Turning away from tragedy

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October 14th, 2009 :: Permalink

Aloha ~
David writes, "We're going to keep hearing these heartbreaking stories until individuals and the criminal justice system take it upon themselves to significantly tighten up the vigilance."

I'm sure everybody was shocked to read that at least one Royal Hawaiian employee observed what appeared to be a violent struggle - yet did nothing. My first reaction was this is typical of our current environment where nobody cares about anyone else ... but I then caught myself, is this a fair indictment?

For the most part we are a people who do care about each other. Yet under the pressure of this current financial crisis, we have witnessed many sad and negative trends. When following blogs on HA related to stories about budget shortfalls, staff layoffs or furloughs, I am stunned how easily people say, "Fire 'em all!" It seems too easy for us to terminate someone's "economic life."

I'm not clear about the Royal Hawaiian employee's lack of action, as some information has been contradictory, but I wouldn't keep this employee on my payroll. Further, I'm not sure if ignoring someone who is in trouble falls outside the law but believe this should be investigated.

Rather than focus solely on the killer, I would have preferred the Honolulu Advertiser to address these issues. Our demand for greater KULEANA in people begins here. To date only David has asked us to consider our role in such circumstances. I extend mahalo to him - but where are the others?

Why was Susa in jail in the first place? I don't have specific facts regarding his case but drug laws are a hypocritical joke in our society. There are nearly a million non-violent drug offenders moving through our criminal justice system today. The greatest "crime" of these offenders was to smoke or sell some pakalolo.

I have no way to know if Susa has a violent past or character. Yet it is possible that the overwhelming number of [unnecessary] drug offenders in our system allowed experts to miss the warning signs about Susa. It is also possible that the overcrowded conditions of our prison system created an incentive to push Susa out before he was "rehabilitated."

Regardless, our public systems are collapsing due to the weight of too many demands and insufficient resources, whether we're talking about prisons or our schools.

David points out that this incident "bears a frightening resemblance to the case last month of 18-year-old Iris Rodrigues-Kaikana, whose nude body was found in an alley at Kamehameha Homes ..."

How many of these high profile cases will occur before tourists decide Hawai'i really isn't paradise and select other vacations destinations? If we can't spread aloha to each other, how can we market this to the world?

A*L*O*H*A