Racism in Hawai
It had been a great day so far. I was trying to get in my last bit of shopping for Christmas since we were about to depart for the mainland. Most of the shops were picked over. In the islands they ship most things in, and the good stuff goes pretty fast. The holiday tunes were playing as I looked from isle to isle scouting for Christmas treasures. Everyone was being polite and considerate in the crowded store. After waiting in the checkout line for about a half hour, I eagerly handed over my credit card to pay for the gifts that I hoped would bring a smile to a few familiar faces. So far; so good.
I was barely strong enough to carry the bags to my car since the shopping carts have long metal poles on them so you cannot remove them from the store. As I opened my car door to put the gifts inside, I accidentally bumped the car next to me. Most parking spaces in Hawaii barely give enough room to park and only compact cars fit comfortably. The car next to me was a SUV.
The lady inside jumped up and started ranting and raving that I had done it on purpose which was far from the truth. I apologized profusely twice but that was not sufficient for her. I invited her to look at the outside of her car door to see if there was any damage. She tried but there was nothing there. She continued to tell me that she was bigger than I was and that I should know better. She then said that the stupid haoles (whites) should be more careful because just one makes it bad for all the rest. By then I realized she was not so upset about her car as my race. I tried not to get emotional, but felt the blood start to rush to my head and heart. She had a small little girl in the car with her, but that did not stop her from swearing at me as she continued her verbal abuse.
I was literally shaking and trying not to get her more upset as I sat down, started the engine and started to back out of the parking space. Her steely eyes were burning a hole in the side of my car. Then I snapped. I gave her what we call in Hawaii “stink eye” and then took off. I really thought she would be right on my tail, so I maneuvered around the cars into tight spots only a small compact car could manage. I honestly felt scared and was somewhat disappointed at myself for letting it get to me, but I had.
I have already written about the annexation of Hawaii and told how the United States apologized for overtaking the islands here. The native Hawaiians still do not feel the apology was adequate for the wrongs done to them. If you look at the poll on my hub, that is obvious.
As I drove down the road, I kept looking in the rear view mirror totally expecting to see her ram into the back of my car. Terrorism is alive and well as is racism. So I learned I need to be much more careful in the parking lot. I did apologize but perhaps I should have thrown her a couple of hundred dollars too. Holiday stress is getting to us all. May you have a safe, happy, peaceful holiday.