State of Aloha

STATE of ALOHA trailer: [youtube][/youtube]


Sunday, October 18, 2:45 pm Dole Cannery A Thursday, October 22, 2:00 pm Dole Cannery D

The exciting news is that this film has been nominated for best documentary in the Documentary Feature Category, to possibly receive the Halekulani Golden Orchid Award!

PBS PREMIERE- AUGUST 28th Tonight was the premiere of “State of Aloha” on Hawaii PBS. I watched it in the PBS studio on a big screen TV– which really added to its impact. I went accompanying Kekuni Blaisdell. We sat in the studio with the director of the documentary Anne Misawa, as well as the panelists of the follow-up show, “Insights,” hosted by Dan Boylan, which included, besides Kekuni, Honolulu Star Bulletin journalist Helen Altonn (who was working at the Bulletin at the time of Statehood); former governor John Waihee; and Jon Okamura, professor of Ethnic Studies at the University of Hawaii. What struck me most about this discussion was what Governor John Waihee (1986-94) publicly acknowledged and supported. Much of this discussion dealt with the legitimacy of statehood. As we have seen in previous postings, the overthrow and annexation is the foundation by which statehood occurred. In 1993, when Congress passed the Apology Resolution and President Clinton, signed it into law, it confirmed what many historians and activists had been asserting for years– that the overthrow was illegal. Similarly, many historians, lawyers and activists have also been asserting the surreptitious process by which annexation and statehood occurred and I wondered– now that these facts have become evident– how the Hawaii State Legislature or the U.S. Congress will in the future, respond to these claims as we begin to learn more about the historical process by which these frauds were imposed. Next year, for example, the McKinley statue in front of McKinley High School may possibly have a new hand. Currently, he is holding an annexation treaty– but there is no legitimate annexation treaty. The legislature is expected to correct this myth by recasting the hand without a treaty. What will McKinley hold instead? As we have seen through discussions over the last posting, there are still many who continue to assert that annexation was legitimate. When on the August 21st event last week, the current Governor Linda Lingle could not contradict the panelists assertion that there was no legitimate annexation treaty, many in the audience familiar with the activists claim that “annexation was a fraud,” became more fully aware of this deceit. For many of the older generation, the idea of this fraudulence, this cover-up was difficult to accept, and rightfully so, considering the annexation one believed to be true for so long was nothing but myth. Last night, Governor Waihee, repeatedly asserted these points. When he further agreed with Kekuni that statehood, too, was fraudulent, I think even the host Dan Boylan was surprised. The Governor said, “I don’t disagree with Kekuni on the facts, they are the facts.” What happens when the independence activist and the ex-governor agree that the facts of the overthrow, annexation and statehood were all part of a greater cover-up, a fraud? We move on… Governor Waihee and Dr. Blaisdell parted ways when it came to the Akaka Bill. What’s next for Hawaiians– for Kanaka Maoli? As Kekuni promoted self-determination through decolonization, Waihee argued for the Akaka Bill, the Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act of 2009. When the question was presented to Dr. Okamura, he said that there had been an unofficial poll conducted by one of Hawaii’s newspapers in which the majority of the ethnic Japanese in Hawaii had supported Native Hawaiian independence. He also suggested that the immigrant populations– the settler communities– should participate in a supportive role for Hawaiian independence. When asked if Hawaii was better off as a state, the Governor re-phrased the question, “Is statehood better than not having the overthrow? No way…” Everyone agreed that the film succeeded at capturing the schizophrenia of the moment. Where do we go from here? I think the process for reframing the questions as Waihee had done is the next step. We will move forward with the further uncovering of what had been lost with the myths of annexation and statehood, and we will continue to discuss what that means for not only kanaka maoli, but the immigrants and more recent residents of Hawaii. As Poka Laenui has been suggesting, many have moved from the “ignorance-to-anger phase” and into the “dreaming phase” in which we can get together and collectively envision how we can restore what had been lost for Hawaii through the deceit of annexation and statehood. This is an invitation for those who want to participate in the process, and to embrace a collective vision of what an independent Hawaii might look like. When Dan Boylan asked Kekuni about the racial or ethnic divisions in the independence movement, Kekuni said that “many non-kanaka support the movement”, and more are doing so. Governor Waihee elaborating upon what Governor Ariyoshi (1974-86) had suggested in the film, said that the independence movement in Hawaii has to be inclusive of the migrant settlers in Hawaii. What that role is in its practical forms, may be the next step in discussing Hawaii’s future. If you miss the Thursday program, each week’s episode is rebroadcast on Fridays at 10:30pm and Sundays at 3:00pm, and you can also listen to an audio rebroadcast each Sunday morning at 6:00AM on KUMU 94.7 FM. Insights on PBS Hawaii is also available on demand to Oceanic Time Warner digital subscribers by tuning to channel 110.]]>

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