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Dr. Keli’i Akina interviewed Al Gonzalez, founder of ourfuturehawaii.com, about his controversial stance on Native Hawaiian progress, which he lays out in his recent article. The interview was recorded as part of the Grassroot Institute with Dr. Keli’i Akina, a radio show on KAOI 1110AM, 96.7FM, Mondays on Maui at 7am.

Al was inspired to write about his ideals after discussing Hawaiian sovereignty with one of his children. “I thought to myself, you know, I have to give him some right information. I started the website, started doing some research, and completely turned his opinion around.”

Al believes that the foundation for protest is often based on, “half truths, innuendo, naivete, hate, hysteria, and ignorance of our Hawaiian history.” In fact, Al too was misinformed in his youth, “A lot of us, myself included, grew up with the history that was being fed to us in school.”

Mr. Gonzales explained one example, “When the first Tahitians came over, there were people living here already. They, as far as I’m concerned, were the indigenous people. And they were conquered by the Tahitians, enslaved, and brutalized for nearly a thousand years. People don’t realize that. What the United States has done to us is nothing compared to what the Tahitians did to the indigenous people.”

Another misconception that Al points out is the idea that the Native Hawaiian lifestyle was a paradise for everyone. “If you were the maka’ainana (commoner), you were pretty much like the dogs and the chickens. You had to do what the Ali’i said, and the rules were pretty strict.” Al emphasizes this point to question the goal of returning to the old system, “Getting our land back, so to speak — we never had it in the first place. Unless [you were an] Ali’i. Is the United States gonna give the land back to the Ali’i? We’re talking about the Campbell estate… they don’t need any more land, they don’t need any more assets.”

Listen to the full interview here: