Cherubs, I have a million things that I would love to say about the passing of Proposition 8 in California, but I’m sure they will be covered by our other writers and your own letters of outrage. HOWEVER! I will just say this: Given all of the distortions, false arguments and claims of victimization spewing from the LDS church, I can’t believe I actually miss Fred “God Hates Fags” Phelps and the Westboro Baptist Church. At least they have the guts to be honest about their hatred towards gay people. I respect that kind of honest bigotry more than the insulting “we love gay people and always have” talking point the LDS church is pushing, now that it has been caught with its hands in the electoral cookie jar. OK, that’s out of my system. Now to the topic at hand.
Can somebody puhlease tell me what on God’s green earth is going on with our Polynesians? Has their manufacturer’s warranty expired or something? Because suddenly, kittens, it seems that their wheels are starting to come off and they’re losing their minds! Seriously, what’s the deal?
In the last few months we have had three appalling assaults on gay men by Polynesians, and a bunch of Polynesian gang-related drive-bys, assaults and robberies. We even had homicide where several Polynesian beat the crap out of a guy and stuffed his dead body into a Tuff Shed! And then when I watched the Proposition 8 protest outside of the L.A. Temple, who was creating havoc on the sidewalk? A three hundred pound Polynesian guy going berserk! I don’t know what it is, but something bizarro is happening in our Pacific Islander communities.
Now before you start firing up the angry e-mails saying, “Ruby, why are you such a hater towards Polynesians?” you need to know this: I adore Polynesians. My brother-in-law Tui is from the Cook Islands (which explains why my niece and nephew are drop dead gorgeous and could model if they wanted too). I spent three years living on the North Shore of Oahu where my neighbors, church members and work mates were all Samoan, Tongan or Hawaiian, and treated me just like family. I have traveled extensively through American Samoa, Western Samoa, Fiji, Tahiti, Tonga and all of the Hawaiian Islands. I have played rugby with Polynesians (I still have cleat marks on my left leg to prove it). So rest assured this is not coming from a bigoted, hateful place.
But I have to say, kittens, I am really concerned. The more I watch the younger generation of Islander kids, the more I think that they seem so different from their parents and grandparents, and not in a good way. The older Polynesian folks I know are happy, immersed in their families and proud of their community. A few weeks ago I watched three teenage Polynesian girls go off at a little Asian lady in West Valley for no reason. They were rude, intimidating and had no respect for anyone. I had seen that kind of selfish, entitled behavior from Polynesian athletes in college (though granted, that’s a spoiled athlete thing, not necessarily a racial thing), but these were just kids.
One Saturday morning, I was eating at a Burger King and two Polynesian guys in their late twenties were swearing and talking so loud about their gang activities, that the entire restaurant (mainly families with kids) was just dumbfounded and terrorized. It was pure aggression and posturing, and to prove what? Where is this hostility coming from in the younger Polynesians and why?
I know some Tongan and Samoan families who (despite their religious beliefs) are very supportive of their gay children, siblings and extended family members, but I worry when I see what drugs, alcohol and violence are doing to this next generation. I especially worry about vulnerable gay and lesbian kids who are stuck somewhere in between Polynesian and American culture without a lot of guidance.
This is me just thinking out loud, but somehow we need to get together with the elders and Polynesian community leaders and get some kind of constructive dialogue going about these youngsters. We probably have more in common than we think.