Environmental Racism in Hawaii and the Pacific Basin
Traditional Hawaiian and Pacific culture has undergone grotesque commercialization. Hotels promote Polynesian revues with hula-hula girls. Shopping malls and golf courses cover sacred sites. Indigenous people are stereotyped and marginalized. In addition, major U.S.military bases are causing serious environmental problems. Japan, France and other countries also contribute to environmental degradation in the region. The vast Pacific is a dumping ground for toxic and hazardous wastes.
Haunani-Kay Trask, a scholar and poet, was a prominent voice for indigenous rights in Hawaii. With her sister Millani Trask, she was a founding member of Ka Lahui Hawaii, an organization that promoted self-determination for Native Hawaiians. She was Director of the Center for Hawaiian Studies at the University of Hawaii and the author of From a Native Daughter: Colonialism and Sovereignty in Hawaii. She passed away in 2021.