I’ve lived in Hilo all my life (69 years), and my husband is a 35-year resident. Recently, we have been the target of three incidents of verbal harassment and threats.
My husband was cursed at, called a haole and was told to “go back to the mainland” by a neighbor just because he chased an attacking little dog back to its yard as he was jogging. He did not want it to be hit by a car.
On July 4, we had our U.S. flag out as we picnicked at Lili‘uokalani Gardens (my dad is a World War II veteran, and my husband’s uncle died as a WWII pilot). A truck slowly passed by and someone yelled, “Take it down, you’re racist,” in a threatening tone.
This past weekend, we were walking at the beach along the shoreline and a big local man told me: “Move away from the shore — I’m throw-netting. That’s my fish!” I said sorry and moved away quickly. My husband noticed his threatening tone toward me and asked him what he meant. He started cursing, calling him “(expletive) haole,” “foreigner” and threatened to throw him into the ocean.
As we walked away, he kept cursing at us and called me a stupid Japanese for marrying a haole. We called the police to prevent this from happening to anyone else.
I have never experienced such hatred in my life. The animosity toward haoles is growing.
My reason for sharing this is to bring awareness of this and try to stop judgment/hatred of people because of their politics or race. My husband is a well-respected teacher for more than 30 years here, as attested to by many of his students who have come up to him and thanked him. And we have friends of different ethnicities and political views.
I know those who have or would threaten us are a minority, but I fear if we don’t all speak out against this racism, Hawaii will no longer be safe for haoles or anybody associated with them. It greatly saddens me to think the aloha spirit might become a thing of the past.
A great big mahalo goes out to U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz, who took the initiative to get federal help for Yukio Okutsu State Veterans Home.
The veterans definitely deserve better care, as they have sacrificed their lives to defend our country when they were called upon. It is our turn to care for them in their time of need.
‘A poor job’
I have lived on A‘o Road (Road 2) in Hawaiian Acres for 35 years. In the beginning, there were only telephone poles. Later, they installed electric poles (I never hooked up).
Recently, Hawaiian Telcom was installing fiber internet along Road 2. I think we are all grateful to have this high-speed internet option (probably subsidized with federal rural network access funding).
But: Hawaiian Telcom was using heavy equipment to chew up trees along the road, splintering native ohia trees that have grown up there during the past 40 years and leaving the resulting junk behind. They probably have the legal right to do this — these native trees have grown up under the existing utility right of way and threaten the electric and telephone lines overhead.
But I think Hawaiian Telcom is doing a poor job here. They are leaving garbage in their wake, and splintering ohia trees that will encourage rapid ohia death in our area (my home).
Hawaiian Telcom can do better: Cut the ohia (don’t just raggedly chew off the tops), and don’t leave the waste along the road to generate more weeds, waiwi and ROD.
What is happening is sad. Hawaii Department of Ag should be involved. This is not right.