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