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Haoles in Hawai`i

Haoles in Hawai`i

Judy Rohrer
Copyright Date: 2010
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  • Book Info
    Haoles in Hawai`i
    Book Description:

    Haoles in Hawai‘i strives to make sense of haole (white person/whiteness in Hawai‘i) and "the politics of haole" in current debates about race in Hawai‘i. Recognizing it as a form of American whiteness specific to Hawai‘i, the author argues that haole was forged and reforged over two centuries of colonization and needs to be understood in that context. Haole reminds us that race is about more than skin color as it identifies a certain amalgamation of attitude and behavior that is at odds with Hawaiian and local values and social norms. By situating haole historically and politically, the author asks readers to think about ongoing processes of colonization and possibilities for reformulating the meaning of haole.

    eISBN: 978-0-8248-6042-4
    Subjects: Sociology

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. Foreword
    (pp. ix-x)
    Phyllis Turnbull

    Haoles in Hawai‘iis the inaugural volume in a succeeding series on ethnicity planned by the University of Hawai‘i Press. Such a project is a reminder that academic presses are clusters of the energies and intelligences that help to make up and maintain a civil and literate society. Without such influences and resources our lives would all be poorer and meaner. We in Hawai‘i are fortunate to have such a press.

    That the press has launched this series with a volume whose title appears to make haole an ethnic identity will likely violate what most of us haoles have long...

  4. Acknowledgments
    (pp. xi-xii)
  5. Introduction
    (pp. 1-10)

    My introduction to haole came as a rude awakening, as it does for many. Growing up in California, I had some ideas about race. There were African American, Jewish, and Chicana/o children in the “free school” that my parents ran, and I ruled. If asked about race, I probably would have identified these children and their families and vocalized an antiracist sentiment learned from my parents, that is, “We should treat everyone the same regardless of skin color.” It is unlikely that I would have racialized myself since, in my mind, race was not about me.

    This all changed in...

  6. CHAPTER 1 “Haole Go Home”: Isn’t Hawai‘i Part of the U.S.?
    (pp. 11-32)

    “Haole go home” was a popular slogan in the 1970s for a number of reasons. The native Hawaiian cultural and political revival was emerging and gaining strength, there was a strong antidevelopment movement in the islands, and local culture was finding new artistic expression, especially in literature, comedy, and music. It is not articulated as much these days, but the sentiment remains, clearly marking haole as not at home in Hawai‘i. In contrast, white American visitors and newcomers to the islands are often surprised when they are called “haole” and when they encounter this sentiment. From their point of view,...

  7. CHAPTER 2 “No Ack!”: What Is Haole, Anyway?
    (pp. 33-57)

    Having established the origins of haole in Hawai‘i’s colonization, this chapter considers the many different constructions of haole produced by haoles and others from “first contact” to present. As stated earlier, my interest is not so much in trying to define what haole is—as if one definition were possible—as in exploring the different ways it is produced. Haole is dynamic. Not only is it not just one thing, it is also never still—it changes across time, place, and context. How the early missionaries represented themselves differed radically from how Kanaka Maoli constructed them, which differed again from...

  8. CHAPTER 3 “Eh, Haole”: Is “Haole” a Derogatory Word?
    (pp. 58-75)

    “Eh, haole.” It is a phrase so common to Hawai‘i that it must be spoken thousands of times an hour. Yet if an increasingly vocal group of haoles get their way, we will no longer be uttering the “H-word.” In chapter 2 I explored the multiple constructions of haole generated over the years in haole, local, and native Hawaiian communities. An understanding of this variation, and the history of haole colonialism, is generally missing from the movement to ban “haole.” Debates over “haole” as derogatory surface in popular media every few years, usually sparked by some incident of alleged name...

  9. CHAPTER 4 “Locals Only” and “Got Koko?”: Is Haole Victimized?
    (pp. 76-100)

    The phrase “locals only” has existed in the islands for decades. It was so widely used that it was chosen in 1981 to name a now successful clothing line that churns out “Locals Only” T-shirts, bumper stickers, and other merchandise. Since local identity goes far beyond simple residence in Hawai‘i, the phrase helps shape that identity by announcing its boundaries. It says there are, or should be, places and practices only for locals. Given the increasing encroachment of nonlocal development and tourism, it is not hard to understand the sentiment behind such a claim, yet some haoles read it as...

  10. Conclusion
    (pp. 101-104)

    It has been over thirty years since I was literally pushed into recognizing myself as haole in that cafeteria line at Koloa Elementary. Thankfully, I now understand much more about the remark “fucking haole” and about the ways haole has been produced as part of the colonization of Hawai‘i. Yet one of the things about writing a book is that it forces you to realize how much you do not know about the topic. No matter how hard you try, there are some things you can never know since we each can only ever have partial knowledge, and since knowledge...

  11. Notes
    (pp. 105-108)
  12. Hawaiian-Language Glossary
    (pp. 109-110)
  13. Bibliography
    (pp. 111-120)
  14. Index
    (pp. 121-124)