UA HIKI MAI KE AU HULIHIA
Nā Hawaiʻi ʻImi Loa, the Native Hawaiian Librarian Association, stands in full and complete solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement and our colleagues in the Black Caucus of the American Library Association. We endorse BCALA's May 28 statement, and we join them in denouncing the never-sleeping "systemic machinery of racism."
We mourn the senseless murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and countless others who came before them in a shameful and heinous history of racist violence against Black people.
We vehemently oppose the oppression, white supremacy, and systemic injustices that the Black community faces every day in America.
We affirm the power of protest. We strongly condemn police brutality and the use of weapons of mass destruction (tear gas, rubber bullets, brute force) against peaceful protesters and protectors.
We know that Black experiences differ from that of kānaka Hawaiʻi, and we also know that our histories share many similarities. In 1845, Prince Alexander Liholiho was forced by an American train conductor to leave his car because the conductor thought he was Black. In 1901, Queen Liliʻuokalani was denied lodging at several hotels in New York City because of her skin color. In 1903, Prince Jonah Kūhiō Kalanianaʻole and Princess Elizabeth Kahanu were removed from their viewing box at an American theater because of their dark skin. And in 1932, Joseph Kahahawai was murdered by his white kidnappers after being falsely accused of raping a white woman.
This is a human rights issue. This is a political issue. This is an environmental issue. Mai ka lā hiki a ka lā kau, mai ka hoʻokuʻi a ka hālāwai: this issue affects us all.
Hawaiʻi's communities are not immune to the indoctrinations of anti-blackness. Therefore, we, Nā Hawaiʻi ʻImi Loa, stand committed to upholding justice for Black, Indigenous, and People of Color in our pervasively white profession. We commit to centering Black voices in the fight against racial violence and injustice.
Libraries, archives, and museums were built upon the backs of colonized, marginalized, and oppressed people. That ends with us. Now is the time for our local library communities to shift the burden from the underprivileged to the privileged. We challenge our colleagues to actively work towards dismantling systems of racial inequality using education and advocacy.
The greatest harm of this world is the culture of white supremacy. Ua hiki mai ke au hulihia. Black lives matter in Ke Aupuni Mōʻī Hawaiʻi and beyond.
Na mākou nā lālā o Nā Hawaiʻi ʻImi Loa,
Kawena Komeiji, Annemarie Paikai, Keahiahi Long, Shavonn Matsuda, Erica Dias, Keikilani Meyer, Michiko Joseph