My Turn: Aloha and RIP George Floyd

“I Can’t Breathe” should not be the last words coming from the mouth of anyone unless someone is intentionally trying to hurt or kill you.

Although I don’t condone the radical extremism and out-of-control rioting, I think most can certainly relate and understand why they’re doing it after having been treated unfairly for so darn long.

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In 1962, President John F. Kennedy famously said, “Those who make peaceful revolution impossible, will make violent revolution inevitable.”

Our African-American community has been treated as though they don’t bleed like others when cut. Treated as though they have no feelings, heart or soul. Trying to get by on what little is thrown their way. When in reality, all they’re trying to do is live like the rest of us, and fit in a world where they are not always warmly received or treated with the greatest of aloha, all because of the color of their skin or where they are from.

The worst kind of universal system that was ever created by man, and greatly supported by our U.S. government, was an organization called systemic racism.

Look around your neighborhoods. What race group is dominant in your area? That’s because certain races are allowed in certain neighborhoods solely based on race and income. And if you are at the bottom of that U.S. race chart standard, then you’re usually given less-desirable property or placed in a less-than-desirable neighborhood, because that’s where the government believes “your kind” belongs.

If violence is what it takes for the African-American and their supporters to finally be heard after decades of unjustifiable abuse, and insurmountable disadvantages surrounding hate crimes, then so be it.

Racial discrimination and profiling is much like poking a bear, eventually someone’s bound to get hurt.

Hawaii is no different. Racial profiling and discrimination is an epidemic here.

And once again; the worst and the most pitiful part of it all, is that we here in Hawaii have a government that greatly supports it.

The outcome that I would like to see from this horrific situation, would be for our federal and state governments to make some serious and critical changes by passing stiffer laws surrounding bullying and racism.

Unfortunately, those that support racism are the very ones that are inciting the violent reaction.

And; you must ask yourself, are we any better than they are by just sitting back in witness, yet still choosing to do nothing?

Are we just as much to blame for accepting this racial hatred and divide as an everyday norm by remaining silent or looking the other way pretending we didn’t see it?

What does it say about us as a society if it takes a brutal murder, like George Floyd’s, in order for us to finally take a stand?

You know how the old adage goes, “Stand for nothing, fall for anything.”

Our nation, its leaders, and law enforcement, needs to learn how to be more proactive, rather than reactive. And they can all start by abiding by the rule of law; standing by their oath to office without prejudice and/or judicial bias; and stopping with all their unlawful conduct.

Oh, and uh… perhaps cutting out a huge slice and eating some wonderfully delicious humble pie might greatly help too.

With greatest and deepest sympathy. Our heartfelt sorrow goes out to the Floyd Ohana and to those they hold dear. God Bless!

As quoted by Martin Luther King Jr.:

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“I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality…. I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word.”

Lisa Malakaua is a resident of Hilo.