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October 3, 2006

Another Hawaiian Shit Fit

An ad for a cruise company offended some people in Hawaii when they portrayed a statue of the late Hawaiian leader King Kamehameha holding a glass of wine in his outstretched hand. Evidently, some Hawaiians feel that their culture is being disrespected. They demanded a full page apology in the magazine the ad appeared in and sensitivity training for the cruise company’s staff.

I say, "Go shit in a hat." This embarrasses me as a Hawaii resident and here’s why.

The Honolulu Advertiser has several quotes from outraged Hawaiians and also non Hawaiians in the tourism industry. This statement by Wayne Panoke, a member of a Hawaiian culture coalition, had this to say:
When I saw it, I was appalled to think that any company would have the audacity to use our culture in that fashion and especially our icon, King Kamehameha
Perhaps the ad should have had the head of one of their icon’s enemies?

The fall out resulting from the ad is unfortunate; I think the ad is brilliant. It is unfortunate that the perceived insensitivity on the part of Celebrity Cruises has exploded into a full blown political correctness battle because of a small group of people who found offense, not because of an offense against a deity but because your company stands to make money off the ad. Said Panoke:
I know everybody wants business, but are we going to continue to bastardize our culture so that all these other companies can make millions of dollars?

Ah, now we get it. Someone else besides you is making money off a Hawaii icon.

The Hawaiians that are offended are the same small group of people who think Hawaii should be able to secede from the United States because of an illegal takeover by plantation owners at the end of the 1800’s. I have to believe the majority of this island state, or anyone in their right mind, does not take offense to the ad.

I understand the ad company had to give an apology because they offended a group of people, albeit a small but vocal one, but I heard on a local radio station here that the coalition group also demands an ad of the same size with a written apology AND sensitivity training for the staff of the company.

WTF, over?

If an apology isn’t good enough then that is their problem and I doubt the cruise line company will suffer any noticeable loss of revenue because of it. If the company caves in to this self censorship and pressure from a group who reveres their history, so they only they can make a buck off it, then I will not use the cruise line services.


  1. Leftists practicing identity-politics have leveraged multiculturalism since the old victim-based class-based (poor-middle-rich) structure has failed and lost relevance today. Since the squeaky wheel gets the grease (money) the politics of aggrievement are the standard now.

  2. That is a mouthful, DC, but I think that the local Hawaiians are using a bit of both- thier multi-culturalism drives their victim based status.

    Here is an example from a previous post: Hawaii Sovereignty

    This squeeky wheel is devoid of a good dose of WD-40 by a true minority of intellectual Lilliputians. Most of the Hawaiians I have met are kind-hearted, laid back, and exemplify the Aloha spirit.

    The victim-based structure is alive and well here.

  3. I've been trying to work-out the whole identity-politics thing (but not very hard)- not being a member of one of the "Oppressed Castes" makes it hard to access, but it seems to me to be about assigning blame and then extorting demands. You gotta get the identification right first, "Proud, Ethnic-Group-Name, Union Worker, etc." and then pile on the demands" for "Social Justice," "Economic Justice," "Freedom from Want," blah blah- the list is huge, in order to balance-out whatever historical oddity cast them up on the beach that way... Like all things Leftoid it's a matter of yammering rhetoric and framing the argument. Such a buzzkill.

  4. Best not to comment if you don't understand a local issue. The Hawaiian culture is pretty straightforward, and values respect. Hawaiian ali'i (chiefs, royalty) are to be respected and honored. The issue of placing a drink in the hand of Kamehameha the Great was respect. It would be similar to showing an ad with George Bush sitting on the john, or the Queen of England smoking a joint. A simple matter of respect. Why is that so difficult to understand?

  5. Ah, I forgot. There is no way a haole could ever understand the Hawaiian culture- even after living here for 15 years and reading tons of literature (written by Hawaiians) about the culture.

    But please, if you are Hawaiian, and I doubt you are since most Hawaiians take every opportunity to point this out (especially when their heritage is disrespected), please tell me what is disrespectful of the ad- using your own words and not some scripted da kine.

    Your shortsightedness is illuminated by your poor comparison of Bush on the shitter and the Queen with a doob. This was about respect, anonymous. Respecting the Hawaiian's apparent right to make a buck off their history- and no one else.