By controlling the language of the people, you control the way in which the people think. The English language has historically tried to overthrow the language of the people of Hawaii.

The Native Hawaiian language adopted a written system as English-speaking missionaries attempted to educate the Native Hawaiian people. This exchange in language seemed as benign as the many other exchanges made between the Native Hawaiians and foreigners at the time.

Why would we think the inability to code-switch into English makes us ineligible for work in Hawaii?

Much later, after Hawaii attracted a variety of foreigners flocking to work at plantations, the language of the islands came to be what is commonly known as pidgin. Pidgin is a creole language that formed from the multicultural crossroads of plantation culture. It contains elements of the Hawaiian, Chinese, Portuguese, Japanese, Korean, Filipino and English languages (among others) and was something that could be shared among these cultures. The pidgin language helped to foster Hawaii’s melting-pot culture.

The importance of pidgin has been and still is being questioned. Pidgin has the stigma of being associated with the uneducated, and it is believed that those who are unable to code-switch between pidgin and English are not job-ready.

But why do we think this way?

The answer is in history. By adopting a written system of language, the Hawaiian people opened themselves to thinking English. Although phonetically the Hawaiian language was still the same, a relationship was established between the English and Hawaiian language, for the ultimate purpose of indoctrinating the Hawaiian people into Western schools of thought.

This wasn’t inherently bad. The Hawaiian people slowly adopted more elements of Western culture with some degree of sovereignty, while continuing to prosper. It became bad when Western culture forcibly seized Hawaiian culture.

Now, what is best described simply as local culture is also being seized. The reason pidgin has prospered is because it’s a language by and for the people living in Hawaii. Logically, there is no reason a person looking to work in Hawaii shouldn’t speak the language of the people living there. So why would we think the inability to code-switch into English makes us ineligible for work in Hawaii?

It is because local culture needs to become educated. That is to say, on a national scale, local culture has no place in the United States, and there are standards that prove it. Language colors our thoughts. If pidgin has the agenda of fostering multicultural relationships, what agenda does the English language have?

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