To the editor:
I laughed out loud at David Merton Shultz’ assertion (Journal-World, April 12) that the birth of a “mulatto baby” (and doesn’t THAT term take one back to the good ol’ Jim Crow days!) was an uncommon, and therefore memorable, occurrence in Hawaii at the time of President Obama’s birth. Had Mr. Shultz’s “hundreds of hours of research” led him to actually visit Hawaii, view its census records or read its history, he would know that it is arguably the most multicultural/ethnic/racial of states in the Union.
He would know too that the local term for people like Mr. Obama is hapa, a native Hawaiian word meaning “half” which is now commonly applied to those of any combination of races and ethnicities. Among the peoples representative of the modern state of Hawaii are those of native Hawaiian, Japanese, Chinese, Portuguese, African-American, Filipino, Korean, Chamorro, Samoan and Tongan heritage — and any and all combinations thereof. (Oh, yeah, and even plain old vanilla haoles like me.) Think Tiger Woods; think Greg Louganis.
So thanks, Mr. Shultz, for a good chuckle. And please: Do try to get out more!