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by happiness Enomoto

Originally posted on Ke Kaʻupu Hehi ʻAle

The origin of the Kanaka Maoli universe starts with Pō, the deep wealthy Blackness discovered at the bottom of the sea and from which all life begins. Pō is the night and the realm of the gods. Roof ka pō mai–of magnificent origin. One of Maui’s fiercest chiefs, Kahekili, tattooed half of his human body black just like his namesake the god of Thunder. Pāʻele kūlani– the chiefly blackening. Pele is the chiefess that both sacred darkness and also sacred light–ʻO Pele ia aliʻi o Hawaiʻi, he aliʻi no laʻa uli, no laʻa kea. We did not begin by fearing Blackness, but by revering that is power, its sacredness, and its importance to our origins and also our strength.

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So exactly how did Kānaka, whose origins are rooted in such beautiful, opulant, and powerful Blackness arrive in a people that has reduced Blackness to something significant inferior, criminal, filthy, lazy, unintelligent and evil? How has Blackness end up being synomous through state sanctioned homicide, lynching and enslavement?

How might Hawaiians ever before take your cues around Blackness native the an extremely people who toppled our kingdom? everyone from the whalers who provided us venereal disease, to the missionaries who referred to as us heathens and savages and also introduced the word “nika” into our vocabulary, come the plantation owners who stole our kingdom in ~ gunpoint. This sugar barons enslaved numerous Africans, then involved Hawaiʻi and also applied their white supremacist ideological backgrounds to Kānaka Maoli. Lock forbade our language and also suppressed our society in the same violent manner as those of african descent.

And however so often, some of the many racist views on Blackness come from the mouths the Kānaka Maoli, who case they believe in liberation and are opposed to oppression. What a powerful gift to give to her oppressor: come turn against the really people to whom you would otherwise it is in in organic solidarity.

They rotate Blackness right into a thing unpure, unclean, violent and also inferior, through ranking the “purity” of our skin tone and also adherence to Christianity. European men such as Jules d’Urville indigenous France produced the false cartographic divisions of Polynesia, Micronesia and also Melanesia, and placed Polynesians closest to whiteness. They significant Melanesians as black and convinced us that this to be something that we need to do too. We have to rank each various other in our proximity to Blackness. We need to remove the “stain” the Blackness and push it much from us, back we deserve to never to escape its taint. This came to be the language used to justify genocide, lynching, and also segregation. That violence and shame became so attached to Blackness, the all the colonizers had actually to carry out was come simply suggest the mark of Blackness onto our cultures, come convince united state to say–“but we room not that.” the is the insidiousness of colonization. But you know this.

“Tell them you’re not Negroes”-Lydia K. Aholo, 1899, hānai daughter come QueenLiliuʻokalani commenting ~ above the advice offered toher and also her brother by Prince Kūhiō whiletraveling throughout the joined States<1>

We must understand the paper definition of exactly how Hawaiians acquired here. In the mid-nineteenth century, Hawaiians were much more than aware of the means America slaughtered indigenous tribes and enslaved Africans. So lot so that, in 1852, Hawaiians outlawed enslavement in your constitution and decreed that any kind of slave the arrived in Hawaiʻi would be emancipated.<2> A few years earlier, in 1845, Prince Alexander ʻIolani Liholiho and also his brother Prince lot of Kapuāiwa proficient American racism firsthand by practically being thrown turn off of a train by a conductor because he suspect they to be Black.<3> It was his memory of this experience that later intensified his opposition to annexation. This reflects that us knew we did not desire to act together Americans, but as a free people that affirmed the liberation the others. BLACK lives MATTER. But between the time of Liholiho and also Queen Liliʻuokalani, American theory of racialization had begun to take it root in Hawaiʻi.

In the quote by Lydia K. Aholo, she recounts a trip to Washington, D.C. In 1899. Prince Kūhiō recommend her and her siblings to “speak Hawaiian,” “sit whereby the white world sit and also tell them you’re no Negroes.”<4> I think this advice was provided to prevent and also protect the Hawaiian youth from gift racialized and also treated together inferior in a segregated America. It to be an plot of trying to retain your autonomy and also resist Jim Crow. A gesture to say we space not inferior, we space the exact same as you and uncolonizable. I cannot understand what fears and also threats that violence they faced from white americans throughout the those years surrounding the overthrow, but the selection made by aliʻi to repeatedly separate themselves from Blackness, also as a tactic because that survival, has had much reaching implications.

In 1901, Queen Liliuʻokalani was turned away from four hotels in new York who incorrectly assumed she to it is in an “uppity” Negro. Had actually it no been for the makaʻāinana porter working at one of the many hotels recognizing her and running ahead to the following hotel come tell them that the “Queen of Hawaiʻi is coming,” that knows how many much more hotels would have actually denied her. The humiliation does not remainder in the truth that the Queen was assumed to it is in Black, the humiliation comes in a culture that established that Black and Queen could not inhabit the very same body. That a black color body to be not also worthy of entering the prior door.

The makaʻāinana who went out into the diaspora on whaling ships and also as migrant labor did not travel an initial class on steamers and also trains across North America as the aliʻi did. Kānaka Maoli, uneven traveling with white missionaries, were living amongst Native American, Black, and also working-class immigrant communities. In the 19th century, to be a Hawaiian civilian in the United says afforded girlfriend no protections. This intended that plenty of Hawaiian workers, far from Hawaiʻi, were frequently taken in and fed by other Native and also Black communities. It additionally meant they confronted the same risks of racialization, segregation, imprisonment or feasible enslavement or lynching that black folks faced.<5>

But once Hawaiians room taught around our history, the is not filled v moʻolelo regarding the resides of the makaʻāinana who lived abroad and had come negotiate life under Jim Crow. In fact, us rarely comment on the true depth the anti-Black and also anti-Native racism that any type of of our ancestors and aliʻi nui had to face. Instead we would rather talk about our fully-functioning government, our envoys come Europe, and treaties and also letters of acknowledgment from European nations affirming that us were sovereign. This is true; this is important to know. Yet we must additionally ask where were those nice countries when American businessmen stole our nation at gunpoint? how much did traveling and dining with white elites sluggish our overthrow? How various would it have been if, when traveling, the aliʻi insisted the Blacks top top the train be permitted to sit v them as a sign of solidarity to show their disgust v the American system? difficult to imagine, but what if?

If we fast forward, after nearly a century of implemented Americanization<6> and the attempted obliteration of ours language and our culture, the Hawaiian Renaissance ended up being a component of the global uprisings demanding decolonization and civil rights. In Hawaiʻi and throughout the Pacific, friend see human being inspired by and learning native the Black power movement and applying their strategies and also tactics come their own movements. The first time that I ever heard Haunani-Kay Trask speak in human was at an Empowering women of shade Conference in 1997. She quoted Malcolm X, Toni Morrison and Angela Davis, come name only a few of the african Americans who notified her politics. Because that me she to be a video game changer due to the fact that she to be the very first Kanaka Maoli i had ever before heard stress the prominence of internationalism and also intersectionality in ours struggles. She to be the an initial mana wahine ns had ever heard speak to out the police violence aimed at black color communities. In fact, in a speech she gave in 1994, she stated,

…it is almost everywhere now. The violence the a police state protecting itself, and also its white citizens. The violence of a political mechanism dependent on fixed exploitation. Looking right into the heart of whiteness, I carry out not see a willingness to adjust only a ferocious decision to keep the black color masses at bay.

Listening come her as a young mrs of both afri American and also Hawaiian ancestry, ns learned indigenous Dr. Trask all the methods that Hawaiian Sovereignty can be something much more than narrow nationalism. Due to the fact that rather than distance Hawaiʻi from black Liberation, she aligned the Hawaiian Sovereignty activity with black Liberation. She was clear that although ours struggles room distinctly different, we need solidarity to have actually true sovereignty. She spoke of females at the facility of liberation activities worldwide–in Palestine, the Americas, Aotearoa, Papua Niugini, the Marshall Islands and also Australia. She speak out versus the nuclear testing in Micronesia and demanded a nuclear complimentary Pacific. Her capacity to “weave ropes of resistance,” together my friend Noʻu Revilla newly said, showed every one of us the kind of nation we could develop together.

So currently it is 2017. Over there is a fascist in the white home who has no respect for humanity and also who is being funded through the Ku Klux Klan. Many Black lives have been killed by the state and also now this killing will intensify with tiny to no consequence. But we are also in a world whose eye are ultimately opening to what we have actually been saying around the lies of the U.S. Every along. The roads are flooded by those who want to develop a motion for liberation that is intersectional, an effective and filled through love. It is our revolve to speak, come rise-up, come dismantle, to readjust and come build. Us no longer live in a people that enables us the luxury of ranking oppressions. Ours liberation is tied to the liberation of all oppressed peoples– this contains women, refugees, queer and also transgender people, I typical ALL oppressed peoples. As Bryan Kuwada claimed in one earlier post on this blog, “the idea that us can create a for sure space, a puʻuhonua, here in Hawaiʻi is still something precious imagining.” We must not just imagine it. Us must be a place of rest and also healing and also sanctuary within each other. Us cannot endure otherwise.

By sustaining Black lives Matter, we do not lose Hawaiian means of resistance and also knowing, we perform not prevent perpetuating our society or lose our language. By supporting Black Lives, ours ea is enhanced. As a sovereign human being we room saying we will stand as an instance to those that would do us all harm, the their old tricks deserve to no longer divide us. Over there is nothing much more threatening come the state than mass solidarity throughout race, class and gender differences since there are far much more of us. As long as we let the brand of Blackness be viewed as something less than beautiful, we room consenting to white supremacy. Yet when we adopt Blackness in all its forms, we no longer let the note of Blackness ache us. If we instead say, “Thank you, i am proud to stand in resistance with my sisters and brothers in the struggle,” climate we deserve to be far better than us were yesterday. Onipaʻa ana ka pono–let the ideal stand firm. Let united state stand up because that Blackness and also protect black color lives. Black LIVES issue IN THE HAWAIIAN KINGDOM.

Furthermore, the very first people of the Pacific to be Black. Hawaii belongs come the Pacific. And so we need to act versus the genocide that is keep going in West Papua being imposed by the Indonesian army to protect mining interests, we must support the Kanak liberation battle of new Caledonia together they continue their struggle for freedom from France, us cannot forget the islands threatened by climate adjust in Vanuatu, Fiji, the Cook and Solomon Islands. Black LIVES issue IN OCEANIA.

As civilization with powerful histories the resistance, Hawaiians and also Black folks have so lot to find out from each other, and we welcome friend with all of our aloha. However, that aloha come with specific expectations of common respect. That way when Hawaiians stand up for black lives, you show up for Hawaiian Lives and Pacific Lives, you display up for us as many times as you want united state to display up for you. It way we every must increase our meanings of Blackness to include our Pacific sisters and brothers, who lives have been significant as black color while respecting exactly how they define themselves. I say every this to mean, the undoing the results of our colonization is a process of reciprocity, however the result is ours freedom.

As a closing thought, I have actually written a sports to black color lesbian activist, pat Parker’s city “ wherein will girlfriend be?”

Where will certainly we every be when they come?And they will come —they will certainly come becausewe are defined as oppositeperverseand we are perverse.

Every time us watcheda queer hassled in the streetsand stated nothing– It to be an act of perversion.

Every time we did no interrupt racism– It was an plot of perversion.

Every time we heard,someone say the Muslimsare all extremist terroristsand stated nothing– It was an action of perversion.

Every time we leta black mother shed her childand did not fillthe courtroomfill the streetstake over buildingsshut under cities–It to be an plot of perversion.

Every time us letour friends and also familyaccuse Micronesiansof being welfare burdensand speak nothing– It was an act of perversion.

Every time we hearthe State proclaim thatthere is no together thingas a climate refugeeand refuse to open ourour bordersour homes– it is an act of perversion.

Every time us hearda transgender womanlost she lifeand the killer is set freeand us did nottake to the streets– It was an plot of perversion.

Every time us made excusesfor rapistsfor misogynistsfor transphobia and also homophobia– It was an act of perversion.

Every time we watchedZionist expansion,Israeli checkpoints andthe genocide of Palestiniansand walk nothing– It was an plot of perversion

Every time lock buildand increase military bases inHawaiʻiGuamPuerto Ricothe PhilippinesOkinawaand do not fill the islands through bodies of resistance– it is an act of perversion

And they will come.They will certainly comefor the perverts& the won’t matter if you’rehomosexual, no a faggotlesbian, no a dykegay, not queerIt won’t matter if youown her businesshave a great jobor room on S.S.I.It won’t matter if you’reBlackHawaiianTonganSamoanOkinawanChamorroChicanoNative AmericanAsianor WhiteIt won’t issue if you fromNew Yorkor Los AngelesGalvestonor was standing RockIt won’t issue if you’reButch, or FemmeNot right into rolesMonogamousNon-MonogamousIt won’t matter if you’reCatholicBaptistAtheistJewishor MormonThey will comeThey will cometo the citiesand come the landto her front rooms and in your closets.They will come for the pervertsand wherein willyou beWhen lock come?


<1> Sandra Bonura and also Sally Witmer, “Lydia K. Aholo- she story: Recovering the shed Voice,” Hawaiian journal of background 47 (2013): 127

<2> Hawaiian Constitution. Short article 12 “Ke Kumukānāwai o ka Makahiki 1852”

<3> Liholiho, The journal of Prince Alexander Lliholiho, 108

<4> Ibid.

<5> Chang, David A.

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The World and All the points upon It: aboriginal Hawaiian Geographies the Exploration. 2016.