Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Musings: Irksome Smugness

Venus and Jupiter are dancing in the west about sunset time these evenings, and though they were long gone by the time Koko and I hit the road this morning, we were treated to another lovely show of sun-flushed clouds in hues of coral, pink, lavender and yellow.

As we approached my neighbor Andy, Koko stood on her back legs, front legs waving in delight, and he remarked that no one greeted him quite so warmly as Koko.

Just imagine how the world would be if people showed their enthusiasm like that, I said. Yes, he agreed, but then think about what would happen when we approached people we didn’t like and started growling.

Ah, the niceties of so-called civilized behavior, where one hides one’s true feelings beneath a veneer of politeness in an attempt not to offend.

Of course, some folks let it all hang out, among them former Star-Bulletin reporter Tony Sommer, who is lately trying to make hay and even scores with his book “KPD Blue,” a poorly researched and highly editorialized rehash of old news billed as a political expose.

In an email to blogger Andy Parx, it became clear why Tony's tenure in this place was so miserable. His take on the recent Council elections and committee organizations reeks of the white man’s burden still shouldered by the neo missionaries who come to Kauai to try and save the poor locals from themselves, and then give up in disgust when the ingrates fail to realize what’s good for them. He wrote:

But, the fact is, the Kauai County government REALLY does represent the majority on Kauai. They REALLY are much more like Asing and Carvalho (Dumb and Duymber) than like us haoles.

And that's why there is no hope for that place.

It really is about race (or at least provincialism).


After espousing that most Kauai locals are “pretty ignorant” and the “smart, ambitious ones all left for Honolulu or the mainland,” he went on to say he would love to be a guest on blogger Katy Rose’s KKCR talk show, discussing “racism [presumably not his own] and brown privilege as it exists on Kauai.”

“What brown privilege?” asked farmer Jerry when I met him on the road and dished the dirt on Tony. “You mean living on the beach for free because you no more one house?”

Tony went on to write:

The majority on Kauai don't want "change in society." They want it to stay just the way it was about 50 years ago. That's their "perceived set of interests." They don't care about your "sincerity, empathy and commitment." They just want you to, as they like to put it: "Go back where you came from."

Tony, whose grousing is most likely based in the unpleasant discovery that, as Katy put it, “his skin color doesn't automatically gain him a place of privilege in social interactions in Hawaii,” did finally take the hint and went back to America – Arizona, to be exact — where he no doubt finds plenty of opportunity to entertain his notions of superiority in a place he describes as “a bit primitive.”

Unfortunately, Tony's attitudes are shared by too many others in America's colonies. They all might be able to learn something by watching a fascinating video interview — posted on Katy’s blog — where Angela Davis speaks quite eloquently on racism, capitalism and prison abolition.

And while I’m on the subject of smug attitudes that irk me, Advertiser reporter Derrick DePledge last week reviewed the “Superferry Chronicles” in which he disses the book in part because:

The central theory — so far unproven and denied by Superferry executives — is that Superferry is a military prototype designed to help shipbuilder Austal USA win lucrative defense contracts.

I’m not quite sure why Derrick feels that Superferry executives, who are prone to lies and exaggerations, should be trusted. But despite his refusal to even entertain the notion of this central theory — perhaps because he didn’t think of it himself — evidence to prove it continues to mount.

The most recent little nugget is contained in an Air Force Times article reprinted — well after blogs, including this one, had already broken the story — in his very own newspaper about Austal winning the Joint High Speed Vessel contract.

The article reports:

The contract to build up to 10 Joint High Speed Vessels, or JHSVs, is worth $1.6 billion if all the initial options are exercised.

Unofficially, the program could grow to more than twice that — Pentagon planners are said to be revising upward the number of JHSVs they want to buy, perhaps to as many as 25 ships.”


It goes on to state that the design is based on Austal’s WestPac Express, which was leased to the Marine Corps at Okinawa, then notes that the new JHSVs must meet other requirements:

The ships are to remain operational in Sea State 3 and able to survive Sea State 7.

And where do they regularly have seas that are that rough? You got it, right here in Hawaii, where the Superferry has spent the last year bucking through big Barf-o-Meter waves, showing Austal exactly what does, and doesn’t, work with its design.

But no, there’s nothing to that military prototype theory. Nothing at all.

42 comments:

Anonymous said...

You seem to have misread Derrick DePledge's criticism. He didn't diss the book because of this "central theory." In the sentence prior to the one you quote he makes clear that his criticism of the authors is that they accept the theory without skepticism. There is a difference.

Andy Parx said...

I’m not defending Tony or Katy or saying he or she is right or wrong- it’s a good conversation to have and I hope he will appear via phone on her program to discuss it.

But to be clear he’s talking about the discriminatory hiring practices within Kaua`i County government (and even Kaua`i-based State government), not some “brown privilege” (which to be fair to all were my words in posing the question) within the community at large. Does anyone deny that it is not the case that it is a huge advantage in county hiring to be non-white? Perhaps it is a result of a geographic discrimination and a bent to hire people born and raised on Kaua`i but whatever the reason the result is that the racial makeup of those in county government does not “look like” the community at large.

Those in county government may serve a greater white privileged developer and big money interest group but the racial makeup cannot be denied nor can the discriminatory practices that made it that way.

MauiBrad said...

Responding to Derrick:

...The production of the 2 SF’s were not so much an operational demonstration project, but instead they were a construction demonstration project to develop the location and labor force to build more of these type of vessels (JHSV) for the DoD. You don’t see Austal-USA still trying to build any other large commercial fast ferries in Mobile. Their pubicly stated goal is to build military JHSV’s and LCS’s there. This would be different if Austal hulls A615 and A616 had been built in Western Australia, but they weren’t.

As for the book, it’s not perfect, but the introduction, transcribed testimonies and interviews, and complete timeline has not been published in it’s entirety by anyone else. So many of the oral testimonies weren’t even documented by neither the Governor nor the Legislature at their Neighbor Island hearings. The Legislature has volumes and volumes of knowledgeable testimony on this that nothing was done with.

I think it is just good that somebody completed a book on it.

The real interesting point will be to see what the State Supreme Court does on Dec. 18 - 19th, and thereafter.

Aloha, Brad

P.S. To Derrick's credit he responded favorably to HSF as a "construction demonstration project" line of thought.

Katy Rose said...

But Andy, that doesn't not mean that white people in Hawai'i are an oppressed minority. Although, as I've said before, we do suffer disproportionate rates of residency on the expensive North Shore, second-home ownership, private school education, higher income levels, and other burdens.

Hawai'i is a neo-colony of the US. Empires not entirely blinded by their own stagnant conservatism have learned that neo-colonialism is much less expensive and far more efficient, as Peter Gelderloos puts it, "at enriching the colonizer than direct colonial administration, and more efficient at maintaining power once direct colonialism has successfully effected the necessary political and economic reorganization within the colonies."

In other words, the fact that the political establishment in Hawai'i acts directly and aggressively to defend and advance the interests of US capital and the military so far outweighs the question of whether or not a white person can get a job with Kaua'i county as to reduce it to insignificance.

Anonymous said...

In other words, the fact that the political establishment in Hawai'i acts directly and aggressively to defend and advance the interests of US capital and the military so far outweighs the question of whether or not a white person can get a job with Kaua'i county as to reduce it to insignificance.

Uh, not if you're a white person wanting to get a job with Kaua'i county. Why should Katy's pet critical theory trump everyone else's concerns, anyway? She is basically saying, "don't talk about what you want to talk about. Talk about what I want to talk about. What you think is important is not as important as what I think is important."

Katy Rose said...

Why would I want to stop people from talking about it? That's silly. I'm simply critiquing what I see to be a false equivalence, given the overwhelming unearned privilege that white skin bestows on those who have it.

I'm not defending bias or discrimination. That's always messed up on an individual level no matter who you are. But to cherry pick that without looking at it in context is intellectually dishonest.

Anonymous said...

I'm simply critiquing what I see to be a false equivalence, given the overwhelming unearned privilege that white skin bestows on those who have it.

Nobody said there was any equivalence. Reread Andy's comment. You said the issue of whether or not a white person can get a job with Kaua'i county is insignificant. It's not, your pet social theories notwithstanding.

Katy Rose said...

Okay, maybe we really do need liberation movement for white people. God knows we suffer.

Anonymous said...

It's a dialogue about race in hiring in the county government. Deal with it. Does such dialogue threaten you? You can't seem to handle it. Merely mentioning the facts of it subjects you to Katy's sarcasm.

Joan said...

The production of the 2 SF’s were not so much an operational demonstration project, but instead they were a construction demonstration project

Brad, what makes you so sure? Austal knows the construction requirements for building fast ferries. Mobile is a ship building town, so gathering a labor force isn't a problem. Yes, they did have to establish a US presence to win military contracts. But they could have done that building ferries for other markets that were more receptive and even more important, more lucrative for the operators.

What they didn't know was how the ferries would perform going fast regularly in rough waters, which is what blew it for the only other prototype that's been built, the Sea Fighter. And that's why they needed Hawaii.

Anonymous said...

What they didn't know was how the ferries would perform going fast regularly in rough waters, which is what blew it for the only other prototype that's been built, the Sea Fighter. And that's why they needed Hawaii.

And we got an alternative mode of inter-island transportation. Sounds like a win-win to people who don't have a grudge against the military or corporations.

Katy Rose said...

I don't object to or even feel that it's inappropriate to question fairness as a principle in civil-service hiring practices. But I would imagine that in any small community in the US, who you know and where you come from impacts hiring. That's not to say it's fair or right, but small communities very much operate in this way everywhere. I just find it kind of funny that as soon as the people doing the hiring are brown skinned instead of white skinned, white people so easily claim to be victims of race discrimination. I think that's something of an indication of the way we are brought up to expect certain privileges, and disinclined to question them.

Anonymous said...

I don't object to or even feel that it's inappropriate to question fairness as a principle in civil-service hiring practices.

...as long as you're not white.

Anonymous said...

I think a discussion of racism against whites would be a courageous effort on the part of a radio talk show host, as well as the cultural practice of eating dogs, fighting roosters, and chaining dogs.

fastshipfan said...

Rsponding to Maui Brad's comment:
You don’t see Austal-USA still trying to build any other large commercial fast ferries in Mobile.... This would be different if Austal hulls A615 and A616 had been built in Western Australia, but they weren’t.
Under US law it is illegal for passenger vessels operating between US ports to be built outside the United States. The Superferries HAD to be built in the United States. I am sure Austal USA would build other large commercial ferries in the US if there was demand (there's only a few large fast ferries in the US) or if it was cheaper than building in Australia. They are a business after all.

Responding to Joan's comment: But they could have done that building ferries for other markets that were more receptive and even more important, more lucrative for the operators.
What they didn't know was how the ferries would perform going fast regularly in rough waters...

You seem to be suggesting that Austal somehow created Hawaii Superferry. Where's the evidence for that? And why would they do that - they have already built vessels, including WestPac Express, that operate in different sea conditions all over the world, and that includes rough seas.

I can't see any evidence to suggest that Austal is part of some conspiracy. Hawaii Superferry wanted some large fast ferries and raised the money to pay for them, Austal had the US shipyard required to build them - a straightforward case of demand and supply.

Anonymous said...

Under US law it is illegal for passenger vessels operating between US ports to be built outside the United States.

Does that reek of a sop to Big Labor or what?

Ed Coll said...

Joan wrote,
"Tony Sommer, who is lately trying to make hay and even scores with his book “KPD Blue,” a poorly researched and highly editorialized rehash of old news billed as a political expose."

Wow! That's a pretty harsh criticism Joan. While I don't buy Tony's racial slant (racism is not the cause of the corruption Tony detailed in the book,and even the ethnic makeup of County hires, which do not reflect the ethnic makeup of general Kauai population is an artifact of favoritism/corruption which appears to be racism), and yes there are errors of fact in the book, but I think the book is on-the-whole accurate. To be honest I have found it difficult to find any report of something I witnessed myself to be error free(even from the best journalists).

The Superferry Chronicles authors have faced the same charge of "trying to make hay." You implied Tony's intention to was to "even scores", but isn't going to motive without proof the same type of editorializing you accuse Tony of doing (and correctly so)? Couldn't Tony's motive be to expose to a wider audience the level of corruption on Kauai?

Anything reported after-the-fact is "rehash" to witnesses of the actual events. History books are full of such rehashed errors and editorializing.

Not that I think "KPD Blue" is comparable to the "The People's History of the United States" by Howard Zinn, but all of your criticisms of "KPD Blue" of being a poorly researched, highly editorialized, rehash to even a score could equally apply (and have been made).

I found on the whole the corruption Tony detailed to be the most accurate assemblage of events from that time period I have read. My criticism of "KPD Blue"is Tony's misplaced focus on racism as the cause of corruption, and his failure to references primary sources in the endnotes. These omissions do indeed make the billing of "KPD Blue"as a "political expose" completely accurate. The book could easily be read in 3 hours, and the casual reader would have a fairly accurate picture of corruption on Kauai.

Ed Coll said...

Katy Rose wrote; "In other words, the fact that the political establishment in Hawai'i acts directly and aggressively to defend and advance the interests of US capital and the military so far outweighs the question of whether or not a white person can get a job with Kaua'i county as to reduce it to insignificance."

Exactly Katy!

MauiBrad said...

Joan asked: "Brad, what makes you so sure? Austal knows the construction requirements for building fast ferries."

It's not what Austal knows that mattered...it's what they could show to DoD...

Hulls A615 and A616 were a construction demonstration project to develop the location and labor force to build more of these type of vessels (JHSV) for the DoD. You don’t see Austal-USA still trying to build any other large commercial fast ferries in Mobile. Their pubicly stated goal is to build military JHSV’s and LCS’s there.

Aloha, Brad

Anonymous said...

> The majority on Kauai don't want "change in society." They want it to stay just the way it was about 50 years ago. That's their "perceived set of interests." They don't care about your "sincerity, empathy and commitment." They just want you to, as they like to put it: "Go back where you came from." <

You hear the same kind of not-so-thinly veiled racism from the same kind of people in the towns boarding the mainland rez's.

Different names, same spew. Sad.

MauiBrad said...

Responding to fastshipfan:

"Under US law it is illegal for passenger vessels operating between US ports to be built outside the United States."

But, there are plenty of fast ferries operating between American and Canadian ports and there are plenty of fast ferries operating in the Caribbean. Austal-USA is not building any commercial fast ferries for them.

"I am sure Austal USA would build other large commercial ferries in the US if there was demand..."

That there isn't the demand says a lot in and of itself.

The Mobile operations are there to build military ships, and building HSF Hulls A615 and A616 with state and federal assistance vitally helped to develop the labor force and prove the location capability for later JHSV and LCS contracts. BTW, construction began on the Alakai in June 2004. Austal's LCS-2 was ordered October 14, 2005.

Aloha, Brad

Tony Sommer said...

The real question is whether either Katy Rose or Joan asked whether either of them could use those quotes from me.

They were made in two emails I sent to Katy Rose in which I offered to appear on her program.

Those were private communications NOT intended to be published or shared with others.

(That doesn't mean I wouldn't say those things in public but at least they would be in context, and they aren't here).

Katy's use of them I can partially understand because she is an amateur.

Joan, however, pretends to be a professional journalist.

Her first question of Katy should have been: Do you have Tony's permission to publish these comments from a private communication?

Her second should have been aimed at me, as in asking me to amplify on those statements, because that's what real journalists do.

Fact is Joan is just a pretend journalist. She plays at it when the mood strikes her but she in no way is a professional.

Look at her resume. Basically, she hides out on Kauai and piddles around with writing (mostly puff pieces) on a free-lance basis.

All that said, what was quoted is accurate but some of it is totally out of context -- or at least doesn't contain Katy Rose's response to my initial offer.

What she said she wanted to talk about is "white racism" and "white privelege" on Kauai.

I told her no, the problem on Kauai is brown racism. And the fear locals have of the outside haole world.

If there is "white privelege," I sure never saw it or took advantage of it.

Sure, there are rich white people, most of them retirees, living in Poipu and Princeville, but I've never seen or heard any evidence of bigotry on their part.

I saw lots of bigotry on the part of many locals, however.

The don't have "Kill Locals Day" in the public schools where white kids beat up the local kids.

What they DO have is "Kill Haole Day" in which the local kids beat up the white kids.

That's a true fact.

Another fact is that Kauai is a place where 40 percent of the labor force is white.

But only 8 percent of the Kauai County employees are white.

What's wrong with this picture?

The fact is that there is a "brain drain" not only on Kauai but throughout Hawaii.

The smart, ambitious local kids leave because there are no opportunities for them.

So, who is left on Kauai?

Racism (or provincialism if you prefer to put lipstick on the pig) is indeed a central theme in my book.

The story is about two police chiefs who were considered outsiders, the opposition they received from the totally local middle management of KPD and the complete lack of support they received from two mayors and a long line of County Council members.

Why?

Because the majority of the electorate on Kauai is local, and the cabal within KPD opposing those two chiefs was local.

And getting elected and then re-elected is what politicians do.

So, they pander to the local majority. Because that is where the votes are.

And that is what the book is about.

Ed, just FYI, the book was not intended as a scholarly document, thus there are not footnotes or end notes citing sources.

If there had been, there would have been citations of the hundreds of stories I wrote in my eight years as a daily newspaper reporter on Kauai.

I didn't see the point in citing my own stories, especially since the source of all the facts and quotes is made clear in the text (I pretty much just glued all those stories together).

Racism, and I mean racism by locals directed against outsiders, is Hawaii's "Dirty Little Secret."

If you don't see that every day, you really are in denial.

The book was written because it is a fact of life on Kauai that no one ever talks about.

Ever hear the term "diversity" used?

Do public employees (especially cops) get and "sensitivity training" in dealing with people of other races and cultures?

That's what the book is about.

If you believe otherwise, please say so. If you want to call me, my phone number is listed. Has been my entire career.

Even if I just get people on Kauai to discuss the topic, the book has served its intended purpose.

Oh, and it's selling quite well, by the way. I won't get rich off of it, but I never hoped or planned to.

One final note: Those of you who post as "Anonymous" are proving my point about discrimination.

Who or what are you afraid of?

Use your real name.

I do.

Tony Sommer

Anonymous said...

If Somers really wrote, "They REALLY are much more like Asing and Carvalho (Dumb and Duymber) than like us haoles", then he's as racist as anyone else. On Kauai, there are so many people who are, as Barack Obama called himself, mutts. I think that's the answer: interracial f---ing. So everybody, let's get busy!

Ed Coll said...

Tony wrote, "The story is about two police chiefs who were considered outsiders, the opposition they received from the totally local middle management of KPD and the complete lack of support they received from two mayors and a long line of County Council members."

Absolutely correct! This corruption is indeed the main story. Growing up down south I am well aware of what racism is and it is not the same as provincialism. Provincialism is a local focus acting primarily on behalf of yourself and your friends to maintain power at the local level. Racism on the other hand is acting out of hatred of the "other" based only on the race of "other". The KKK does not have blacks who are "honorary whites" while provincialism (as Tony alludes to in his book) does make such exceptions for whites that they grew up with as close friends (or white spouses of close friends).

Tony wrote: "If you don't see that every day (racism), you really are in denial." Oh I see it every day and everywhere, but my experience is that whites express far more racist sentiments than most locals I know (of course since I am white perhaps my local friends are controlling their racism for my benefit, but I believe a true racist would be unable to do so for a period if years without displaying a "tell".

Tony wrote "Sure, there are rich white people, most of them retirees, living in Poipu and Princeville, but I've never seen or heard any evidence of bigotry on their part."

The fact that they live in white enclaves gives me a clue that given the choice they would rather not live in racially diverse neighborhoods.

True many places do not have, "kill Haole Day" but where I grew up down south it was local "sport" for local white hoods to take after dark drives through black neighborhoods with baseball bats striking random blacks on the streets and brag about it in high school the next day. Never any arrests or reports in the local paper (The Clarksville Leaf Chronicle, TN oldest newspaper), which I worked for (now don't laugh) as a PROOFREADER.

Bottom line provincialism and the corruption it breeds can masquerade as racism, but racism is too narrow a hatred to masquerade as provincialism. With provincialism the "local" overrides "race."

I know the book was not intended to be a scholarly document (which few would read) and like I said KPD Blue provides the most accurate assemblage of events from that time period I have read. People who disagree should detail any (major) errors they claim the book has or write a better one themselves.

I hope you do go on Katy's show Tony.

Finally the number of anons on this blog does not prove fear of discrimination based on racism, but fear of retaliation rooted in corruption. Others are not afraid at all but are just A-holes harassing people with their ignorant venom.

Joan said...

Tony wrote: The real question is whether either Katy Rose or Joan asked whether either of them could use those quotes from me.

No, Tony, the real question is whether a racist is a credible source for a supposed expose of racism. That little irony is the point of the post.

nunya said...

Wow. You guys sure can cheeeww the fat and find the hair in the egg.

Simple. Call it rascism, provincialism, bias, cronyism, whatever; when it comes to the localsʻ disdain for haoles (and I would have only hoped it would have been more balanced because the Japanese have been on as big a take as the haoles) I canʻt blame them. They got run over.

But this, only with respect to Hawaiian ʻlocalsʻ.

Regarding the locals in government, theyʻre the first ones to screw over their Hawaiian brother.

Just look at kingpin kaipo.

Anonymous said...

Well gee, if the natives control the government, then how can they blame the haoles and the japanese for their problems? Maybe the locals living on the beach should look to their own for the cause of their troubles.

Anonymous said...

Interesting mix, the attitude from Sommer. He writes well and it comes across clearly in his words: that admixture of arrogance and fear, loftiness and loss, entitlement and resentment. A sad stew of How Could They, How Dare They, How Can They and, always, Why Can't I.

The Sommers of the world cannot see themselves in history. They are deaf to the echoes of their own words in the newspapers of the 20's in the South and the 50's in Chicago. They insist on the rightness of their intellects, and scorn the hard reality of their hearts.

Ever thus.

Ed Coll said...

Joan wrote;
"No, Tony, the real question is whether a racist is a credible source for a supposed expose of racism. That little irony is the point of the post."

Joan statement is the very definition of an ad hominem attack without any supporting factual evidence. It "consists of replying to an argument or factual claim by attacking or appealing to a characteristic or belief of the person making the argument or claim, rather than by addressing the substance of the argument or producing evidence against the claim." I expect that sort of "argument against the man" from anons but did not expect it from you Joan. If you are going to make such a claim I'd like to see some supporting evidence, but what I would really appreciate is an analysis of Tony's examples of corruption and any factual evidence you have which demonstrates such evidence is in error. Explain for example why county hires do not come close to reflecting the make-up of the local population, or if Tony is in error why?

And FYI to Tony, Joan has done some outstanding investigative journalism (not puff pieces).Years ago she did an excellent work on the lack of democracy at "our community" radio station KKCR.

Andy Parx said...

I think everyone in this conversation has more an equivocational dispute than a real one as to “racism”.

In my construct I see a huge difference between race bias and racism. Race bias is the actual dislike/hatred etc. for a person of a different race. And when it is used to deny people jobs housing, public accommodation etc. it is illegal.

Racism is a systemic result of not just race bias but a presumption that because one doesn’t engage in race bias one is not a beneficiary of race-based privilege- in the pervasive culture, white privilege.

The question here is whether there can truly ever be “brown privilege” enclaves within a dominant white culture that, in the widest of all systems, has the privilege.

In that the county government is a system the answer might be said to be yes, looking at the face of it. But that brown privilege serves the greater white privilege- don’t forget these guys act in their usual corrupt manner to enrich and ultimately serve those white-owned and run companies from Grove Farm to mainland based developers.

Because this is a unique place in that “east meets west”, there’s a lot of unusual remnants from the plantation past. That system allowed privilege to some “house-slaves” who were allowed a privilege of their own if it served the master’s needs- especially that of controlling the rest. But as the plantation system fall apart or moved away from it’s standard 19th century model. pockets of that permitted privilege remained and in fact flourished and became independent of it’s past service.- at least if you take a narrow view.

What you wind up with is systems where there is actual privilege in being brown over being white. They may be small systems but they enjoy a sense of autonomy from the broader system and as long as they serve the needs of the white dominant culture and economy they are permitted that autonomy.

So is there a brown privilege in the county government- depends on how broadly or narrowly you look at it..

It’s doubtful that kind of smaller system could exist on the mainland if it’s non-white race based. But here because of the history and lack of a true majority of any race, a “coalition” if you will of brown skinned races has teamed up to create their own niche of privilege.

Whether it is really privilege or just perceived privilege it does convey some privilege. Does it convey upon those who are privileged a wider advantage in the big picture”? No. But that doesn’t mean that it can’t mimic the same attitudes that create that white privilege and use the same methods to maintain it.

Ed Coll said...

Andy, I basically agree with your analysis except I don't think it is an "equivocational dispute", but a definitional one. Racism and provincialism may contain many of the same elements but not all. If that be the case they are categorically different which is why they are different words with different meanings. You can be provincial and not racist, and you can be racist and not provincial, or you can be both Racist and provincial and have the worst of both worlds.

nunya said...

Anonymous said...

"Well gee, if the natives control the government, then how can they blame the haoles and the japanese for their problems? Maybe the locals living on the beach should look to their own for the cause of their troubles."
November 26, 2008 10:55 PM

You missed the last part of my post, I guess: "Regarding the locals in government, theyʻre the first ones to screw over their Hawaiian brother."

By ʻnativesʻ if you are referring to the Kanaka Maoli, in case you havenʻt noticed, they (the aboriginal land owners of Hawaii) do not control the government. The current government is a sad and disturbing mix of usurpers and old family plantation workers.
Like Kaipo Asing, is nothing more than a servant to the white man and his own delusions of grandeur. So what are you complaining about? Isnʻt that the way you want it?


From Ed Coll...

Joan wrote;
"No, Tony, the real question is whether a racist is a credible source for a supposed expose of racism. That little irony is the point of the post."

Ed, sorry but your rush to defend Tony Sommers on this particular statement wasnʻt backed up in context nor with basis.

Ed Coll said...

Nynya wrote: "Ed, sorry but your rush to defend Tony Sommers on this particular statement wasnʻt backed up in context nor with basis."

I'm in no rush to defend Tony, (he can do that himself) but I would like Joan to back up her assertions instead of just calling someone a racist. My concern is that the still pressing problem of "corruption" that needs to be addressed has been diverted into a discussion about racism, and I believe Tony is in large part responsible for this mis-focus of attention by drawing a relationship between the two in his book. I see no relationship just correlation which does not prove cause.

Joan said...

Ed, I have neither the time nor desire to dissect and critique Tony's book. I'm sure it has some redeeming features. I certainly don't deny that corruption exists on Kauai, and his book is the first to address it, to my knowledge. But as I read the installments on Andy's blog, I kept coming up against Tony. And that turned me off and, IMHO, undermined his expose.

As you mention, he's the one who makes the assertion the corruption is the result of racism. So when I was made privy to correspondence that, to me, spoke to his own racism, I couldn't resist posting it. That's what the post was about: the man behind the book, not the book itself. And when he got outed, he responded in typical Tony fashion with a personal attack on me.

I'll see if I can come up with a post about corruption so readers can weigh in on that critical topic w/o the distraction of Tony.

Anonymous said...

when he got outed, he responded in typical Tony fashion with a personal attack on me."

translation: when in typical fashion I made a personal attack on someone I disagree with, he responded in kind.

nunya said...

Get off it already_____please.

Ed Coll said...

Joan wrote; "I'll see if I can come up with a post about corruption so readers can weigh in on that critical topic w/o the distraction of Tony."

Excellent Joan! And I agree completely with you that Tony's `pinions and focus on race overshadowed what is or should have been the focus of the book, corruption. Only Tony is to fault for that. His views about what constitutes a "journalist" are also about as off the mark as his views on the relationship of race to corruption (there are none that I can see).

On the other hand many people have aspects of their personality that turn me off, and while I don't suffer fools lightly I have found many that have one or more areas of expertise or ability that are in contrast with the individual's other limitations. Chess Grandmaster Bobby Fischer who is a rabid anti-Semite comes to mind. I like the works of Edgar Allen Poe despite his being an alcoholic, drug addicted pedophile(not that I am comparing Tony investigative abilities to Fischer chess playing nor Poe's writing abilities beyond making my point).

As opinionated as Tony is, in all my conversations with him, he never made a racist statement about anyone (nor anything close to remarks made Maryann Kusaka, or Leon Gonsalaves for instance). Culturally systemic attitudes regarding race however are often so deep seated in individuals raised in a racist society that many, many people have racist attitudes and stereotypes and are totally unaware of them, and only intense group therapy, criticism/self-criticism sessions, or a flash of insight will surface those feelings. I'm sure Tony was as shocked and angered by your pegging him as a racist, as you were by his unwarranted attack on your journalistic credentials.

If I had to rank Kauai (or Hawaii) on a "US places that are racist" scale it would be pretty far down the list. If I had to rank Kauai on a "US places that are corrupt" scale it would be high on the list.

Nunyas comment to "get off it" is the problem, people simply want to sweep abuse of power (corruption) under the rug where it never gets addressed but Sunshine is the best disinfectant. Let it shine.

Anonymous said...

tony sommer, if you see this, nice KPD book...i read parts of it; it was very interesting, so thanks

what i wonder is - why are some "locals" (which is such a loaded word, but ill use it) that weary and/or disdainful of "outside" ideas/persons? similar phenomena occur in small towns around the world...so nothing new in a way. and i suspect that less of it is due to things that occurred 100-150 years ago, as opposed to more recent plantation dynamic ramifications and economic gentrification generally

"white privilege"...what does that mean? as in getting a favor/good deal if one is white? if so, pls point this out so that i may enjoy this. if it is that thing where a hotel worker seems to pay a little more attention when you talk, well thats prob where they think you are a guest

but i see/hear white people knock on locals all the time. is it warranted? sometimes. but it brings to mind a fav saying "he who is shocked at the faults of others is often full of themselves." i try to keep this in mind as the english language is slaughtered on a daily basis across the island (and per my own grammatical atrocities)

nunya said...

Ed Collʻs comment: Nunyas comment to "get off it" is the problem, people simply want to sweep abuse of power (corruption) under the rug where it never gets addressed but Sunshine is the best disinfectant. Let it shine.

November 28, 2008 10:32 AM

My statement "get off it" was directed at all the finger pointing and nitpicking...and hypocrisy in posts. I wonʻt indulge at this point in the name calling. Best to let this sleeping dog lie.

ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to do with the corruption in this county government.! Donʻt know how my post could have been so misconstrued.
I think for myself and do not need words put in my mouth that were never there.
Thank you.

Ed Coll said...

Nunya wrote "Donʻt know how my post could have been so misconstrued."
Here's how; You used the neuter pronoun "it" without telling the reader what "it" is. Is the reader supposed to read you mind? If so I apologize, but I can't read minds. My bad?

nunya said...

Downright scary.

Anonymous said...

Tony's post reminds me of the 15 ton weight dropped repeatedly on Monty Python. What a magnificent job he did. Oh, the gnashing of teeth and pathetic attepts at the bar he raised high.
OhmyGod how I've been waiting for this!!!!!!!!!!!