Bigotry and Violence Have No Place Here

The images of recent violence and the storming of the Capitol in Washington D.C. are everywhere and impossible to avoid. Unfortunately and very sadly, threats of future and imminent violence have also arrived even here in Hawaii.

My hope is that we are better than that. I hope and yes I pray that here in the land of aloha, cooler heads will prevail.

Truthfully, I cannot imagine our community devolving into the mob we saw in action just a few days ago. However, as is true of every community, we also have sprinkled throughout the islands, our own share of zealots, hooligans, and would-be insurgents.

Therefore we must during the coming days be vigilant in our pursuit of genuine civic engagement, and push back against any and all conversation or actions that advocate violence.

All of us, regardless of political orientation and regardless of who we supported in the recent elections, must be united in opposition to violence and bigotry.

Free speech is a cherished and valued right we all are entitled to. However, during these times when the tinder is so dry, I encourage all to just stay home. Exercise your free speech in a responsible manner on your keyboard if you must, but please resist adding sparks or fuel to the fire.

We cannot allow the thugs and the bigots to yank our chains and goad us into accommodating their goal of violent confrontation.

Our conversation must turn soon to solving the common problems and challenges the vast majority of us agree on.

Supporting small businesses and creating jobs, good jobs that pay a living wage is a priority for most. We need to protect our natural environment. Our children deserve a quality education. To pay for our public and societal needs, we must have a tax structure that is fair and equitable. And we must have ethical, transparent, and inclusive government leadership.

Most of us will profess to support these fundamental goals and there are many others that we share as well. Reasonable people with good intentions may differ on “how to get there,” but most will agree as to where we ultimately want to go.

We must chart a path at least in our immediate community, through the national anger and divisiveness. Remember, whether you have staked out ground on the left, the right, or in the middle – we are all related.

Coming together starts at home and in our own neighborhoods and communities. We must model the values we want to see in the world and we must strive to accept a diversity of opinion based on sound information, offered by reasonable people with good intentions.

I believe that good people, ethical people of high integrity, can look at the same facts and the same circumstances and come to different conclusions.

But to be absolutely clear – there is no room, no space, and no forgiveness for bigotry and violence. None. We do not agree to disagree on these points.

And those who cross the line must be held accountable.

Gary Hooser
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About garyhooser

This blog represents my thoughts as an individual person and does not represent the official position of any organization I may be affiliated with. I presently serve as volunteer President of the Hawaii Alliance for Progressive Action (H.A.P.A.) I am the former Vice-Chair of the Democratic Party of Hawaii. In another past life, I was an elected member of the Kauai County Council, a Hawaii State Senator, and Majority Leader, and the Director of Environmental Quality Control for the State of Hawaii - in an even earlier incarnation I was an entrepreneur and small business owner. Yes, I am one of the luckiest guys on the planet. Please visit my website AND sign up for my newsletter (unlike any email newsletter you have ever gotten, of that I am sure) - “Come to the edge.” “We can’t. We’re afraid.” “Come to the edge.” “We can’t. We will fall!” “Come to the edge.” And they came. And he pushed them. And they flew. - Christopher Logue (b.1926)
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2 Responses to Bigotry and Violence Have No Place Here

  1. Let’s keep these people off island,,,, I see our biggest threat as the virus being introduced, I believe we need more restrictions to lower and then limit the amount of “visitors” to Kauai….Let’s let things settle down and stabilize before we allow more visitors….

    • garyhooser says:

      Thank you Nicholas for the comment. Unfortunately, we have residents who are already here who are part of this effort. But I agree that we should “go slow” in growing the visitor industry and watch closely both the pandemic of our health…but also the pandemic of political disorder.

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