End the Bleeding of Aloha By Hobby Activism
by Joni Kamiya, Hawaii Farmers Daughter, April 30, 2015
This editorial was in today’s Star Advertiser calling for civility in the TMT debate. It’s ironic that the editorial board took time to report on the hateful comment made by an anti-TMT supporter. I have to wonder why this was never called out with the GMO debacle.
The agricultural community was the target of a lot of hate because of a heavy handed mainland funded organizations. It was a regular occurrence on the social media to get spiteful and disrespectful rants. Even politicians were getting targeted by these people. Did we ever see a news story calling this out? Nope, nothing except for a Civil Beat story on the Babes Against Biotech’s Jessica Mitchell telling Senator Nishihara to go back to Japan.
The main newspaper never reported anything about what was happening in our communities with the whole anti-GMO war was unfolding on Kauai, the Big Island, and Maui. Things were really ugly and uncivil and yet no one acknowledged it.
There was no mention of any pro-ag people getting harassed at neighborhood board meetings or the graffiti on the highways. The Maui paper posted photos online of the graffiti in Lahaina but that was it. No one talked about the rude anti-GMO activists yelling about Mayor Carvalho’s decision to veto the bad Bill 2491. No one talked about pro-science candidates getting their signs cut up and vandalized. No one mentioned anything about the activists putting out wanted posters of Dr. Paul Brewbaker, the man who brought the seed industry to Hawaii and fill the loss of sugar cane and pineapple.
I wrote a post that documented the actions of the no aloha crowd over the last several years. I collected lots of evidence of what these activists have done throughout our state and its a big black eye upon our state. This behavior went on for over 2 years unchecked and not called out. The media chose to ignore any of this and actually sustained this bleeding of aloha by their inaction.
It is late in the game for media outlets and long time Hawaii bloggers to call this kind of stuff out. We let it go unchecked for too long and now it’s clear that history is repeating itself once again. Do we want the world to see that Hawaii is resistant to change and full of hateful, threatening people who can pull the plug on investments and innovation at any moment? Do we want a Hawaii where laws can be ignored on the basis of mythology? When our leaders take a stand for something and then turn around and back off of their decision, what does that say about their integrity?
Hawaii and its leadership needs to learn from the whole anti-GMO tidal wave of hobby activism that we can’t let history repeat itself. Speak the truth and expose the real picture about these activists and their no aloha ways. These folks have no idea about the consequences of what they are asking for as evidenced by the actions and words they choose. It’s time to restore the aloha in Hawaii or we risk losing it forever at this rate.
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Hawaii’s Hobby Activism Has Unintended Consequences
by Joni Kamiya, Hawaii Farmer's Daughter April 29, 2015
Just a few days ago, people were sharing some really ugly threatening comments from a TMT protester full of f-bombs galore. These comments eventually made it back to this person and became a center of Ian Lind’s blog post.
The sad thing about all of this is that when people can resort to this kind of behavior, it really shows that they are not capable of considering the consequences of their actions. That is a real problem that they don’t even realize.
In the social media world, delete is an option but once you put your name to a comment, you’ve owned it. Make a threat or nasty comment and it’s there for all eternity thanks to screenshots. If someone should see it, it’s public information and can turn viral. It’s the kind of publicity can doom your future career and reputation.
Here’s some lovely comments I’ve received through this blog from these hobby activists, a term that my social media friend, Chuck Lasker, coined.
It is sad that some think that the land comes before people. When a lot of Hawaiians are imprisoned or homeless, or leaving because of the lack of opportunities, what good is it?
It is hard to believe that people can speak out without being paid. The easiest way to dismiss someone who disagrees with them is to do the shill accusation bit.
This woman is supposedly a science teacher so she has claimed. I’d be afraid of her teaching my kid science.
Science has made the Hawaiians suffer? I have a hard time believing it when the Merrie Monarch Festival can be broadcasted around the world to show the beauty of this culture. The internet has also captured stories of the kupuna to show future generations their stories.
Hobby activism only fuels more protests but no real solutions or options. What alternative will these people provide should they get what they want?
The anonymity of the social media also encourages more hateful speech. How productive is that in all of this?
An anonymous poster who decided to visit my FB page who clearly is there for anything but discussion.
Here’s the worst comment I have received on the blog that really shows the mentality of the protesters.
Given these comments, it really starts to reflect the kind of mentality of the people behind this movement. They aren’t well informed about the process that led to the approval of the TMT and can’t fathom the repercussions of them blocking it at this point in time. They also do not realize that these will reflect upon others involved in the movement too. They clearly cannot see the consequences of their decision to post these kinds of commentary. Should we really be listening to those who haven’t thoroughly thought out about the issue? Are these the kind of people that should be making these kinds of policies for the future of Hawaii?
Once again, I feel it’s time we need to really look back upon our local roots. Many people came to our islands to work on those plantations. It took a lot of cooperation and collaboration working with people from around the world. Everyone learned from each other and we got our local style that made Hawaii the special place we all know and long for. Where is that being fostered in Hawaii’s communities?
Whether it be the GMO issue or the TMT one, that local style is eroding away bit by bit. What’s missing here is strong leadership with a real vision to inspire us to be contributors to the Hawaii we all want for our future. I believe that there is a way to find common ground with maintaining the sacred symbolism of Mauna Kea with the need for advancing our quest for knowledge. There is a faction who refuses any concessions and are unwilling to accept the long term impacts to the community as a whole.
When we look into they eyes of the keiki, what do we want for them? Do we want another generation of protesters or can we see beyond that? The human spirit has an innate desire to progress and move forward. We all have that desire to do things better. The attempt to stymie that has led to wars instead of peace. The right decision may not be the most popular one but our leaders have an obligation to stick with that vision and do the hard task will keep us on track.