My Turn: Threats effective at silencing pro-TMT Hawaiians

//My Turn: Threats effective at silencing pro-TMT Hawaiians

The polls conducted so far on the TMT show overwhelming support from the people of Hawaii for TMT.

In 2018, 72% of Native Hawaiians supported TMT. A recent Civil Beat poll found that 64% of Hawaii supports TMT. Support among Native Hawaiians dropped, however, to 44%. What happened? And if nearly half of Native Hawaiians still support the project, why are they not speaking out, especially online? The answer is obvious: They don’t want to deal with the “backlash.”

Any Native Hawaiian supporter of TMT that has posted online can regale you with stories of being called a traitor, not Hawaiian, a fake Hawaiian, or had their very Native Hawaiian identity challenged. In a recent five-hour text conversation I had with one protector, TMT was barely discussed but there was extensive discussion about whether or not I was a real Native Hawaiian. Kalepa Baybayan, one of the original Native Hawaiian Hokulea navigators, was called a traitor in the comments to one recent interview. There are also threats of physical violence, such as kidnapping or having one’s throat slit. This is the language of bullies.

Need more examples? There is an entire Instagram feed dedicated to it.

Read more here