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Hayden Burgess aka Poka Laenui


I have been reading more offline and online and recently noticed this old article about Hayden Burgess aka Poka Laenui who is an attorney. He is also related to one of my brother's girlfriends. Well I must state that I keep many things private especially as it pertains to the Hawaiian culture because I feel that I MUST respect our culture, the Hawaiian culture, and keep many many things private. However when I do post here I am only trying to share information so that people try to understand Hawaiians since Hawaiians are often misunderstood. It is NOT to show that I am an expert in Hawaiiana because that is NOT my intention. I am Hawaiian. I have a right to my culture. I also have a right to share what I want to share and I choose to do so as responsibly as I possibly can. Also there are very few Hawaiians (about 401,062 of us) left and there are very few of us online. In any case, when I write here I still do not reveal too much because I try not to expose my ancestors' bones... literally and figuratively... so much of what I write has to be vague. I also try not to reveal any secrets if at all because I am not supposed to expose my ancestors' bones which makes it difficult because I know that some Hawaiians misinterpret me writing here when I do write about our culture and/or about our people.


To clarify further... I do not write about Hawaiians for Hawaiians. We are fine without writing. We were fine without writing and as people remember... the missionaries taught us how to read and write which I am grateful for. However I prefer to keep much of our history and information about our people orally because our history is oral-based. That is partly why I write a few things about our culture and/or about our people but our history is still oral-based.


That may be why I have a problem with reading... and writing. I consider myself a shitty writer. People do not have to tell me that I am a shitty writer LOL I already know that even if I took Advanced Placement English at Kamehameha Schools. I suck at writing. Then... and now LOL However there are a few things that I write about here but again... I do not reveal too much because 1) I am not supposed to expose my ancestors' bones and 2) Hawaiian history is an oral history.


Well I read this older article online about Hayden Burgess aka Poka Laenui. In it he asserts his reasons for not flying an American flag at the Waianae Coast Community Mental Health Center which was received with an uproar when they have a right to display what they want to display... or not. Also note that they didn't display ANY flags. It's from September 21, 2001:




Hayden Burgess of the Wai'anae Coast Community Mental Health Center explains the center's policy of not allowing flags on the building. Burgess has caused an uproar by saying many Wai'anae people feel no allegiance to the United States.




WAI'ANAE — Hayden Burgess, the executive director of the Wai'anae Coast Community Mental Health Center, says his decision not to allow American flags to be flown at the center in response to the terrorist attacks on New York and Washington is based on a long-standing policy against displaying any political or religious symbols, not his personal beliefs.


Hayden Burgess of the Wai'anae Coast Community Mental Health Center explains the center's policy of not allowing flags on the building. Burgess has caused an uproar by saying many Wai'anae people feel no allegiance to the United States.
Gregory Yamamoto • The Honolulu Advertiser

But Burgess, also known as Poka Laenui, is a veteran Hawaiian activist and has angered many in the rural community with his public comments that many people in Wai'anae feel no allegiance to the United States.

Sen. Colleen Hanabusa, D-21st (Barbers Point, Makaha), said such comments are ridiculous.

"It makes everybody look so bad out here," Hanabusa said. "That is not the way we feel. If he is speaking for himself, that is fine, but don't try and speak for everybody on the coast."

The clinic, a nonprofit facility serving the mental health needs of children and adults in the community, was flooded with angry phone calls yesterday.

Leeward resident Celeste Lacuesta, who is Hawaiian and has a son in the Navy, and several others spoke during the center's board of directors meeting last night.

Residents said they are proud of their country and felt that Burgess' remarks hurt the community.

Burgess said his comments were taken out of context and he did not intend to speak for all of Wai'anae.

Richard Bettini, executive director of the Wai'anae Coast Comprehensive Health Center, a separate organization not affiliated with the mental health center, said they have no policy against displaying American flags and many were put up at the facility the day after the attack with the full approval of the employees.

"From what I have seen, and we are the largest employer on the Wai'anae coast, there is a tremendous level of patriotism amongst our employees and the majority are from the Wai'anae Coast," Bettini said. "There are a lot of people really upset."

Burgess said the "accessibility" policy is set by the mental heath center's board, not him, and is meant to protect patients using the facility.

"One of our policies, ... adopted years ago, is that we must remove all barriers to treatment, both physical as well as psychological," Burgess said. "In implementing that policy it has been our rule that flags, religious symbols or things that would somehow make people feel uncomfortable, whether clients or employees, should not be erected on the buildings."

Burgess said that he removed two flags from the building last week, one in a window and the other on the front door, but that he does allow employees wear patriotic pins or place flags on their desks if they want.

"The Hawaiian flag doesn't fly, the American flag doesn't fly," Burgess said. "It's not a question of anyone's loyalty, it is a question of our clients needing service and we remove all barriers as much as we can."

The board agreed that the existing policy is correct and let it stand.


Seen at http://the.honoluluadvertiser.com/article/2001/Sep/26/ln/ln12a.html





and Hawaiian sovereignty



As I was reading it it dawned on me once again that the local newspapers tend to misrepresent Hawaiians... or should I say... PEOPLE. Not Just Hawaiians. I would say that the Honolulu Advertiser and the Honolulu Starbulletin are a couple of the least accurate in terms of newspaper media but what are we to do and I'm not only talking about Hawaiians. They tend to misrespresent and/or misquote non-Hawaiians too. Anyway this is just something else that I have been thinking about and I am grateful that we are able to write in blogs because Hawaiians are often misrespresented. Yes... it does and can happen but some Hawaiians... some PEOPLE... understand that there is good and bad in everything. Also... without the good there would be no bad. Just saying.


Anyway I am slowly learning to examine a little deeper but so far I do not like what I see. Perhaps that is why people do not want to examine because they already know that they will not like what they see? Because the more I read... the more I listen... the more I learn... the more I see more clearly that many people view Hawaiians as less than human. Perhaps that is why some people do not want Hawaiians to have sovereignty because when you think about it... popolo people have sovereignty in this country... so do Jewish people and Asian people. Latin people too. Just to name a few. However why are some people against Hawaiian sovereignty? Because they see us being less than human. They inaccurately portray us as monsters. I mean... look at the last 47 years (since 1959) when we have been illegally occupied by the United States. Have we been violent? No. Have we given any reason to be feared? No but since we stand in the way of the rich and the wealthy who want "our" land they portray us as monsters that we are not. As monsters... who are NOT human. Why? Because they want "our" land. Land means money. Land means power. They want both. That is why but that is no excuse to be nasty to Hawaiians. No excuse at all.


In any case... there is a war. A war against Hawaiians. Why are they fighting us? Because they want our land. So far they are not winning. Granted... they have introduced STDs, crack, ice, cocaine, etc to us in order to destroy us but so far... we are winning. How do I know? Because we are STILL around. Also anyone who knows me knows how very aware I am of these diseases... of the mind, body, and/or spirit. Thus I have never ever done any drugs nor do I nor will I ever have an STD. It's all about self-preservation whether one is Hawaiian or non-Hawaiian but unfortunately in our case... we have land that they want so they work very hard to try to get rid of us but they will not get rid of us. Just saying.


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