tv United Shades of America CNN May 25, 2019 10:00pm-11:00pm PDT
consequen consequences. people deserve more than our bombs and our guns. they earn our respect and our help. the united states is some country repeating the same mistakes we made with the secret war, over and over again. on this episode of "united shades of america" i'm in hawaii. one of the most beautiful places on on earth. some think of hawaii as an unspoiled paradise. if you ask hawaiians, they have different opinions. yeah. i think they do. my name is w. kamau bell. as a comedian, i made a living in finding humor in the parts of america i don't understand. and now, i'm challenging myself to dig deeper. i'm on a mission to experience
the cult iures and beliefs that add color to this country. this is "the united states shades of america." hawaii. to an american on the mainland, the mention of the 50th state brings to mind beautiful beaches, hula dancers and the one "brady bunch" episode when the family gets cursed. >> bad things come to those who touch. >> they had it coming. today hawaii is one of america's top vacation destinations as people flock to the island. don't take it from me, listen to these people. nice to meet you, where are you from? >> minnesota. >> minnesota. this is a very long way from here. how long have you been in hawaii? >> i got here yesterday. >> have you ever been here before? >> no. >> your whole mind is expanding, i can see it. >> i don't think i'm ever going to leave. i like it too much. >> you have the classic tourist look with the real actual camera.
>> i'm dressed like john guava today. >> do you do this on purpose to match your cameras to your clothes? >> yes, i have a different color camera for every ensemble. >> is that true? >> no. >> how long does flip-flop season last in edmonton, canada? >> three days. i might not go home. >> you're the first person i've talked to that's not going home. >> i might not. >> yeah. the hawaii these people are getting is a tourist-friendly one, everything's fine all the time. if you talk to many hawaiians, they will tell you -- >> everything is not okay. it's not okay. >> in this episode, i'm showing you the side of hawaii that tourists rarely get to see, unless their gps is broken. >> we are hawaiians, we have taken off from our culture, our heritage, our land. >> this is maxine and -- two elder hawaiians.
ku served as a trustee of the office of hawaiian affairs. which aims to improve the conditions of native hawaiians. together they've fought for years against what they view as the erosion of their heritage at the hands of the united states of america. what, native people screwed by america? well, i never. >> we have known each other for a long time. >> classmates. went to school together. >> in elementary school. and that was about a little -- >> oh, oh, oh. okay, okay. tell him. >> ten years ago. >> tell him, no. >> it was over 70 years ago. >> yes. >> what? you were in school together over 70 years ago. >> i'm 79. >> he's 81. >> wow. you don't look 79. >> say that to the camera. >> she don't look 79. >> once i realized how old they were, i realized something else that kind of scared me. they had lived through pearl
harbor. >> when i was 3 years old, a japanese plane came over our house. yeah? >> that's right. >> i will never forget it. the effect of the war, yeah, of all this happening to us, i see the tears. i see the scaredness and everything. and then our neighborhood, where all this different nationality, all of a sudden we're not talking to each other. and, you know, when we grow up, we go why, what did we do? it's not us. it's the frickin' system, that damn government, united states of america who turned us over 200 years, the oppression. why? >> maxine has a right to be hostile. the history of hawaii would make anybody upset. it starts out great though. about 1,500 years ago, polynesians land on the islands,
flash forward to the 1800s and they were united under their own kingdom. but eventually the white man showed up. that rarely works out well for indigenous people. americans built pineapple plantations and sugar mills, which the locals didn't want and refused to welcome or work on. the americans did what worked so well on the mainland, they took the land from the hawaiians at gunpoint. then you know the usa playbook. in an effort to destroy the native culture, they passed racist laws banning the hawaiian language from school and government. in 1898, congress officially annexed, aka stole, hawaii and they become a u.s. territory, and it also became a u.s. target. see, japan didn't bomb hawaii because they had a beef with hawaii. hawaii was just a much more convenient american place to bomb than the west coast. hours after the bombing, the united states imposed martial law on hawaii. hawaiians had to live under strict u.s. military rule for
three years because they got bombed? so even though hawaii became our 50th state in 1959, there are many people that will never forget that their country was stolen. >> they totally took over our minds. >> yeah. >> we became subject to total indoctrination. they tried to erase our customs. >> customs. >> and our culture. and make us little americans. >> people don't realize, it's not only the desecration, it's the development, it's the realtors. it's all this kind of investment. those are worse than a bomb. >> and some of this is also related to the military, right? >> hawaii is probably the most militarized place in the so-called united states. the federal government and the military controls a large percentage of our lands. >> and we're not against the military. it's what they do.
>> yup, even after world war ii ended, even after hawaii became a state, many hawaiians still feel like the military is occupying them. the united states military holds over 200,000 acres of hawaiian land. damn. and on the other side of the island is the training area, known as the pta. the largest military installation in all the pacific. in 2015, maxine and ku actually sued the department of land and natural resources for failure to monitor and protect the acres leased to the pta. the suit is still ongoing. and so is what they view the military desecrating their sacred land. >> hawaii is the land of aloha, the land of love, compassion, all the good stuff. this is our gift to the world. and yet, they are using our
lands of aloha to do war. >> and now they're all worried about this korean guy shooting a missile. >> and they're going to say they're here to protect us. >> does this look like people who feel they're protected? >> breaking news, an entire state in panic and chaos today. here is what happened, people in hawaii were ordered to take shelter because a ballistic missile or missiles were headed to hawaii. >> again, kim jong-un ain't going to launch a missile at hawaii because he's mad at hawaii, it's just the closest he can get to the guy he's actually mad at. >> you tell me how much hurt we get already. that's why, today, i still fight back. we are -- the hawaiians. >> i'm going to help spread the word, let other people know that. thank you, thank you. let's let you calm down a little bit. >> no, i can't stop. >> do you drink beer? let's get you a beer.
>> i don't drink. i no smoke. i no have sex. i'm a virgin. >> let's get you a diet coke or something. let's get you a green tea. something to just settle your nerves. (paul) when you get a wireless plan, wouldn't it be great to get a phone too? switch to sprint and get an unlimited plan with the samsung galaxy s10 included. for just $35 a month. it's a big deal. for people with hearing loss, visit sprintrelay.com be right back. with moderate to severe crohn's disease, i was there, just not always where i needed to be. is she alright? i hope so. so i talked to my doctor about humira. i learned humira is for people who still have symptoms of crohn's disease after trying other medications.
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i'm not here to play tourist, but tourism is by far hawaii's number one business. and the stats are staggering. the annual number of visitors to hawaii in 1921 was 8,000. in 2016, it was 8.9 million. as more resorts and vacation homes are built, the cost of living in hawaii has risen to the highest in the nation, even new york is like, damn. housing prices are four-times higher than the national average. the lack of affordable housing has forced many locals out into the streets, which has led to the state of hawaii having the highest homeless rate per capita in the nation. the west side of oahu has one of the biggest homeless encampments in the country. it's steps away from the same pacific ocean tourists take pictures of. this encampment is home to around 300 people. although the state of hawaii does not condone this makeshift community, for now they're here. and they're led by the camp's
co-founder, mayor and aunty, twinkle borge. and that's the name on her birth certificate. many mainlanders don't believe hawaiian's birth certificates are legit. thank you for welcoming me today. >> oh, yeah. >> this is a lot of property. >> 19 acres to be exact. last year i ended up with 125 of them that came from the shelter here in one week. >> in one week. >> in one week. >> 125 new people looking for a place to stay. >> i still take people in. at one point they didn't want me to take anybody else in. they wanted me to not let them come in. if i didn't, then you would see camps popping up all over the place. >> oh, yeah. >> when they could be here and i can bring the agencies in to help service here. >> again, this land is owned by the state, but they do not officially condone this camp. the camp is funded solely through donations and nonfederal government organizations.
>> you'll notice, it's very different in different areas. >> i can tell everybody's got a different style, like, i mean, this is very elaborate over here. >> right. every single person that comes here, however they want to build it, that's their choice. >> see, this person has a whole chain link fence, an actual screen door. >> a door, yes. >> it's clear that people have pride, and are building homes. >> yeah. i'll help them not only physically, but spiritually also. in the back here, i do work with them intensive. i believe work with them one on one, give them back what they're lost, they'll be all right. >> i would imagine that you end up rehabilitating quite a few people. >> yes, i have. yes, i have. yeah. i do have now 11 captains, which i call my leaders, any problems arise, they take care of their sections. we set rules for the people to follow, basic rules as if you have in homes, no stealing, respect your neighbors. >> so it's like your own local government here. >> yeah. so even with the childrens, the kids, they come to me.
i will help with schooling and clothing. in my tent, they can eat all day long. i don't ever let them go to bed hungry. that's me. i feed almost 16 kids. >> so there's kids here, the kids who go to school, i want to be clear -- >> we have newborn all the way through high school. we have one senior. last year we had two seniors that graduated, one was sum cum laude. yeah. >> that's got to make you feel proud. >> yeah. i do push them hard. my thing is, dream big, dream big. >> yeah. >> oh, finally sitting down. >> yes, finally sitting. i bet you're on your feet a lot around here. >> yes, i am. >> you are really, in a lot of ways, running the kind of community people had in other cities, everybody knows we're all together. everybody knows everybody. >> this can be the answer to solve a lot of problems for the houseless community. i want to be able to help all. >> do you think you're going to
stay here forever? >> i'm always told to come home, you know. my parents, my brothers, my sisters. they don't understand i am home. this is my home. >> to be clear, you could be living indoors right now? >> oh, yes, i have a four-bedroom house. >> this is a choice. >> this is my choice. >> this is your home. you know, people who pass by in cars, even when i walked in here, it's easy to start to judge. >> they do. >> i've heard of the spirit of aloha since i've been here. you're clearly living with that spirit of aloha. thank you very much. >> you're welcome. >> mahalo. kipping and gliding and steaming and... eating dip. memorial day is coming. so book a place to stay and be a booker at booking.com. so book a place to stay what sore muscles? what with advpounding head? .. advil is... relief that's fast. strength that lasts. you'll ask...
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if you're an island in the middle of the ocean, even when you're a part of the united states, you can tend to be forgotten, puerto rico. and sometimes you've got to remind people that you're there. >> this is cnn breaking news. >> breaking news, a second defeat for the white house on the president's travel ban. this is "cnn tonight." i'm don lemon. a federal judge in hawaii blocks a new travel ban hours before it was supposed to go into effect. >> hawaii didn't just block the ban, they filed a lawsuit against it. the man behind this lawsuit was douglas chin. then hawaii's attorney general, but now the lieutenant governor. i guess in hawaii suing the president is good for your career.
the travel ban happens, and there's a sense, this is going to sound as ignorant as it is, how is hawaii involved in this? >> right, right, right. >> you know. so please speak to all that. >> sure. i think it really hit people in the heart. i think it had a lot to do with just this sounds like discriminating against people just based upon their nation of origin. this sounds just like what happened back in world war ii, when there were japanese people who were interned. >> what doug is talking about is the internment of japanese-americans during world war ii. one of america's ugliest acts. though it's a tough competition. preparations for martial law in hawaii, when the strike came, america was ready to arrest hundreds of innocent japanese hawaiians in the community within hours of attack. a 160-acre internment camp was built. innocent people who had just
been peacefully living their lives were housed as prisoners of war, the majority of them were american citizens. and let me be absolutely clear about this. during the war, no hawaiian-american was ever found guilty of sabotage, espionage, or overt acts against the united states. the knowledge of that sickening piece of american history is what led douglas chin to oppose its return by way of the travel ban. >> so if we just start off like within the first week banning 250 million people from coming into the u.s., and we don't say anything about it, or do anything about it, then what's next? hawaii's standing up really woke up the whole country in some sense, you know, like, wait a minute, if hawaii is standing up, you know -- we're so mellow, right? >> new york's like what are we doing, why aren't we yelling? >> after the travel ban came out i went to a national meeting where all the attorneys general show up.
so it's like all 50 states. it's kind of like miss america, except it's ag. it's lawyers. and then later on we all hopped on to a bus and went to the white house to see president trump. and he took some questions. then i raised my hand and i said, okay, well, you know, we're all just kind of wondering, what are you trying to accomplish with this travel ban? what's your thinking behind it? >> he asked, are you one of the states that's suing us? i said yes. do i like you or not? do i like you? i think people started to move away from me. you know, essentially his answer is, well, i understand you have your priorities. i have mine. what's very clear is that right now the white house priorities are not hawaii's priorities. to me this feels like what you're doing is a part of that spirit of aloha, the spirit of welcome. >> maybe it's because we're all on an island and we're two degrees removed from each other. it forces people to have to listen to each other. we have to stick everybody in a room all the time and make them
talk to each other. we need to pass a law that it's illegal for politicians to leave washington, d.c. >> that's right. you're a lawyer, can we work on that? i'm just brainstorming. i'm sure there's some way we can figure that out. now, doug talks about inclusion and acceptance. but doug's not a native hawaiian. it's important to remember that those ideas were already a part of hawaiian culture long before america took it over. native hawaiians believe in living harmoniously with the earth by protecting the ground where people who pass on are buried, as their spirits live on, to nourish and protect their descendants. today, however, those beliefs lead to conflict with the united states government. on the big island of hawaii there's a prime example of this. now, when i said the other side of beautiful hawaii, i wasn't thinking about the weather. here i am, in the rain, in hawaii.
i'm headed to meet a group of native hawaiians who since late 2014 have made it their duty to protect one of their most sacred pieces of land, the dormant volcano mauna kea. this group calls themselves the monikau protectors. they're fro -- they're protesting the plans to build the 30 meter telescope. and pua case, a member of idle hands no more, which fights to protect indigenous rights around the world. and my old friend ku is here. i know there's talk of building a telescope up here. i know you are all not in favor of the telescope. can you talk about that? >> we are for protecting mauna kea because it is a sacred
place. and it's a burial ground of our most sacred and revered ancestors. it's time for us to do right by the land, by the people. >> truth and justice. >> the land and the people are one. >> truth and justice. >> today, there are 13 telescopes on the summit of our sacred mound. and this next telescope would be the one too many. >> she's right. there are already 13 telescopes here. this sight has long been considered the best place in the northern hemisphere to observe the universe. the telescopes were built and operated by institutions from around the world, including the university of hawaii. >> i just want to make clear, we're for mauna kea. oftentimes we're framed as dissidents against science and so on and so forth. what we're for is protecting mauna kea and taking stand. this is our stand. >> when you are standing on the mountain against our police, against officers which we all have, we are there because we
are fierce in the love of our land. >> and so this is where things get complicated. who's the person who was in charge of all those police? yup, good 'ol douglas chin. douglas whose seen as too progressive for many mainlanders is nowhere near progressive enough for a lot of native hawaiians. doug has pushed for restrictions against the protesters. when you're standing on the mountain, that doesn't seem like the most popular point of view. >> so every now and again people are honking when they go by. what's happening there? >> they know us over here. so they're giving us the -- >> our nation, standing for us. >> the mountain is only one of the things we are standing for here. some of us have stood all the way from the '70s. we have stood against the bombing, we stand against the bombing of -- we have to.
>> 40 years ago i got arrested. they were bombing the crap -- >> this is earl de leon. he's talking about the smallest of the hawaiian islands. during world war ii the u.s. military seized it and turned it into target island by testing bombs because before you drop bombs on some foreign land, you've got to test them out on someone else's sacred land. >> 40 years ago we went on to that island, they dropped us off, out in the ocean, we swam in, i was 20 years old, young kids, there were bombs all over the island. they were shooting bombs on the island when we landed on the island. the whole island was rocking and shaking. >> and we're not talking little bombs. >> getting arrested was the greatest thing for me. i'm proud to be arrested. on an island to stop the bombing. >> earl was part of a movement led by legendary native hawaiian activist gorge helm.
the protest ended up lasting for decades. you know what? it worked. in 1990 the first president bush terminated live fire training on the island and ordered a massive cleanup. >> everybody told us we couldn't do it. they told us you crazy hawaiians, you'll never stop the federal government. we fought, we fought, we kept on occupying, occupying, until they pulled off the island. >> let me be clear. while it may not be fast or dry, the protectors are out here because activism can work. >> we know loss. we have lost many times over, all those hotels that are built are over campgrounds and burial grounds. we know loss. still, even knowing that, we must do everything we can because these lands are sacred, and they are still speaking and teaching us. and so how can we not stand? >> at that point when the crew needed to wipe off the camera, we all decided to join the
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after doing episodes of the ku klux klan, and bear in alaska, you get to go to hawaii this time. experience paradise. you know, be like bourdain. mother [ bleep ]. my next stop is the big island of hawaii, to check out a historic fish bond at the national park. by the 1970s the land had fallen into disrepair and was targeted by developers. that's when native hawaiian activists stepped in. their protests not only helped restore it, but turned it into a national park. another example of hawaiians showing the world that good can triumph over evil. today that spirit lives on with ruth alua. she's a guardian of the park's historic fish bond and she works with the federal government to continue its restoration. >> so this fish pond is hundreds of years old. it's always been used to produce fish. so we can just literally jump down and hand pick the fish you would want from the fish bond. >> so this is a way for people to sustainably fish, and it doesn't require a lot of
unnatural energy or resources? >> yes, yeah. that's exactly it. >> here's how this fish pond works. ruth's ancestors built the stone walls to create the pond and protect it from the waves of the ocean. they also used rocks to create a channel with a gate allowing the fish to come in. as the fish grow, they're unable to get out. this design kept people fed for centuries without one piece of modern technology. it's a never ending costco sample plate. >> our elders were able to sustainably live here by producing their own food, by gathering their own seafood. if you look at today, and just a little over a hundred years, what you're looking at is 60% to 70% of our seafood being shipped in when we're an island of people. you're looking at 90% of our general goods are being shipped in mats and containers. if for some reason, these containers can't get in, we only have enough food to survive for seven to ten days as an island. >> let's say if hawaii has never been found by the white man. >> the newcomers. >> do you think all of this would still be happening in this way?
>> i think our people, just because we are raised here, we have a genealogical connection to this landscape, the oceans and waters, that we knew better. >> how did you get pulled into this? >> through just growing up here. this is my backyard. and growing up seeing this other system, this foreign system that doesn't acknowledge that we have, doesn't acknowledge our life ways, that's what led me to go to school and get my degree and get back into the communities and help have those voices heard. if our people were caretakers, of this place, this place would be cleaned up already. >> yeah. >> we don't know everything, but we know a lot. >> thank you for talking to me today. i appreciate it. >> yeah, thank you. >> what's on your shirt? >> oh, okay. so this shirt it says alohalina, it's loving the land, like it's your family. >> who's that? >> hawaiian legend george helm. >> thank you.
>> you want to hear something that will make your head explode, hawaii produces less than 40% of its own food. 38% of its fresh fruit, 30% of its vegetables and only 9% of its pro--protein. you've seen pictures of hawaii, things grow here year round. but over time hawaii's farmland was sold to property developers because hawaii farmers couldn't compete against the mainland growers. over on oahu though i found some people trying to solve the farming problem. enter ma'o farms, organic farm. while most think organic farm, we think overpriced apples. this place is trying to start a food revolution to give hawaii back its food sovereignty. the head of the farm explains. >> the valley to are in is in louloua valley, ancestors were completely self-sufficient. how do we dig into that and find those values and put them into the 21st century context so it benefits everybody? so the way the farm works is we recruit young adults from our community to run a daily
operations of the farm. exchange for the sweat equity, we provide them a full tuition to college and $500 a month. >> wow, so it's a past, present and future, all in about a hundred yards. >> so this is our packing ship. i think what i shared, this term, we are frying to introduce called indigenize. >> i've heard decolonize. >> how do you repurpose the structures? this chicken shed is a packing facility. every one you see is between 17 and 24 from our community and maintaining a 2.0 in college at the same time. >> oh, wow. >> so you can't do this hard work unless you're keeping up with the books? >> like everything in life, you
have to work for it. this is derek parker. >> hi t. derek. >> he's in a position called a co-manager. he went through the initial part of the internship, and he's now staff now. derek is running operations, derek is a full time farmer. and that is the board in the back that parker runs. this is a big part of empowerment, the youth run the board. and they keep their relationships with all the accounts. >> these are all the companies and businesses that buy the food? >> yeah, and parker is our vanna white. vanna -- >> so when you started here as an intern, was your goal to still be here nine years later? >> no, hell no. >> when i'm done with my aa, i'm out of here. but then i started realizing, i want aid job where i felt like i was living a legacy. >> the most amazing thing about this farm is the workers, college students getting up before dawn to work hard. when i was in college, i was going to bed at dawn. and i hadn't been working. let's talk about the thing i keep hearing about here is food sovereignty. what is that and how important is that? >> the idea of food sovereignty is, you're growing food, producing food, everybody has
access to the food, but it's mainly, i think it's about that control of what you're consuming, what you're putting into your body. it's not just what's available. >> basically, hawaii being exploited for its resources, tourism and in the community here you see the poverty, the homeless walking along the streets and stuff, the health problems. something is wrong. but the people have the power to make a difference. nobody can do it alone. >> none of us knew each other six months ago. now we know each other and we can have these kind of conversations of where do we see our food system going? in the next five, ten, 15, 20 plus years. >> it's so interesting to sit at a table that's so clearly ethnically and racially diverse. we have been everybody represented here. we can fix all the problems right now. >> this is what leadership looks like. this is like ancestral. the same type of table ancestors sat around in this valley, solved these types of problems. >> thanks for letting me come here today.
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be right back. with moderate to severe crohn's disease, i was there, just not always where i needed to be. is she alright? i hope so. so i talked to my doctor about humira. i learned humira is for people who still have symptoms of crohn's disease after trying other medications. and the majority of people on humira saw significant symptom relief and many achieved remission in as little as 4 weeks. humira can lower your ability to fight infections, including tuberculosis. serious, sometimes fatal infections and cancers, including lymphoma, have happened; as have blood, liver, and nervous system problems, serious allergic reactions, and new or worsening heart failure. before treatment, get tested for tb. tell your doctor if you've been to areas where certain fungal infections are common, and if you've had tb, hepatitis b, are prone to infections, or have flu-like symptoms or sores. don't start humira if you have an infection. be there for you, and them. ask your gastroenterologist about humira. with humira, remission is possible.
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that was unavoidable. >> do you think hawaii should be a state or should hawaii be its own country? >> its own country. >> i think we should get it all back. we never ever said we would give it away. >> no treaty, no annexation, no state, fake state. it's a fake state. >> just give us our mountain back, for crying out loud. >> yes. >> this opinion is echoed throughout the islands. with the hawaiian sovereignty movement. starting in the 1960s, many organizations have worked together to reclaim hawaii, and return self-governance, unified under this flag, the hawaiian flag turned upside down. and maybe the most famous story involving one of these groups happened in 1993, when activists occupied koupo beach. led by bumpy kileileil, a descendant of king kamehameha. >> we are entitled to the land that we stand on, the water in the land, the ocean and the air we breathe.
>> their goal was to stay until the government agreed to return some of their land that they rightfully felt was theirs. and surprisingly, the state of hawaii did, in the foothills of the mountains, and on that land, bumpy created the nation of hawaii. i'm not exactly sure what that means. i brought my passport just in case. >> hello. >> aloha. >> hey, brother. >> kamau bell. >> nice to meet you. >> nice to meet you. >> yeah. >> thank you for bringing me in here today. >> you're welcome. welcome to the nation of hawaii. >> so right now i'm in the nation of hawaii. >> that's right. this is not america. we're not standing in america. i'm not anti-american. i'm just not american. >> yes. >> that's all. >> just not anti-american, you just happen to not be american. >> yeah, i'm not. >> and while the state of hawaii and the u.s. congress might debate this, according to bumpy, i am now in an independent
country. the closest i'll ever get to ionda. >> the further we can see, the more land we can see, those are the lands that are ours, you know, because nobody can get to it anyway. >> good luck trying to claim these lands. >> yeah. >> yeah. >> since it's its own independent nation state are you recognized by the united nations? >> we are recognized as an indigenous people's organization under the united nations permanent forum on indigenous issues. this past year my nephew gave a speech at the united nations in new york. >> i'm glad to get in on the ground floor. >> it's kind of like bitcoin at 50 cents, wish i should have bought in, man. >> you're right, yeah, should have bought into bit coin. hopefully i'll buy into this. how many acres is this? >> we have -- the lease has 56. but like this area right here,
it's all occupied. it's not part of the 56. >> oh, really? >> yeah. >> so it's a double occupation? >> yeah. >> so there's all the hawaii islands, why is it important to have this separate land? >> for sovereignty, for national identity, you know. this land was sought out by us in '92. what we're trying to do is build shelters for homeless people because a lot of our friends, families was on the beach. and after 20, 30 years, you know, these guys live in this house and all the sudden they're on a beach. inside me, i was almost ashamed for having a house. i said, you know, some day, man, i'm going to do something to help these people. it's our responsibility. whoever was running hawaii in the last hundred years did a bad job. >> i get the sense that
hawaiians knew what they were doing, and then settlers show up and kind of ruins everything and confuses everything. >> yeah. if you look at the apology log in 1993, the united states have apologized for the overthrow of the hawaiian kingdom. it was that year a lot of things hawaiian changed. >> today a most significant presidential apology. at the white house yesterday >> today a most significant presidential apology. at the white house yesterday president clinton signed a formal letter of apology to the people of hawaii. he was apologizing on behalf of the u.s. government for the government's involvement 100 years ago in removing the hawaiian monarchy by force. >> this was a huge moment for the hawaiian sovereignty movement because the president and congress acknowledged that the hawaiian natives never technically gave up their independence. and even though the law didn't actually mention hawaiians getting their land back, somehow bumpy's still here all these years later. >> so america is going, well, we're sorry for doing that, here's the keys for the nation of hawaii.
we took the key and started the car and said, hey, we going to do this thing. >> and ran into the hills. >> yeah. >> how many people are living here? >> about 80. >> and do you have room for more? >> we've got to make that. because, see, now we understand about infrastructure, putting in all that stuff, because the real struggle here was getting to know how to run a community. [ laughter ] >> all the stuff is one thing. >> it's easy enough to say let's move onto the land. >> yeah, oh, my god. >> but you run a community, you know. you hear about something like this like a separate nation within the nation and sort of in my mind i was like who knows what it's going to be like. it might be like a cult or something, you know what i mean. and then we come out here and it's the most peaceful i've been the whole time i've been here in hawaii. >> this is hawaii. >> the nation of hawaii. >> the nation of hawaii. but hawaii. we can claim it as ours. we want back in to clean up the
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so for my final stop i'm going to try to shut up and listen to hina wong, a community leader and educator. but first we drink. whatever's in here. >> aloha. >> aloha. >> one time down the hatch. ♪ >> you were serious. wait a minute. okay. hold on. when in honolulu. ah. >> and now we can begin. >> okay. what did i just drink? >> ava. and ava here in hawaii it's the drink that's offered to the gods. and it serves as an intoxicant. had if you and i sit here and drink it all night, we'd have to walk carefully out the door. >> all right. i'll just have one for now. i tend to be a lightweight. you know, i've been here for a little, for a few days. and one thing i've heard about even before i came here was the idea that hawaiian culture and a lot of south pacific culture has the third gender. >> yes.
>> for a lot of people on the mainland, we say transgender is new. what is it about the hawaiian had culture that there is always a space for the third gender? >> because we have the word had mahu, it refers to not only the physical, you are referring to their mental and emotional state, as well as how they also feel spiritually. and strangely enough, american people, i find, at least the larger population that gets presented on the news to us here on the islands seems so disconnected from such things. there's no understanding. there's no cognizance that there's a spiritual element to everybody. you know, mahu is a wonderful word. but we are taught to embrace american mentality and american prejudice and discrimination. for me it's not acceptable.
colonizers continue to come, feel so entitled that they should come over here to our shores and then start dictating what our people need to move like, sound like, act like, behave like. don't get me started. >> i kind of do want to get you started. you give it to me and we'll give you some ava to settle you back down. we invested a lot in the bleep budget. >> that [ bleep ] is not acceptable. what other question do you have for me? >> so kanuka, what does that mean? >> hawaiian mankind. >> but does it specifically apply to people from the hawaiian islands? like could you have a kanuka from detroit? >> being hawaiian, it is what we are in our heart, our understanding. it is who we are spiritually as a people and it's more than just what we appropriate on the exterior. it's what's been engrained on the interior. and we can sum that word up aloha aina.
aloha aina means love of the land, love for the land. when we love our land, we love our fellow kanuka. we have mutual respect for each other. to the point where even if you and i didn't agree, we still know what connects us as kanuka. aloha aina guides and leads us. that is our way. >> thank you for talking to me. >> mahalo. >> mahalo. thank you very much. >> i've learned a lot this week. but if i'm honest, the one thing i'm taking home with me isn't a lei or a hula doll or a case of ava. i'm taking home the knowledge that the united states has screwed up hawaii. hawaii was doing fine before we got there. we have trampled on their culture, taken away their food, and made them pay the price for it. truthfully, the way hawaiians see the world and their role in it should be a louder and more prominent part of our national conversation instead of buried under our mainland nonsense. even the fact we made hawaii a state puts them under threat of attack.
hopefully the next time you visit, and you will visit, your eyes will be open to more than just the beaches and the sunshine and that time share you regret buying. while it would be easy just to say that hawaiians want our respect, the truth is many of them just want their land back. on though show we're talking about muslims and arabs. that's how i can tell i'm in the bay area. that's not -- yeah. that's not the reaction that i tend to get in other parts of this country. we're talking about muslims and arabs. wham! [ laughter ] got to be honest, i'm super nervous about this episode because it's important to me that it's right. it's important that it puts the right message out there. i have friends that are muslims and arabs. it's important to separate that. i feel like you