The Phaserl


Hawaiians Call Mark Zuckerberg ‘The Face of Neocolonialism’

by Jon Letman & Julia Carrie Wong, The Guardian:

A few days after Christmas, Mark Zuckerberg shared a series of photographsof his family at their $100m, 700-acre property in Kauai. The Facebook CEO and his wife “fell in love with the community and the cloudy green mountains”, he wrote, and decided to “plant roots and join the community ourselves”.

Two days later, Zuckerberg’s lawyers filed lawsuits against hundreds of Hawaiians who may own an interest in small parcels within the boundaries of Zuckerberg’s estate. The “quiet title” suits, first reported by the Honolulu Star-Advertiser, are used to clarify the often complicated history of land ownership in Hawaii and can result in owners being forced to sell their land at auction. In some cases, defendants are even required to pay the legal fees of the plaintiff – in this case, the world’s fifth richest man.

Zuckerberg’s lawsuits have prompted a backlash from locals who place the billionaire within a long, painful history of western conquest and Native Hawaiian dispossession.

“This is the face of neocolonialism,” said Kapua Sproat, a law professor at the University of Hawaii who is originally from Kauai. “Even though a forced sale may not physically displace people, it’s the last nail in the coffin of separating us from the land.”

“For us, as Native Hawaiians, the land is an ancestor. It’s a grandparent,” she added. “You just don’t sell your grandmother.”

Mark Zuckerberg. Photograph: Esteban Felix/AP

Kauai, known as the Garden Island, has long been a favorite playground of holidaymakers, Hollywood film-makers and millionaires on their second or third homes. The vine-choked forests, plunging waterfalls and broad sand beaches have served as the backdrops for films including Jurassic Park and Pirates of the Caribbean while the laid-back rural cool and mellow tropical vibe has attracted rock stars,celebrities and at least one Russian billionaire.

But the acquisition of vacation homes by wealthy malihini (newcomers) exacerbates a social chasm keenly felt by kamaaina (native-born or longtime residents of Hawaii).

“People have always seen the value of living in Hawaii, in paradise, and for many generations now, it’s been a detriment to us,” said Kauai council member Mason Chock. “They’ve come in and purchased land and raised the value so much. Only people from abroad or outside Kauai can even afford to live in Kauai now.”

Nearby a bluff overlooking north Pacific swells, a one-mile lava-rock wall demarcates a property which, from the road, is attractive but unremarkable. A sign reads “thank you for not trespassing”, but nothing suggests the land belongs to the Facebook CEO.

The problem is that it doesn’t. Not all of it, anyway.

Before westerners came to Hawaii, stewardship of the land, or ‘āina, was a collective responsibility, characterized by the familial relationship to the land described by Sproat. Privatization came in 1848 with the Māhele, which began the process of divvying up parcels between the king, the government and the people. The Kuleana Act of 1850 was intended to allow Native Hawaiians to claim title to lands they were cultivating, but ultimately less than 1% of Hawaii’s land area was granted to indigenous people.

Over the generations, ownership stakes in many kuleana parcels have been divided among descendants, and some Hawaiians may not even know they have a claim on the land. It is this confusion that quiet title lawsuits attempt to dispel.

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2 comments to Hawaiians Call Mark Zuckerberg ‘The Face of Neocolonialism’

  • Joe Rodriquez

    Arrogant douchebag.

  • Craig Escaped Detroit

    The one GOOD thing about Zuckerberg moving to Hawaii, just means that he is much closer, and directly down wind and down stream from all the radiation coming out of Fukushima.

    Hawaii is getting hammered with higher levels of radiation. If you’ve kept up with reading at then you’re aware of how serious things really are.

    The USA government has been both under-reporting and non-reporting the real numbers hitting the west coast, Alaska, Canada, Washington, Oregon, California, Baha, Mexico, etc. Here are the most recent stories & some updates that we were never told about.

    This report of readings, was performed by a EUROPEAN firm, and our own government “neglected” to tell us about this crap. Some pretty alarming readings hitting the west coast, and it is ACCUMULATING more and more every damn day. It does not go away, it does not dissipate. The cancers come faster, bigger, better.

    Mark Zuckerberg is parking himself closer to it.

    If you’ve been watching (for last 6 years) the radiation readings all over the USA since Fukushima blew up, you are probably alarmed that the cancer causing readings of radiation has jumped 5X and even 10X higher than before Fukushima joined the Chernobyl party. Readings across the USA used to be 10cpm to 28cpm (depending on how contaminated your area already was, or if you were living at higher elevations, such as Denver, or closer to the Nevada testing sites, or nuclear reactors, Hanford, etc).

    Readings are now at all time highest levels (and they will continue to climb higher), readings are often 100cpm to more than 300cpm across the USA. You are lucky when your local readings dip down below 40cpm on a good day. (these readings, are from the more sensitive EPA filter-collector monitoring stations. But even THEY cannot be trusted to report spikes, etc.)

    This next link, tells about the massive “die off” of sea life (and shore life) on the West coast of North America. Very sad to read about it, but very important to keep ourselves “informed”.
    This “problem” just happened a few days ago.

    And here’s some news that may turn into a disaster more than 20 times larger than the Fukushima problem as it has been devolving since 3-11. A large crane boom has fallen down onto the earthquake damaged building that contains the “spent fuel pool” containing more than 10 full reactor loads of fuel rods. Ouch. If that fuel pool gets cracked and loses its active cooling system or it loses all the cooling water, those 10-20 reactor loads will also go critical, start burning and releasing all that crap into the air, land and sea continuously for the next million years or so.

    These readings are mostly from common citizens across the nations with less senstive geiger counters, showing mostly only gamma readings. (It’s harder and more expensive to get proper BETA readings, and MUCH more difficult and expensive to get proper ALPHA readings.)
    Alpha readings are very important, (even though alpha particles won’t even penetrate a sheet of paper, they are highly potent cancer creators when you breathe or swallow them, and they sit there, on your cells, irradiating them at that point.)

    ( Most people don’t know that plutonium is a strong emitter of alpha.) A plutonium particle can fall into the sea, get into the food chain, eaten by a fish, the fist eventually dies, even from old age, rots and the active particle is still active (millions of years). That same particle can be carried into the atmosphere, and rain down onto forests and farm land.

    Gets eaten or absorbed by a tree, or a cow, or a tomato, and end up on your dinner plate. When you eventually die, that same particle will remain dangerous long enough for your casket to rot into nothing, and be released back into the open, even it takes a hundred thousand years, that little happy particle will keep doing it’s job. (Half life for some plutonium isotopes is longer than a billion years.)

    All of this type of information is why I no longer eat ANY sea foods from ANY part of the Pacific ocean. Nothing from Alaska, Canada, China, Taiwan, Australia, Hawaii, California, Seattle, etc. No McDonald’s fish sandwiches, no Burger King, No restaurant fish, etc, not unless the seafood specifically came from places like Norway, Sweden, Portugal, Spain, Maine, etc.

    And there are so many contaminated waters in the Atlantic too. It’s not a happy world.
    Virtually 100% of all the tuna fish from the Pacific ocean have measurable levels of Fukushima cesium (and more than 20 other NOT MEASURED isotopes that are worse than cesium).

    They never tell you about all the other ones. Add them all together, and it’s a toxic soup. Radioactive versions of Strontium, lead, iron, hydrogen (tritium-water), calcium, magnesium, and on and on.

    Ever since the 40’s and 50’s, when nuclear “testing” was happening in the Pacific region, poor Hawaii has been getting hammered, and the government does not talk about the much higher rates of birth defects in the region, higher cancer rates, etc.

    Japan is already seeing some of the SAME horrible birth defects that are documented from Chernobyl (and also occurring around the USA Hanford site, but it’s kept kinda “hush hush”).

    It’s horrible to look at these photos, but we MUST look at it so that we can be educated to what is being hidden from us.

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