Is the word “Haole” racist?

Joel,
Honolulu, HI

I live in Hawaii and I’ve always gone back and forth about the word “haole”. I tend to use it but I wonder if it’s considered offensive. Perhaps it depends on the context and why you’re saying the word. I’ve used the word to describe a person; “So and so is hapa-haole” or “She’s married to a haole guy”. But I’ve also heard people add more emotion to the word; “That f-ing Haole!” or “Stupid Haole”. I’m curious as to how this word came about. I’m also curious about the race relations in Hawaii. We are of course a beautiful state with plenty of diversity but I’ve also heard people say some pretty disgraceful and racist remarks. I like to think of Hawaii as a mixed plate, but how do we feel about race relations in Hawaii?

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