Tuesday, May 08, 2007


The dynamic duo of morning radio and media in general in Hawaii are getting themselves in water nearly as hot Don Imus did recently. Most who know much about Larry Price would forgive him just about anything, and expected that he'd come to his senses and issue an apology to Senator Hooser and "haoles" in general, and especially to those of us who have been here long enough to think of ourselves as local, regardless of birthplace or hair and eye color. We know what he was trying to say (inappropriately and insensitively as he has admitted.) Politicians who pontificate, especially white ones from privileged backgrounds, are an endless source of annoyance and insecurity to local folks who are less full of themselves. Not that Gary Hooser is such a person; anyone with Kaua`i roots will tell you that he and his family have worked tirelessly to understand local perspectives and to champion those that are sincere and worthy.
Larry Price's problem is clearly not the kind of arrogance or racism displayed routinely on the Don Imus shock jock free for all. Price is simply addicted to the endorphins released in his brain when his antics and motor-mouth create general laughter -- we all know the type who's the life of the party, and generally liked, but sometimes goes too far and needs to be reminded that not everything emanating from his "waha nui" is a sparkling gemstone of wisdom.
Michael W. Perry's syndrome, on the other hand, is more problematical. How can one explain his failure to see that a perfect teaching opportunity had presented itself when his sidekick came to terms with some inner demons and outed them before their large local audience. Clear premediatation exists in Mr. Perry's far more insidious remarks ("you're crazy...to apologize.") Where is Perry's sensitivity to the obligation of all local broadcasters to promote racial harmony in our community at this time, after the emotional controversy involving an alleged violent hate crime in broad daylight in a busy shopping center, and the terrible murder on a public beach of a promising young mainlander planning to attend the University of Hawaii law school? Mr. Perry would say I'm only being critical because I haven't taken the time to go to the internet to listen to the original interview with Senator Hooser; but I don't have to. My beef is with Mr. Perry -- he's one of the clearest examples I've found of a case where the conduct of the enabler is far more harmful that that of the offender himself.


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