Sarah Palin, Hawaii, and Our Imaginations

HawaiiBeachGirlsI’m not going to even comment on Sarah Palin. It is too easy. I try not to pick on people who are intellectually inferior. What I do want to discuss is her (and other people’s) conceptions of Hawaii.

First, let’s do a mind exercise. Imagine you are in Hawaii. Honeymoon. Vacation. Whatever. Look around you. What do you see? Palm trees? Beaches? Clear skies? Paradise, right? Now focus on the people. What do they look like? More specifically, what race are they?

According to the article, Sarah left Hawaii because “the presence of so many Asians and Pacific Islanders made her uncomfortable.” Now think back to my mind exercise. Clearly, before Sarah moved to Hawaii she must have imagined paradise full of Caucasian people. This made me think.

When most people close their eyes and imagine Hawaii, do they see it full of Caucasian people too? Or is this just a Sarah thing?

I’m afraid of the answer. I’m afraid that Sarah isn’t the only one. I’m afraid that most Americans are like her. The reality is of course that Asian/Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islanders/Hapas Americans make up more than half of the Hawaiian population. What a shock it must be when people who think like Sarah visit there. Do they feel like they are still in America? Or do they feel like they’ve left the country and are traveling in some far away (and dare I say, exotic) land?

Why does this happen? Simple. Look at movies, books, and/or television shows that take place in Hawaii. The Hawaii being portrayed is Sarah’s Hawaii and not the reality. I’m dreaming of a day when people will see Hawaii for what it is… a paradise full of people that look more like me than the Bradys.

Thanks for rating this! Now tell the world how you feel - .
How does this post make you feel?
  • Excited
  • Fascinated
  • Amused
  • Disgusted
  • Sad
  • Angry

About Koji Steven Sakai

Writer/Producer Koji Steven Sakai is the founder of Little Nalu Pictures LLC and the CEO of CHOPSO (, the first Asian English streaming video service. He has written five feature films that have been produced, including the indie hit, The People I’ve Slept With. He also produced three feature films, a one hour comedy special currently on Netflix, and Comedy InvAsian, a live and filmed series featuring the nation’s top Asian American comedians. Koji’s debut novel, Romeo & Juliet Vs. Zombies, was released in paperback in 2015 and in audiobook in 2016 and his graphic novel, 442, was released in 2017. In addition, he is currently an adjunct professor in screenwriting at International Technological University in San Jose.
This entry was posted in Current Events, Lifestyles, Politics and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.