Bad Ink

Last Wednesday, the USA Today newspaper ran a front page story about racial tensions in Hawaii, stemming from a horrid beating that took place three weeks ago. It was the kind of incident and story that rightfully makes many people here upset, including those connected with our tourism industry, as it perhaps makes people on the mainland think twice about coming to hawaii. The interviews chosen for this story only exacerbated the ugly situation, as the article drew larger and perhaps sensationalistic implications concerning major racial tensions in hawaii. Of course, it's all a matter of your own personal perspective.

While Hawaii is often cited, and rightfully so, as a melting pot of humanity, as a microcosm of the best that disparate people have to give to one another, it is not without its ignorant stereotypes, its age-old concerns, and its historical realities. To suggest otherwise would be naïve and would also ignore the realities of life within the boundaries of our small island chain. Yes, even fun-loving Hawaii has issues.

Having said that, this print story seemed to indicate that the sky is falling here, and it's not. But there are problems, needs, frustrations, and grievances that must be addressed. Tolerance, integration, sharing of ideas, and the general acceptance of differences are essential in any mixed society that wants to keep itself whole- Hawaii included. And that responsibility is in all of our job descriptions as island residents. Think about it...