Quotation: from Hawaii Queen Lili’ uokalani

Some Hawaiians here in our state don’t vote because our U.S. government overthrew the legal monarchy  of the Hawaiian Kingdom in 1893 when businessmen (children of U.S. missionaries) garnered the help of a U.S. warship in the Honolulu harbor threatening mass killing of the Hawaiians.  Queen Lili’uokalani, the royal monarch,  acquiesced, to prevent the deaths of her people.  She hoped the United States President would right the situation. Though President Cleveland and his special commissioner James Blount supported the return of the Queen’s sovereignty, the Provisional Government refused to step down. They quickly proclaimed themselves the Republic of Hawai’i and by 1898 they’d received status as a U.S. Territory.  Nothing was done to reinstate the islands to the Hawaiian people.


U.S. plantation owners and businessmen worried about the influence of the popular Queen Lili’uokalani and overthrew the legal monarchy

Image from: http://www.hawaiihistory.org/index.cfm?fuseaction=ig.page&PageID=312

So it is very understandable that some Hawaiians today don’t want to be part of this system.

However, when you don’t vote and make your voice heard, the ones who do vote win for their ideas, their way of life, their benefit.

Besides, Queen Lili’uokalani saw that having a vote was important!


Photo from Ki’ope Raymond, Hawaiian Language Professor, University of Hawaii Maui College

“We have no other direction left to pursue, except this unrestricted right to vote. Given by the U.S. to you the Lahui [the Hawaiian Nation], grasp it and hold on to it.  It is up to you to make things right for all of us in the Future.”  Queen Lili’uokalani

So if you are Hawaiian, please make choices that will be the best for you, your family, your community.

And for those of us who aren’t Native Hawaiians, I’ve learned that it is important to vote for the candidates for the Office of Hawaiian Affairs.  Until this last Primary Election in August, I left those three spots unchecked each election – because I’m not Hawaiian and didn’t think I had a real right to be making those choices.  However, I’ve learned that the Hawaiian community can use our  votes if they are well informed.  The mission of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs includes protecting the ‘aina and Hawaiians.  What is good for the land and the Hawaiian people is likely good for all of us.

It’s not too late in Hawaii to register to vote (although official early registration ended last Tuesday, October 9th).  The Maui County Clerk’s Office is relaxing deadlines, so if you have valid identification with you, you can register to vote on the day you vote.

Early walk-in voting here on Maui is October 23-November 3, Monday – Saturday, 8am- 4pm at the Velma McWayne Santos Community Center in Wailuku.

The General Election is November 6, 7am-6pm at your designated polling place.

Watch for the various candidate forums.  Kihei Community Center has another one this Tuesday, Oct. 16  at St. Theresa Church.  Go to <olvr.hawaii.gov>, put in your address, and see the ballot for you.  UHMC will be having a “Teach In.”  Get informed.

Then VOTE.  Queen Lili’uokalani knew it was important.  Our future depends on it.

Aloha, Renée

Banner photo: https://www.biography.com/people/liliuokalani-39552




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About reneeriley

Our blog was begun as a way to share our experiences in China. From August 2010 to July 2011, my husband, Barry Kristel, and I were at our University of Hawaii Maui College sister school, Zhejiang Agriculture and Forestry University in Lin'an, China, a city considered rural because it has only 500,000 people! We had a wonderful time. Then in February 2012, we returned to teach this time at our other sister school, Shanghai Normal University, in a city of over 21 million people. We've made many discoveries. Did you know that now Chinese girls, at least the ones who go to university, for the most part feel they are luckier than the Chinese boys? Did you know that Shanghai saved over 20,000 European Jews during WWII? Do you know how Chinese university students would deal with problems that come up in Dear Abby letters? What's it like to be on the Great Wall of China? Do you know how many Chinese girls had their feet bound and why? And we have recipes from many of the places we've visited. Among others, you can find instructions on how to fry cicadas from one of my ZAFU students and how to make chocolate-Kahlua waffles from my brother Mike in Gainesville. You can also look back to our earliest entry to see what we experienced in Oaxaca, Mexico, in 2006 during the mainly peaceful six months of protest until the Mexican government sent in the troops. Between our stays in China, Barry and I have been on the Mainland U.S. visiting family, friends and Servas hosts as we traveled home to Maui. We share those experiences too. Welcome to our blog! Aloha and Zài Jiàn, Renée and Barry

6 responses to “Quotation: from Hawaii Queen Lili’ uokalani”

  1. Pat Rouse says :

    I heard the candidates for the OHA at large trustees election talk on Insights on PBS yesterday, Sunday. I felt the same way you did until they said also they welcome our informed vote, and what is done for the Hawaiians has an effect on all of us living here. So I now know how to mArk that part of my absentee ballot. It was really a q and a about what does OHA do.

  2. Rosita says :

    such a sad, yet sensate decision of her.. 🤔 I honestly think subject is universal, no specific for Hawai’i (even tho u added some Hawaiian particularities on it), everyone which can vote should be grateful for having such opportunities, ‘cause it only come to show they live in a democracy, even if it’s a flawed one – like Brasil -, and no a dictatorial regimen. still, dictatorships may start out as democracies, so, we better vote wisely.. I’m no hopeful about elections here, ‘cause we’re between Scylla and Charibdis, but at least if Bolsonaro wins, he’ll be a Latino Trump and might restore economy, even tho he don’t really has good moral capacity to be president, he’s quite explosive, randomly talking about stuff which comes to his mind and willing to open our forests even more for logging..😞 it won’t be good, ‘cause it may bring up more diseases, malaria is even on rise here at my zone, after quite a while of disappearance, but still..I’m grateful we have option to vote here, ‘cause it points out we still live on a somewhat democratic system, even tho it ain’t perfect.. at least ppl like meh, u and Barry are doing our bests for democracy and world as we can 😘 Hope everyting turns good for y’all of Hawai’i! 😁🤟🏼
    With much love,
    🌈 R 🌈

    • reneeriley says :

      Thanks, Rosita: We’re thinking about Brazil too. If everyone took being a citizen seriously, we wouldn’t have these problems. How’s the voter turnout there? xoxoxo

      • Rosita says :

        Exactly!, but I guess wha’ lacks on here is dat nationalism & citizenship feeling as well as indifference toward others’.. such 3 things makes ppl to do not so good choices at times 😞 well, and it seems we’ll have 2nd round of elections on 28 of October. we just have to wait and hope turns out to be better than past governments, more stable and with improvements on public services, specially health and safety as well as education.. those things MUST be changed urgently, otherwise…well, otherwise I don’t even wanna think wha’ outturn could be! 😬
        With love,

      • reneeriley says :

        That’s the thing — if someone is suffering and that pain is not addressed — ultimately everyone suffers (although some people are so rich that they don’t think anything will happen to them — but I think their souls suffer). Governments should be most interested in the lives of the poorest — not just making sure that the richest get even richer. Good luck on the 28th! Aloha, R

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