A short examination of Haunani-Kay Trask's "Settlers of Color and 'Immigrant' Hegemony: 'Locals' in Hawai'i"

Literature Review, 2002

12 Pages, Grade: A-


Table of Content

1. The author
2. The article

1. What is the central theme / statement of the article ?
a.Why is this topic of any value ?
b.Why did you choose to critically analyze this article ?
2. What methods does the author use to achieve their stated conclusions or results ?
a.Arethosemethodslikelyto produce accurate data ?
b.Whatarethe indicated or inferred perspectives or biases of the writer ?
3. What did you learn from the article ?
a.What are its most important statements or conclusions ?
b.Are there any significant weaknesses in any statements, major or supportive ? Is the article logically sound ?
c.Does the article agree or conflict with your own personal views ? How and why ?
d.Does the article contribute significantly to the general body of knowledge about Asian Americans ?
4. Could this work be improved ?
a.What logical basis is there for changes that you would make ?
b.Would your changes produce significantly or substantially different results? Why ?



1. The author

Holder of a Ph.D degree in political science from the University of Wisconsin, Dr. Haunani Kay-Trask is presently a professor of Hawaiian Studies at the University of Hawai'i. As one of the founders and core members of Ka Lāhui Hawai'i, the largest Hawaiian organization for native sovereignty, she has represented Hawai'i’s indigenous people at many indigenous meetings around the world. She has also published many articles on the Hawaiian struggle for self-determination. Besides her teaching and political career, Dr.

Trask is also a widely published poets and writer. Among her publications is the book From

a Native Daughter: Colonialism and Sovereignty in Hawai'i .

2. The article

“Settlers of Color and ‘Immigrant’ Hegemony: ‘Locals’ in Hawai'i” was published in Amerasia Journal 26:2 (summer 2000). This was a special issue dedicated to the question “Whose Vision ?: Asian Settler Colonialism in Hawai'i.”

The article constitutes an advocacy of Native Hawaiian sovereignty and talks about the growing tensions between Asians and Native Hawaiians in Hawai'i. Trask believes that settler organizations, such as the JACL, intentionally obscure the issue of justice for Hawaiians by stirring up hatred against native leaders. She bases her analysis of the question of Asian/Japanese “alleged support” of the sovereignty movement on the JACL’s reaction to her sister Mililani Trask’s claim that Senator Daniel Inouye controlled the sovereignty process by giving available funds only to his favorites, who are against Native


Hawaiian sovereignty. The JACL, the Democratic Party, and the Honolulu dailies, so Trask, teamed up to attack her sister back, thereby obscuring her whole analysis of the real issue. Opponents of Hawaiian sovereignty accuse Native Hawaiians of “going down the race road,” but Trask believes that this is just a means of hiding the real race issue, namely the Japanese’s desire to keep their power. She describes Asian success as the “latest elaboration of foreign hegemony,” and says that Hawaiians remain a politically subordinated group. They are believed to be inassimilable and a “failed indigenous people.” According to her, those in power deny Native Hawaiian claims through the ideology of “power sharing,” which makes Native Hawaiians one of many ethnic groups of the islands. Having been robbed all their power, they basically have nothing left to share and those in power feel they have earned their dominant position. During the 1990s, anti-Hawaiian sentiments have emerged among both the haole (whites) and Asians. This is, according to Trask, a response to an old sovereignty movement among Hawaiians for self government. In an attempt to set themselves apart from the haole, Asians claim a “local nation” in Hawai'i. This settler claim is a fictitious socio-political entity to justify non-Native hegemony and to hide the fact that Asians have risen in social status through the oppression of Native Hawaiians by the white colonizers. Trask holds the opinion that Hawaiians have to start a de-colonization – both politically and mentally – by reconnecting themselves to their nation. Their fight is for national liberation and not merely a kind of identity politics. American nationality has to be rejected, their lands and resources have to be restored, self- determination and a nation-to-nation relationship with the United States have to be established. The determining voice has to be Native Hawaiian, even if support by non- Hawaiians is desirable.


Excerpt out of 12 pages


A short examination of Haunani-Kay Trask's "Settlers of Color and 'Immigrant' Hegemony: 'Locals' in Hawai'i"
San Francisco State University  (Ethnic Studies)
ETHS 220: Asians in America
Catalog Number
ISBN (eBook)
ISBN (Book)
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446 KB
Haunani-Kay, Trask´s, Settlers, Color, Immigrant, Hegemony, Locals, Hawai
Quote paper
B.A. Stephanie Wössner (Author), 2002, A short examination of Haunani-Kay Trask's "Settlers of Color and 'Immigrant' Hegemony: 'Locals' in Hawai'i", Munich, GRIN Verlag, https://www.grin.com/document/138137


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