Shouting 'freedom' doesn't erase our ignoble record
I write this letter in the earnest hope that it will thoroughly disappoint Ms. Janice Johnson, who in a letter to the Advertiser (Constant degrading of the U.S. is tiresome, Jan. 24), belittles native Hawaiians by comparing them to "teenagers," accuses them of dwelling in the past and giddily expresses her hopes of reading more of what she calls "uplifting words" in the Letters and Commentary section.
In our culturally diverse community, Ms. Johnson need not look very far to find Holocaust survivors and Mainland Nisei internees, who refused to give in to similar flag-waving attempts to deflect legitimate grievances against grave injustices committed in the past. I wonder if Ms. Johnson would have the temerity to confront such individuals and tell them to their faces that they "are looking for a free ride" or that they "expect everything and have no pride"?
Over a hundred years ago, U.S. troops overthrew the government of a sovereign nation that posed no threat to us, because we coveted its natural resources and strategic location. While the global geo-political focus has shifted elsewhere long ago, the United States appears to have made no progress in its attitude toward other countries. And even though President Bush and people like Ms. Johnson scream "FREEDOM! FREEDOM! FREEDOM!" to exculpate the foreign policy misadventures of the U.S., past and present, the "degrading of the United States" in the eyes of the world today comes about because of our ignoble deeds in places like Abu Ghraib and Guantánamo, and not from those who speak out against such outrages, present or past. Injustices cannot be camouflaged with red, white and blue.
May this letter lift the hearts of every Hawaiian who reads it.
Seen at http://the.honoluluadvertiser.com/current/op/letters