-derogatory-racist-jokes-and-comments-against-the-people-of-micronesia (quoting radio deejays as stating, “Why aren’t there many beautiful Micronesians? Because babies with birth defects are usually terminated before birth”).

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17. “Broken Promises, Shattered Lives,” 15–18. 18. The policy-“justifying” economic reports describing the financial “Compact Impact” to the state was later roundly criticized by the U.S. Government Accountability Office in 2011 and again in 2013, which noted that “some jurisdictions do not accurately define compact migrants, account for federal funding that supplement the local expenditures, or include revenue received from compact migrants.” David B. Gootnick, “Compacts of Free Association: Guidelines Needed to Support Reliable Estimates of Impacts of Growing Migration,” GAO13-773T (Washington, DC: Government Accountability Office, 2013), /products/GAO-13–773T. Tellingly, the state’s analyses appeared to provide no distinction between citizens of the COFA nations, and their U.S.-born, U.S. citizen children—making their already questionable assertions tantamount to an evaluation of the “costs” of entire ethnic-racial groups, rather than the ostensible distinction based on “citizenship” or even funding source. In other words, the foundation of the Compact Impact arguments to restrict healthcare access did not simply use citizenship as a sneaky proxy for racial discrimination—racial discrimination itself was the basis of these arguments. 19. On November 15, 2014, less than two weeks after the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear the COFA plaintiff’s appeal of the Ninth Circuit opinion allowing Hawai‘i to discriminate against COFA residents in health-care safety nets, Governor Abercrombie’s administration announced—in English only—that all non-aged, blind, or disabled COFA MedQUEST enrollees had three months to choose between unidentified and undescribed private insurance plans under the Hawai‘i Healthcare Connector, the beleaguered state-sponsored program implementing the federal Affordable Care Act, before they would be automatically and arbitrarily enrolled in one of the plans. Until January of 2015, the Connector had hired only three certified COFA assistors (called Kōkua) to conduct outreach to the 7,500 COFA citizens to be unenrolled from the MedQUEST program, across a rich array of languages, including Marshallese, Kosraean, Pohnpeian, Pinglapese, Nukoroan, Mokilese, Sapwuahfikese, the various Chuukic language families, Yapese, three or four outer island Yapese languages, and Palauan. On February 16, 2015, those who had not signed up for a new plan—as well as a number of others qualifying as aged, blind, or disabled—were automatically enrolled in a private insurance plan. 20. Statistical analyses and polls have indicated that higher coinsurance rates significantly reduce physician visits and use of healthcare services, which means particularly negative health outcomes for low-income patients in poor health. “Kaiser Health Tracking Poll,” The Kaiser Family Foundation, February 2009, https://kaiserfamilyfoundation.files.wordpress .com/2013/01/7866.pdf; Jonathan Gruber, “The Role of Consumer Copayments for Health Care: Lessons from the RAND Health Insurance Experiment and Beyond” (Menlo Park, CA: Kaiser Family Foundation, 2006), 8–10, https://kaiserfamilyfoundation.files 21. Celestino Emwalu, interview by Joakim Peter, February 2015. 22. For an important intervention into the limits of Hawai‘i’s “local” identity, see Candace Fujikane and Jonathan Y. Okamura, eds, Asian Settler Colonialism: From Local Governance to the Habits of Everyday Life in Hawai‘ i (Honolulu: University of Hawai‘i Press, 2008); see also Dean Itsuji Saranillio, “Why Asian Settler Colonialism Matters: A Thought Piece on Critiques, Debates, and Indigenous Difference,” Settler Colonial Studies 3, no. 3/4 (2013): 280–294.

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23. This narrative is most prolific in informal spaces—in the comment streams of online news articles, on Facebook and other social media, and in classroom discussions. 24. Other than the examples elaborated in this essay, the following items offer examples of Micronesian and Hawai‘i community responses: Fourth Branch, “Discrimination Towards Micronesians in Hawaii,”, uploaded July 3, 2014, watch?v=kyk8WosObeI&; Fourth Branch, “Lessons from Hawaii by Kathy Jetnil-Kijiner,”, uploaded January 19, 2013, watch?v=3sbtpazYra0; see also Jorju, “For Marshallese, Hawaii Is the Only Home We Have Left”; Caron, “Racism in Hawai‘i Is Alive and Well.” 25. See Fujikane and Okamura, Asian Settler Colonialism; see also Saranillio, “Why Asian Settler Colonialism Matters.” 26. See, for example, Jacqueline Lasky, “Waiāhole-Waikāne,” in A Nation Rising: Hawaiian Movements for Life, Land, and Sovereignty, ed. Noelani Goodyear-Ka‘ōpua, Ikaika Hussey, and Erin Kahunawaika‘ala Wright (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2014), 48–65; see also Davianna Pōmaika‘i McGregor and Ibrahim Aoudé, “ ‘Our History, Our Way!’: Ethnic Studies for Hawai‘i’s People,” in A Nation Rising, 66–77. 27. Candace Fujikane, “Asian American Critique and Moana Nui 2011: Securing a Future beyond Empires, Militarized Capitalism and APEC,” Inter-Asia Cultural Studies 13, no. 2 (June 2012): 207. 28. Fujikane, “Asian American Critique,” 192. 29. For an excellent example of a contemporary project to re-remember a Pacific identity beyond state-drawn lines of Indigenous and immigrant Pacific Islanders, see Alice Te Punga Somerville, Once Were Pacific: Maori Connections to Oceania (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2012). 30. Studio Revolt, “Tell Them” by Kathy Jetnil-Kijiner at Southbank Centre for London 2012 Poetry Parnassus,”, uploaded July 18, 2012, /watch?v=w9D88ST9qbw. 31. Epeli Hau‘ofa, “The Ocean in Us,” in We Are the Ocean (Honolulu: University of Hawai‘i Press, 2008), 55. 32. Innocenta Sound-Kikku, Sheldon Riklon, and Joakim Peter, “Sustaining Healthcare for COFA Micronesian Migrants in Hawai‘i” (presentation, Healthcare Professionals’ Teleconference, Honolulu, March 13, 2015). 33. Mau Piailug Society, “Nainoa Thompson Speaks of All Mau Piailug Has Done for Hawaii,”, uploaded June 21, 2009, watch?v=9MXoQTnvL3c.

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Afterword Hawai‘i Matters Gary Y. Okihiro

Hawai‘i lies at best on the margins of the US consciousness, in large part because it is a string of islands as opposed to a substantial continent and it conjures the humid tropical and not the favored temperate zone. To most US continental folk, islands, especially tropical islands, emerge, if at all, “out there” beyond the centered self and a vast ocean. As First Lady Michelle Obama said at a campaign stop a few years back, her husband was born out there, pointing west, way out there, she emphasized. Some of my students at Cornell University applied to study “abroad” in Hawai‘i. The island-other distinguished from the continental-self by physical size, diversity, and immense distance could not possibly be conceived of as a domestic US space, and that impossibility is unrelated to the illegality of the US takeover of the Hawaiian Kingdom. At UCLA in the 1970s, when I began my studies of Asian America, Hawai‘i was not an option because, we believed, it was entirely unlike the experiences of Asians on the continent. Despite those renderings in the popular and scholarly imaginations, Hawai‘i matters. Beyond Ethnicity exemplifies why Hawai‘i matters. The fine essays in this paradigm-shifting collection highlight the racial formation of Hawai‘i to counter the dominance of the ethnicity paradigm evidenced in contemporary multicultural renditions of US diversity and in Hawai‘i, of the “aloha spirit” and race mixing.1 In reality, with the white invasion, race, not ethnicity or culture, was a central feature of the continent’s and the islands’ social relations. Contemporary versions of US diversity and its celebrations arose after 1965 with the nation’s changing demography and citizenry called by some “the browning of America.” Similarly, representations of multicultural Hawai‘i came about a decade earlier with the rise of the nonwhite, numerical (not economically empowered) majority, signaled by Democratic Party politics, and the decline of sugar and a growing dependency on the military and tourism.


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Hawai‘i’s history clearly shows that white supremacy was the ideology that prompted and justified US imperialism across lands and seas, the conquest of American Indians and Mexicans, the hegemony over the Caribbean and America, the thrust toward Asia and the Pacific, the colonization of Hawai‘i, the appropriation of the Kingdom’s lands and waters, and the exploitation of Hawaiian and Asian labor. In totality, Hawai‘i matters because its past and present elucidate the course of US and world history. In fact, the islands’ social relations can be understood as leading—indeed, foreshadowing—events on the continent and the discourses that explain, accompany, and shape those material relations and conditions. Beyond Ethnicity New themes emerge from this consideration of Hawai‘i’s social formation. By social formation, I mean the locations and articulations of race, gender, sexuality, class, and nation.2 Beyond Ethnicity centers race in this “new politics” of Hawai‘i by expanding the familiar haole-Asian (mainly Japanese) binary to include blacks, Micronesians, and Latinx as well as figuring Native Hawaiians as an indigenous, colonized, and racialized people.3 Moreover, the islands’ racial formation is complicated by hybridity, indigeneity, and its intersections with gender and ethnicity (culture). Multiplicities rather than binaries and contestations rather than accommodations populate this novel landscape of Hawai‘i’s social formation in the present and over time. Whereas the “new” mirrors the changing demography of the state, the “old” points to the foundations of past power locations and articulations. The 2011 murder of Kollin Elderts recalls the 1931 lynching of Joseph Kahahawai Jr. White power was and is preeminent and pervasive, but also evident, past and present, are distinctions and discriminations among the islands’ people of color, which mimic and support the dominant white–nonwhite binary. Pivoting on race but also gender, sexuality, class, and nation, those privileges and poverties offer more compelling explanations for Hawai‘i’s peoples and their oppression and resistances. They also puncture the myth of Hawai‘i’s exceptionalism and distance from continental US social relations. Beyond Ethnicity, in those ways, offers a welcome corrective to widely held falsehoods that, as discourses, empower and oppress. We must remember that language and ideology create subjects in theory and practice. Hawai‘i Matters Building on those essays, I write, in this afterword, against the marginalization of Hawai‘i and argue for the islands’ centrality and significance, as discourse and material relations, to US and world history.

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Asia, of course, was the destiny of European expansionists beginning with the ancient Greeks and culminating with the age of European empires from the fifteenth through twentieth centuries. America was mapped as a consequence of those discursive and material imperialisms, and Spain reached Asia (the Philippines named for the Spanish sovereign) through its settler colony, New Spain, that rose from the ruins of conquered Mexico. Thereby Spain became a Pacific power, and the avaricious Atlantic world it helped build on the expropriation of the land and labor of Africa and America splashed down into Oceania. North of New Spain, the English (mainly) settler colonies became the United States, which then spread across the continent to the Pacific and Asia. Hawai‘i was engulfed by that imperial world as a vital landing for provisions and labor at first, and then as a US settler colony and militarized outpost. Though familiar, that account of the creation and installation of the worldsystem bears repeating because US historians and popular opinion rarely see the nation-state as a child of European imperialism, much less as an imperial power. Americans want to know, a 2016 CBS advertisement for its evening news program goes, why the United States is drawn into far-off conflicts as if the United States was an innocent abroad as opposed to the planet’s leading purveyor of terrorism. Accompanying the voiced narrative flash visuals of “radical Islam” and acts of violence while ignoring the primal role played by the viewers’ nationstate in provoking those imperial, nationalist wars without end over ideology and land and resources. Hawai‘i matters to that understanding of the world-system and of the United States as an imperial power. As the objects of US imperialism, the Hawaiian Kingdom and American Indian polities were similar and dissimilar. Both were US conquests but American Indians were “domestic dependent nations,” as put by the US Supreme Court, managed by Congress, which held plenary powers over them and by the Interior Department as internal colonies and wards of the state. The Hawaiian Kingdom, by contrast, never surrendered its sovereignty to the United States, and for the past several years, and as I write in 2015 and 2016, Hawaiian subjects have and are debating that sovereignty— to insist on the Kingdom’s independence or agree to US federal recognition like American Indian tribal governments. Transcendent of the US nation-state, Hawaiians have joined American Indians and indigenous peoples globally in their claims to human (not civil) rights, including the right to exist as a people. Hawaiians, accordingly, exemplify the US subjugation of native peoples and their lands, but they are also expanding the idea of sovereignty while illustrating the fraught status of incorporation.4 Hawai‘i matters in apprehending US settler colonialism and the worldsystem of tropical plantations and militarized zones. Colonialism, we know, involves the extraterritorial conquest and occupation of lands and peoples, and the claims to sovereignty over those annexures. Settler colonialism is a variety

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of that expropriation characterized by settlers from but subject to the colonizing power. Typically, settlers are a small numerical minority separated from the masses of native peoples. Settlers generally produce for the colonial masters while holding rights and privileges, bestowed by law, over the indigenous, colonized subjects. As a numerical minority situated between the colonial power and the colonized masses, settlers devise strategies for their benefit by subjugating and exploiting those below them while chafing under the overrule of their masters. Often, that conflict between settlers and the colonial power leads to rebellion and, as in the case of the United States, independence. Hawai‘i’s settler past offers a variant to that model. Whites first engaged the Kingdom as traffickers, plucking and carrying goods and absconding with labor from the islands as a vital part of the commerce between America and Asia. Plundering Hawai‘i’s sandalwood forests and whales implicated Hawaiian elites and laborers, and the extractions landed some foreigners to orchestrate the transformations. The actual settlement of the Kingdom, however, occurred with the advent of US foreign missions and the sugar plantation. White settlers, principally from the United States, strived for through those instruments, Christianity and capitalism, the systematic alienation of Hawaiian sovereignty (land and rule) and culture. Unlike classical settler colonialism, the nation-state did not dispatch those settlers to extract wealth from the Kingdom; Hawai‘i’s white settlers, more like colonizers, served themselves and their interests. It is no accident that missionaries established linguistic hegemony through English teaching and the disciplining of oral Hawaiian language into written form, thereby embedding within the language and language acquisition the ideologies and values of the colonizers. Those processes involved hierarchies of English over Hawaiian and the written text and literacy over oral forms and cultures. Colonized minds secure colonized bodies, starting with the discourses (language and ideology) that enable subjectivity and the location of that subjectself within society and history. Hawaiians, especially those not of the ruling class, stoutly resisted that colonization, even as the large, alien fishes from the dark ocean, in Davida Malo’s memorable words, swallowed up the small fishes of the shallows. The sugar plantation materialized white supremacy throughout the tropical world, and capitalism, premised on private property (land), expropriated surplus value (green gold) from the labor of primarily people of color and migrant workers to enrich the temperate core and impoverish the tropical periphery. In Hawai‘i, descendants of missionaries and other white settlers were an oligarchy that ultimately extinguished the Kingdom, and appealed to the United States to pluck and consume the ripe Hawaiian pear, in the words of the US minister to the Kingdom. Again, unlike the pattern of classical settler colonialism, Hawai‘i’s white settlers did not rebel against the colonial power but sought inclusion within the US nation-state, which was, at first, reluctant to accept their gift.

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Opposition was considerable to overseas imperialism, especially the incorporation of foreign lands peopled by nonwhites. Race mattered. Also in Hawai‘i, white settlers competed for political dominance with the US military. White supremacy was not always uniform. At times, the oligarchy and military were in agreement as in extinguishing strikes; at other times, the military opposed the planters on the importation of Asian, particularly Japanese, migrant laborers. For the military, national security required a stable, productive economy, but homeland security demanded a reliance on citizen, not alien, labor. For the white settlers, that stable, productive economy—a desired state—was enabled by a docile, super-exploitable labor force, which alien Asian migrants supplied. Their power clash came to a head during World War II when, though partners in the war effort, the military assumed supreme control through the artifice of martial law. Instructive are the strategies deployed by the white oligarchy to maintain power and profits. Although alliances, including marriages, with Hawaiian elites and colonized minds advanced white supremacy during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, segregation from Asian migrant workers was the general rule. The distinction was of class but also race, ethnicity, gender, and, in the case of the Japanese, nation. To divide and thereby rule, planters encouraged workers to celebrate their ethnicities, providing segregated housing and encouraging cultural observances even as they reserved certain jobs and paid differential wages on the bases of race, ethnicity, and gender. Although they shared a common position in the relations of production, plantation workers were divided by the social formation, reinforced by a regime of multiculturalism. This early version of multicultural Hawai‘i instigated by the planters was a tool of oppression and exploitation. The Japanese were a particular group set apart by nation in what W. E. B. Du Bois called “the problem of the twentieth century.” Described as such in London, the seat of the British Empire, in 1900 at the century’s opening, the global problem, Du Bois observed, was European colonialism and the rise of Africans and Asians to free themselves from that human scourge. For some four hundred years, white supremacy or racism justified colonialism in Africa and Asia; antiracism and the drive for self-determination, Du Bois predicted, would revolutionize world history. When Japan defeated Russia in 1905, Du Bois and other black intellectuals saw Japan as the leader of the decolonization movement to end white supremacy. Whites in imperial Europe and the United States similarly perceived Japan as a threat to their dominance and hold. The problem of the color line, Du Bois, foresaw, was the problem of the twentieth century. In that context, after the 1909 and 1920 sugar plantation strikes, the US military in Hawai‘i and the white oligarchy depicted Japanese migrant workers as the leading edge of the approaching, global race war. The “Yellow Peril,” in force since the late nineteenth century, used Asians and Asian civilization to

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solidify whiteness, as opposed to competing European national races, to defend Christianity and European civilization. A common enemy and threat inspired essentialized races of white and nonwhite at the height of European imperialism in Africa and Asia for the white world’s colonization of the nonwhite world. As Kaiser Wilhelm II’s 1895 depiction of the Yellow Peril exhorted, nations of Europe (as whites) rise up to defend your holiest possession—Christian civilization against (nonwhite) paganism and barbarism. When Africans and Asians deployed those ideas of race and culture for Third World liberation and decolonization as voiced in the slogans “Africa for Africans” and “Asia for Asians,” European and US discourse fled race and race relations for ethnicity and cultural assimilation, discourses and practices critiqued by this book, Beyond Ethnicity. World War II Nazi white supremacist ideology was an obscenity, those intellectuals held, ignoring the four hundred years of white supremacy during the age of empire. Instead of the racial formation, they urged, culture is what matters, and pluralism or multiculturalism is celebrated. Still, for the sake of unity, diversity must be directed toward conformity to the dominant (in terms of power and not numbers) culture. In that way, the old relations of power prevailed, not in the name of race but under the banner of civilization and culture. In US sociology, the turn was from race relations to ethnic studies, from the predominance of race to the hegemony of ethnicity or culture. Similarly, in Hawai‘i, multiculturalism and racial thinking prevailed when they served the discursive and material ends of white supremacy as on the sugar plantations. About the same time that multiculturalism predominated in Hawai‘i, on the continent, by contrast, the Americanization movement was under way, designed to assimilate, absorb, and whiten the darker, non-Protestant, non-English-speaking immigrants from southern and eastern Europe. The process was directed at homogenization. When Japanese and Filipinos in the islands deployed cultural nationalism and the ethnic union to organize strikes, which imperiled white supremacy, the oligarchy abandoned multiculturalism for Americanization and the American way. That change was also prompted by the approaching war with Japan and the coming of age of the nisei or second generation, who were, unlike their parents, US citizens by virtue of the Constitution’s Fourteenth Amendment. Nisei citizenship and the vote could end white rule, the oligarchy anticipated, as was realized in the so-called Democratic Revolution of 1954. The New Americans movement of the 1920s and 1930s attempted to stem that tide by redirecting nisei consciousness (and votes) away from their co-ethnics and toward subservience to whites. Upward mobility, equal rights, and higher education were unAmerican, whites and their allies taught them; knowing their place as productive plantation workers was the American way. A similar picture arises in the US South. After the Civil War, in 1870, blacks outnumbered whites in Louisiana, Mississippi, and South Carolina, and

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were more than 40 percent of the population of Alabama, Florida, Georgia, and Virginia. With the vote during Radical Reconstruction, African Americans won political offices in those states. To “redeem” the Old South, whites imposed Jim Crow segregation, voting restrictions, and a reign of terror that reinstalled white supremacy. That pattern of nonwhite disenfranchisement continues in our time. Despite the Voting Rights Act of 1965, Republican states have enacted voting requirements that, though ostensibly race neutral, target for exclusion people of color who generally cast their ballots for the Democratic Party. In resistance, in Hawai‘i and on the continent, bloc voting, as white supremacists feared, has empowered African and Asian Americans but also reduced their reach beyond their particular groups. In the continental United States after World War II, assimilation and Anglo conformity sired the “model minority,” which was and is measured by Asian success in approximating whiteness and Anglo culture. In the rest of the world, the struggles for liberation and self-determination resulted in independent nationstates in Africa and Asia that altered four hundred years of world history but failed to dismantle white supremacy and neocolonialism. In the twenty-first century, nonwhite subjugation at home and imperialism abroad are still in force through a world-system of nation-states, transnational capitalism and regional economic zones and pacts, global juridical agreements and enforcements, the dominance of European languages, and the influence of US popular culture. Hawai‘i’s social relations presaged the rise of ethnicity and multiculturalism on the continent to contain the contagion of black (and brown, red, and yellow) racialized power, and cultural assimilation and Americanization divide people of color wherein Asians and Latinx have been granted a shade of whiteness. That smudging and recoloring of the color line, conceived of by Du Bois as white and nonwhite, accompanies the demographic shifts that project whites to become a numerical minority, as was long realized in Hawai‘i and, recently, California, New Mexico, Texas, and the District of Columbia. That elastic whiteness reworked as class and values amidst declarations of a “postracial” nation and the “browning” of America is designed to buttress flagging numbers of whites to preserve white supremacy and is essentially antiblack. White settler colonialism in Hawai‘i wielded multiculturalism to segregate the plantation workforce until laborers mobilized on the bases of race and ethnicity. After US annexation and faced with a settled, no longer migrant, nonwhite majority, the white oligarchy implemented strategies to maintain its powers through linguistic and ideological (discursive) hegemony, colonized minds, and popular myths like the aloha spirit, hybridity, and the absence of race. All the while, US naval vessels anchor in Pu‘uloa and foreign troops occupy vast tracts of the islands’ choicest lands. Haoles (foreigners) pollute sacred sites with bombs and telescopes; they predominate in schools, state offices, and businesses; and they refuse to acknowledge responsibility in the theft of Hawaiian sovereignty.

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Hawai‘i matters in the formation of the capitalist world-system and of the US settler nation-state. Hawai‘i matters in the colonization of native peoples, and their unflagging struggles for self-determination despite US annexation. Hawaiians have had to contend with the contradictions of sovereignty independent of but within the US nation-state. Hawai‘i matters in US imperialism and neocolonialism in Asia and the Pacific, together with the transnational, global capitalism that accompanies and structures that new world order. Hawai‘i matters in the discursive moves from race to ethnicity, from white supremacy to multiculturalism and the postracial nation-state. No mere islands “out there,” Hawai‘i demarcates and populates the core of the US social formation and consciousness. Indeed, Hawai‘i matters. Notes  1. Like Michael Omi and Howard Winant’s Racial Formation in the United States: From the 1960s to the 1990s (New York: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1986), which responded to the dominance of the ethnicity model in US sociology.  2. As explained in my Third World Studies: Theorizing Liberation (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2016).  3. A gender-neutral form of Latina/o.  4. Illustrative of the complications of incorporating US imperial acquisitions are the series of US Supreme Court rulings on insular cases (1901–1905) establishing the doctrine of “incorporated” and “unincorporated” territories. In 2016, the Court let stand the decision that Samoans born in US Samoa, an “unincorporated” territory, did not have birthright US citizenship per the Fourteenth Amendment.­

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Maile Arvin is assistant professor of history and gender at the University of Utah. She is a Native Hawaiian feminist scholar who writes about settler colonialism, decolonization, and race, gender, and science in Hawai‘i and the broader Pacific. She earned her PhD in ethnic studies from the University of California, San Diego in 2013. She is a former University of California President’s Postdoctoral Fellow, Charles Eastman Fellow (Dartmouth College), and Ford Foundation Predoctoral Fellow. Her work has been published in the journals American Quarterly, Native American and Indigenous Studies, Critical Ethnic Studies, The Scholar & Feminist, and Feminist Formations. Camilla Fojas teaches in American studies and media studies at the University of Virginia. Her books include Cosmopolitanism in the Americas (Purdue University Press, 2005), Border Bandits: Hollywood on the Southern Frontier (University of Texas Press, 2008), Islands of Empire: Pop Culture and U.S. Power (University of Texas Press, 2014), Zombies, Migrants, and Queers: Race and Crisis Capitalism in Pop Culture (University of Illinois Press, 2017), and Migrant Labor and Border Securities in Pop Culture (Routledge, 2017). She coedited Mixed Race Hollywood (New York University Press, 2008) with Mary Beltrán, Transnational Crossroads: Remapping the Americas and the Pacific (University of Nebraska Press, 2012) with Rudy Guevarra. Her articles have appeared in Aztlán, Cinema Journal, Symplōke, Journal of Asian American Studies, Journal of Popular Film and Television, Comparative American Studies among other journals and edited collections. She is currently working on a new project on surveillance and security in the Americas and American Pacific tentatively titled Cultures of Surveillance: U.S. Imperial Networks across the Americas and the Pacific. Rudy P. Guevarra Jr. is associate professor of Asian Pacific American studies in the School of Social Transformation at Arizona State University. His publications include Becoming Mexipino: Multiethnic Identities and Communities in San Diego (Rutgers University Press, 2012), Transnational Crossroads: Remapping the Americas and the Pacific (University of Nebraska Press, 2012), coedited with


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220 Contributors

Camilla Fojas, Red and Yellow, Black and Brown: Decentering Whiteness in Mixed Race Studies (Rutgers University Press, 2017), coedited with Paul Spickard and Joanne Rondilla, and Aloha Compadre: Latina/os in Hawai‘ i, 1832–2010 (Rutgers University Press, forthcoming). He has also published articles in the Journal of Asian American Studies, the Journal of San Diego History, and the Asian American Literary Review. Roderick N. Labrador is associate professor of ethnic studies at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa. He is the coauthor of Filipinos in Hawai‘ i (with Theodore Gonzalves), coeditor of Empire of Funk: Hip Hop and Representation in Filipina/o America (with Mark Villegas and DJ Kuttin’ Kandi), and author of Building Filipino Hawai‘ i. He is currently working on two book projects (with the University of Washington Press): “Where the Hustle and Struggle Coincide”: Place, Politics, and Rap in Filipina/o America and Town All Day: Scenes in Seattle Rap (with George Quibuyen aka Geo of Blue Scholars and The Bar). Christopher Joseph Lopa is a master’s level social worker and addictions counselor in the State of Hawai‘i. He has worked in the social service field for the past nineteen years with a diverse client base that includes adolescents in the Department of Education and adults in the Hawai‘i State Judiciary, the Adult Mental Health Division, and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Lopa was raised on O‘ahu for most of his life but has also split time living on the East (DC/Maryland) and the West Coast (Southern California). It is this transitory lifestyle that has allowed Chris to experience Blackness in Hawai‘i and abroad. Jonathan Y. Okamura is a professor in the Department of Ethnic Studies at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa and conducts research and writes on race and ethnicity. He is the author of From Race to Ethnicity: Interpreting Japanese American Experiences in Hawai‘ i (2014), Ethnicity and Inequality in Hawai‘ i (2008), and Imagining the Filipino American Diaspora: Transnational Relations, Identities, and Communities (1998). His current research projects include a book manuscript, Raced to Death, on the Myles Fukunaga murder case in 1928 and a study on ethnic inequality in K–12 and postsecondary public education in Hawai‘i for the Hawai‘i State Teachers Association union. Gary Y. Okihiro is professor of international and public affairs and the founding director of the Center for the Study of Ethnicity and Race at Columbia University. He is author of twelve books, including his latest, Third World Studies: Theorizing Liberation (2016). He received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Studies Association and the Association for Asian American Studies, and received an honorary doctorate from the University of the Ryukyus, Okinawa.

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Contributors  221

Joakim Peter is a PhD student in the Special Education Department at the College of Education, University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa. He is the chairman of the COFA-Community Advocacy Network and cofounder of the We Are Oceania Center in Hawai‘i, which provide advocacy toward changes in social policy and services for Micronesian communities in Hawai‘i and throughout the nation. John P. Rosa is associate professor of history at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa with a focus on the social and cultural history of twentieth-century Hawai‘i and the histories of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in the United States. He previously taught at Arizona State University in Tempe, Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, and at Kamehameha Schools, Kapālama, on the island of O‘ahu. His book Local Story: The Massie-Kahahawai Case and the Culture of History (2014) was published by the University of Hawai‘i Press. Nitasha Tamar Sharma is associate professor of African American studies and Asian American studies, and has a courtesy appointment in performance studies at Northwestern University, where she was the Charles Deering McCormick Professor of Teaching Excellence. Sharma is the author of Hip Hop Desis: South Asian Americans, Blackness, and a Global Race Consciousness (Duke University Press, 2010). She has contributed to several recent volumes in Asian American studies, Critical Mixed Race studies, and South Asian American studies, including Flashpoints for Asian American Studies (Fordham University Press, forthcoming); Red and Yellow, Black and Brown: Decentering Whiteness in Mixed Race Studies (Rutgers University Press, 2017) and South Asian Racialization and Belonging after 9/11: Masks of Threat (Lexington Books, 2016). Nitasha Sharma is writing an ethnography of the Black Pacific, detailing the lives and perspectives of Hawai‘i’s Black residents. Her article “Pacific Revisions of Blackness: Blacks Address Race and Belonging in Hawai‘i,” in Amerasia Journal (2011), stems from this research. Paul Spickard teaches history, Black studies, and Asian American studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara. He has taught at fifteen universities in the United States and abroad. He is author or editor of nineteen books and eightyish articles on race, Pacific peoples, and related topics, including Race in Mind (2015), Global Mixed Race (2014), Almost All Aliens: Immigration, Race and Colonialism in American History and Identity (2007), Pacific Diaspora (2003), and Mixed Blood: Intermarriage and Ethnic Identity in 20th-Century America (1989). Wayne Chung Tanaka is an attorney and policy advocate for issues relating to environmental protection and the rights and interests of the Native Hawaiian

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222 Contributors

community. He has also worked closely with members of Hawai‘i’s diverse Micronesian communities in their efforts to establish access to health care consistent with the Compact of Free Association agreements, the long history of Micronesian islanders’ relationships with Native Hawaiians and the United States, and the principles of international human rights. Aiko Yamashiro is a PhD student of decolonial literature and social movements of Hawai‘i and the Pacific. She is the coeditor of The Value of Hawai‘ i 2: Ancestral Roots, Oceanic Visions (University of Hawai‘i Press, 2014) and blogger at Ke Kaupu Hehi Ale.

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African American (see also Black), 23, 50, 82–83, 85, 109, 115, 117, 119, 123, 125, 127–129, 131–132, 141, 147, 198, 216 Akaka Bill, 50 aloha spirit, 6, 14, 155–159, 170, 211, 217 art, 55, 143, 148–149, 202; Black art, 151 Asian American, 23–25, 27, 38–40, 43, 50, 62, 64, 85, 87, 96–97, 99, 103– 104, 109, 130, 133, 160, 180–181, 203–204, 211, 216–217 Baca, Herman, 152–154 Baldoz, Rick, 115, 120 Bishop Museum, 30, 35 Black (also see African American), 1, 10, 12–13, 23–25, 27–29, 32, 34, 36, 41, 73, 83, 110, 114, 116, 118–119, 123–126, 131–132, 134, 139–144, 146–147, 151, 180, 212, 215 Black Power Movement, 117, 127–128, 130–131 Black–White binary, 9 Blackness, 12–13, 22–25, 29, 36, 114– 115, 117, 121, 125, 127–130, 133, 135, 142, 144, 147, 149 blood quantum regulations and implications for policy, 13, 28, 84, 116, 180 Bonilla-Silva, Eduardo, 68, 107 Canada, 25, 119 Caucasian, 30, 99, 106, 122, 182

census, 63, 98, 101 Chamorro, 85 Chicana/o, 153, 161, 168 child or children, 19, 42, 62, 87, 115– 116, 124–125, 139, 140–143, 145, 154, 162, 179, 185, 198–202, 213; childhood, 129, 144, 184 Chinese, 2, 7, 9, 14, 39, 48–49, 63, 67, 84–86, 88, 96, 116, 118, 120, 125, 133, 143, 180–181, 183, 186, 198, 203; Chinese American, 98, 102– 103, 152–153 church, 87, 125, 168 Chuuk, 42, 85, 89, 97, 196, 199, 201– 202, 205 citizenship, 4, 9, 30, 156, 159, 216; undocumented, 152–159, 163–169, 203 Civil Beat: Hawai‘ i News, 5, 88, 184 civil rights, 42, 121, 131–132, 143, 146, 168 Compact of Free Association (COFA), 16, 97, 193–194, 196–201, 204–206 Cook, Captain James, 80, 90, 120, 178–179 dating, relationships, 58, 143, 146 decolonization, 5, 132, 215–216 Deedy-Elderts case, 8–9, 100, 104–107 discrimination, 41–43, 108, 153, 158, 206, 212 education, 7, 54–55, 73, 98, 101–103, 116, 127, 134, 139–140, 143, 148, 180, 181, 195, 198, 200, 202, 216 223

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224 Index

Europe or European, 21–22, 24–26, 33, 81, 88, 120, 132, 179, 212–213, 215–217 Filipina/o, 1–2, 6, 8–9, 11–13, 21, 52, 56, 62–64, 67-73, 81, 84–86, 118, 125, 157, 160, 163, 169, 180– 183, 187, 198, 203, 216; Filipino American, 61, 95–99, 102–104, 109 genocide, 25, 27, 116 Goodyear-Ka‘ōpua, Noelani, 73 haole, 1, 9, 12, 15, 50–59, 64, 79–85, 88, 95–96, 98–100, 104–108, 110, 116, 118–122, 128–129, 132–133, 178–187, 212, 217 hapa, 117, 120–121, 124, 129–130, 133, 181, 186; Black hapa, 129 Hawai‘i Creole (see also pidgin), 70, 78, 83, 87–89, 97, 100 health care, 16, 49, 116, 119, 193–201, 205 Hereniko, Vilsoni, 65–66 hip-hop (see also rap), 14, 133, 149–151 Hispanic, 2, 50, 86, 100, 119, 152, 160, 164, 167, 185 Hōkūle’a, 15, 193–196 Hollywood, 12, 23–25, 32–33, 36, 48–53, 57, 150 homeless, 24, 97, 203 Honolulu Advertiser, 154, 158–160, 164–165, 167–168 Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 154, 159–160, 162, 164 housing, 97, 141, 163, 199; segregated, 215 Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility (IIRAIRA), 197–198 Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agent or raid, 156, 165, 167–169

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Immigration and Naturalization Act, 63 independence movement, 121, 213– 214; in terms of energy and conservation, 204; in West Papua, 43 Indian (South Asian), 26, 82 Indigenous, 6, 9, 11, 22–23, 25–33, 36, 41, 43, 49–50, 55, 65, 73, 97, 119, 132, 134, 150, 187, 194, 196, 201–203, 212–213; Indigeneity, 1–2, 9–10, 13–14, 28, 64, 74–75, 115, 118, 120–121, 125, 212 Inouye, Daniel, U.S. senator, 64, 83 intersections of race, ethnicity, and culture, 1; gender and ethnicity, 212; local-nonlocal, ethnicity, indigeneity, and race on the Hawaiian islands, 10; race and culture, 51; race and empire, 16; race and gender, 128; race, racism, and Indigeneity, 74; racial discourse and social policy, 205; racism, power, and access to material resources, 11 Japanese, 1–2, 7, 9, 11, 37, 39, 63, 67, 84–89, 96, 110, 116–120, 125, 133, 143, 181, 183, 186, 202–203, 212–216; Japanese American, 42–43, 83, 95, 98–99, 101–103, 110, 180, 205 joke or joking, 10, 12–13, 16, 41, 62–73, 75, 89, 97–98, 198 Kamehameha, King, 155 Kamehameha Schools, 108 Kānaka Maoli (see also Native Hawaiian), 1–2, 5–6, 9, 11–13, 15–16, 64, 73, 78–80, 84, 87, 107, 114–116, 118–122, 130–132, 157, 179–180, 182, 186–187, 203; epistemologies, 130 Korea or Korean, 32, 37–38, 81–89, 143, 203, 205; Korean American, 96–97, 105

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Index  225

Latina/o, 1–2, 6, 9–11, 14–16, 23, 27, 79, 86, 100, 152–170, 187; Latinx, 212, 217 Lee, Shelley, 115, 120 Lili‘uokalani, Queen, 5, 81, 22, 125 Lingle, Linda, governor of Hawai‘i, 198–199 Māori, 23, 26, 29–30, 32–35, 82 marriage, 51, 55, 87, 96, 115, 139, 215; intermarriage, 28, 87 Massie-Kahahawai case, 8, 81 Mexican, 100, 152–177, 211 Micronesian, 2, 6–12, 15–16, 23–25, 41–43, 87, 97–98, 108, 118, 157, 169, 181, 183, 187, 193–206, 212 military, 7, 10, 14–16, 23, 31, 37, 42, 49, 79, 81–83, 100, 108, 116, 120–127, 130–134, 139–140, 143, 150, 160, 179–182, 187, 206, 211, 214– 215; militarism, 115, 203; testing weapons on Hawai’i, 142 missions and missionaries, 26, 56, 79–80, 83, 87, 124–125, 178–179, 214; pre-missionary arrivals to Hawai’i, 140 mixed race, 4, 6, 12, 50, 63, 180, 186 multicultural paradise trope, 4, 6–7, 10–12, 49–53, 57, 65, 74, 109, 115, 117, 143, 155, 211, 215, 217; liberalism, 57, 63; melting pot, 74, 180, 203; settler colonialism, 63–74 music, 19, 116, 128, 135, 141, 148–149, 167–168, 194; Black music, 14, 122, 139, 142–143, 147–148, 150 Native American or American Indian, 16, 22, 28, 83, 85, 87, 204, 211, 213 Native Hawaiian (see also Kānaka Maoli), 2, 4–5, 7, 14, 22–27, 33, 38–43, 50, 80, 82–87, 95–98, 102–104, 108–109, 116, 119, 121, 125, 130–134, 140, 146, 155, 179– 183, 203–205, 217

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Navy, U.S., 107 Nisei, 216 Okamura, Jonathan, 10, 13, 16, 39, 62, 68, 70, 94–113, 117–119, 157–158 one-drop rule, 116 overthrow of Hawaiian monarchy, 5, 16, 108, 115, 140, 180, 182 Papa Mau (Grand Master Navigator Pius “Papa” Mau Piailug), 16, 194– 197, 202, 207 parent, 55, 69, 130, 141, 168, 206 Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (PRWORA), 197–198 Philippines, 63, 179, 213 pidgin (see also Hawai’i Creole), 4, 6, 35, 39, 70, 78, 89, 97, 100, 130, 133, 144, 151, 179, 181, 184, 186, 187 police or policing, 24, 107, 165 Polynesian, 7, 11–12, 15, 21–38, 40–43, 128, 143, 148, 193, 202; Polynesian Problem, 34 prison, 48, 119–120 Puerto Rican, 2, 81, 86, 95, 100, 122, 152, 155, 164, 198 Punahou School, 82, 87–88 racial hazing, 12, 63, 67, 69–70, 73 racial vog perspective, 73–74 Rangihiroa, Te, 29–30 rap (see also hip hop), 61, 63, 66, 70, 149–150 religion, 72, 96 Rice v. Cayetano case, 10, 50, 64, 120 Samoan, 22, 29, 31, 56, 61, 97, 102, 141, 157, 181, 198 Saranillio, Dean, 21, 39, 63–64 school, 35, 54, 68, 98, 101, 143, 162, 199, 202, 217 segregation, 215–216; Jim Crow era, 126, 216 self-determination, 73, 121, 146, 157, 169, 215

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226 Index

settler colonialism, 11–12, 23–40, 50, 63–67, 71–74, 97, 105, 133, 156, 204, 213, 217 sexuality, 212; hypersexuality, 116 soldier, 116, 126 Southeast Asian, 83, 87 sovereignty, 39, 105, 157, 169, 196, 202 sport, 52, 56, 142 strike, labor, 95, 127, 214 surfing, 51–54 Tahitian, 29, 35, 85 Tongan, 29, 35, 85, 97, 118, 169, 198 transnational, 204, 217

Waikīkī, Hawai‘i, 4, 8, 61, 94, 104, 106–107, 123, 126, 154, 178 Walker, Isaiah Helekunihi, 12, 52, 54 whaling industry and ships, 123, 127, 130, 141 Whiteness, as anti-Blackness and White supremacy, 5, 10–12, 15, 22–32, 36–42, 107–108, 133, 179, 182– 183, 215, 217; Whiteness studies, 107 World War II, 31, 95, 97

Uperesa, Lisa, 1–2

Yap, 202 Yellow Face, 32, 36 Yellow Peril, 215 Young, Kanalu, 108

Vietnam War, 141

Zócalo Public Square forum, 4–6, 109

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