Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights

September 23, 2019

Mauna Kea: A society of love, compassion and justice is worth protecting

Mauna Kea: A society of love, compassion and justice is worth protecting

'Science without ethics is our worst nightmare'

An article by one of our Mauna Healers Aunty Gwen Kim who is also one of the frontline Kia’i who sat in the Kupuna line on the day of the Kupuna arrests.

Kepakemapa 23, 2019

Mauna Medic Healers

By Gwen Kim

Seeing so many negative letters about Thirty Meter Telescope protectors, I felt moved to share my personal experience.

As a 76-year-old full-blooded kama‘aina Korean, I was among those frontline kupuna who on the first day volunteered to block the construction of TMT. As an ally and supporter, I have been wrapped with love respect and honor for our stand.

Months before, I shared with family and friends my deep desire to stand with the first peoples of this land. So when the kahea (call) came, I packed my bag and went.

I am a retired social work administrator with 50 years of service via YWCA HCAP Legal Aid Society and Queen Lili‘uokalani Children’s Center. Over 45 years ago working with kupuna Lilia Hale and others, we started the Kupuna Hawaiian Language Program. I am also referred to as the mother of ‘Onipa‘a Na Hui Kalo, an islandwide kalo and water restoration initiative.

I want to speak directly to state Sen. Lorraine Inouye and former Maui Mayor Alan Arakawa: Your calls for a physically decisive end to TMT upset me profoundly. I can better understand the quandary of Big Island Mayor Harry Kim and indecisiveness of Gov. David Ige, than this call for swift military-like resolution. Your demands to end this standoff by use of force reveal basic absence of knowledge, respect and love for the host culture that allowed us to call Hawai‘i Nei home.

So the question is posed overall, “Where do you stand?” Those holding the line in the kupuna tent will not budge. Many have settled their affairs accepting that with frail or challenged health, they might not survive a physical frontal attack. They feel great honor in taking this historic stand against a history of injustice.

Calls for compromise swirl in the air, like dust in the wind. Middle ground? Half a telescope? Half a mountain? Devastate or desecrate half, and keep the other half pristine?

There are already 13 telescopes, all of which were built without consent of some Kanaka Maoli. We all can feel we have reached a tipping point. It stops here.

As a third-generation Korean American, my Kim/Lim relatives richly benefited from our ancestors’ migration. Lacking a living culture, many of us have embraced kanaka maoli culture, learning from it, marrying into it, loving it as our own. I am forever grateful for my multicultural childhood being raised in Kahaluu/Kaneohe and later, learning through work for the Queen Liliu‘okalani Children’s Center and many great cultural mentors.

For those who feel that this is a much larger issue than “biggest bang for your buck,” you are correct. Seek to learn more. Make an effort to break out of old stultifying paradigms of thinking. Come to the Mauna. There is an indescribable confluence of nature, intelligence and creative energy occurring as we build a society of love, compassion and justice — a society of Kapu Aloha.

Science without ethics is our worst nightmare, as we have seen with increased nuclear capacity, we could obliterate Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and test on Pacific islands. To see the farthest stars by degrading and devastating the culture of the aboriginal people of this place is a blatant continuation of racism and Manifest Destiny.

Is construction of the TMT worth tearing asunder the very fabric of our community, that which we hold so dear?

I call on you to step forward now with love for Hawai‘i Nei. Stand with our beloved host culture. Say A‘ole TMT.

#maunamedics #maunahealers #aoletmt #lokahiwellness #kukakuka #kukiaimauna #kupunakiai #kupunaline #kupunahealer

1 comment:

Unknown said...

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