Exactly who is a Native Hawaiian

Why is it difficult to answer accurately “Exactly who is a Native Hawaiian?” Why does the answer to the question matter – both in everyday life in Hawaii and to us as we think about the realities of social identities?

Well, it’s probably difficult because what are the best tools you could use to discern that tends to complicate the issue then give you a clear answer. Genetics Has allowed us to find connections between animals we thought had gone long extinct and existent species. but when applied to humans it just makes things a whole lot more confusing. One of the people who read a project to find native Hawaiians even caution against using genetics to find them. “Yet she cautioned against using genetics to determine ethnicity. “I get people coming up to me all the time and saying, “Can you prove that I’m a Hawaiian?” PRA 40

 

If the concept of race has no genetic basis, why does it persist in society? What economic, political and/or cultural functions does it play that keep it alive? This is a Text+ME question.

One of the social aspects keeping it alive is how wealth likes perpetuating and isolating itself. Olson Points this out “People of all ethnic backgrounds live side by side, just as they did in the camp towns. The only people who live in ghettos are the soldiers on military bases and wealthy haoles who wall themselves off in gated communities.” PRA 24. This is due to geographical barriers again improving as potent separators between groups. Another thing is the school barrier. When people grow up together, they tend to be more amenable to them no matter what social groups there from kid don’t care if you’re fun to play with. One way to get kids from different backgrounds to interact is to have them go to the same schools. One very vivid memory I have of is when I went to school in New York Public School in Queens. Now New York public schools have very mixed reputations, but from what I’m able to surmise the elementary schools were pretty good. Something the school would do every year was a culture day. On this day they would set up that she leaves him with budget tables and parents would volunteer to cook traditional dishes from their culture. You paid the admission fee and you were given a roll of like 5 tickets and you get to go to tables and sample some food and learn things about other people’s cultures. I remember all kinds of weird dishes from different cultures. I was especially excited because my mom had volunteered to cook Irish food since my family comes from a predominantly Irish background and that was not as common as It was in my high school. The first time I really realize this was when I was part of a modeling United Nations club in my high school and we were suggesting fundraiser ideas and I remembered the culture day. So, I suggested doing something like that with that the realization quickly dawned on me and everyone in the room that the school was not diverse enough to do such a thing. A major of the student body was from a roughly white European background, but when compared to the other high schools in the surrounding area we were the diverse school. Another economic divider is redlining which is extensively taken place in the nearby city of Bridgeport which really kept a lot of minorities in poverty in the city. Note I am stopping here Because if I don’t, I’ll be here all night.

One Reply to “Exactly who is a Native Hawaiian”

  1. There’s some good work here. In the first question, you might also consider beyond how mixed the genetic pool is in Hawaii that ethnic identities are as much social as they are biological (see the “community of descent” idea at the end of the essay).

    You didn’t take a crack at why figuring out who’s a Native Hawaiian matters. What do you think? Consider what Olson says about how that identity status shapes the lived realities of people deemed Native.

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