I thought I would post a note here. I am beginning to deeply regret now sharing what I shared on this blog about what happened to my own family. Not because of non-Hawaiians but because of the responses from Hawaiians themselves. For example, on the Lawful Hawaiian Government Facebook group someone directly plagiarized an entire section of that post without citing me and taking credit for my own thoughts.
Some other comments from members of the same group included calling the post whinny or saying things like “what makes me cry is that Hawaiians like this keep voting for the wrong people [and] not for LHG”. Yet the same people who made comments like those on my post looked the other way when one member of their own group plagiarized from the same post. I guess if you’re not in their club, your mana’o is not your own.
For those who are unfamiliar with what plagiarism is, here is the definition from dictionary.com:
an act or instance of using or closely imitating thelanguage and thoughts of another author withoutauthorization and the representation of that author’s work asone’s own, as by not crediting the original author: It is saidthat he plagiarized Thoreau’s plagiarism of a line written byMontaigne. Synonyms: appropriation, infringement, piracy,counterfeiting; theft, borrowing, cribbing, passing off.
a piece of writing or other work reflecting such unauthorizeduse or imitation: “These two manuscripts are clearlyplagiarisms,” the editor said, tossing them angrily on the floor.
What happened did in 1893 was horrid. I do not even know the proper adjective in English to describe just how scaring that was. That pain will be in my genealogy forever. But what Hawaiians do and say to each other is as emotionally painful as what happened in 1893. Instead of supporting each other, many choose to steal other people’s mana’o (which is what plagiarism is) and to suppress unpleasant truths and no’ono’o kūpono (rational thinking).
I am no stranger to controversy and I have received death threats before because of the post I wrote about collaborators
. Other Hawaiians of course have accused my posts of being almost anti-ali’i
. That of course I find amusing because my great great great grandmother was the daughter of Premier and Princess Elizabeth Kina’u and her first husband, Governor (Moses Kalahai’a) Luanu’u II. I mentioned this only because I want to demonstrate how far back my family’s roots are with the last legitimate government of the Hawaiian Islands and that I do know about the ali’i
, perhaps a bit too well. Furthermore, I believe that it is the traditional
right of every Hawaiian to hold their own leaders accountable. I use the term traditional because we have chants and songs dedicated to figures in our history like Kawelo, ‘Umi-a-Liloa, and Kuali’i who became kings not simply because they inherited the position but because the common Hawaiian people on those islands put those people on the throne after overthrowing their incumbent predecessors. It is my right as subject–I will not use national because that’s not what my own ancestors would have called themselves–of the Hawaiian nation and as an indigenous Hawaiian to look and question my own history, my own culture, and to speak without being suppressed. It is also my right that my mana’o
, my mo’olelo
, be given the proper respect and credited. Simply because I’m not a member of a faction of a sovereignty group does not mean I do not have rights. Ua mau ke ‘ea o ka ‘ āina i ka pono can also be translated as “The life/breath/sovereignty of the land has been and will be preserved in its rights.” Yes, pono also means rights as in the song Kaulana Nā
Pua which talks about pono sivila
(civil rights) or as in “‘Aha ‘Ōlelo o Nā Aupuni Hui Pū ‘Ia i Ka Hō’ike No Nā
Pono Kanaka O Ke Ao Nei” (Universal Declaration of Human Rights). Pono does not begin nor end simply because you’re a member of a sovereignty group or because you have a sharp difference of opinion.
It is clear to me now that the principles that were long cherished by Queen Lili’uokalani that Hawaiians must mature into a self-governing mass–a mass that respected democracy and individual rights while being guided by our indigenous culture–is not being practiced by some Hawaiians of this day including being able to acknowledge someone else’s mana’o or how for the sake of “unity” Hawaiians censor other Hawaiians. This is not pono. This is not the pono that our ancestors who lived during the tumultuous times in the 19th century would have wanted us, their mo’opuna, to act. They would have wanted us to behave with pono and recognizing each other’s mana’o and pono sivila (civil rights). We need to return to being pono with each other instead of smashing each other in the name of unity or to act hiehie launa ʻole (to be showy, to brag or to be emotionally shallow) towards one another.
Its time for us to be warriors instead of being armed with the pololū, we shall be armed with our intellect, our ‘imi na’auao (thirst for knowledge), and our desire to always be pono–culturally and politically.
One thought on “Pono”
I'm sorry there is divide amongst people which never feels good. Living in harmony is a very delicate balancing act. Perhaps one of the biggest lessons in life. We will meet differences & disharmony along the path. I agree with you we will need to remember our traditional ways of healing all things with the Hawaiian heart of aloha.You have a brilliant mind and write so beautifully with much knowledge, warmth & wisdom. I look forward in anticipation to what you are to post next. I appreciate you.Thank you for sharing your views, experiences & perspectives on Hawaiian issues past, present & future. I appreciate you.