Paul Grenada

Hawaii has a palace, a real one too. It’s wasn’t built there as a means to entice rich folks to spend unnecessary amounts of money on a view. That’s what Waikiki is for.

No, Hawaii has the distinction of being the only U.S. State with a palace, a palace that once held a king and queen, princes and princesses. It was a place of royalty.

And if you show up on just the right day, you can take a tour for a minimal donation.

No one ever asks how it is Hawaii came to be an American State, we just show up and complain about the air fare.

Picture it, January 1893, a young princess Liliukalani is reigning peacefully over a small string of islands in the Pacific Ocean. For years her people have dealt kindly with Europeans and Americans, discussing trade and commerce. It was like Hawaii was the little brother to the bigger stronger ruling nations.

But, ruling nations being what they are, they decide to flip the script.

As it was told to me by a neighbor who was born and raised on the island, the queen, who at the time was of college student age, was trapped in her room in the palace, and told over a period of days that if Hawaii did pick a fight, it would be short and totally one sided. (We do love to show how big our guns are don’t we?) After some time, she relented, and gave in the superior might of the American military. A tough pill to swallow for a people who like to fist fight. However, it was a decision born of wisdom, since America did have the superior firepower, and a bloodbath would have done her people no good.

After that started nearly a century of native Hawaiians watching the wide spread assault on their culture that has left it a hollow shell of what it once was.

Here’s a little known fact. When you go to a big tourist center to visit(NYC, London, Italy) and it seems like everyone’s being nice, it’s because they are daydreaming of ramming a train spike through your face.

The story of the overthrow of the Hawaiian government is not something that brings a smile to the natives faces. In fact, if you were to ask them to tell it to you, simply so you know what’s going on, their countenance changes, from the easy-going nature the people here are known for, to a sad far away look. Their eyes may water, and they’ll shrug, because as far as they can tell, there isn’t much they can do, except…stay Hawaiian.

There was a celebration for the 50th anniversary of statehood last year, no one walked tall that day.

They had royalty here not long ago. They went from being a sovereign nation to being considered an equal with other states that have incest as it’s most popular activity.

It’s no wonder there is such an anti-mainland feeling here. In conversations with co-workers and neighbors, one big unspoken sentiment is “you might be from there, but you’re here now, leave that other crap behind.” It can appear close-minded, but if you want to make sure the unique history you have isn’t ripped up and replaced with a watered down more Euro centric version, you’d think the same thing.

It also explains to a greater extent the anti-military feeling here. It might not be the main reason, but I should think that every time a Hawaiian who is up on their history sees a military base, they get slapped in the face with their own impotency when it comes to martial strength.

Granted, the empires with the greatest martial strength tend to be the most morally corrupt, but at least they can maintain that corruptness behind the shelter of a .45 caliber rifle.

I have a new found respect for Hawaiians and how the world looks to them. They were robbed, similar to the way Africans were when they were shipped over the water and dropped off in the states.

The only difference, that I can see right now, is this: African Americans get time to mourn their losses, they have holidays and months and people who go on T.V. with the idea that we shall overcome.

Hawaiians, they get told to do that cute hula dance and throw up the shaka for the camera of some well meaning foreigner who doesn’t with no malicious intent, disregard centuries of history.

Places that might have once been sacred are now hotels and surf shops. People who once walked with a smile on their face now look lost and confused. It’s the look of a culture lost.

By the way you can find the palace on a pretty little map they give you at the airport, it’s not to far from the shave ice stand.

Have a good one.