Wednesday, August 12, 2009

The token Natives

Some council on Maui has voted to ban Shark tourism on the island.

Mind you, pre-emptively, as there is no such operation there!
Apart from the usual uninformed bullshit about "changing the natural behavior" and the like, they managed to come up with a new twist, and that is that "feeding sharks for entertainment was offensive to Native Hawaiians".

"I believe the commercialization of a religious symbol that's so important to the host culture is inappropriate," said Council Member Mike Molina.

Kahu Charles Kauluwehi Maxwell Sr. reminded council members that many Native Hawaiians honor sharks as aumakua, or guardian spirits, and said treating the animals as entertainment was invasive and disrespectful.
"Any time you organize a tour to look at the mano (shark), you're disturbing their environment," he said.

Were it not so serious, I'd be dying of laughter.
There is no "host" in Hawaii, let alone a "host culture". Last time I looked, the USA overthrew Hawaii's government in 1893, annexed it in 1896 and made it a state in 1959. Bill Clinton, bless him, apologized for that in 1993 and ever since, the conquerors are plagued by a bad conscience and the conquered are playing the racial card. With Hawaii probably sporting the highest concentration of naive and romantic new age wackos of the entire planet, the scope for abuse is limitless.

Thing is, the native Hawaiians and their newly found "pride" and "culture" (especially the hula!) are the laughing stock of the Polynesians in particular and the Pacific islanders in general - and I'll leave it at that lest I offend some contrite and oh-so-sensitive and -politically-correct US citizen.
Trust me, good ole Kahu's "cultural" statements and recommendations have been made up on the fly and have no relevance whatsoever, cultural or otherwise. I happen to interact daily with native people who are in tune with their ancestral beliefs and who revere Sharks and they would certainly never utter such complete baloney.

What they however totally oppose is killing Sharks.
My advice to Kahu and also to the equally hypocritical and sanctimonious Sol Kaho'ohalahala is to have a good hard look at the Shark killers, be it game fishermen like these guys or the commercial killers. Now That's what I call disrespect and "disrupting the pristine, natural environment"! Right?
Wanna make your culture proud? Go tackle the fishermen - capisc?

In the meantime, Stefanie in Oahu is braving the lynch mob with a clever, fact-based and proactive campaign.
She has posted a stellar website dealing with the fear-based anti Shark movement (thank you Discovery Channel!), is starring in a new Docu-series, Shark Boat and has just posted the following video.

Mind you, this all is on top of her original website and her conservation project which are already brimming with facts, conservation and research!
Stefanie is been forced to do all of this essentially alone, whilst trying to keep her business afloat and whilst countering the incessant harassment by her detractors.
Very impressive!

She deserves our solidarity.
Please sign the two petitions she has posted on her website. I'm sure she will very much appreciate your help. It's not only about saving an educative, conservation-oriented, extremely popular and perfectly safe touristic attraction - this is also about the future of Shark Diving in the USA.

Thank you.

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