Perspectives on Race

A Discussion about Events Concerning Race

Hawaiian

with 2 comments

So I’m here in Hawaii to see my brother in a volleyball tournament. While walking around various shops and scenic points along the coast, I noticed a couple very interesting things. First, most of the tourist here are Japanese, not American. Pamphlets and directions are in English and Japanese. It made me aware of how far away Hawaii is from the rest of the U.S., considering the second language here is from the other side of the world. Sure, it’s a popular vacation spot, but so is Miami, and our second language comes from a lot closer to home. Another interesting thing I’ve noticed is that many Hawaiians don’t actually “look” Hawaiian. Half my brother’s team is Hawaiian, yet quite a few of them are White. I tend to think of the stereotypical look when someone says “I’m Hawaiian”, but after a few days here I realized that I was using a false generalization. A perfect example of this was a conversation I over heard at dinner last night. A father of one of my brother’s teammates was trying to point out all seven Hawaiians. He had no problem pointing out three of them, since they fit the stereotype. He remembered a couple more, but after that had trouble remembering the rest. He kept looking back and forth through the table of players, as if hoping the remaining two would suddenly look more Hawaiian. I feel this is a commonly used generalization, and wonder if Hawaiians that “look” Hawaiian do this too. What do you think? Have a great Thanksgiving.

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Written by erom13

November 25, 2009 at 10:27 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

2 Responses

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  1. I know what you mean. I have several mixed friends and most people say the same thing whenever we hang out together. He “looks” white although he is bi-racial, black and white. I am also bi-racial but my skin is darker so people can tell that I am black and white.

    joshjfletch89

    November 27, 2009 at 4:00 am

  2. We do tend to generalize and stereotype groups. The reason why we do this is an even more interesting aspect. Society has seemed to teach us just to lump things together and make generalizations. It is “simpler that way.” Often generalizations are completely untrue, as you found in Hawaii. This is a really complex world after all and trying to boil it down with generalizations only makes things worst. I hope you enjoy the rest of your vacation.

    briangaw

    November 27, 2009 at 6:28 pm


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