To hear media, pandering politicians and posers tell it, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg is kicking kanaka off their land and out of their homes, forever severing their connection to the aina and their culture.
In reality, the eight quiet title actions he has filed directly affect just one person — Russell Andrade — and he's apparently OK with it all. Which he's going to tell CBS News in an interview today.
Yes, Russell is the one and only person living on, working or otherwise using kuleana land within the 700 acres Zuckerberg bought at Pilaa-Waipake. And his brother Carlos, who actually holds the deed to that kuleana, has joined Zuckerberg as a plaintiff to clarify ownership of the dozen or so kuleana parcels within the holdings.
Perhaps 90 percent of the people connected to these parcels aren't even aware they have an interest — which in many cases is a fractional ownership shared with many others — and none but Russell and Carlos have an active connection to the land.
Not that you'd know it from headlines like “Zuckerberg wants to pay native Hawaiians to get the f off his 700-acre estate.”
Or from people who really should know better, like UH law professor Kapua Sproat, who spouted her indignant rhetoric in a sensationalized, slanted article by Jon Letman and Julia Wong in The Guardian:
“This is the face of neocolonialism. Even though a forced sale may not physically displace people, it’s the last nail in the coffin of separating us from the land. For us, as Native Hawaiians, the land is an ancestor. It’s a grandparent. You just don’t sell your grandmother.”
Oh, get real, Kapua. Plenty of Hawaiians have happily sold their land. And who are you to be telling Carlos what he should do with his?
Sadly, Council Chair Mel Rapozo also displayed his ignorance of the issue in a Facebook post:
This is NOT the aloha spirit. This is NOT being a good neighbor. He has another option. Relocating these kuleanas so that the families won't lose their lands, to a location that will allow these families the continued use of their lands would be a much better and pono action. This should be the discussion, not hiring high priced lawyers to "legally" TAKE these lands from our local Hawaiian families. Just my non-legal opinion.
Except, Mel, there are no uses to continue. And some of the kuleana aren't even owned by local Hawaiian families. As council chair, we don't expect you to offer a legal opinion — just an informed one.
Letman and Wong also trotted out Ing — or at least, his press release — frothing and foaming from Maui. In classic pandering fashion, Ing plans to introduce a bill that would require mediation in quiet title actions. Like that's going to address the root issue or tidy up the law.
They also got Kauai Councilman Mason Chock to whine about how expensive it is to live on Kauai — as he meanwhile works to destroy agriculture that is holding the line against more gentrification.
Letman and Wong then used innuedo from Sproat and Hope Kallai to imply that Zuckerberg may try to prevent “fisher folk and practitioners” from using the public beach below his property. Come on, you two. You both know that is total bullshit, and not one person has been blocked.
And Hope, you, Mason, Richard Spacer and Gary Hooser bear responsibility for blocking a deal that would have provided public access from Koolau road to the beach, through land that Zuckerberg later bought, because you didn't think it was good enough. So Hope, don't be crying now about access, or wondering why Zuckerberg and his agents won't meet with you when you've been nothing but a lying, scheming pain in the ass.
But the greatest idiocy comes from Dustin Barca, who is apparently the only Hawaii source — notice I did not say Hawaiian, because he isn't — that Surfer magazine has. Which is why it so often reports total nonsense – even while taking a shot at “fake news.” Uh, hello, guys. Look in the mirror.
Anyway, the magazine quotes Dustin as if he's sharing facts instead of bubbles:
And what’s crazy is, this is turning families against each other. One of my uncles, he lives on the land, and there’s no way he’s selling his property. He lives in a little motorhome, like his own little ranch, where he rides his old-school motorbikes and shoots his guns. And here comes a guy trying to buy him out, essentially saying “Get the f–k out of here.” My uncle was like, “Brah, f–k you. My land’s priceless.”
But his brother, Carlos Andrade, is working with Zuckerberg to try to get families to take the buyout. So it’s a lot deeper than just the surface, because these families are being torn apart over money. It’s f–ked up.
Uh, too bad Dustin didn't talk to Russell, who doesn't even own the land and gets along great with the Zuckerberg team, before he started blabbing bullshit to Surfer. But then, when has Dustin ever cared about accuracy?
Surfer then asks: So what’s being planned there to push back against Zuckerberg?
To which Dustin replies:
Right now, everyone’s just getting riled up. The beach down there is called Pila’a. I’m working on starting an Occupy Pila’a, where we get everyone to go down and camp on the beach there for a month. That beach is a public piece of land. They don’t own it. We’re all figuring out what we can do in response to this.
Oh, yeah, that's such a great idea. Have a bunch of clueless people occupy a pristine beach, shitting and pissing everywhere, leaving their trash and camping illegally. And for what purpose, exactly? I mean, other than giving Dustin another platform to make big body and garner publicity.
So funny, to hear Dustin talking stink about rich newcomers when his failed mayoral campaign was financed by them, and the people who sell them land. Guess it's all good so long as his palm is being greased.
I don't really give a damn about Mark Zuckerberg. He's rich enough to work his will and clean up his own image.
But as always, it irks me to see stupid people pandering, posing, demonizing, jumping to conclusions and rendering judgment when they don't know WTF they're talking about.