The moon, winding down to begin anew on Thursday, was cozying up to Venus in a sky that turned from black to dark blue when Koko and I went walking on rain-slickened streets this morning.
A Newell’s shearwater called repeatedly, on its way to or from feeding its chick in a mountain burrow, and the neighbor’s rooster crowed suddenly and loudly, watchdog like, when we passed by his cage.
By contrast, the state is planning to let its 50th anniversary pass by quietly, according to an Associated Press article that today was featured on MSNBC.com.
The article’s subhed notes that “Many remain uncomfortable with U.S. takeover, exploitation of culture,” while the body of the story contrasts Hawaii’s relatively subdued celebration to the rip roarin’ wing-ding that characterized Alaska’s golden anniversary.
The AP article did, surprisingly, include references to the “tainted statehood vote” and the act of “celebrating a lie, a theft. ” But in discussing the overthrow of the monarchy it never used the word illegal, even though the U.S. has already ‘fessed up to that fact and it’s key to broadening public understanding of what really went down.
It’s always interesting to see what's being served up about Hawaii to American readers. The same friend who sent me the link to the AP article previously passed along a PDF of a blurb she’d found while leafing through a magazine left in the lunchroom at her job in Illinois. Under the heading "Hawaii Five-O," it reads:
Fifty years ago this month, the Aloha islands became the 50th U.S. state. If a visit isn’t in the plans this year, take a tour of homes from your sofa. Check out the book “The Hawaiian House Now” for a peek inside 21 houses from old cottages to oceanfront escapes.”
This prompted my friend to write:
Wonder how many beachfront luxury homes are built on Hawaiian bones like Brescia’s…. but hey, it’s a statehood celebration – right? What a strange world. Enjoy Hawaii from your sofa.
While that little blurb was strange and superficial, the AP article is insidious, advancing as it does the notion of salvation through the Akaka Bill:
One way Hawaiians are moving toward having a voice in their self-determination is through legislation pending in Congress that would treat them similarly to Native American tribes and Alaskan natives.
After a decade of efforts, the measure could pass into law as soon as this year with the support of Hawaii-born President Barack Obama.
Let’s hope not.
For a take on what recognition could mean for Native Hawaiians, as articulated by someone who should know, check out this youtube video, where Russell Means, former president of the American Indian Movement, sums it all up by saying:
That’s the reality of federal recognition. Someday, none of this [land] will be yours. Welcome to America.
But hey, at least kanaka maoli will get “a seat at the table” — where they can cooperate in the further plundering of their nation.
And doncha wonder why, even though the bill has gone through numerous incarnations, just one hearing has been held in Hawaii on the proposed legislation, and that was back in 2000?
Changing topics, kind of, kudos to The Garden Island for staying on top of the dirty water story with a big front page spread today and the promise of more to come.
The Advertiser, meanwhile, has an interesting piece on how various public agencies are using public money to hire professional lobbyists to work public officials to get more public money. But don’t worry. They’re not trying to influence anybody, just “track what’s going on.”
Finally, I want to clear up something that Andy Parx wrote in post about KKCR on his blog last week:
The one recent bright spot is that experienced local news reporter Joan Conrow has managed to elbow her way into one of those regular slots on a irregular basis. But in true KKCR fashion, we hear from KKCR insiders that she had to battle (and have someone on the inside battle for her) to be allowed to get a foot in the door and that happened only with a promise from her- one that was opposed by the vanity radio gang because she hadn’t done it before appearing on air- that she will answer telephones and do things like “stuff envelopes” at some future date.
While I appreciate that Andy sees me as “bright spot” at the station, I didn’t have to elbow my way to a seat at the table. I did not wage any battle, and to my knowledge, none was waged internally on my behalf. Nor did I ever promise to stuff envelopes or answer phones at some future date.
In short, after filling in on-air a few times for Katy Rose, who writes about her move back to California in her new blog, Nofogetfogohome, it seemed to me that the extent of my involvement with KKCR would be dictated not by the station management or internal politics, but my own time constraints.