Insight, News, and Opinion by Nick Abramo
  • April 13, 2021
Kahuku Fans Are Adamant About Keeping The Polynesian Mascot And Tomahawk Chop

If anyone is wondering, Kahuku fans are up in arms about a recommendation by the Department of Education to rid the Polynesian mascot and tomahawk chop from their identity.

In recent weeks, Kahuku principal Donna Lindsey sent a letter to the school community, saying that the school would acquiesce to that particular guidance by the DOE’s Civil Rights Compliance Branch.

On the Raider Generation Facebook page, many fans have written that they will continue to use the Polynesian warrior mascot image to print on fans’ T-shirts and posters — and even Christmas decorations — and also keep doing the tomahawk chop.

Kahuku’s war chant and tomahawk chop.

 

Bedrock Sports Hawaii is awaiting word on what the Kahuku Alumni Association (a stakeholder in all of this) plans to do. In speaking with several members of that group, it appears their plans are to work on ways for Kahuku to keep the Polynesian Warrior mascot. In the past, the Kahuku identity used to include a Native American warrior, but that image was changed within the last few years.

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Well-placed editor’s note: It is Bedrock Sports Hawaii’s opinion that one thing going in the Kahuku fans’ favor on this issue is the fact that many high-ranking community members are indeed Polynesian. So, maybe, just maybe, the people in high places in the DOE or even the courts (if it gets to that point) would understand that many community members are the living descendants of a proud people who are trying to respect their history and are not disparaging it by emblazoning their own ancestors’ image on T-shirts and logos.
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It’s important to note that, according to the CRCB’s recommendation, the name Red Raiders (which has Native American connotations) combined with a mascot of indigenous peoples is problematic as far as DD (derogatory and discriminatory) goes. And, somewhat fortunately for Kahuku — in contrast to initial inaccurate reports from a handful of media outlets — the CRCB’s guidelines do not include changing the Red Raiders name .

The most recent depiction of Kahuku’s mascot.

 

But Kahuku’s fans have an answer for that, too. They say the color red has great significance in the culture of their ancestors.

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Author’s note: I was at a meeting of the Kahuku Alumni Association a few months ago when the significance of red in the Kahuku community was explained in detail by kupuna. I did not keep my notes on that meeting because I agreed with Kahuku athletic director Wendy Anae and the principal, Lindsey, to not report directly on it.
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As soon as the Kahuku Alumni Association gives word on its official outlook on this issue, it will be reported here at Bedrock Sports Hawaii.

Here are some outtakes from the Raider Generation Facebook page:

— “ONLY da School HAS to USE whateva they choose. But the REST OF RED RAIDER NATION will ALWAYS BE RED RAIDER NATION W/OUR “SAME” CURRENT AND FOREVA LOGO !!!!!!”

— “Don’t back down! # sayNOtocancelculture

— “Imma tomahawk chop if I like. What they gonna do? Give me a ticket?”

— “How they going stop us from chopping come on i like see them try”

— “So what do we need to do to keep our current Hawaiian Warrior Mascot? Because it is who we are. Warriors.”

—  “Polynesian Island, Polynesian inhabitants, but we gotta lose the Polynesian Warrior….wow! Outsiders love some Polynesian culture, aina, but don’t love our people or representation of us… wow…very sickening”

RELATED STORIES:

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FROM NOV. 9 at BedrockSportsHawaii.com: Opinion — Kahuku Will Get To Keep Red Raiders Name But Not The mascot And Tomahawk Chop

FROM JULY 10 at BedrockSportsHawaii.com:
Lot ‘O Hubbub in Kahuku Town Over Petition to Ditch The Red Raiders Nickname

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