How I Feel:
So, yesterday I was listening/small kine watching Oprah while I wen hana. Get small TV in my home office, and if I no listening to HawaiianRainbow.com (which I mostly do), I kinda watch TV if sometin good on.So yestaday, on Oprah, she was talking about “Class in America”, i.e., lower class, higher class, middo class. How different peeps perceive odda peeps as to wat class dey stay in.
Not surprising, alla peeps wit choke kala were said to be in da upper class. Da ones who nevah have to worry about weah da next paycheck coming from, da ones who drive Mercedes and BMW’s, da ones who have da power.
Can u believe it? 1% of da population has 40% of da wealth in dis country! Is true.
But I digress.
Wen da program was pau, I was so hūhū! And da main reason I was so lidat is cuz of dis one haole wahine, da one wit dis perfect articulation, perfect makeup, and da one whose clothes shouted, “$$$$$”.
Da reason I so hūhū was because of her statement dat wen she listens to peepo talk, if dey get one regional accent, she considers dem “lower class”. In odda words, if anybody no talk “white bread/no individuality”, den she automatically assumes dat dey not as good as she perceives herself to be. How high makamaka is dat!
Any wondah I mad? Like because I get local accent, she mo bettah den me? Den my friends from home? Den da person from da South, oa Minnesota, oa weahevah not as good as her? Get real, sistah!
Our accents, watevah they are, are part of our individuality. They say something about where we wen come from, where our roots are, or the location we have adoped as home. Our accents can connect us to others from da same place, or can invite other people to ask us where we’re from.
What they don’t do is determine how intelligent or high class we are. How can that wahine presume to know anything about me other than how I look (assuming she could see me).
I get accent! Does that tell her what my college GPA was? Nope. Does it tell her what kind of job I hold? Course not! I could be president of a large corporation, drive a Beamer just like her, and have ukupila bucks in the bank and still have an accent! I can only imagine wat she would think of all us akamai locals speaking pidgin!
Wen I first wen move to da mainland, da peeps I went to school wit made fun of my accent. They laughed at my pronunciation of certain words, and wen gimme the usual, “Did you live in a grass shack?” question.
At da time, I was homesick, lonely and very shy. I tried hard to fit in. I went so far as to try and squelch my accent. I became withdrawn and depressed. It wasn’t till years later that I said “da hell with it”, and reclaimed that which was rightfully mine, my accent and my pride at being born and raised in Hawai‘i.
I resent that Oprah wahine’s remarks. I resent that she set herself so far above people who are just as good as she is.
Wait. I take that back. Seems to me that the people with accents are better than she is. They’re not trying to be someone they’re not. They are like rainbows; and next to them, she seems to be bland, uninteresting and boring.
K’den. Pau da rant.