Amber Lisa, thank you for including me in your call to action. I had to stop and think about this a bit as I don’t cross lines as simply ignore the stupid ones. This will get a little personal also. I live out on the edge of America and that is directly a result of how close I was willing to come. I had never intended to settle in Hawaii but one of the things that held me for almost forty years is that we have no majority. Everyone is a minority. That does not eliminate racial conflicts or eliminate economic advantage resulting from the problem of being part of the US but it changes things in such fundamental ways that visitors from the mainland (I’ll use the terms we use) get all excited and want to live here. We all know that people who come for jobs, for instance, usually leave in a year. This is not talked about much but it is often because they can’t get use to being a minority. Tough for them.
So, my attitudes to the problems elsewhere are very much shaped by living my life in a place that is very different. And the other common difference here is that over the last fifty years we raise our kids and the kids are, often, impossible to identify by “race”. In fact we don’t really ever use that word as it just doesn’t work when the issue is culture and ancestral ethnicity because that means which holidays are special to them and which foods they eat and share at Holiday time. We all share. Our elementary schools spend lots of time learning cultural traditions of their classmates and learning to fix special foods. Then the go to the mainland for college and learn what minority means there. That is hard.
Just to add one more piece, many people don’t realize that Hawaii is occupied. The Hawaiian government was overthrown in 1893 and occupied by the US military. Yes, it is now a state and the last president was born, raised, and went to school here. His mother and father met at the University of Hawaii East-West Center. I was part of that a few years after they were there. Two of my children and three grandchildren have gone or are going to Punahou that is the same school that Barry Obama went. There are many stories and much history of the Pacific basin tied up in Punahou School with the breaking down of race and culture and the shuffling of ethnicities to power and dominance in our island home.
Maybe I can be of help . . .