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Host Culture in Hawaii Is Just a Myth
Amid all of the talk of a "host culture" in the islands, a reader writes that it is worth remembering we are all equal in the eyes of the law.

About the Author

  • Gerald Smith
    Gerald Smith, MSEE USC, managed Keck Observatory for Caltech, IRTF for University of Hawaii and a space infrared telescope for NASA. Smith, who witnessed the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941, lives on the Big Island.

The Connections contribution by Williamson Chang on respecting the host culture is pure fantasy.

The non-Hawaiian people of Hawaii are not guests.

The few native Hawaiians are not hosts.

Did they invite the Filipinos, Chinese, Korean, Japanese, Europeans and many others as guests?

Those who wish to practice the ancient rites of their ancestors are free to do so as long as they do not infringe on the rights of others.

No, we are not guests. We are co-habitants of these islands with all the rights and privileges of residents of Hawaii and citizens of the United States.

Many Native Hawaiians would like us all to leave and restore the kingdom that was taken away by the United States.

But the people who live here voted to become a state, so some will never accept their fate.

Those who wish to practice the ancient rites of their ancestors are free to do so as long as they do not infringe on the rights of others.

So why should they have special privileges over the rest of us?

Mauna Kea is not theirs to decide what can or cannot be done with it, any more than it belongs to all of the rest of us.

We do that through our state agencies that have the responsibility to serve all of Hawaii’s citizens, not by privileging “Hawaiian culture.”

Those decisions should be based on what is best for all Hawaii citizens, not just Native Hawaiians.