By: Manu Kala
This past week, the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands (DHHL) opened applications for a rental and utility relief program to all eligible Native Hawaiians living in the state.
Prior to this program, only those on the DHHL waitlist who are at least 50 percent Hawaiian were eligible for assistance. This program will remain open until the $5 million in available funds is depleted. The funding is provided by a partnership with the Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement and additional federal funding.
The money is expected to help 800 households pay rent and utilities for up to 12 months. Payments will be made directly to vendors owed money. Applicants who are already receiving assistance are not eligible.
Due to the pandemic, many of our Native Hawaiian neighbors need financial assistance. Native Hawaiians are the most economically oppressed ethnic group in Hawaii. The pandemic has only made this oppression worse. Our state government has a history of giving Native Hawaiians fish (money) in exchange for our support (votes). This giving of fish has created Native Hawaiian dependency. It is a dependency present in other minority groups throughout America and most prevalent on Native American Reservations. $5 million dollars, in this case, is a boney fish at that! This is the same amount of money that Hawaii recently spent on beach replenishment sand and a groin installation to preserve Waikiki Beach as a tourism amenity.
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The state government however has never embraced teaching Native Hawaiians to become fishermen which would alleviate their economic oppression once and for all. Native Hawaiians are headed toward extinction in this state unless Hawaii Democrats adopt those resilient economic and fiscal policies that reduces taxes, reduces cost of living, and creates more pandemic-proof jobs and increased income opportunities in this state. Continued centralized economic decision making by the state will lead to a gradual death sentence for us all. Once we reach a 70 percent vaccination level, Democrats are content with going back to lives as we knew them before the pandemic. Going back to only giving fish to Native Hawaiians will lead to Native Hawaiian extinction leaving only the ultra-wealthy and the Democrat political elite to inherit paradise.