MPL’s Racial Remarks Leave Westenders Speechless

Molokai is about `ohana, not segregation.


Last Saturday, I attended the Papohaku Homeowners Association meeting at the Maunaloa Cinema.  Prior to this meeting, I had questioned whether to attend any more meetings because of the sometimes unproductive nature of these meetings. I had decided, however,  that before I completely give up on attending any more meetings, I needed to hear some dialogue from other homeowners regarding their concerns and fears about the impact that developing La’au and Kaluakoi Hotel would have for West End homeowners.   What about water standards, quality and allocations for the West End? Issues that I felt had not been properly addressed by MPL.


At this same meeting, Peter Nicholas and John Sabas came to talk with the Papohaku Homeowners, speaking for about an hour about “The Plan”.  Following this lecture, many of us were left speechless , like a verbal bomb had been dropped on us with their comments of “they don’t like you” and “don’t like your white face” and “they will sell you their t-shirts, take your money”, and “they don’t want you here” were indiscriminately spoken to our Association in regard to those who oppose the development at La’au.


These offensive words left such an imprint in our memories and has ignited the long, overdue dialogue amongst this end of the island about MPL.   While we have all been exhausted by these tactics that have been used by MPL, this one has involved racial remarks that stoops to an all-time low and actually offends more than just the people in the room!  There was no need for this already divisive issue to bring race into the arena!


Before making a decision on La’au many of us on the West end attended various public meetings to gain knowledge before we made such a decision. As a result some of us have proudly worn our red t-shirts to demonstrate our opinions and we have joined in the various meetings and gatherings in opposition  to the development at La’au and we have joined in the walks to La’au.  We have never felt unwelcome, nor separate.  There are many of us on this end of the island who are very concerned about the water issue and its impact on both the homesteaders and the west side. 


In conclusion I would like to say that  many of us on the West End also recognize that is essential for our community to have a bonding relationship with those in the island community at large and that what affects other areas of Moloka’i, also affects us and for now what will happen on this end of the island will affect everyone else.  We can not segregate ourselves.  We love this island and desire to be a part of her, not change her.  The single greatest thing I love about Moloka’i is that Moloka’i is ‘ohana. 

Nui ke aloha o “Moloka’I nui a Hina”.

Cheryl Sakamoto, Kaluakoi


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