homepage logo

LETTERS for December 1st issue

By Staff | Dec 1, 2016

Housing project slated on David Malo’s homestead

Stop rationalizing and justifying exploitation! Instead demonstrate virtue like David Malo (1793-1853). He’s the Hawaiian version of Gandhi or Sun Yat-sen. Malo’s homestead, gifted to him by Kamehameha III (L.C.A. 3702), is the site for the Weinberg Foundation/Stanford Carr’s Kahoma Village residential project.

Kahoma’s historical survey, prepared for the Army Corps of Engineers in 1979, concluded it is “eligible for inclusion on the National Register of Historic Places.”

This property is associated with the Hawaiian royalty’s ‘Alamihi Fishpond. ‘Alamihi was the site of a battle between the high chief of Maui and Kamehameha.

It is still a battleground to fight for what’s right. It is oppressive to disregard history – “His story” – and destroy what others consider culturally significant.

The Weinberg Foundation’s philanthropic endeavors are predominately to Jewish communities and Israel. David Malo wrote in his book “Hawaiian Antiquities” the similarities between Hawaiian and Israelite customs, observing: “Perhaps these people [Hawaiians] are those spoken of in the Word of God as ‘the lost sheep of the House of Israel.’ “

“What’s hateful unto you, don’t do to another. That is the whole Torah.” (Hillel)

Israel fights to be recognized as a nation. The Weinberg Foundation should be sympathetic to Hawaiians experiencing similar discrimination.

Housing can be built elsewhere. A historical community park is a more appropriate use of this culturally important property.

The Weinberg Foundation and Stanford Carr Development need to do what’s right and change plans – not out of compulsion but for the sake of love and respect for others.



Helen Reed writes of love

My friend Helen Reed, 92, longtime food critic of Lahaina News, still is a wonderful writer. So wonderful that she used to get stories in the Los Angeles Times and other big name papers. Recently she wrote a poignant letter about the passing of the husband she called “Papa” – parts of which are well worth sharing.

Helen her entire time on Maui used to write with a typewriter. She scrawled the letter’s signature at the end that was barely readable, so whether she actually typed the communication herself is hard to tell. It did no good to say to her she could easily learn a computer, cut and paste, and not have to retype an article all over once she wanted to change it. She just went on typing.

This was clearly the most difficult writing she had ever done about her marriage partner of 56 years, who passed away at 96 a few months ago at a retirement home in Santa Monica, California, where they both had resettled.

Helen writes: “He said he wasn’t feeling well and would skip breakfast. When I returned, he was still sleeping, and all of a sudden I heard three quick gasps and Papa was gone. I love him and will always love him, and I had about 30 minutes with him before they took him away.

“There was a Hawaiian boat funeral, the ashes dropping into the sea and me running my hand over the ashes as they fell. About 25 leis were dropped into the ashes – my dear Papa; how I miss him.”

A close friend who brought the leis from Maui “made a beautiful photo album of the whole scene – it’s beautiful. I still cry when I see it. I still can’t talk about him without tears filling – or when his name is mentioned. It is difficult to adjust to life without Papa.”

Helen lives near the ocean appropriately, since she and her husband were big sailors, as I remember from a column written some years ago, and ran a luxury charter business in the Caribbean before falling in love with Maui and purchasing a home here – overlooking the ocean naturally.

As a writer, I looked at Helen’s letter and knew that it had to be shared while leaving out some of the intimate details that were even more poignant.

“I love all of you,” she wrote in the letter to friends. “You have been great friends, like family, and know you are loved.”

Friends of Helen who would like to write her can contact me at normmauiauthor@gmail.com for the address.

NORM BEZANE, Kaanapali


Did Trump voters know that they were voting for white nationalism?

Amid the head-scratching about how Trump got elected, there are a number of theories being presented. Obama thinks that Trump tapped into American fears of globalization, where it appears that the drain of jobs out of the U.S. continues unabated. Another theory suggests that there is deep anger towards both the business-as-usual Democratic Party and the business-as-usual Republican Party – both distanced by Trump. Bernie Sanders was one alternative to both of these worries; Trump was the other alternative.

Nobody knows how an election between the two anti-business-as-usual candidates, Sanders and Trump, would have turned out. But, my guess is that Trump would have won that election also, because he had no qualms about promoting the most vicious attack ads and the most ugly personal attack tweets. And that strategy gained currency from those aligned with hate groups. This is where David Duke entered the election with his support of Trump, alongside the support of many other hate groups and websites.

Post-election, we need to wake up to the reality that there are now four major political parties in the United States, not two: the two traditional Democratic and Republican Parties, and, with Bernie Sanders’ candidacy, a new party, the alternative Democratic Party. And with Donald Trump running for president, another new party was consolidated: the alternative Republican Party, which, for many, is a code word for the White Nationalist Party.

However, generally speaking, Trump voters did not realize they were electing a president from the White Nationalist Party, as he was listed as the Republican Party candidate. As analysts claim, Trump voters were mostly Republicans voting the Republican ticket. However, Steve Bannon, an unapologetic White Nationalist, is now Trump’s chief strategist, putting him in the “highest reaches of government,” as Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR) wrote in a recent statement.

The reality is that Trump, as a cloaked White Nationalist, paved his way to the presidency. Now, we, as a country, need to figure out how to undo what we did. First, we need to recognize that Trump voters did not elect a traditional Republican. Our first hint about this was the massive resistance to his candidacy from the Republican leadership, including both Bush presidents. Another hint was Trump’s weak disavow of KKK-related David Duke’s endorsement.

So, what can we do to stop the torrent of policies headed our way – policies that will be racist, jingoist, anti-immigrant, anti-environment, anti-Native American, anti-women’s rights and anti-LGBTQ. In my opinion, we must unite three of the more reasonable parties against the White Nationalist Party of Hate. How can this be done? I suggest that we must reach out to people in the three political parties that opposed Trump. We don’t need to spend much time preaching to our own choir. We need to talk with people we don’t necessarily agree with, in the traditional and alternative Democratic and traditional Republican Parties, because we should all be able to agree that Trump represents an anti-American hate-machine, which must be stopped. We defeated Hitler’s policies, the last White Nationalist global threat. Now we must defeat every White Nationalist policy that comes out of Trump’s chest of horrors.