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
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
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
Advertiser.com "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 http://carrollcox.com/RexJohnson.htm and http://carrollcox.com/RacistLetter.htm).
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 www.carrollcox.com. 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 http://carrollcox.com/RexJohnson.htm.