What’s in a name?

Went over to Kaneohe Bay today for an idea building retreat for work with the staff and some residents. Beautiful, lovely part of the island, the trip there is through some mysterious, craggy, misty mountains.Image There we met the same zen reverend we worked with last week. The first thing we did was go around and talk about our names. Several of the older generation Hawaiian raised ladies shared that they were born with Caucasian names, as post-ww2 Hawaii was not a friendly place for the Japanese or Native Hawaiians. I was astounded by the length of the names some of my coworkers have. A Caucasian name for safety, then a Japanese, Chinese, Hawaiian and Samoan name, plus middle names and last names.

Their parents had to downplay their heritage to protect their children from ridicule, suspicion, attack, and oppression. This is a type of worry that I cannot fathom. This is why I call BS on those white people who claim they are oppressed because there is no White History month, no white entertainment television, no groups working on behalf of the welfare of white people. Society works on behalf of the welfare of white people, the onus is on them to not be so ignorant as to not see the reality in our country. There are people out there who have been historically and currently oppressed in ways that are bigger than getting a month of celebration out of the year, or a channel on television. There are people out there who could not name their children as they wished because of the oppression they faced.

This solidifies my desire to work for a better world for the future generations. Ignorance has infected the fabric of society for too long.

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