This blog is about Hawaii's status as an independent country under prolonged illegal occupation by the United States, and the history, culture, law & politics of the islands.

By Scott Crawford, Hana, Maui


Old Archives (Aug03-Oct09) Top 10
Hawaii Blogs

Reality Tours Hawaii

This article in today’s Travel section of the San Francisco Chronicle

If, like me, you believe no place is heaven on earth, you won’t be surprised to learn that San Francisco-based Global Exchange is promoting a new Reality Tour — a program usually associated with Third World destinations such as Afghanistan, Guatemala or Vietnam — to Hawaii, one that promises to uncover all sorts of trouble in paradise.

Loss of indigenous sovereignty? Check. Militarization? Check. Cultural and environmental degradation? Well, you get the picture. But do you really need to join a tour group to discover those pressing concerns — which Global Exchange says are “rarely mentioned by the media, the travel industry or the local government” — or to have meaningful encounters with island residents working to reverse or mitigate them?

Since the first Reality Tour doesn’t debut until Dec. 16-23, 2011, it may be a little premature as well as uncharitable to answer those questions with “uncheck.” But I can note tour highlights as described in the Global Exchange press release, with my suggestions for do-it-yourselfers (and think-for-yourselfers) in the interim. Like the Reality Tour, I’ll keep the focus on Oahu, but be aware all of the islands provide windows into past and current conflicts — for those willing to see them.

It continues with several recommendations for politically interested travelers, including this tidbit:

And anywhere you see a Hawaiian flag flying upside down, or a yellow, green and red “Kanaka Maoli” flag, you’ll find a supporter of Hawaiian sovereignty. While you won’t find widespread agreement on what that means, exactly, if you ask respectfully and listen carefully, you’ll at least learn about the passion the subject inspires on all sides.

Actually, anywhere you see a Hawaiian flag without a U.S. flag, you’ll find a supporter of sovereignty. Out here in East Maui, there are many Hawaiian flags flying right-side up but by themselves.

4 comments to Reality Tours Hawaii

Leave a Reply