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 Oceania – http://www.weareoceania.org
Compact of Free Association Community Advocacy Network – https://www.facebook.com/cofacan
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