Hawaii is not only about travel and tourism. To understand the current US President, you need to understand the State of Hawaii. There is no ethnic majority in Hawaii. Instead, you’ll find a melting pot of diversity, including people of Filipino, Native Hawaiian, Japanese, Samoan, and European descent, to name but a few. Hawaii has the highest percentage of multiracial Americans and the lowest percentage of white Americans of any state in the country.
The Washington Post recently ruffled feathers in Hawaii for what some perceived as a mocking and condescending tone regarding the Aloha State’s hopes for a beachfront presidential library.
In a December 12 blog post, WaPo’s Jaime Fuller summarized the proposed designs for President Barack Obama’s library, which the University of Hawaii (UH) is vying with three other schools to host. Fuller wrote of Hawaii’s efforts: “They want to make sure you know that they want to build the first ever presidential library on the BEACH.”
In response, Kam Napier wrote at Pacific Business News: “It’s hard to stomach the condescension on display in snark like Fuller’s when we know firsthand the talent, intelligence, ambition, and commitment of Hawaii people who try to make things like the Barack Obama Presidential Center happen.”
Competing against two Chicago schools as well as New York’s Columbia University, UH is considered the underdog to host the Obama library. But with the president and his family currently spending their seventh straight holiday vacation in the islands, it’s hard to deny the president’s emotional ties to the state where he was born and where he spent most of his childhood and adolescence.