I woke up from another night terror and couldn't get back to sleep.
So, I decided to facebook instead and came across a series of videos a friend put up on the maps of Hawai'i. From there spent some time watching it then another documentary about the islands and to a excerpt of a documentary about Queen Lili'oukalani, the last monarch of Hawai'i.
Since I've been back from visiting Oahu and Maui, I just can't shake what I've learned and how it just touches to the deepest part of me about sovereignty and the self-determination of a peoples that's been so obviously and so overtly taken away by the greed of American businessmen. It is so recent and so apparent that it's impossible for any thoughtful "American" to ignore.
I guess I'm just deeply disturbed and moved by Hawaiian history but also the history of all indigenous peoples whose land has been forcefully taken away and partitioned for sale all over the Americas and across the world. It just makes me sick. I'm sure my indignant anger is only a drop of what actual indigenous people feel for their homes, their land, and their ancestors. These is something I feel truly helpless and immobile about. I know the answer is no longer reverting back to what was once indigenous but justice still needs to be served. We are the products of colonization, American exceptionalism, and the conveniences that all of those bring to our daily lives and expectations. I cannot separate the quality of life I expect and desire as the byproducts of western imperialism. There is no denying that first world privileges come from the backs of the third world. And yet, these are the exact comforts I expect because my parents escaped a war to come so I can be raised never knowing what war can truly feel like.
I feel so many contradictions and yet my heart still beats thunder for the people of Hawai'i, for the people of the Americas, and for indigenous people everywhere who are trying to sustain their heritage and culture that has probably outlasted all of western civilization but is rapidly deteriorating and vanishing because of rabid capitalist greed.
I will never truly understand the depth of the hole that Hawaiian people feel for their land and their ancestors but I know the holes that are left in people after war and the struggle to reclaim what has been forever lost.
- aloha oe