Monday, April 21, 2003

Bored of Ian Custino's Publications

Hannah Sentenac

The Ka Leo O Hawai'i says I have reached my limit as to published Letters to the Editor. Well... here's a letter I just had to write. That gentleman, Mr. Ian Custino, of Ka Leo's Board of Publications, is another wannabe pacifist who's voice doesn't fit with his supposed beliefs. What else is new?
--Hannah Sentenac

Dear Mr. Custino,

There are so many contradictions in your letter, I'm not sure where to start. How do you presume to speak for all the people of Hawaii? I agree that if the people of Hawaii want to be a sovereign nation, they should have that right. However, obviously not everyong here feels that way, or Hawaii would have seceded from the U.S. a long time ago! And then you sing that tired old tune...all the people are "marginalized and oppressed", etc., etc. as though the people of Hawaii have no control over their lives, which is ridiculous! Not everyone is a "victim" of social determinism, and it's offensive to assume that people are so powerless that they are entirely controlled by outside forces.

Next you state: "Further, those "freedoms" you say America provides us are inalienable, universal rights to which all of humanity has the right."...That's a nice theory that you have. Unfortunately, the reality isn't quite so simple. These freedoms should be universal rights, but as the history of the world shows, you certainly can't make that assumption. That's why we need to appreciate that America gives us those freedoms, while the vast majority of other places don't.

Also, I am offended by your isinuation that Mr. Phil Aldridge, as a haole [Hawaiian for "white person" --S.H.], is automatically disrespectful of the people and culture of Hawaii. What did he say that disrespected Hawaii? He was speaking to Lance Collins! Hawaii contains a lot of different kinds of people and cultures, so don't speak as though your perspective is the only one.

You then go on to talk about the need to "abandon our SELVES (ego)". Oh please! When people say things like that, I can't help but laugh. We are human beings, ego-driven individuals. To talk about abandoning that part of ourselves would be to destroy what makes us human. We should stop being individuals, and then what? Give ourselves over to the collective? Sounds like 1984 to me. And that image doesn't strike me as particularly peaceful or harmonious. Consider other implications of the statements you are making, and please remember that Hawaii is a diverse and multicultural place -- and one opinion doesn't represent the myriad of viewpoints that exist here.

Hannah Sentenac
Political Science