Let your soul stand cool and composed in front of a million universes. — Walt Whitman “Song Of Myself, 48”
As you can see in the photo of the newly installed artificial turf field, Kahuku did not implement the Polynesian warrior logo at the 50-yard line. Instead, there is a ‘K’ logo.
This is a sign that the school is heeding the recommendation of the DOE’s Civil Rights Compliance Branch. After complaints that images of the Polynesian warrior (and formerly the Native American warrior) were offensive, the CRCB wrote a report last year that read, in part: “”There is not a perfect solution to this issue. Stakeholders will not be completely satisfied with the outcome. It is however our hope that the stakeholders can live with the determination that is (eventually) made and realize that something other than a Native American or Polynesian figure can serve as an appropriate representation of (Kahuku) and its community.”
A drone’s view of Kahuku’s new artificial turf field with its ‘K’ logo that is set to open in the fall of 2022.
(Image credit: Lesa Maiava, courtesy of Sterling Carvalho).
The next part of this story is opinion based on what people close to the situation know. The Kahuku administration itself, however, has not and does not typically share its official policy on this issue with the media.
In talking to various Kahuku stakeholders, though, it seems to me like there will be two ways of doing things, the fans’ way and the school’s official way.
The fans’ way: Because the school does not have control over how people cheer, expect to continue to see the energetic tomahawk chop chant (that the CRCB warns could be seen as culturally insensitive) as well as the Polynesian warrior logo on T-shirts, bumper stickers and elsewhere for as long as Kahuku has sports teams.
Kahuku High appears to have officially distanced itself from the Polynesian warrior logo (above).
But expect to continue seeing it on Red Raiders gear made by fans.
The school’s official way: By putting the ‘K’ logo on the field, it’s obvious that Kahuku officially does not recognize the Polynesian warrior logo. In other instances supporting that conclusion, players were told by school administrators to take small Polynesian warrior logo stickers off of their helmets before a recent game.
Some stakeholders have said that the school is also officially distancing itself from the tomahawk chop chant. But anyone who goes to Red Raiders games will notice that the tomahawk chop is alive and well.
A closer look at the actual ‘K’ logo from the newly installed artificial turf field.
At one point last year, many Kahuku fans were outraged when it was erroneously reported by some media outlets that the school would have to abandon its “Red Raiders” nickname. Losing the Red Raiders nickname however, was never the actual case. The issue had only to do with the logo and tomahawk chop, and, those in the know such as Miller, were told that the “Red Raiders” nickname would only be deemed as possibly offensive or insensitive by the CRCB if it was tied to an image of an indigenous peoples on the logo.
ALSO AT Bedrock Sports Hawaii: