Haole boy, Hawaiian, keiki o ka’aina?

Claire Iveson Kaunakakai, HI My blonde Anglo son was raised and educated on Molokai, before going to the Berkley College of Music at 17. He was aware from kindergarten that he was a “haole” but didn’t understand that he wasn’t also Hawaiian. Adult Hawaiian friends assured them that he was a keiki o ka’aina, a [...]

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He’s too dark for my friends

Lynn Li Hilo, HI I feel a little sheltered living in Hawaii. I’m 100% Chinese and my significant other, Angel, is Afro- Latino. No one looks twice at us on the islands. Mixed race couples and children are everywhere. Plus, we pass as locals because of our looks. But we met in San Francisco and [...]

My son’s not half, he’s double.

Jon Letman Lihue, HI Submitted via Twitter: @jonletman @michele_norris Gee, thanks. credit goes to my friend Yuki in Kobe who told me that’s what she told people about being #Japanese &#Korean. @michele_norris Love it!! #NotHalfDouble #TheRaceCardProject #FF @michele_norris RT arigatou… a rain-drenched #aloha from #kauai… @michele_norris “We can coexist & live together or not coexist [...]

Appearance judgments – Yesterday Asian / Tomorrow Caucasian

Teresita Tomita Gant Kailua-Kona, HI When I lived in the continental US, I found people generally judged me by the way I looked. When I was little, I looked more Asian so that’s the way I was treated. With the passage of time, my appearance has changed. Some persons think I’m white so the way [...]

My heart is Hawaiian, I’m not.

Jan Mason NY Born and raised in paradise as a Haole (white) person I had more than my share of discrimination but living on the “mainland” where I “fit in” with the white majority(?) my island heritage is invisible. I have taken to checking the box or “Pacific Islander” though I feel guilty about if [...]

How come I was not invited?

Carolyn Hisako Okinaga Honolulu, HI I asked this question when I was growing up on Ewa Plantation. Ethnic groups were housed in separate villages on the plantation based on race and position, e.g., Filipinos laborers lived in Fernandez Village, Japanese in B Village, etc. All of the caucasian (“haole”) supervisors/bosses lived in Renton Village; they [...]

Dichotomy matters AND full color spectrum.

Kaniela Kelekolio Captain Cook, HI The legacy of slavery and, for much of history, the demographics of the USA have led to ‘white vs black’ being the central racial discussion. But as America grows more diverse and East and South Asian, Pacific Islander, Hispanic communities and white and black ethnic subgroups flourish, they challenge a [...]