Letters to the Editor
'Certified' teacher doesn't mean 'good'
In response to Richard O. Rowland's May 24 letter, I would like to point out a major flaw with having a "professional" union.
Rowland states that it is possible that "certified" teachers might have been moved to administrative positions to keep them from doing more damage in the classroom. In how many fields is an incompetent person promoted to a better job? If a professional employee isn't doing a good job, he should be fired, not promoted.
The HSTA prevents the children of Hawai'i from having the best possible education by tolerating and promoting incompetent "certified" teachers. When will excellence in teaching be rewarded?
German Americans escape fate of AJAs
Have you noticed that when there is some reference to war crimes committed by Germany during World War II, it was the Nazis who did it, not the Germans, and there is no reflection on present-day Americans of German ancestry, bona fide Americans who consider the United States their country?
That's fair, because it was about 60 years and a far-removed number of generations ago, ancient history to them and they had nothing to do with it..
But when there is reference to war crimes committed by Japan back then in the same war, especially the surprise attack on Pearl Harbor (we were apparently asleep at the switch and the element of surprise is about the first thing taught in books on military strategy), it is not the Japanese militarists who are guilty, but the Japanese themselves, the Japanese did it, and blame devolves upon present-day bona fide Americans of Japanese ancestry who also consider the United States their country, and are similarly far removed in numbers of generations ago, ancient history to them, and they also had nothing to do with it.
That unconsidered difference is definitely not fair.
Asian Americans blameless then, now
With the opening of the movie "Pearl Harbor," Asian Americans have a cause for concern because most Americans cannot distinguish freedom-loving and responsible Asian Americans from those of militaristic World War II Japan, who were of a different generation.
No Asian Americans were involved in spying or in the sneak attack on Pearl Harbor. It is true that militaristic Japan attacked Pearl Harbor, but freedom-loving, responsible and patriotic Asian Americans had nothing to do with it.
What Disney really did is look for profit, with the attack on Pearl Harbor as background for a fictitious story, disregarding the negative consequences to innocent Asian Americans. With the new friction between China and the United States on the surveillance plane incident, all Asian Americans are at risk in the United States, regardless of what they did for our country in the past.
To prevent history from repeating its shameful self, I suggest studios re-release classic films like "Go for Broke" to show the bravery, loyalty and sacrifices of the Japanese Americans serving their country with distinction while their friends and relatives were imprisoned in concentration camps.
No one was forbidden to speak Hawaiian
Thank you and bless you, Lovena Chong, for your courage and honesty in your May 22 letter for saying what many of us know but are reluctant to say in public.
No one was forbidden to speak Hawaiian in their own homes or anywhere outside the schoolroom where English was the language of instruction. Today we call it "immersion," as it is practiced in Punana Leo. Many parents at the time supported the decision to adopt English so that their children could move ahead in the wider world, just as their parents and grandparents had adopted Christianity. At the time it seemed advantageous to do so.
People make choices all the time. They usually do so with the best information available and with the best of intentions. We should be careful when criticizing our ancestors for their choices. Our children may not approve of some of the choices we make for them.
Lloyd J. Soehren