American Experience
Hawai'ians Remember Hawai'ians Remember

video | transcript

Grieving for Joe KahahawaiStories About the Massie CaseFear of the MilitaryPrejudice in the Haole CommunityThe Case's Impact on Hawai'iansAssessing the JuryCould It Happen Again?Racial TensionsA Threat to StatehoodInjustices Today

Nanette Napoleon (1:13)
Racial Tensions

The Navy took so much control of this case and blitzed the mainland media with their own version of what was going on prior to the case, and during the case. And their slant was, "oh yes, there's these darkies lurking in every corner who were preying on the white people in the community." And that's what went out in the media across the country. It made headlines across the country.

But in fact, Hawai'i was very peaceful at the time. Yes, there was some, a little bit of racial tensions between the naval personnel, or military personnel, and local folks. But that happens everywhere where there's a large military presence, and it wasn't anything that was exceptional. In fact, it was fairly peaceful. I mean Hawaiian, local people took Navy people into their homes all the time. So it got blown way, way out of proportion across the country, and sadly that was the image that most people had about Hawai'i and local people.

The Massie Affair American Experience PBS