In the 21st century native Hawaiians are finding reasons to occupy land and obstruct any development established by Western and American institutions and businesses. Most protestors claim the right to protect cultural values and the environment which nourished their ancient ways of life in Hawaii. These movements are correct in themselves but not in a modern society. But remembering how the Hawaiian monarchy was terminated by Americans, they are fueled by regret and anger which drives them to protect the old Hawaiian ways. Presently, not only are many Hawaiians dependent on a modern government for financial support and protection, but they were not eligible for any land ownership under the Hawaiian monarchy. How many can really prove their personal land was taken away?
What is the main purpose of these activists? Retribution or compensation? Revenge will not reap any positive outcome, while demanding pay-backs for historical losses require evidence of personal or property damage. Legitimate claims should be separated from religious and cultural grounds. For example, current claims of “protecting” and taking back Mauna Kea on the Hawaii Island is masked by religious or cultural reasons, and intentionally done to stir emotions and promote hysteria. Compliance from authority is expected when they make such demands, but is it right for these activists to ignore the interests of the other people who live in the same community and have different priorities?
These Hawaiian protesters are a minority group desiring a simple back-to-nature life, while the remaining population enjoys the modern benefits of a Western lifestyle in the fiftieth state of the United States. Because they are outnumbered and feel persecuted, they are demanding entitlements to support them financially and economically while protesting modern developments and denying scientific advancements. Can these activists find a middle ground to work with the present government to settle their demands reasonably? They are consciously using religion as a tool to stop or promote a cause. Religion has its place in every society, but do gods and goddesses suddenly appear in convenient places like a telescope construction site to stop scientific research? It seems to be more of a political maneuver rather than a religious pursuit. Does might make right? Stopping the construction of the telescope research building may serve no purpose except to garner attention for their entitlement dmands. What do they want? Free land, free housing, and free lunch?
Hawaiians have a right to be proud. Many are leaders in our community who have become successful by adapting to a modern society and by contributing to the welfare of all who live in Hawaii. They have proven that it is possible to overcome the past. Cherishing the attitude of “I can do” will help their dreams come true. Mourning the loss of a kingdom and queen will not solve the present economic and political failures of native Hawaiians. Looking forward and reaching out will prove to be more productive. We are all entitled to enjoy the land, sky, and the world, and we manage to do it without taking away other people’s benefits.