by Andrew Walden
After flouting the order of the US Supreme Court and naming ‘everybody’ as winners of the canceled Aha elections, Nai Aupuni’s Aha Delegate List Serve is buzzing with activity.
Leaked email chains posted online show several days of debate over how to open the Aha.
Bizarrely, some delegates have proposed eliminating the traditional opening pule. Their proposal drew quite a reaction. Outraged pro-pule Delegates demanded that the emails be made public.
Posting the emails, Hawaiian activist Melissa Moniz explains:
Unbelievable the putting to vote whether they PRAY, CHANT, or do any PROTOCOLS.
For once OFFICE OF HAWAIIANS come from hiding and end this FARCE. What a MOCKERY or wait are you having your spies, instigators do this to make sure this AHA keeps RELIGION and STATE separate? OR is it a plot to weed out those you don't want at the AHA?
You TRUSTEES are looking REALLY BAD and things just keep getting worse and worse.
PAU this BULLSHIT.
Transsexual activist Hinaleimoana Wong-Kalu is strongly in favor of keeping prayer in the Aha. In a lengthy December 28 email rebuttal to an anti-pule proposal, Wong-Kalu makes several points:
… I REALLY COULD CARELESS WHAT POLITICAL AVENUE YOU SUPPORT, HOWEVER, TO TURN YOUR BACK ON SOME ACKNOWLEDGEMENT OF HOOMANA AND LEO PULE AT A VERY TERTIARY LEVEL IS NOTHING SHORT OF BEING THE AIKU/AIA. (Translation: Godless kapu-breaker.)
YOU...SHOULD STAY HOME….
MANY OF US ARE INTELLECTUALS AS WELL AS CULTURAL PRACTITIONERS AS WELL AS POLITICAL ADVOCATES AND STATESMEN IN AND OF OUR OWN ACCORD. DO NOT...REPEAT...DO NOT INSULT US BY HAVING A GOVERNMENT EFFORT BY AND FOR OUR PEOPLE BE CONVOLUTED WITH A WESTERN PHILOSOPHY OF SEPARATION OF CHURCH AND STATE. This law is NOT reflective of anything that has to do with our own native governance of our affairs and our issues along with our people. Christian OR traditional perspectives...both have consistently respected one another when we have been at many a discussion forum. … you cannot even see beyond the veil of your own colonized "intellect" to criticize and try to exclude ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT ELEMENTS OF UNDERSTANDING OF OUR PEOPLE….
“Tokumana”, claimed by Wong-Kalu to be delegate Timothy Aki, argues:
Nice. So what you are saying is that we should have a religious state. Like I said, define cultural practitioner; define cultural practices. It is obvious that religion is a driving force behind some of your political philpsophies. Great so let's have some human sacrifices. Let us discriminate against the LGBT community because of religious beliefs or let's discriminate against minorities because the mob rules….
Yup, I am really assimilated into Western Culture because I wish to separate church and state but a few wish to inergrate church and state and make the future Nation a religious state for one particular religion.
So let's keep arguing for a religious state and religious "protocals" and we will get nowhere.
Let us also adopt a caste system where we have our Alii, Kahuna, and slaves, I am sure a lot of people will enjoy a cultural caste system, but it is a shame that all Kanaka Maoli now belong to only two castes; the Alii and the Kahuna and no one wants to be the commoner or slave….
After hearing from Wong-Kalu and Tokumana, James Anthony chirps:
“You two are awesome. This is how I know that the 'Aha will be real and will be worthwhile.”
Zuri Aki chimes in with:
It's one thing if we all agreed, but one person who doesn't like the idea is one more than enough to refrain from proceeding on this issue. It's religion and any imposition of it is a violation of an internationally recognized fundamental human right.
Ku Ching responds:
Zuri, You give that "one person" excessive power. How come? His/Her actual voting power is close to 0.5% - yet you are willing to give that person "total veto" power (of more than 51%). I must object.
Arguing against religion, Bronson Kaahui asks:
Can Rastafarians smoke weed at the convention? I mean seriously, how silly can we get? Are we creating a religious theocracy here? I can't believe we're even talking about transforming the convention process due to the superstitious beliefs of a small minority of Hawaiians who have recently rediscovered an ancient and dead religion (that was gladly cast aside by Hawaiians over a century ago). What's next? Should we start having all the claimants to the throne assemble, and divide up the Aha by nobles and commoners? This is crazy!
No Hinaleimoana, you cannot create a religious theocracy in Hawaii. I don't know how else to say it.
This draws a response from Kamahana Kealoha Kahunaaina Iona:
Is this a dictatorship? I think not. Kaahui is not the dictator of this would be Aha. This email interaction is highly unprofessional and disgusting. I think we should make these public.
Carrying the debate over to Dec 29, Zuri Aki writes:
I ko'u mana'o, in my opinion, Mr. (Ben) Shafer's suggestion is an ideal solution. Those who feel strongly about pule/prayer, could organize prior to the start of the convention (daily, if need be) - that way, those who do not share those religious beliefs (or are not religious at all) will not be subjected to something they did not sign up for….
If as delegates/representatives/Kanaka Maoli, you cannot do this, then we have already failed….
Christopher Lum Lee explains:
For God's sake, people. I've had enough of this. We have less than 20 days (after you count presentation) to come up with some idea for self-governance. There are people out there who want this to fail. And this back-and-forth arguing is just proving that we will fail. If we can't even get this figured out, why shouldn't people believe that we couldn't even agree on a lunch menu?
Kamahana Kealoha Kahunaaina Iona writes:
No Aloha, greetings of disdain and disgust to you all,
Do not contact me, and I am disconnecting ALL email communications. Handing them over to a public forum and no longer available for email contact.
MANY OF YOU ARE RUDE, UNPROFESSIONAL AND FAR LACKING FROM ANY REPREEENTATION OF ANY LAHUI AND I AM ASHAMED TO BE COUNTED AMONG YOU
MANY OF YOU ARE REALLY JUST ASSHOLES.
Many of you people whom are dictating this conversation before we even agree upon ground rules, conduct and what we are actually doing arwna disgrace.
Do not contact me until further notice unless it is for DEMOCRATIC and CIVIL discussion for the FORWARDING of NATION BUILDING and not for personal agendas skewed by fanciful ideas of a messiah-dictator self concept.
This has already started our to be a great exercise amounting to nothing but the same bullshit the last 123 years has proven many of you skilled at.
I WILL PRAY IF I WANT TO PRAY- TRY AND STOP ME.
Do not contact me….
We are babbling about religion.
Nowhere in our communications is anyone talking about constitution writing, or or differences in governing our people.
Wasted energy on frivolous subjects gets us nowhere but divided.
On December 31, 2015, Annelle Amaral writes:
I think Mr. Timothy Aki that we are a bit tired of your rant....I appreciate that Hina has "outed" you...and now, whenever we see Tokumana Toku, we will know that we are speaking to Timothy Aki...whoever that is....ah well...I guess it's important to you....mahalo Hina....disclosure is important...truth is important...and now we move forward understanding the foolishness....Happy New Year Hina....
January 1, 2016, Christopher Lum Lee writes:
All of you, knock it off! If you all are going to waste this perfectly good prep time arguing about non-sense, then you're just giving credence to the already bad rap the Hawaiian community has.
Kamahana Kealoha Kahunaaina Iona writes next:
I agree with Mrs. Amaral, Mrs. Kalu, Mr. Kuoha, and everyone else who does not explicitly seek to deprive us of our right to pray, especially when no one is stopping the distractors from not praying- fact.
And you least of all Lum Lee.
I already told you how much you dont matter to me. And now youre trying to dictate the conversation topics.
Good to know.
I will also make aware all to the many threats I have documented from those who want to intimidate me from participating through verbiage and postures of direct threat of violence. (I am now an expert to the fine line given my year in review, investigation and exoneration of the same regarding the unfortunate incident that Lum Lee pretends to know everything about- yet does not.)
I have documented these threats from strangers and if you are experiencing the same thing please do document this and lets get in touch on a more professional venue to see how we can hold the event dictators responsible for assuring our safety as needed.
Our safety as individuals and as participants should be a non-issue but apparently, besides paying us less than minimum wage or third world country wages, those who have dictated the actual aha (ie scheduling, their pay vs. our reasonable, labor law exclusive, insufficient stipend) have either no foresight to see this through, are sabotaging this like the concon before by sucking up the funding and pretending there is no more despite the 500 million dollars in assets OHA fraudulently appropriates and withholds, or the Aha dictators are trying to get away with the bulk of the funding per their 20 million spent and 6 digit figure incomes.
And on top of all of that it seems the Aha dictatorship thus far has no seeming means of keeping participants safe from stalkers and psychos….
I do not believe pertinent topics should be discussed on this ever so unprofessional and disrespectful venue, so-called listserve….
Until then this is a battle field and I plan to be among the last standing.
Email to the death. We are collectively the laughing stock and entertainment to the disagreeable. But then again if you’re here to get popular you shouldve done your research first….
those wanting to pray are not stopping the godless from recusing them selves- that is your right. And likewise I will pray, try and stop me. It is my right. If the godless minority would rather impose their godlessness on the spiritual and varietable majority then we all see who the real oppressors are. Pray and let pray. And I support the right of the godless to not pray. But if any of you think you can stop another from praying you might need a reminder: we are at a would-be aha. The occupier still upholds our rights to pray and others rights to be godless….
LINK: Read the entire exchange.