Astronomers accept terms imposed on them by protesters in Hawaii

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The University of Hawaii, which manages the astronomy operation on Mauna Kea, has accepted the terms laid down by the state’s governor for allowing construction of the Thirty Meter Telescope.

Essentially the number of telescopes on the peak will have to be reduced above and beyond the original decades-old agreement, and the University will have to find money to pay for these “native” programs:

Improved cultural research, education and training: We will work with Kahu Kū Mauna and other Native Hawaiian advisors to develop new cultural training and educational programs about Maunakea. Training is currently required for people working on the mountain and we will look for opportunities for improvement. We will develop training and education programs for visitors to ensure that all who come to Maunakea understand its cultural significance and how to respect the mountain. To ensure our cultural training and education programs are accurate, effective and continuing, we will establish at UH Hilo a new program to lead and evaluate our expanded cultural stewardship and educational activities related to Maunakea. …

New scholarship programs: The governor asked TMT to increase its support to Native Hawaiian students, particularly those from Hawaiʻi Island, who wish to pursue science and technology careers. UH recognizes its responsibilities in this area and we will launch a campaign for new scholarship programs for Hawaiʻi Island and Native Hawaiian students to increase their participation in the sciences. The university will allocate a portion of its observing time to UH Hilo for use in projects and programs to support greater participation and improved preparation of Hawaiʻi Island students for professional careers.

The first will essentially buy off the leaders of the protesters, hiring them to pound into outsiders the wonderfulness of native culture. The second, though it will provide educational scholarships — a good thing — is still essentially bigoted and discriminatory in that it determines who shall get the scholarships solely by their ethnic origin. Imagine the reaction if a university in the U.S. offered a comparable scholarship only to whites.


  • jburn

    Clever move by the governor. Expand the budget for education probably using some Federal dollars. Placate the “natives” with a little cash and a token sense of power. Push the larger issue down the road for the next governor to deal with. Assure the money still flows into the state (from the mainland) for the project. I wonder who the local contractors will be?

  • Don

    More anti-white nonsense, fostered during the presidency of the most divisive man to serves as President since Lincoln. The ‘white privilege’ assault in its early days as we spiral downhill, the bottom still a long way off.

  • wodun

    It sucks that these programs are not open to other kids who live in Hawaii but don’t happen to be native. The goal should be to improve the education of all the local children. And why do they go even further and give greater preference by island?

  • If I recall from a previous post, the agitators stated that White people ‘don’t have a culture’ (or words similar). Oh, but we do. Our history and culture is pushing back the bounds of ignorance. Remind me: first contact between Polynesians and Europeans was initiated by whom?

  • ace

    Of course, that’s the end of it. There won’t be any subsequent requests for additional items or funds.

    Except naming.

    And ceremonies.

    And totems.

    And tolls on the access road.

    And a museum on site.

  • Nicholas Paizis

    Any idea which telescope(s) will have to go to reduce the number?

  • The article at the link mentions one telescope, with discussions beginning to figure out the others.

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