So this morning Maui County Mayor Alan Arakawa went on Hawaii News Now for an “Ask the Mayor” feature. The first question was in regards to the the destruction of rocks that native Hawaiians consider sacred during the recent cleanup of Iao Valley–an act that county Communications Director Rod Antone already apologized for. But Arakawa wasn’t feeling so generous.
“It’s very simple,” Arakawa said. “There’s no such thing as sacred rocks. First of all, the monarchy, starting with Kamehameha, his lineage, declared Christianity the religion of Hawaii. In Christianity, if I remember the Ten Commandments correctly, ‘Thou shall have no false God before me’. There are no sacred rocks in that religion. We have a group of people that are political wannabes that ran for political office the last time, and they’re trying to make an issue out of nothing. During an emergency situation where people’s lives are endangered, we have to do what we have to do.”
In a word, wow. Let’s leave aside the fact that Arakawa’s argument is condescending, patriarchal and wildly illogical (I’m sorry, but the county is still a Christian kingdom?) and just look at it in raw political terms. Sure, he’s throwing gasoline on a fire for no good reason–needlessly enraging native Hawaiian anger against him–but what does he have to lose? His term as mayor is up in 2018, and then he’ll undoubtedly retire. Why wait until he’s out of office to be that cranky old guy who yells at kids who stray across his lawn?
He can’t be tossed out for being a wiseass, the Maui County Council has already been dicking him around for years and now we have a new blowhard to denounce on Facebook. So where’s the downside to all this?
Click here to watch Arakawa’s interview on Hawaii News Now in its entirety.
Photo of Mayor Alan Arakawa: Jack Grace