As I was talking to my husband tonight about the whole issue with agriculture and the divisiveness going on, he made a statement that really hit me. I was complaining about how a local farmer, whose crops were getting stolen, did not want to go on television to share his story. I explained to him that they were shy about it and didn’t want to be out there. Then my husband said, “Well, then you guys will all lose.” I wanted to fight back and say something but as I internalized it, he’s right. “If the silent majority continues to not speak up, then they will ultimately lose and we all will lose.”
No one wants to be at the end of a losing battle but in reality, in some ways he’s right. The local folks will sit back and complain about what’s going on and then do nothing about it but complain. Where does that complaining get us? Does it solve the problem? No.
Whenever there is a problem, one must realize that by seeing it, we are all a part of the problem. If we don’t recognize that, the problem can never be addressed. While many local people are starting to become more vocal about how we are being taken over by these activists, we are not doing our part. This loud, brazen minority has taken advantage of the culture of Hawaii and used it to their advantage.
Local style ways are pretty simple and learned from the good old plantation days where there were people from all over the world. Koreans, Chinese, Hawaiians, Portuguese, Filipinos, and Japanese were all joined together to work on the sugar cane and pineapple fields. There was a unique culture developed through this relationships, much of it a mixture of the cultures. Even a special language was born through all of this called pidgin that can only be heard by local people.
The local culture was pretty simple and based in respect. Don’t talk stink about others. Do your work good. Respect your kupuna or elders. Don’t make waves or attract attention to yourself. No make shame on your family. Work hard. It was laid back in its ways really. No one wants to speak up to get others mad or gain attention to yourself, just be a part of the masses. No make trouble, just leave it the way it is even if you don’t like it. Over the years, a huge sense of complacency has been developing as a result. It’s pretty evident when you see bumper stickers that state, “Ainokea.” That says it all… I don’t care.
When you look at the low voter turn outs in our state, that just shows how people don’t even bother with the issues nowadays. The same goes for agricultural issues here in Hawaii. How many times have you heard a local farmer speaking out for an issue? There are thousands of farmers here that were born and raised with long time family traditions rooted here. Where are their voices in the whole issue? I hardly hear or see of it but I do hear the complaints from others who don’t like what’s happening. This really sends the message that no one wants to stick their head out about the best direction to take based on their expertise and experience. The anti-aloha activists and their politicians have seized on this opportunity and are running the show now. Is that what is best for Hawaii? These are opportunists supported by ill-informed people supported by lots of outside monies?
So, if you don’t like what is happening to our agricultural industry in Hawaii, you the local born person, go walk in front of the mirror. Don’t point your finger at the anti-GMO club and blame them. Point that finger right at yourself and say, “Hey, you! You are the problem. Yep, I said it. It’s you who don’t have the guts take a stand. Don’t like what’s happening, eh? Den you bettah speak up do something about it and stop wasting your energy complaining. You da only one who going fo suffer.”
Wake up local people. There is a new culture developing in our islands that if you don’t adapt to it, you’ll have to pay the price for your silence. It’s time for the local folks who don’t say anything to speak up, vote, and say something to help your fellow long time local farmers. If you don’t, who will?
One way to start is to sign the petition to speak up for farmers!