Marshallese

INSIGHTS ON PBS HAWAI‘I
Giving a Damn

 

Many Hawai‘i residents are familiar with the story behind the Micronesian migration. Seventy years ago, two nuclear bombs were dropped on Bikini Atoll, setting off 12 years of detonation in the Marshall Islands. Later, former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger was reported to have referred to the displacement of Micronesians this way: “There are only 90,000 of them out there. Who gives a damn?”

 

Today it’s estimated Micronesians represent about 2% of Hawai‘i’s population. Despite what most people think to be the truth, they are not living off the public dole. They pay taxes and struggle with health, employment, housing – and most of all, assimilation. Many are homeless and would like to return to their island home. But now there’s a new environmental tragedy that threatens the Marshall Islands. Has the migration of Micronesians only just begun? And this time, who will give a damn?

 

For additional reference on this discussion:

 

We Are Oceaniahttp://www.weareoceania.org

 

Compact of Free Association Community Advocacy Networkhttps://www.facebook.com/cofacan

 

Your questions and comments are welcome via phone, email and via Twitter during the Live Broadcast.

 

Phone Lines:
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Email:insights@pbshawaii.org

 

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PBS HAWAI‘I PRESENTS
The Land of Eb

 

This fictional story is set in the stark volcanic landscape of one of the most remote communities on Hawai‘i Island – Hawaiian Ocean View Estates. Jonithen Jackson portrays Jacob, a Marshallese immigrant father and grandfather, who struggles to provide for his large family. When Jacob overhears a cancer diagnosis from his doctor he keeps the news to himself, forgoing treatment in favor of working to pay off his property which he plans to pass down once he’s gone. Sensing his end, Jacob turns a small video camera on himself and begins to record his story – and that of his people, the Marshallese. The film is a contemplative look at a community in Hawaii still struggling to recover from the effects of the nuclear age. It is a profoundly realistic portrayal of one man’s unwillingness to let go of his dignity and the hope he has for his family’s future.