by Andrew Walden
After a tragic hit-and-run accident on Hilo’s East Kahaopea Street killed 22-year-old Dale K. Tim Sing, his family members are now being ordered by Office of Hawaiian Affairs (OHA) Trustee Linda Dela Cruz to remove the shrine they erected at the spot where he died.
Why? The shrine doesn’t fit Dela Cruz’ definition of "Hawaiian style." This despite the fact the Tim Sing family members are native Hawaiians.
The Aug. 11, Hawaii Tribune Herald reports,
" ... The Tim Sing family also is upset because they said Linda Dela Cruz, a trustee with the state Office of Hawaiian Affairs who lists her address as East Kahaopea Street, has told them to remove their shrine following Monday's scheduled burial.
"Tim Sing, a Native Hawaiian, said he sought Dela Cruz's permission to place flowers at the site of his son's death, but was later told to remove them because the shrine was not Hawaiian-style.
"That really wen upset me for her (to) tell us it's haole-style," he says. "For her information, that's not haole-style because we're all Hawaiians, and we did it from the heart. I no can sleep at night ... just thinking about it."
Apparently, Ms. Dela Cruz sees herself as the micro-managing arbiter of what is and is not Hawaiian -- in this she is so sure of herself as to interrupt a grieving family even before their son is buried.
If this is how OHA trustees see fit to exercise their power while OHA is a department of the state of Hawaii how will they behave under a Hawaiian "tribal" government independent of most state and federal oversight?
The U.S. Census Bureau reports that Hawaiians are leaving the state of Hawaii; almost 4,000 in the last 4 years.
The surest way to destroy a culture is to subject it to an aesthetic dictatorship. The surest way to destroy a people is to interfere in their most intimate personal affairs.