Just Shut Up
by Joni Kamiya, Hawaii Farmers Daughter, April 1, 2018
The other day I was at the doctor’s office taking care of my sick kids. As I looked around, I saw several young babies being carried by moms and dads. It struck me that these tiny beings are so vulnerable to the terrible illnesses going around.
Then the other night at 1 am, my 7 year old woke up moaning about not feeling well. She was running a 104 degree fever and just miserable. To see your own child suffering and not being able to make her feel better is just heart wrenching. All I could do was call the 24 hour health line to find out we needed to go to the emergency room.
As I was driving there on the long stretch of empty highway, I started to go from sadness about my daughter to anger. My mind was screaming inside saying, “SHUT UP!”
Shut Up Anti-Vaxxers
Shut up to the anti-vaxxers who spread false information around the internet and other circles. I’ve seen so many sharing Natural News and Eat Healthy and Green kind of links filled with fear mongering stories on the “chemicals being pumped into kids” and how you want to shove it to “Big Pharma” and go natural.
Shut up naturopaths and homeopaths who tell people to do alternative vaccination schedules or skip vaccines altogether. When someone gets measles or some other preventable disease, it will be a real doctor with medicine that will save that child’s life and prevent more suffering. You’ll be forced to send your patient to a professional using science to health that child. Ironic ain’t it that you can give advice but won’t be the once saving a life?
Shut up celebrity doctors who dispense medical advice and then push your following to buy your products. To Dr. Oz, Dr. Axe, Dr. Hyman and other cranks, you’re not much better than a scam artist. Did you go to medical school to heal people or raid their wallets? Well, the truth is evident with your star power and huge mansions of extravagance.
Shut Up Environmental Savior
Extremists are viewed as threats to society but for some reason, they are acceptable when it comes to saving the earth. These are the ones who threaten crop destruction, have unrealistic ideology about farming, and are pompous as hell. For every activist who has been an internet extremist or led the charge of these radicals, just shut up already.
It’s been 20 years since the GM papaya has been grown and those radical ideas of agroecology curing the alleged failings of modern agriculture have resulted in what now? I haven’t seen any real evidence that this is viable for us in Hawaii. Even anti-GMO activist Felicia Cowden admitted that their agroecology study didn’t give ‘the result they wanted’, clearly showing that she doesn’t understand how science works. You don’t do a study to ‘get a predetermined result’! That’s anti-GMO science!
To the leadership from the likes of former County Council Member Gary Hooser and even former Representative Jessica Wooley, when faced with the hateful behavior of your followers, you chose to ignore it and make as if it never happened. Do you not have to courage to see right from wrong?
When faced with the threats of crop destruction made by the activists, Hooser said nothing publicly acknowledging it and condemning it. His silence appeared to actually show that he supported this behavior.
The same applies to Rep. Wooley when I told her activists were trashing produce at the farmers’ market because it wasn’t organic, she acted surprised. She played it off like nothing and gave an insincere apology. She even lied blatantly to the public saying there’s no regulation in biotech which is why it needed to be labeled. When shown evidence, she was forced to recant it clumsily. Had she been honest the first time, she wouldn’t have appeared so foolish. Liars need to just shut up and shut their extremists up too.
She even participated with the extremists, the Babes Against Biotech and the Center for Food Safety’s Andrew Kimbrell. Extremists see only concocted “problems” but avoid the real ones.
Wooley helped to bring Andrew Kimbrell of CFS to Hawaii to fundraise for his “non-profit.” Think any monies went to the allegedly harmed people who they used? Nope. Nothing.
These activists are given the idea they have power and that they can do whatever they need for the cause. They capacity is impaired to realize the consequences after it’s too late. Case in point is the hateful stuff posted on the internet. I collected all of it with names and faces on their profiles because they need to be held accountable for it. People told me not to repost it and I said no, because their words and faces need to be seen by their peers. We can’t pretend this was not happening.
What was the result of this? These people shut up. They stopped with their hateful commentary when reasonable peers saw it. It’s called being accountable for your words and actions. You said it, you take responsibility for it.
Shut Up Reporters wanting Balance
Last week I listened to a panel of reporters talking about the fishing industry. As I listened, one of the recurring themes that came up was “balanced” reporting. Basically, the other side has to have a say. This is almost like ‘everybody needs a trophy’ mentality.
I really dislike this idea in the age where we are supposed to be fighting against fake news. How many stories about farms have we heard the opinion of a political spinner and professional activist, Ashley Lukens, give her take? Why does her opinion have to be part of the story? She acts as if she speaks for the rural community with her expensive clothes and accessories. No one ever reports that she is part of a million dollar, organic industry non-profit.
Ashley, like Jessica, have no problem being openly dishonest to the public and never correcting their deceit. While they talk farming, they’ve actually caused decreased productivity when farmers have to spend years defending their work. Both need to shut up or tell the truth about their outright lies and emotional manipulation.
Shut up with romanticizing about the old ways
One thing that really gets to me is those who talk about supporting farmers but then do something that’s shows the complete opposite of that. Listening to politicians talk makes me sick lately. It’s no wonder we keep calling them politicians and not leaders.
If we want to be feeding our own people, we need to foster and guide people to those opportunities. Right now, those feeding us have been painted as the enemy to the environment. The public is told that farmers are careless and need buffer zones and disclosures. They are also told that we are destroying the aina. Little do people realize that my dad was a part of the Waiahole Waikane Community Association that fought to keep development out. Yes, a farmer helped to save the country.
What’s sad is that those in the community perceive his farm as a threat because we adopted technology. Farmers have always evolved to do things better and smarter. That’s how they survive and sustain themselves. This is their livelihood and not a hobby.
Farmers are dwindling in number and it is of no surprise given the attacks launched against them. It gets me mad when someone tells me that their garden is no different from a farm so that is how a farmer should do things. Others think that by having kids work the land will foster more farmers. Simple solutions never work for complex issues. Wanting to go back to the old ways isn’t going to help us move forward.
Some people think just getting kids in a taro patch or a garden is going to foster more farmers. It’s great to have kids grow things but farming is much more than that. It’s a business and needs some science too. The romantic idea pervades the conversations around growing farmers but can’t be leading the plan. It had to be based in reality.
My husband learned first hand that the romantic ideal doesn’t match the reality that so many people talk about. It hit him like a semi that farming wasn’t easy and he quit. So to those clamoring for the old days of farming, shut up already or prove that’s it’s a viable way of living in the current situation at hand.
Stop letting your ignorance spread
I’ve been cranky because I’ve been dealing with 2 sick kids and me being sick. I can’t imagine not having modern medicine and trained professionals to help make people feel better and regain health. If it was back in the old days that so many people miss, my kids would be suffering and could’ve potentially suffered serious harm from the flu without intervention. Don’t go telling me you want less chemicals in your body but grab the acetaminophen when you get a headache.
Operating on faulty information is harmful as we are seeing with a resurgence of preventable diseases. That little meme you shared celebrating avoiding chemicals in your food has a ripple effect. It gives a simple heuristic for people to utilize in the quest for health but that piece of misinformation encourages acting in fear and emotion. That person becomes prone to fear based decision making and encourages politicians to listen to these folks.
Society starts to accept the false information as truth and that’s a problem for us as a whole as we start to devolve into confusion and emotion. When this happens, finding common ground is nearly impossible. People stop being able to talk to each other when one works from a false assumption and rejects history and facts.
Shortcut thinking always lands up hurting someone along the way. The pervasive fondness of going natural is a danger that few recognize. Rejecting modern medicine and science is hurting the most vulnerable. Thinking that farming the old way grows more farmers gives future farmers a shock when they realize what’s needed to be successful in the current climate.
I really wish that the loud noise makers would shut up and stop bending the ears of fickle politicians looking for job security. How much time and resources must be wasted catering to the squeaky wheels? People don’t want to vote because it’s only the loudest that get the ears of politicians. The behind the scene pulling of strings to keep leadership happy and play out cards is disgusting. The electorate get into office and stand for nothing, literally nothing that benefits the local people.
Let’s keep it going politicians with the efforts going to banning everything instead of looking for harder solutions to bigger problems. The public will thank you for those foam container gone only to find their takeout food is more expensive. The land will be healthier without plastics while abandoned cars and cesspools are all over the community affecting water and health of our soil. People celebrated the pedestrian crosswalk law to protect them but now we have more people being hit by cars than before. We have a law to stop homelessness but the numbers are increasing and spreading into the suburbs. Politicians were so eager to ban GM foods but the same ones tried to legalize raw milk! Another one wants to fund vaccine injury studies, which are already done by the CDC, while mumps cases rise to several hundreds endangering the most vulnerable. There’s talk about doubling food production but people are wanting to build on land that could help support the effort through research.
We were told by politicians that they will make a better Hawaii. Have each and everyone of them actually fulfilled that promise? Honestly, I’m sick of those promises. It’s no wonder people don’t vote. To all of the incumbents and prospective ones repeating meaningless promises, shut up and put out first.