An interesting issue came out of this thread.


What came up was a photo of a young boy of mixed heritage. This forum by the way is for mixed Filipinos & issues related to that. So a woman responds about how she doesn't like assumptions and would rather be asked. She says that recently her son asked what was he because his peers are already trying to categorize him by the 2 common groups of people in their area. She however, claims that she has to describe him as "Hawaiian", and only then can people spot him. Now, she used the fact that he was lost during Katrina as justifying why she could use "Hawaiian", however she is ignoring one major issue which I brought up and now seems rather perturbed by me pointing out how her son does not have Hawaiian features to the trained eye.

My point throughout all of this was how people tend to classify or categorize others based on what people's perception of a particular group of people should look like.

For example, yesterday at a Cuban bakery I go to a worker asked a customer if he was Italian. Why, I don't know, but both the worker and customer were latinos. To me, this customer had the typical features of a Mexican whose family probably lived in the south western US for generations. He was fair complected and had large eyes, just over all features I haven't seen with both southern & northern Italians that I've known. For whatever reason, to the worker, there were features that seemed to be Italian-like.

Going back to this woman & her son, she seemed to ignore my point about what I just had explained above. Hell, even to other Hawaiians and locals, I may or may not have Hawaiian features, or Filipino features, or even Portuguese features for that matter.

Fact is, people tend to continuously stereotype us, which to me, seems like it's normal to do that with any other group. But if someone asks what do we think, and when I tell them the facts, I don't think they should be so defensive. Especially since we have been occupied and our survival is at risk. To further allow continued ignorance like this, to me should be corrected whenever possible.

Views: 14


You need to be a member of Maoliworld to add comments!

Join Maoliworld

Comment by Kaapuikinaea on May 22, 2008 at 3:22am
Mahalo e Kaahanui no kou manao. It's important that people understand the issues that exist in Hawaii and what changes Hawaiians have had to go through. The real reason why that woman used that as a description for her son was b/c "Hawaiian" has become a stereotype no thanks to Hollywood and our image has been romanticized and fantasized to an extent where people believe it is an "exotic" labeling used for those with whatever look they feel is a Hawaiian look based on what was seen in films.
Comment by Ka'ahanui on May 21, 2008 at 11:19pm
By the way, Kalani, Mahalo for making sure more people out there understand that just because they have a hard time labeling their children (or themselves), they shouldn't just randomly choose an ethnicity because it sounds cool to say. Imagine if the boy had said it here, in Hawai'i..? What would the real Hawaiian children say? I've already experienced it at the school I work at, with this haole boy wearing a "Hawaiian Style" tshirt and the Hawaiian kids getting on his case because he isn't Hawaiian. And it's just a tshirt!
Comment by Ka'ahanui on May 21, 2008 at 1:29pm
P.S. Dom,

My brother and I get the same responses you get! I've even been mistaken for Maori because of my name. Most of the time, I end up having to give them a cultural education on how the Polynesians traveled to different areas, how the big-wig sugar companies brought over "workers" from other countries, and how my ancestors just had so much aloha. LOL.
Comment by Kaapuikinaea on May 21, 2008 at 1:29pm
Right on Kaahanui! You couldn't have said i any better, why "mixed" wasn't enough not to mention why not say what the child really is? As if "Hawaiian" was a look they were all accustomed to anyway out there? I doubt it, or actually that was obvious. And as I told her, the kid does have the typical Asian/Popolo features, why not say that?

And true, she said "be blessed" assuming I wasn't. I have been, I'm not f_&ed up like how she is mislabeling her own child.
Comment by Ka'ahanui on May 21, 2008 at 1:21pm
The ignorance of people in this world amuses me. The fact that she doesn't know what in the world to label her own child makes me laugh. That child didn't look a lick of Hawaiian (or any other Polynesian ethnicity for that matter). I automatically picked up the Native American and African, the other two just kind of faded off in the background. I'm no expert on the features of the people of this world, but I am made up of at least 8 different ethnicities and have cousins/close friends of every other ethnicity possible, so it does help me to tell the difference.

I don't understand why the label of "mixed" doesn't suffice. It is what he is. It's what she and her significant other created. If she doesn't like that label, then tell the child to spew out all of his ethnicities. He only has 4. Try my 8+!

"Be blessed"??? Why? What idea in her mind told her you weren't already blessed? She says her response was of "light". What light? A black light? She's distorting everything a person of "light" would live for. I take offense to her claiming to be of "light", when she turns around and bashes another person and what they have to say. She needs to go back and find out where her "light" source is coming from.
Comment by Kaapuikinaea on May 21, 2008 at 9:32am
a oia e Dom, I think they do need to be corrected. How else will they learn? People in CA seem to think that a hawaiian look is having the slanted eyes w/ dark complexion.

Here in LA, I don't get easily mistaken for a Latino. Why? Because people just know the features. If I were in TX or WA, I'm sure they'd speak to me in Spanish. For most part, if they DO speak to me in Spanish, it's b/c they don't speak English. blessed that her son was saved! lol
Comment by Ululani on May 21, 2008 at 9:22am
P.S. Be blessed! LOL Sorry it made me laugh when I read that....
Comment by Ululani on May 21, 2008 at 9:20am
I noticed that Dominic was mistaken for Spanish in Texas. That happened to my mother when we ate dinner. This guy started speaking Spanish to her and she told him straight out that she is not Spanish. She is HAWAIIAN. I loved it actually LOL

I am never mistaken for Spanish though. Some people ask me what I am and I say "mixed." One time I walked in a gas station and the owner told me that I was the most beautiful thing that walked in his store which does not say alot LOL but then he asked me what I am and where I am from. How are we supposed to answer that? The best we can.

Anyway... be blessed!... Even though she told people her son LOOK HAWAIIAN and is not beating the dead horse LOL (Stupid!)
Comment by Dom on May 21, 2008 at 8:12am
They definitely need to be corrected right away. I can't believe that when I was in Texas, people would speak to me in Spanish! On Oahu and in Washington, some would speak to me in Samoan! Do I really look like either?

© 2023   Created by Ikaika Hussey.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service