While Bill O'Reilly discusses the Blue State of Hawaii,

Hanabusa leaves other minorities singing the blues.


by Carroll Cox

January 5, 2013 

Hawaii's Congresswoman Colleen Hanabusa's challenge to Fox News'  Bill O'Reilly discussion of Hawaii's status as a liberal blue state of hard-working Asian-Americans brings up the old adage "let sleeping dogs lie".  

While we agree that Mr. O'Reilly's specific remarks about Asian-Americans is wrong, and an apology should be made to those he has offended, we believe Hanabusa's challenge to O'Reilly's  remarks is nothing more than a ploy to give herself national recognition as one of Hawaii's congressional representatives.   

Hanabusa's challenge to O'Reilly is suspect, to say the least, due to her past actions of not challenging racism directed to other minorities in Hawaii.     Yes, we believe that anyone making demeaning or insensitive remarks about one's race, culture, ethnicity, religion, gender, etc. should not go unchallenged or unpunished.    They should be held accountable, and that is what Hanabusa appears to be doing.  However, this begs the question,  was Hanabusa's challenge to O'Reilly's remarks only made  because she is Asian-American and was personally impacted by the sting of bigotry, racism and stereotyping?

A cursory glance at this incident, and Hanabusa's challenge to O'Reilly, would  suggest she is reacting the same as anyone else would who did not like O'Reilly's comments.  However, historically, Congresswoman  Hanabusa has done just the opposite when confronted with racism against other minorities.   Her new role of "protector in chief of minorities"   was noticeably absent in 2008 when Mr. Rex Johnson, then Executive Director of the Hawaiian Tourism Authority, was found to have sent and received multiple emails containing racist, sexist, and ethnic jokes on his official state computer.    

In 2008, then Hawaii State Senate President Colleen Hanabusa, along with several other Asian-American legislative leaders including Vice-President Donna Mercado Kim, House Speaker Calvin Say,  Senator Clarence Nishihara and Representative Ryan Yamane, strongly supported Johnson and, at first, did  not even call for his resignation or other punishment  after the emails were discovered (see Honolulu "Volcanic Ash" by David Shapiro, September 17, 2008).

On August 22, 2008, an Associated Press - Maui News article entitled  "Tourism Authority keeps CEO after e-mail Scandal" was published regarding Johnson racist emails.    In the article Congresswoman Hanabusa was quoted as saying:   "Johnson was guilty only of being friends with his fishing and baseball buddies".   

Yes, I am immensely bothered by Bill O'Reilly's comments.    I am equally bothered by Congresswoman Colleen Hanabusa's comments based on her past actions in Hawaii.   Here, at home, Hanabusa displayed  her true feelings when she aided, abetted, shielded and fraternized with Mr. Rex Johnson after his offensive emails were discovered.   She even has accepted campaign donations from Rex Johnson after learning he clearly, and without question, acted in a racist, sexist and bigoted fashion by sending and receiving sexist and racist jokes as well as nude pictures and video depicting African-Americans, women, Arabs and Hispanics in a demeaning manner.       Johnson's emails were extremely insensitive and racist.  One of the emails even characterized President Obama as a "coon" and Hilary Clinton as a "beaver".   (You can see the story,  emails and photos at  and

Again, we conclude that Congresswoman Hanabusa's actions and public display of outrage at O'Reilly's comments is warranted.  Her objection to racism and offensive remarks toward Asian-Americans is warranted and should encouraged.  However,  her reaction should not lend itself to recognizing Hanabusa's failure to act on behalf of all people when racism, sexism,  and bigotry find its way into the of life of any American citizen, not just Asian-Americans.   

Hanabusa's actions suggest she works for "JUST  US", not justice for all of us. 

After the  email "scandal", Rex Johnson left the Hawaii Tourism Authority  and landed the position of Project Director with PICHTR, the Pacific International Center for High Technology Research.    He was also a political and financial contributor to Hanabusa in 2010.

 Carroll Cox is a resident of Hawaii.  He is an environmentalist, civil and consumer rights advocate, and host of the independent radio show "THE CARROLL COX SHOW" on Hawaii's radio station KWAI 1080 AM.  His show is podcast at  In 2008 he requested copies of the original letter regarding the audit that discovered the racist and sexist emails on Johnson's computer  from Hawaii's State Auditor Marion Higa, Governor Linda Lingle, State Senator Colleen Hanabusa, Speaker of the House Calvin Say, Representative Ryan Yamane.   His request was denied.   For more information, see Carroll's story "Betrayal of a Community" at