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Old 05-05-2009, 02:38 AM
 
Location: OKC
5,426 posts, read 5,984,975 times
Reputation: 1771

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I lived in Hawaii for a few years a long time ago. I'm considering moving back there, but now I have a family, and the down sides are just so great. The cost of housing. The generally poor education system for my kids. The concern that my kids will be ostracized because they're outsiders (although they would still be young when we moved, so they would probably grow up as Hawaiian as most of the people that live there now.)

But two things tempt me to move back despite Hawaii's problems:

(1) Every time I try to find someplace else to move instead, I realize that place has problems that may be different, but they are just as bad. (It may be really cold, or there may be nothing to do for fun, I don't want to be away from the ocean, etc.)

(2) I know if I can find a way past all of those down sides - the housing, find a good school that my kids fit into, etc, Hawaii can be a magical place. It has a huge upside, if you can make it work. If you can't find a way to make it work, Hawaii can really be hard on you. But if you can get past the huddles, I think it's an awesome place to spend some time.

I'm happy on another little island in the pacific right now. But when my time here is done, I may just head back to Hawaii.
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Old 05-05-2009, 04:56 AM
 
Location: Maui, HI
36 posts, read 124,644 times
Reputation: 97
I've only been here 5 years but not once have I encountered racism. Haole has absolutely no negative connotation. It simply means you're white. The truth is that being fortunate enough to live here is a gift. A little humility goes a long way with the Hawaiian people. They don't think they're better than anyone else but they definitely resent people who think they're better than them. Learn the culture and you can't help but understand their pride in it. Respect it and you'll be welcomed, but try to act like a welcome guest, and remember that guests don't rearrange the furniture in their host's home.

Last edited by 7th generation; 05-05-2009 at 04:25 PM.. Reason: watch your language
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Old 05-05-2009, 06:11 PM
 
Location: OKC
5,426 posts, read 5,984,975 times
Reputation: 1771
Quote:
Originally Posted by MCB0B View Post
I've only been here 5 years but not once have I encountered racism.
Really? I saw it there, about like I've seen it everywhere. There are even attempts by some to institutionalize it. And of course here are the occasional racially motivated beatings etc, that if you read the newspapers you would see. It's not such a big deal that it would keep me from moving back there, but if you lived there for five years and you never encountered racism then you're not very observant.

Quote:
Haole has absolutely no negative connotation.
It completely depends on the context. Sometimes it absolutely does have a negative connotation, and sometimes it doesn't mean anything at all. If "F!ing" proceeds it, you can be sure it's negative.


Quote:
A little humility goes a long way with the Hawaiian people. They don't think they're better than anyone else but they definitely resent people who think they're better than them
I don't think that is completely true. Many of the locals think they deserve superior status to any tourist, new arrivals, and the military. Just like lots of places in the world, there are Hawaiians who claim to having superior rights and privileges based on ethnicity. Serbia, the middle east, Hawaii, etc. There's always people that think they deserve special privilages or status based on ethnicity and historical claims to the land. Hawaii is not an exception.

I think you're painting a little an unrealistic picture. Hawaii has it's pluses and minuses, just like any place. Unless you work for the board of tourism, there's no reason to cover up the negatives. I still may move back there, because it has lots of pluses too.
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Old 05-19-2009, 08:41 AM
 
Location: Maui, HI
36 posts, read 124,644 times
Reputation: 97
Like I said before, I've experienced zero problems. But then I don't think I'm God's gift to the islands. I believe living here is God's gift to me. A little humility goes a long way around here. Maybe that's why our experiences differ. Looking over your posts I suspect your ego caused most of your troubles and also prevents you from recognizing that fact.
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Old 05-19-2009, 09:26 AM
 
Location: Hawaii/Alabama
1,919 posts, read 3,455,061 times
Reputation: 5248
Thank you MCBOB! People do not realize that when they receive negative treatment they have in fact caused some offense of their own.
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Old 05-19-2009, 09:41 AM
 
Location: OrangeMiddleBurgPark, Florida
33 posts, read 91,284 times
Reputation: 85
I was stationed in Hawaii for 3 years 86 thru 89. I don't know if it has changed, but when I was there, there definitely WAS prejudice. We lived on base, then later over in Pearl City.

We went to the beach a couple times to places where we were met with signs declaring "locals only". One was a state park. As we stared up at a locals only sign, a park ranger pulled up, wearing a national parks services uniform, and suggested we move on as "haoles" were not welcomed there. I asked if this was indeed a National Park and he replied "yah....why? You wanna be buried on national park property?" (and this coming from a PARK RANGER) We weren't surfers and the beach was absolutely deserted, so I'm not sure why our visit would have bothered anyone.

"haole" , pronounced "howl-ee" is local slang for "white people" and is used in the same context as the "n" word for black people.

School kids had to endure a yearly ritual known as "kill haole day". The thing I really found discerning was that true Hawaiians comprise a very small percentage of the population, with the majority of these living on the "Big Island". Most of the locals are a mixture of Somoans, Philiipino, Korean, Japanese and other Pacific natives.

As I said, I don't know if the situation has changed or not...I hope so. We did not move there expecting to be treated any differently and certainly weren't so ignorant as to feel we were better than ANYONE. Yet we were treated differently...and we were darn happy to leave. I really don't mean any offense to anyone who should read this. I'm just being truthful.

Last edited by NavyRet; 05-19-2009 at 09:56 AM..
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Old 05-19-2009, 12:30 PM
 
Location: Hawaii/Alabama
1,919 posts, read 3,455,061 times
Reputation: 5248
Haole is NOT the same as the "n" word! It is only derogatory when "f'n" procedes haole!!! I am 'hapa haole' or part White. Why would I use a derogatory word to describe myself???

We do refer to people by their race- Chinese is 'Pake', Hawaiians are 'Kanaka', Blacks are 'Popolo' etc.We are Retired Military and I have faced racism in many States-this just happens to be the ONE State where Whites are not shown a preference for (and whether or not YOU have ever noticed since you have always been where it is simply a way of life).

The park ranger suggested you leave? If it was not an order you had the right to go ahead- if there was an anti-foreigner sentiment running high at the park that day then you needed to be made aware of that. I was in Germany during many anti-American rallies and I was sent (from my MP Company) to run around Frankfurt because I was not 'recognisable' as an American and therefore as long as I kept my mouth shut- was theoretically 'safe'.

My husband is White, I am mostly (if we analyze the ratios) White, as well as Hawaiian, Chinese, Indian, Portuguese and a bunch of other stuff mixed in- and they way I was treated in a great many places on the Mainland MORE than rival your experiences in Hawaii!

I will say that I was treated the worst in traditionally "Northern" and Midwestern States- much more so than in the Southern States. The names I have been call were far more offensive than "haole".

So, you think you were treated badly in Hawaii? Well, try TWENTY PLUS YEARS of being treated badly on the Mainland! We had to research where we were going to live very carefully and I had to face the every day slurs and taunts from White, Blacks and other 'natives' of the towns that we were stationed near. There were many good people that I have met over the years just as there were people who were determined to make my life (and the lives of my "mud children") miserable, simply because I was not easily put into their slot.

I refuse to believe that you (and your family) never met local people who were nice and treated you in a friendly manner- if this is the case then you were hanging out in the wrong places and it was a reflection of your choices. Good and bad people exist everywhere.
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Old 05-19-2009, 12:48 PM
 
Location: Arkansas
148 posts, read 321,671 times
Reputation: 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by melaniej65 View Post
We do refer to people by their race- Chinese is 'Pake', Hawaiians are 'Kanaka', Blacks are 'Popolo' etc.We are Retired Military and I have faced racism in many States-this just happens to be the ONE State where Whites are not shown a preference for (and whether or not YOU have ever noticed since you have always been where it is simply a way of life).
I couldn't agree with you more. Dh and I were stationed there until Dec 08 and loved the people and place. I worked for the state, senior govt officials too and NEVER had a problem with race relations or nativism. If anything, ppl enjoyed shuffling me about and getting me taste new foods and learn new things. If it weren't for the sorry state of the schools (DD starts preK this year) and the horrid ship DH was on, we might have stayed longer. I often told friends and family that Hawaii is the one place we've lived where we DIDN'T stand out and weren't presumed to be nefarious characters (e.g having my receipts checked at Wal-Mart or being followed by salespersons in stores). I really think the root of so much 'Hawaii is racist' talk comes from people who don't fully understand or appreciate the nature and extent of white priviledge in the mainland.
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Old 05-19-2009, 01:23 PM
 
Location: Hawaii/Alabama
1,919 posts, read 3,455,061 times
Reputation: 5248
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sneezyone View Post
I couldn't agree with you more. Dh and I were stationed there until Dec 08 and loved the people and place. I worked for the state, senior govt officials too and NEVER had a problem with race relations or nativism. If anything, ppl enjoyed shuffling me about and getting me taste new foods and learn new things. If it weren't for the sorry state of the schools (DD starts preK this year) and the horrid ship DH was on, we might have stayed longer. I often told friends and family that Hawaii is the one place we've lived where we DIDN'T stand out and weren't presumed to be nefarious characters (e.g having my receipts checked at Wal-Mart or being followed by salespersons in stores). I really think the root of so much 'Hawaii is racist' talk comes from people who don't fully understand or appreciate the nature and extent of white priviledge in the mainland.
I am happy that you have enjoyed your time here. We really do love taking people and showing them around and all of the different food and culture that we have here.

I do think that as you have stated most White people simply are not aware of the nature of 'being White" on the Mainland; so much so that when they are NOT the dominant race/culture they immediately cry "racism!" never realizing that they are simply on the receiving end of the very attitude that they (even unknowingly) have dished out to others.

Good luck to you, the Navy is wonderful but can be challenging when raising a family- as much as we love the Army it is nice to be Retired and actually live in the same home as my spouse!
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Old 05-19-2009, 01:39 PM
 
Location: OrangeMiddleBurgPark, Florida
33 posts, read 91,284 times
Reputation: 85
Of course we met some nice people in Hawaii, but I was responding specifically to the prejudice issue this thread was exploring. A previous poster had stated he has lived there for 5 years and never encountered any occurrences of prejudice. I offered up another perspective as did other posters.

The park I referred to did not have any anti-foreigner sentiments for that day....THERE WAS NOBODY THERE. We had just returned from a 6 month deployment and were standing down. It was a week day so we headed to Waianae to enjoy the beach. And the sign declaring "Locals Only" was not some temporary poster board someone had taped to a tree. It was a permanent fixture on a pole, rooted in the ground. This was a National Park, hence our surprise.

Are you unaware of "Kill Hoale Day"? Was this a tradition to promote international camaraderie or what??

I never said other regions don't have their problems as well. I'm retired Navy too. Don't you think I don't remember the signs in Norfolk, "sailors and dogs, stay off the grass?"

But we weren't talking about Virginia, were we? We were talking about a specific train of thought in a specific region and that was what I had shared my views about.

I'm sorry you don't like what I had to say, but I spoke the truth. I lived it and experienced it. My wife and I were newlyweds. We weren't mean to anyone, or arrogant or trite. We were quite simply, told we were not welcome.

Just because you have declared it doesn't exist, or try to rationalize it's existence as a "cultural conditioning" from the Mainland, does not make it so. You have your words, your beliefs and your experiences....I have mine.
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