Ironies, Complexities and Contradictions

Hawaiian history. Did we ‘steal’ Hawaii from the Hawaiians? You betcha.

But remember, the indigenous Hawaiian had no concept of private ownership of land. The King owned it all. The people were to live productively-fish, farm, fight and die- peacefully on the land. Take care they  didn’t step in the King’s shadow.

The first white men to arrive, with billowing sails- and TB, venereal disease, measles, mosquitoes, nails, smallpox and other civilized gifts-were Englishmen. Captain James Cook-no ‘e’-and his horny crew. Cook got eaten. Long pig.

Russians popped in.  Popped out. Then come the American missionaries with their book and outdoor walk- around night gowns. Nudity was a sin. Sex was a sin. Everything was a sin. The Hawaiians say, “When the missionaries arrived, they had the Bibles and we had the land. Now we got the Bibles and they got the land.” Religion reared its ugly head. Most of those early missionary women had a terrible case of the ugugs.

Don’t forget the whalers. Fun and games when they came ashore. Hottest spot was Lahaina. Wow wow wow and whoopity do. Then commerce. Sugar. Queen Emma- a compassionate, sensible woman- looks around and sees that the pale faces controlled all the land. So she issued a decree-the Great Mahele-sign a paper, peasant, and your small piece of paradise-your kuliana- belong to you and you can ‘sell’ that piece of paper for a few bucks or a bottle of beer to any one who can then kick you off your land.

A personal touch, years later- the 1980s-my husband and I buy our land from Alexander and Baldwin. Where they got it, nobody knows. Or tells, anyway. We bought it. Worked for the money, used it to buy a piece of paper that says ‘we own it’. I ain’t given’ it back to no Hawaiians. I gave it to NTBG. John Allerton gets in the act.

Christian missionaries and American business men have a sacred economic system.  Greedy business.  Form a group, plea with Washington to become a territory-be sure you read Mark Twain. Call out the Marines. Haul Emma’s ass off to home detention.   Commerce reigns.  Tourism. Development. Suburban sprawl. Money. Money. Money, honey.Religion. Capitalism. Holy shit.

Then comes the  American military  in force. Big brass US Navy muckity mucks. So racist they make Ferguson look like a luau. Pearl Harbor was a big deal. Excellent Naval Base. Best in the Pacific. The Massey case was a scandalous yellow journalism news blast all over the country. Hearst had a field day. There goes tourism. Matson squeals. Help. Shirley Temple sails the Lurline.  Kind’a cleans up the act. Good for business.

Then come the Japanese and Pearl Harbor. Please note, they only bombed the bases. Made a mess. Martial law. Americans  put back to work-the Great Depression goes bye bye- and the rich get richer building war ships. Kaiser builds a gated community.

If I were an Hawaiian, I’d make ‘them’ clean the place up before I took it back.






10 Responses

  1. Aloha,

    Couple inaccuracies with your blog post.

    1. It wasn’t Queen Emma who did the Great Mahele. She wasn’t even born when it started, and she was only 8 years old when it was enacted.

    2. It wasn’t Queen Emma who was hauled off and imprisoned. Not sure how you got this one mixed up.

    Other then that, interesting read. Aloha.


    • You’re wrong. I’m correct. Sorry.
      Emma’s husband created the Great Mahele. He died. She imposed it. Cooke and Dole and gang imprisoned her in her home.


  2. I should have known that from the first line this would be a ludicrous pile of misinformation slanted towards an aging crone’s muddled understanding of, well, just about everything. If the writer weren’t so sad, it might be funny.

    “…the indigenous Hawaiian had no concept of private ownership of land. The king owned it all.”

    Well, then BJ, how did the King “own” it if they had no concept of ownership? I’d suggest you leave the intellectual and historical discussions to those who are capable of it.

    “…my husband and I buy our land from Alexander and Baldwin. Where they got it, nobody knows. Or tells, anyway. We bought it.”

    If you did a title search on your lot, a simple procedure available even to the witless, you’d know exactly the order of ownership going back to the Mahele.

    “If I were an (should be an “a” English major) Hawaiian, I’d make “them” clean the place up before I took it back.


  3. Wow. Who edited this old hags writing? Dear editor, are you for real? I had to check the calendar to make sure today wasn’t April 1st, what a joke. Hey, I am all for showing respect to the elders and letting them ramble on with their ‘lessons’, but this article is nonsense. Must be a slow day for news on the garden isle.


  4. what is this? …a five-year-old’s view of Hawaiian history.


  5. I love you Bettejo


  6. These are actual responses to my column this morning. Check them out. I res[onded. When my response appears I’ll print it here.


  7. Very good. Read this and a book simply provides expanded footnotes.


  8. If you’re so big on fixing the mess why haven’t you left Hawaii and given your home to a needy Native Hawaiian family who are struggling to pay the high rents caused you the influx of haoles like you who have more money and can buy a house and have horses too boot. You have no idea how self-centered and privileged you sound. But then that;’s why you use thios forum so that you can brag about stuff your husband, not you, provided. you’re just enjoying the your stolen fruits. If you’re so concerned, why don’t you quit gabbing and DO SOMETHING about it. But then, you’ve got no guts.


  9. Response to Dec. 6. 2014. Sir, I love my home. I designed and built. Worked to find the money to pay for it. How do you know I’m a haole? I may sound self-centered to you, I sound very sane, intelligent, reasoning and generous to many others. I gave all my property to NTBG. I’ve got guys, baby, you ain’t even thought of having. bettejo


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: