The Goebbels Award For Outstanding Use of Media for Propaganda Disguised As Fact -- awarded jointly to PBS-Hawaii and Leslie Wilcox, its President and CEO; for refusing to correct a racially inflammatory falsehood about the alleged banning of Hawaiian language in the schools of Hawaii. The falsehood was asserted repeatedly in advertisements through email, televised teasers, and website announcements ahead of an INSIGHTS panel discussion televised live on March 28, 2019 regarding the history and revival of Hawaiian language.

The Goebbels Award For Outstanding Use of Media for Propaganda Disguised As Fact -- awarded jointly to PBS-Hawaii and Leslie Wilcox, its President and CEO; for refusing to correct a racially inflammatory falsehood about the alleged banning of Hawaiian language in the schools of Hawaii. The falsehood was asserted repeatedly in advertisements through email, televised teasers, and website announcements ahead of an INSIGHTS panel discussion televised live on March 28, 2019 regarding the history and revival of Hawaiian language.

by Kenneth R. Conklin, Ph.D. ; March 28, 2019

WHAT IS THE GOEBBELS AWARD?

The Goebbels is an award especially for mainstream news media and powerful institutions in Hawaii. Media awards often have a single name, like the Oscar, the Emmy, the Grammy, and the Pulitzer.

The Goebbels is named in (dis)honor of Joseph Goebbels, who was propaganda minister for Adolph Hitler. He was known for using the media to tell small lies repeatedly until people came to believe them; and for telling big lies that were so outrageous, with such authoritativeness, that nobody dared to challenge them. The lies told by Goebbels, presented as facts, usually concerned governmental policy and often were directed in favor or disfavor of selected racial groups. Thus his name is especially appropriate for use in Hawaii.

The icon for the Goebbels is a pile of steaming crap.


The inaugural Goebbels
http://bigfiles90.angelfire.com/GoebbelsAwardHonStarBull042308.html
was awarded in 2008 to the Honolulu Star-Bulletin for a feature article falsely stating that
"President Grover Cleveland signed a proclamation in 1894 that set April 30th as a day of prayer and remembrance for Queen Liliuokalani and the overthrown monarchy of Hawaii."
The article was accompanied by photos of ethnic Hawaiian activists praying at the Royal Mausoleum chapel ahead of a highly publicized 5,000-mile trip to lay flowers on the tomb of Grover Cleveland. Emails were sent to 9 reporters and editors at the newspaper demanding that a correction be published. The emails contained proof that President Cleveland never issued such a proclamation, and that the alleged proclamation was not in a news report but was in fact a sarcastic editorial against Cleveland (a Democrat) in a New York Republican-oriented newspaper in 1894. But the Star-Bulletin people ignored the evidence and the demand for correction. The legislature later passed a resolution establishing April 30 as a permanent Hawaiian Restoration Day state holiday, relying on lies told by Hawaiian activists who requested the resolution and despite written testimony containing the same proof given to the Star-Bulletin.

WHY THIS NEW GOEBBELS IS BEING AWARDED ON MARCH 28, 2019

For a long time PBS-Hawaii President/CEO Leslie Wilxcox has been sending out an email blast on Fridays announcing major TV shows that will be broadcast during the following week. The contents of those announcements are also displayed on the station's website, Facebook page, etc. for maximum publicity. The announcement sent on Friday March 22, 2019 included a description of an upcoming 60-minute live panel discussion in the long-running "Insights" series to be broadcast on Thursday March 28 from 8-9 PM. Here is full text of the announcement:

"Aloha mai kākou from Leslie Wilcox, President and CEO...
Ka 'Ōlelo Hawai'i, the Hawaiian Language, once forbidden in schools and nearly lost, is flourishing again in these Islands. In 1978, it became the official state language along with English. It lives in song, in books, in the daily lives of Hawai'i residents and in schools dedicated to perpetuating native culture. On the next INSIGHTS ON PBS HAWAI'I (Thurs., March 28, 8:00 pm), scheduled guests are Christopher Kaliko Baker, Assistant Professor, Kawaihuelani Center for Hawaiian Language, University of Hawai'i, Mānoa; Manu Boyd, kumu hula, musician and cultural consultant at Kamehameha Schools; Kamalei Krug, a graduate of the DOE's Hawaiian Language Immersion Program; and Amy Kalili, Director, Mokuola Honua Global Center for Indigenous Language Excellence. You can join the conversation by phoning in, or leave us a comment on Facebook or Twitter. INSIGHTS is also streamed live on pbshawaii.org and PBS Hawai'i's Facebook page."

The announcement can also be seen where it was placed on the PBS-Hawaii website on March 22 at
https://www.pbshawaii.org/insights-on-pbs-hawaii-the-hawaiian-language/

The racially inflammatory falsehood is this seemingly harmless phrase of four words in the first sentence:

once forbidden in schools

That first sentence in Leslie Wilcox' announcement is also repeated in Hawaiian language in a televised "teaser" advertising the TV program, broadcast numerous times in the days before the broadcast, spoken in the immediately recognizable deep mellifluous voice of Hawaiian language expert Puakea Nogelmeier.

The truth is that HAWAIIAN LANGUAGE HAS NEVER BEEN MADE ILLEGAL OR SUPPRESSED IN WRITTEN PUBLICATIONS, NOR IN PUBLIC OR PRIVATE SPEECH OR PERFORMANCES; AND HAWAIIAN LANGUAGE HAS NEVER BEEN FORBIDDEN BY LAW IN SCHOOLS. An amendment to the compulsory attendance law was passed in 1896 to require that any public or private "school" must use English as the language for teaching all subjects in order for that school to be certified as meeting the requirement that all children must attend "school" -- but the amendment did NOT forbid after-school or weekend academies from using Japanese or Hawaiian or any other language, and did not prohibit teaching language courses. Japanese parents created such Japanese language academies for their children to learn Japanese culture and history; but Hawaiian parents chose not to do that.

Hawaiian kings and native leaders had urged for decades that native children should learn fluent English for personal advancement and to help the Kingdom flourish in international commerce. As tens of thousands of Japanese and Chinese immigrants came to work on the plantations and made babies who needed schooling, it became increasingly important to ensure that there would be one language everyone could speak. After the revolution of 1893 the Republic government looked toward achieving annexation to the U.S., where English was the standard language for success. Hence the 1896 amendment requiring any school to use English as the language of instruction in order to be certified as meeting the definition of a "school" for the compulsory school attendance law.

Schools or teachers adopted a policy of demanding that children speak or write entirely in English rather than Japanese, Chinese, or Hawaiian, for the same reason that some French-immersion or Hawaiian-immersion schools or classrooms today demand that children speak only in French or Hawaiian rather than English -- the purpose is to create an experience of total immersion in the language so the children will learn the selected language more quickly and deeply and will become able to understand, speak, and think in that language without needing to pause to translate it through their first language. Children who repeatedly or defiantly use their first language might be scolded or rapped on the knuckles, as for any other violation of etiquette or rules.

Why is it racially inflammatory to assert that Hawaiian language was illegal in daily life or forbidden in schools? Because today's Hawaiian sovereignty activists have repeatedly and loudly made such claims as a way of portraying Native Hawaiians as victims entitled to reparations. The U.S. in general, and "haoles" (white people) in particular, are called colonial oppressors who suppressed native culture and even "made our native language illegal right here in our own homeland." "My grandma told me she was beaten by her haole teacher for speaking Hawaiian in school." For decades the activists claimed that Hawaiian language had been made illegal. When they were challenged to cite such a law, or to name even a single person who had been jailed for speaking Hawaiian, they could not do so. When it became publicly clear that dozens of Hawaiian language newspapers had been openly published continuously through 1948, and the Kamehameha song contest had been running since 1920 etc., a few professors of Hawaiian language nevertheless continued to insist the language had been made illegal. The claim of general illegality has been forced by the facts to retreat to a claim of the language being banned in school. But it is false, and still racially inflammatory, and must be completely discredited. Comes now the PBS-Hawaii "Insights" TV show with a panel of Hawaiian-language zealots accustomed to earning a living based partly on asserting the now-disproved lie, with the PBS-Hawaii corporate leadership acting as accomplices by giving them a megaphone. Hawaiian is a beautiful language that deserves to be preserved and to thrive as an important element of the culture which is the core of what makes Hawaii a special place. The beautiful language must be liberated from an ugly political demagoguery broadcasting a racially incendiary lie which serves only to foment racial resentment and hatred.

NOTIFICATION OF FALSEHOOD AND DEMAND FOR CORRECTION SENT TO PBS-HAWAII PRESIDENT/CEO LESLIE WILCOX, AND OTHER EXECUTIVES, ON SUNDAY MARCH 24, 2019. THE EMAIL INCLUDED LINKS TO WEBPAGES PROVIDING DETAILED PROOF OF FALSITY (READERS OF THIS WEBPAGE PLEASE FOLLOW THOSE LINKS TO STUDY THE PROOF). THE DEMAND FOR CORRECTION WAS IGNORED, SO THE ONLY REMEDY IS THIS GOEBBELS AWARD.

To
leslie@pbshawaii.org, insights@pbshawaii.org, rpennybacker@pbshawaii.org, email@pbshawaii.org, csumida@pbshawaii.org

Aloha "Insights" people:

I am writing in hopes that a falsehood can be corrected before it is disseminated any further on the upcoming "Insights" program and the publicity announcing it. The falsehood was sent to all subscribers to Leslie Wilcox' regular announcements on Friday March 22, concerning the "Insights" program scheduled for Thursday March 28. That announcement can also be seen at
https://www.pbshawaii.org/insights-on-pbs-hawaii-the-hawaiian-language/

A grievous falsehood is embedded in the first sentence of the announcement, and it must be corrected. The complete sentence says:
"Ka ʻŌlelo Hawaiʻi, the Hawaiian Language, once forbidden in schools and nearly lost, is flourishing again in these Islands."

The falsehood is that Hawaiian language was forbidden in schools. Repeating that falsehood unfortunately serves only to bolster the Hawaiian grievance industry by rousing racial hostility toward "haoles" for their alleged cultural crime of destroying or suppressing Hawaiian language -- a crime they did not commit.

Please be patient to read the following explanation because truth is more complicated than the simplicity of a lie.

The Kingdom of Hawaii had a law that all children must attend school. In 1896 the Republic of Hawaii, anticipating that Hawaii would soon become part of the U.S., was worried that thousands of Japanese and Chinese children of sugar plantation workers, soon to become Americans, were being educated in plantation schools where they were learning only Japanese or Chinese language. Government leaders also saw that it was important for Hawaii's multicultural society to have one language which all its people could speak. So a law passed in 1896 amended the compulsory attendance law to define "school" as a place where English is the language used for teaching all the subjects. Here are very important facts about that law:

1. The amendment did not ban schools where Hawaiian or any other language would be used for teaching all the subjects. The amendment only required a child's main school (to comply with the compulsory attendance law) must use English. The law applied to all schools, both government and private. Japanese parents promptly set up private after-school and Saturday academies where their children could learn Japanese culture through the Japanese language. They continued doing this for decades. Hawaiian parents chose not to set up Hawaiian academies, because they wanted their kids to continue learning English. By the way, Hawaiian workers were paid higher wages than Japanese workers, so if Japanese could afford private after-school academies, so could Hawaiians.

2. By year 1892, while Queen Lili'uokalani was still in power, English had already become the language of instruction for teaching all subjects in 95% of the government schools, as verified by two UH professors (John Reinecke Ph.D. dissertation 1935; Albert J. Schutz, "Voices of Eden", 1994). Since nearly all Hawaiian kids attended government schools, the 1896 law did not have any effect on 95% of them. Since Japanese and Chinese kids nearly all attended private plantation schools, the law's main impact was on them. The near-death of Hawaiian language was not due to murder but disinterest, like Latin and Greek. Note that there was no suppression of Hawaiian-language newspapers, which continued to 1948 until they faded away for lack of interest.

3. Languages other than English (including Hawaiian) could be taught in a main school's language courses, and could be the language of instruction in all subjects in after-school and weekend academies.

For details see these three webpages:
Was Hawaiian language illegal?
https://tinyurl.com/4gspl
Published claims Hawaiian was illegal:
https://tinyurl.com/83xmb
Dept of Ed refuses to correct language-ban falsehood:
https://tinyurl.com/z77ogbq

I call upon organizers of the "Insights" program to do the following three things:

(A) Correct the webpage announcement and any further publicity for the program by deleting these four words: "forbidden in schools and" so that the first sentence would then say: "Ka ʻŌlelo Hawaiʻi, the Hawaiian Language, once nearly lost, is flourishing again in these Islands."

(B) Urge the panelists to avoid saying that Hawaiian language was forbidden in schools, or made illegal by the law of 1896, or anything similar; and make sure that the moderator has been instructed ahead of time that if such a falsehood is actually asserted, the moderator will explicitly state that the assertion is controversial, racially divisive, and has been refuted by historical evidence.

(C) Forward this email promptly to all the panelists and the moderator; and include the following three lines in the credits shown on the screen at the end of the broadcast:

For details see these three webpages:
Was Hawaiian language illegal?
https://tinyurl.com/4gspl
Published claims Hawaiian was illegal:
https://tinyurl.com/83xmb
Dept of Ed refuses to correct language-ban falsehood:
https://tinyurl.com/z77ogbq

Thank you for helping to avoid perpetuation of a racially incendiary falsehood.

Kenneth R. Conklin, Ph.D.
46-255 Kahuhipa St. Apt. 1205
Kane'ohe, HI 96744-6083
tel (808) 247-7942
e-mail Ken_Conklin@yahoo.com

NOTE ADDED AFTERWARD, ABOUT WHAT HAPPENED DURING THE BROADCAST

Demand (A) calling upon station management to correct the website announcement and to stop further dissemination of the falsehood was not satisfied. Even at the beginning of the actual broadcast there was the voice of Puakea Nogelmeier using Hawaiian language to read the announcement including the falsehood that Hawaiian language was forbidden in schools.

However, the broadcast itself was entirely "happy talk" by the four panelists discussing the success of efforts to revive Hawaiian language, and their hope that the language would become more widespread and "normalized." There was no discussion of any alleged banning of Hawaiian language. Unlike most "Insights" programs there were only a handful of viewer questions asked of the panel by the moderator, and they were all upbeat "happy talk." So it appears that demands (B) and (C) might have been fulfilled. Perhaps the warning to station management, and issuance of the Goebbels Award, might have resulted in an agreement among panelists and moderator to avoid the topic of alleged banning of Hawaiian language; or perhaps the topic simply did not arise -- there's no way to know whether the limitation to happy talk was spontaneous or was a planned accommodation to the warning and the issuance of the Goebbels Award.


================


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Ken_Conklin@yahoo.com

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