Celia Padron went on a Hawaiian vacation last year, lured by the prospect of beautiful beaches and friendly people. She, her husband and two teenage daughters enjoyed the black sand beach at Makena State Park on Maui. But a Hawaiian girl accosted her two teenage daughters, saying, "Go back to the mainland" and "Take your white ass off our beaches," says Padron, a pediatric gastroenterologist in New Jersey.
When her husband, 68 at the time, stepped between the girls, three young Hawaiian men slammed him against a vehicle, cutting his ear, and choked and punched him, Padron says. Police officers persuaded the Padrons not to press charges, saying it would be expensive for them to return for court appearances and a Hawaiian judge would side with the Hawaiian assailants, the doctor contends.
"There is no doubt in my mind [the attack] was racially motivated," she adds.
Surprised? No, not terribly so.
My husband and I were very blessed that when we lived on Oahu from 1990-95, we had no incidents like this directed at us, but even then, Mililani Trask was spouting her agenda. Even then, there were places a haole (white) were wise to avoid. Plus, it was pretty much an accepted fact that if you didn't have ohana (family), your large business or stellar career would have more *ahem* hindrances than if you did.
Please don't get me wrong - I love Hawaii, it's beauty and warm Aloha spirit. This incident, in my experience, is by far the exception rather than the rule.
But it doesn't surprise me at all.