LETTER: ‘Who Am I to Make Comment?’

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When this entire TMT protesting started, it was because the Native Hawaiians did not want another telescope placed on the Mauna. Too many scopes on the mountain they said—enough already! That was all fine up to a point. Once it became political and about the overthrow of the Hawaiian Kingdom and wanting to go on a public attack against our U.S. government, it then became an issue for Native Hawaiians, not the entire community. So it created a divide.

So who am I to make such a comment you ask? First and most importantly, I am a citizen of the United States of America that is exercising her right to Freedom of Speech.

My name is Lisa Malakaua. I was the wife of Sgt. First Class William K. Malakaua who served alongside fellow Hawaiian soldiers including Tulsi Gabbard in the Hawaii Army National Guard. A Kanaka born and raised on Hawaiian lands himself with Hawaiian blood running through his veins, he served our country for 26 years with honors. After he retired, he served another three years in Kuwait where he ultimately lost his life. And this is why I’m able to make comment and express to all of you another side.

My husband selflessly served this country for our freedom, like so many other military soldiers that reside in Hawaii and this country. But the military can’t speak on any of this due to government regulations and rules. So someone had to. I say that if the Kanaka wants to continue to live in the past of when planting taro and building rock walls was the way of life, then that’s up to them. My comment of going back to “planting taro and building rock walls” was not to be taken in a literal sense or to belittle anyone, but to be taken figuratively—meaning staying suppressed in thought.


We were placed on earth to evolve not to stay stagnate. So if the Native Hawaiian’s are truly serious about “sovereignty” then protest against the government in a peaceful and private manner. Start your own provisional government if you hate the U.S. government that badly. But to publicly announce your hate for the U.S. Government is also an insult to the very ones that currently serve, have served and lost their lives serving for our freedom—and you’re right to protest. Of course our U.S. Government isn’t perfect. Of course many sympathize with the handling of the overthrow of the Hawaiian Kingdom 126 years ago. But to protest only half way seems contradictory to me. If you are going to protest, then protest all the way.

Give back the U.S. Government their monies they issue to you every month, including your driver’s license and be done with them. Social Security participants should have not been included in my original comment as I am well aware that they earned that money and are entitled to it. But the ones that are taking advantage of the system know exactly who I’m referring to. And yes, it is the taxpayers who flip that bill. I was not placed on this earth to enter a popularity contest, but rather to speak on what’s right. All the contradictions and speaking out of both sides of the face is simply becoming too much already. So all I’m asking is that you too show some compassion (Kapu Aloha) and keep an open mind for those who aren’t necessarily in support of your cause.

The original letter to the editor can be found online.


Letters, commentaries and opinion pieces are not edited by Big Island Now.

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