By now, most of us have accepted the idea that white supremacy and racism doesn’t just take the obvious form of klan hoods and swastikas. It’s more insidious and entrenched than that. We can call up statistics that illustrate systemic racism, have seen the tiki torch marches of slick-haired and suited college students, and have grown desensitized to the racist remarks spewed from the mouth of a man in a bad combover, lathered in spray tan, and draped in an oversized suit Goodwill could rival.
Point being, there are many forms of racism that exist beneath the surface as forms of thinking that can manifest in myriad ways.
Kia‘i and former South Maui State Rep. Kaniela Ing found one such example last week, in a man from the Continental US demonstrating for the construction of the Thirty Meter Telescope (“Imua TMT“).
“They talk about preserving the sacred mountain. There’s nothing sacred about a rock. What’s sacred is the pursuit of knowledge,” said the Imua TMT demonstrator while holding a sign that read “Move forward, not backward!”
“They’re talking about protecting the mauna, what they’re doing is protecting their second class status forever,” the man added, after mentioning the potential for job creation with the construction of the TMT. “They wanna be janitors and maids, that’s a terrible choice they’re making.”
In a tweet sharing the video, Ing responded, “Our movement is about stopping the TMT, and moving beyond this sort of colonial, white supremacist thinking. Where our knowledge doesn’t count. Where only they can decide what’s sacred. Where we’re all ‘maids and janitors’ – as if there’s anything wrong with workers. #KapuAloha”
Ing also pushed back on the pro-TMT demonstator’s sign: “Move forward (to ethical scientific progress), not backwards (to manifest destiny)!”
Image courtesy Twitter/KanielaIng