We get e-mails and sometimes phone calls from clients who have returned home after vacationing in Hawaii. Most, of course, are to thank us for our services and rave about the things they did while they were in the islands.

We’ve had a couple of e-mails recently that we find disturbing. They refer to unpleasant encounters with “locals” the writers had while they were here.

A little background:

Tourism began in Hawaii at a time when there was a steady U.S. military buildup and the creation of the pineapple canning industry. Tourism was spurred in 1936 by the inauguration of commercial air service. The tourist industry in the islands began to flourish, but people in Hawaii were uncomfortable with the presence of U.S military people, most of whom were Caucasian.

The Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor pretty-much killed tourism, but after World War II, the U.S. rediscovered Hawaii and American tourists began arriving by the boatload. This was a little troublesome to some to the local people, who already were not happy with the military personnel population explosion. Fights were common outside the military bases, especially in the bars where military personnel would spend their weekend passes and furloughs.

Soon, tourism became the major industry in Hawaii. That meant plenty of jobs, but those jobs were menial and poorly paid. The resentment grew through the 1950s, then began subsiding in the 60s. As generation followed generation and the Caucasian population was blending in, visitors became more than welcome and “the people” became the first thing returning vacationers would say they liked best.

That good will is pervasive, but there still are a few young people who inherited their grandparents’ attitudes. While these people are harmless, they can be intimidating by hanging around your spot on the beach and purposely annoying you, and elsewhere by calling you names – notably “friggin’ haole.”

These instances are disappearing and are rare now. The state and local tourism officials are striving to eradicate the problem altogether, but perhaps that’s a generation away.

You certainly should be aware that you are very unlikely to run into such an encounter while you vacation here. Vacationers are grandly welcomed and treated as the special guests they are. If you do experience one, please report it to your hotel management or to the police – and to us at Hawaii-Aloha (1-800-843-8771).


  1. Because americans that go anywhere on vacation tend to be rude, prideful, and insensitive to other people and cultures… I’ve never had problems with “locals” and that’s because I have half a brain and I lived in Ewa Beach and taught kids from Wainae. I’ve been in France when some fat american tourist criticized a crepe vendor because he didn’t understand english and then mocked him… it’s not just hawaii but anywhere these people go.

  2. Every place has their jerks and Hawaii is NOT immune.

    I’d like to think that I’m pretty savvy with Hawaii vacation etiquette. I always go out of my way to be respectful to the people, the culture and the land. Even I’ve been the recipient of a very unkind haole statement. It happens.

  3. There are “Locals” that don’t even want other locals near their tuff. Case in point: The video of local SupperFerry protesters screaming “go home” at other locals as they where driving of off the boat on neighbor islands.

    My favorite part was when a local in one of the cars said “Go home? I live here.”

  4. Born & raised here on Oahu, with Hawaiian ancestory, these racist slurs have been around since i can remember. In fact, going back 40 years, the last day of school was beat up haole day…and the haole’s to be beat up were caucasian kids that live here. Its just something that exists and is best to just ignore and not take any of this personally….Hawaii is paradise, but as is with everywhere on God’s green earth, no place is completely perfect.

  5. Sure, we’ve all heard tales of the boorish American tourist, but to lump all Americans in this category is disingenuous at best. Is America bashing in vogue now? A recent travel survey found that the French, Indian and Chinese tourists ranked even more obnoxious than Americans, while Japanese were considered the best tourists.
    On the flip side, every city or town in America has it’s share of rude “locals. Hawaii is no exception.

  6. As a native islander whose family has been in Hawaii four generations back – I felt like I had to comment from the perspective of a Hawaiian and go a little deeper into the historical roots of this topic.

    Yes, tourism and the military presence have a role in the history – but it goes further back than that…almost 200 years back to when the first white missionaries came to Hawaii. Yes, that was a long time ago – but to understand the present you need discover the past & in this case you cannot stop with the rise of tourism or the presence of the military – you need to go further back to the Hawaiian culture pre, during, and since the first white missionaries arrived.

    The first wave of Polynesian settlers in Hawaii were a collectivist culture, highly supportive of each other and overwhelmingly focused on the broader, long-term social and survival considerations of living on a Pacific island.

    When the first white missionaries came to Hawaii, around 1820, their new religion created a polarization between the existing social classes. It was at this time that colonization began and led to the eventual domination of the ancient Hawaiian culture by this new foreign (haole) culture.

    Remember – the Hawaiians traditionally regarded the land as being everyone’s responsibility to care for and maintain it, whereas the western concept of private land ownership was completely incomprehensible to most Hawaiians. As a direct result of this circumstance, by 1848 the Hawaiians had lost almost the entirety of their homeland to foreigners and commercial interests, and many Hawaiians were homeless and landless.

    It’s key to remember that the Hawaiian collectivist culture (as it was described prior to the arrival of the missionaries) – is still expressed today in the ‘Aloha Spirit’, which consists of giving open-endedly to share wealth, food, and communal support. This traditional spirit of collective giving contrasts rather severely with the spirit of imported western entrepreneurial commercialism (which also still exists). While there are and have been benefits from both ‘cultures’ – there are also times when they clash.

    Greater effort needs to be made for all people to understand how other nations and other people view life and maintain the beliefs that make their lives personally, spiritually and culturally meaningful. The interest and study of cultural ways, social norms, and the attainment of a basic understanding – is the only way real progress can be made towards resolving tensions between radically differing racial and ethnic groups. This is as true in Hawaii as it would be anywhere in the world that Americans find themselves. I believe it is the younger people who are more often doing the antagonizing – but perhaps even that is a ‘normal’ part of the immature growth phase.

    It’s not our responsibility in the present to figure out the details of the past or the reasons behind the why’s. What’s done is done and we cannot hold the past in the present. Nothing will ever entirely erase lingering local resentment over having lost homelands to what they view as culturally naive, economically overbearing, self-centered, and profit obsessed outsiders who think that America’s worship of rugged, entrepreneurial individualism is the only legitimate socio-political philosophy in the entire world.

    Furthermore, little can be done to reduce haole paranoia about being singled out for rude, perhaps hostile treatment by locals.

    The only thing we can do on an individual level is to renew our efforts each day to acheieve a more loving and generous understanding of each other’s lives and cultures.

    I apologize for the long comment but I felt it was necessary. I also want to thank my friend Kaliki Kalei who has been a great kumu (teacher) of ancient Hawaiian culture.

    Aloha & Malama,

  7. Granted there are some ignorant people, but if you treat people with respect they will usually treat you with respect back. I think locals just don’t like the mainland tourists who are loud, obnoxious, and think they can come to our islands without showing any respect.

  8. We are concerned with the increase of bad behavior experienced on Oahu, and how it leads to acts of violence.

    Monday Oct. 12, 2009 in the parking lot of Bangkok Chef Manoa at 12:15pm we waited for a car backing out so that we could pull into their parking space. A tall haole guy with brown hair walks in the middle of the stall and refuses to move, shaking his finger at us, saving the space for his friend with blonde hair in pony tail in the white truck behind us. I am local hawaiian, asian female raised on oahu, and that behavior to me is rude. Could it be because I was asian, female or local, that this haole guy thought he could abuse us? Rude people come in all types of colors and sex. It’s pitiful when you gotta explain to someone that rude behavior such as coming out from no where to save a parking space for a car who is not next in line, is unacceptable. Only girls were in the car, the haole was lucky, cuz he may have been hurt if the guys in our family were with us. His action was completely avoidable. If this is a cultural difference such as he’s not from oahu, I hope this story helps save his life, and the life of his driver one day so they don’t get their okoles beat down.

    Next time haole, don’t be fooled, cuz local girls will kick your okoles too, you lucky that day. So haole boys, no be jerks, be respectful and learn to think of others before your own selfish needs. If you want to live or visit oahu do what the locals do.

    • Yeah, uh hate to break it to you, but that’s not “mainland behavior” in fact, only time I’ve ever seen this was in Hawaii, except instead of a haole, it was some fat local kid. Hmmmmm, funny, that.

  9. Unfortunately, most Americans have no idea how the United States “acquired” the Hawai’ian Islands. Much the same way the rest of the country was “acquired” from the native Americans, but without bloodshed. Even the President of the U.S. at the time of the overthrow questioned the events happening in Hawai’i. You can read his letter to Congress at:
    A bill is currently in committee to give some sovereignty to native Hawai’ians (similar to native American rights). Info on that bill can be found here:
    It’s not perfect, but it’s a start. Perhaps our Hawai’ian-raised president can push it through?
    Mahalo for your concern.

  10. Angelica, that is a useful history lesson for many – thank you. While the missionaries did some good things in Hawaii, it was unfortunate that they couldn’t bring Christ into the native culture, instead of insisting on “Westernizing” or “civlizing” the natives. There is no reason that one cannot live as Hawaiian, Samoan, Inuit, Chinese, Guatemalan, or whatever without compromising one’s Christianity, should one choose to live that way. Thankfully, most missionaries today have learned from the mistakes of the past!

  11. Apparently the “Aloha Spirit” applies to locals but its opposite applies to outsiders. My wife (who is Indian) and I were visiting relatives in Honolulu. We went to Ala Moana Park to play tennis. I won’t go into the details of what happened, but the locals persisted in making it very clear to us that we were not welcome there. After about 15 minutes, my wife couldn’t stand their behavior any longer and we left.

  12. While visiting a black sand beach (alone) down the road from Kalani on the Big Island, I was shot at several times with a paintball gun from the cliffs above by some local kids (mix of Haole and Hawaiian). One got me pretty bad on the back of the leg. I stormed up and confronted them angrily, but they denied it (This maybe wasn't a smart move as they could have easily pounded me) When I walked away, 100 meters down the road, they fired a shot at me. I turned around and glared for a moment, then turned around and kept walking away. They drove by several times attempting to shoot me, but missed. That's my experience with local Hawaiian aggression. I heard lots of other bad stories (much worse than mine) from other Haoles living there. There is no place for random senseless violence.

  13. So the U.S. gov wrongfully took some land that didn't belong to them 100+ years ago, what else is new? i don't condone the action but i cant help it either , and when i visit paradise im subject to racism and hostility.   if locals hate us haoles so much they should try living without the tourist buisness or  American tax dollars .   i am a very respectful visitor wherever i roam but why travel to a place that gives you a bad wrap for being a white american? i can't believe that the human race hasn't figured out by now how to live and vacation with peace and respect.   im coming back to this beautiful place for my honeymoon and pray that its not spoiled but someone that hasn't yet learned about respect and manners. long live Queen Lili !

  14. Hawaii is filled with hateful racist local jerks. They don't want you there. Spend your money somewhere else.

  15. i am 100% irish,  i have lived in hawaii for 23 years.  my wife is local from the big island,  my daugther was born and raised here as is my granddaugther.  i have coached over 1500  locals youths over the years.  my business donates regularly to local causes.  still i face the word "haole"  all the time.  never with violence,  due to the fact that i am a former combat marine and am 6 foot and weight 245.  most don't mess with a guy like me but still i get the haole word all the time,  i hate it but love maui,  it's my home and the home of my family.  i grew up in rural indiana with white supremist and hawaii has more hatred than there,  by far.  such a beautiful place with so much hatred.  my people had nothing to do with what happened to your people. 

  16. I've never been to Hawaii, but a lot of these comments reek of white entitlement, especially these:
    "if locals hate us haoles so much they should try living without the tourist buisness or  American tax dollars .   i am a very respectful visitor wherever i roam…"  Really?  You don't sound respectful.
    "my people had nothing to do with what happened to your people."  Whites benefit from racism, past and present.  And Irish people are considered white in the US these days, at least enough to have white privilege.  So yeah, if you're Irish in America, you benefit from racism.
    I'm not condoning any harassment against whites that goes on in Hawaii, but I doubt there's any real comparison to white supremacists — for example, when have locals lynched haoles?

  17. my grandfather was brought to america as a slave from ireland.  i'm only the second generation born here.  when i say my people i mean my family not my race.  i come from slaves.  can you understand that?  and no there have been no hangings here. but beatings and at least one killing.  a poor young white man was sent to a very dangerous park by some locals who thought it was funny and he was killed for his money and stuff.  yeah so it's real over here.

  18. Hawaii ; Your poo-poo does, in fact, STINK. Hawaiians are racist to the core and deep in denial. Racism, from any group to any other group, is evil, hateful and wrong. Get that through. Historical wrongs of generations past are not an entitlement to cruelty. There is no shade of grey, and there is no instance where it is okay.
    Looking at the color of another man's skin to apply any your own cultural template upon him is the very definition of racism. There is no excuse for it, and excuses are what 'Hateloha' is all about.
    According to these posters, whites should be okay with being bullied, robbed, insulted or beaten.  Who in their right minds would go along with that? When this happens, so the common thinking seems to go, it must be because the white victim was insensitve or somehow otherwise brought it on themselves. Really? Didn't we stop blaming rape victims for their own rape because they dressed a certain way and thereby 'brought it on themselves'? There is no mistake in having a certain color of skin.
    It is doubly disturbing to see a group who has been on the bad end of racism turn around and dish it out in spades. You know better, Hawaiians, but you do it anyway.
    In the mainland, Hateloha is becoming common knowledge. People work very hard for long periods of time to save up enough to come to a nice climate for a few days. Maybe even have someone be nice to them. Then travel half way around the planet to be racially harrased by the aggressive and ignorant… all that time, work, money and effort for THAT. Nice. It's not the economy causing the tourism dropoff, it's Hawaiians.
    In a tourism based economy, I literally cannot imagine a more stupid practice. I try to talk people out of visiting Hawaii. I am not alone.
    I have spent years living in the deep south, and I have a PHD in racism, I am sick of it, and heartisick to watch racism rear its ugly head in Hawaii to drag everyone there down.  Racism is all about excuses. Excuses to be racist and feel good about it (hint: you don't get to do both). Racist for a cause. Racist from a historical perspective. The self-righteous racist. The angry racist. Swapping heritage for race. The arrogance of trying to tell other people what they think. Excuses for hate. Sickening.
    I am haole and now armed at all times. I hate having it come to this, but it is necessary. It has pulled me out of 1 potentially very ugly situation, which had nothing to do with anything other than the color of my skin and being mistaken for a toy to be played with.
    All are welcome in Hawaii, as long as you're not white.

  19. I am a "haole" who  lived on Oahu for four years  (2006-2010) as a member of the U.S. Air Force, and loved it..   I visited and spent much time in almost every town on the island including  supposedly "non-haole friendly" places like Waianae, Waimanalo, Kalihi, etc..   I can honestly say I never openly heard a local call me a haole, or had any problems at all.   Everyone I dealt with was pretty cool.  It never happened (that I know of 😉 but I personally wouldn't take offense at being called haole if it was said in a good natured, joking manner.  However, if someone said it in a derogatory type of tone I would be offended and would want to stomp their guts out!  I am not a "tough guy", but I am also not intimidated by many people, and am a humble person.  Maybe people could sense my vibe, and left me alone… who knows?..  I don't judge a people by the race.  I try and take men and women one at a time.  Everyone is good until proved otherwise.    

  20. I have been visiting Hawaii for about 25 years.  The past few years my husband and I have bought timeshares on Big Island, which we love.  We are Canadians, I am part Native American and part white and while my skin is very white I have "indeterminate" kind of asian/kind of latin appearance.  We have always been respectful to locals and interested in what they have to say and grateful that we have had the opportunity to spend a couple months each year here.  Majority of the other owners at our complex are mainland Americans.  Over the years I have come to realize why the term "haole" might be tossed in a nasty manner.  There are a hard-core few owners here who are just racist pigs.  Old white men (and women) who have not gotten the memo that they aren't top of the heap anymore.  The way they refer to the complex's staff(all of whom are locals/hawaiians) is unbelievable(ie: they are here to serve us).  Most of them are old and hopefully their children won't have this sense of entitlement.   On the other side of the coin, there seem to be an awful lot of locals (young) with time on their hands.  The taxes keep going up (higher and more quickly for non-islanders) and make Hawaii an expensive destination.  If it gets to the point where mainlanders/foreigners are unwelcome and can't afford to come, who is going to pay for the Island lifestyle?  The money grabs at visitors right now is pretty bad….we don't get favorable "kamaiina" rates for anything!  That being said, my husband and I have made some great friends with local "haoles" and hawaiians alike. 

  21. i live in ewa beach and have not had to deal with any of it.  i am surrounded by locals, military, other nationalities, etc and it's been great living here.  i have school aged kids who play sports with the locals and never had any problems.  I try to be respectful of everyone and it seems to do the trick.  I am looking forward to living here for a few more years and I think i am really going to miss hawaii when I leave.

  22. Alls I know…is I want a PHD in Racism.  What school can I go to that would offer the best courses for this doctorate? 
    Thank you!

  23. I have been to the Hawaiian Islands seven times as an adult and a few as a child. I only recall one instance where we had an issue with locals and it was when I was a kid well over 30 years ago. Since then as an adult my wife and I go to the islands each year without incident. We will continue to visit and we feel very safe in Hawaii unlike some other beautiful places you could visit. We love Hawaii and we respect the culture and we always strive to learn new Hawaiian culture on each visit and even on the mainland. Live Aloha!!!

  24. I was born and raised in Hawaii.  Lived here all my life and visited some interesting places in CA, NV & OR.  Every time I leave the islands, I look forward to meeting new people, eating great food and visiting interesting places.  Only met one person in LA that was totally rude, but I did not let this person ruin my trip.
    My point, if you have a good attitude and you're willing to do what the locals do, you will have an enjoyable experience every where you go.
    It's your action that gets a re-action from the locals or people.  If your attitude sucks, so will the response from locals or people in general.
    I'm tired of "haoles" complaining about the locals.  It takes two to tango.  Racism goes way back in time.  So it's about time we seriously try to get along.  After all, we are human beings, not animals.
    A simple smile will make a big difference in Hawaii.  Aloha works two ways, give to receive.
    Live Aloha!

  25. Now you know how blacks feel when they leave their neighborhoods and venture into white dominated areas. Like a black family living in Cheyenne Wyoming. Being a minority is the same all over the world. That’s why many people just stay within the bounds of their culture. I have friends who live in Hawaii and do just fine–because they can pass for locals. Me being a fair skinned redhead, get trouble at least twice a week in some form. I get screamed at about once a month. My son is lucky though, he can pass for a local or a non local. (Hapa Haole). Next time your’e in your all white locality and encounter a non white, think about this and show them some respect.

  26. Quite frankly, I feel many “white” American people simply don’t get it. They don’t understand how asking someone where they are from if they don’t look white, is offensive. How many ethnic Americans born ……IN……. America have to explain their lineage and perfect english skills to the WASPY set? Too many…Or Upperclass Californians that think Hispanics are only drug dealers, maids, car wash guys, or gardners. When I backpacked through Europe, I cringed at the Americans complaining, arguing, and snobbing their way around. How about when they refer to black people in stories in hushed tones…”and then this *b.l.a.c.k. g.u.y.* guy came out…”.

    So if someone from Ohio doesn’t get their assed kissed by every local on vacation in Hawaii….boo freakin hoo! Maybe next time they will treat all Americans with more respect back home.

  27. I hope we pull our bases out of Hawaii and leave these “locals” to fend for themselves. I lived in Hawaii for 3 years and it is a terrible place. As one of only 4 white kids in August Ahrens elementary school, I was harrassed every single day, mostly after school.

    I hope Hawaii sinks into the ocean.

  28. Sorry, folks, but as a mostly-white (three quarters) girl from Kalihi Valley (born and raised, presently and can’t wait to go back home…), I can tell you something: If you’re getting called a “haole” disdainfully more often than once a year, you’re doin’ something wrong.

    It’s not a “racist” term, it’s a “racial” term. You might not like it, but it pales in comparison to what people of color face. We’re guests in Hawai’i, and I can’t say that I have ever felt less than welcome. I grew up a Pūnana Leo keiki, and I feel proud every day to be from Hawai’i. I feel a little sad every time I leave to go back to school, and I’ll be home soon.

    If a local’s a jerk, they’re a jerk. It happens. It doesn’t mean everyone from Hawai’i and it does have something to do with the general lack of opportunities for a lot of locals. 99% of us (including the quarter of me that’s Hawaiian) still like you. The place isn’t perfect, but what is?

    Think of Hawai’i like plate lunch. It’s a little bit of everything, bigger than it looks, and full of mixing flavors. Just because that one time you got chili on your mac salad it tasted bad doesn’t mean you shouldn’t eat plate lunch ever again. (And i like chili on everything.)

    Great…now I want plate lunch.

  29. History about Hawai’i. We were our own country and ILLEGALLY overthrown by American business men who were living and working in Hawai’i at the time. They convinced the American soldiers who were there to come along and help them. These American business men, worked on plantations that OUR royalty allowed them to use for FREE… absolutely free of charge, but that wasn’t enough for them, no driven by greed they got together with other American business men and created a group that planned the overthrow of a nation. You see, anytime you (as a business) send/ship goods from a foreign country (which Hawai’i was at the time) to America, there are extra taxes that you must pay, in those days the taxes were high and the businessmen didn’t like this so set out to make Hawai’i part of America in an attempt to avoid these taxes. The u.s. soldiers who were stationed there were informed to help these men because they had to protect American citizens in foreign countries (and these were wealthy and powerful American citizens so they had friends in high places). The business men stored our royalties castle with guns drawn and demanded that our royalty give up her thrown, when she denied, they took over her home/castle and held for prisoner. A side note worth mentioning, is that our royalty gave their people land for free in which case we were given deeds to the land stating that we (and any future generations of our family) are allowed to live on the land as caretakers (indefinately) or until such time as we no longer want the land, if such a time were to come, we are to give the land back to the royalty to be redistributed to other Hawaiians who might want it, we were never allowed to sell the land or transfer it to someone else, only live on and take care of the land OR give it back to our royalty. Now I’ve seen and heard people say that there was never any violence towards Hawai’ians and this is completely UNTRUE. There are newspapers from that time where there are many articles about violence towards Hawai’ians at the hands of white people because these white people had it in their minds that now that Hawai’i was under American occupancy, they could do whatever they wanted INCLUDING beating, raping ad killing people to acquire these deeds that our royalty gave us. They forced Hawai’ians to sign over these deeds, thinking that they were now owners of the land but the deeds clearly stated that the deeds were non transferable. These white people went around stealing as much land at gun point as possible and soon barely any Hawai’ians had their land. Later these white men sold the land becoming very wealthy. You say “it was long ago, get over it.”, it wasn’t so long ago… my grandmother was raped by a group of white men and the reason they gave her?… “you deserve it for being a dirty Hawai’ian!” Her sister, got beaten by a white man when she was nine when he heard her speaking Hawaiian to a friend. Their other sister was killed by the son of a wealthy white an who was speeding and hit her so hard that she flew across the street and about fifty feet into the ocean across the street where she hit a rock in the ocean and died… he never got charged because his father was a wealthy white man and the police wouldn’t go against him. THIS is why so many Hawai’ians are angry. It’s the hidden history that they don’t put in YOUR history books when your in school. The secrets that they don’t want you to know and to be honest, when we DO tell you… you could care less. Even writting this, I know one thing for sure… some of you will say so what, some of you will pretend to care but NONE of you will do anything to attempt to change it. This is our history, what we have learned about how white people behave and treat us and you expect us to smile, say aloha, e komo mai, our home is your home? Not happening. You fail to realize the times I have been put down by white people, called a savage and teased for having frizzy Hawai’ian hair. You think the racism is one sided? It’s not! The truth is, white people get so mad because in Hawai’i, you don’t get your rear end kissed like you do everywhere else. Here, YOU are the minority. You say you are respectful of Hawai’ians yet you go onto online sites to translate your name and give yourselves fake Hawaiian names not caring that to Hawai’ians, it’s disrepectful… a Hawai’ian name is a gift, given to us by our ancestors, and only to be recieved in a few ways… none of which are on a website database. You say you are respectful yet you wear coconut bras and plastic grass skirts. But you know what, its not only the white people, it’s the asians who do this stuff too. But again what do YOU care right?!

  30. I'm a haole man who went to public school here as a child, and there's no denying that there is a noticeable strain of anti-haole sentiment here, but I think it's greater in some areas than others.  For example, I went to school in Honolulu (Jefferson Elem.) & never once had any problems regarding race.  Then I went to school on the Big Island (Pahoa School), and it was all about race.  Gangs of thugs were trying to beat me up nearly every day.Now that I'm grown, I don't sense that antagonism as much, but it's still there, lurking under the surface.  I'm married to a local girl, and her family has always treated me well, but even at her family reunion, I heard several people utter the word "Haole" under their breath, as if it were some sort of "problem" that I was there at "their" reunion.As a student of history, I'm well aware of how these islands were illegally annexed by the USA, and their people reduced to second-class status.  I've seen haole tourists from the mainland come here & behave badly, which gives me a bad name because I'm white like them.  Having said that, it's still not fun to be called "Haole Crap."  To outsiders who may be thinking of visiting the islands, I can say just treat it like any other vacation; be respectful and you shouldn't have any problem.  Yes, the culture is different here, but it is also different in many parts of the continental USA; after all, Boston in not Miami, Los Angeles is not Seattle, Salt Lake City is not Atlanta, and Hawai'i is not Alaska.As far as where to go, staying out of rough neighborhoods is common wisdom in all 50 states, so be smart & courteous, but go where you need to go, do what you need to do, & you should have a really nice time.  Aloha & enjoy your visit!

  31. Because most of white haoles come to Hawaii with an attitude. Most of tourits (mostly white) come in Hawaii without entering the Aloha in their heart. They don’t know the culture, the people and history. We see a lot of white people mostly from the US mainland trying to look cool, talk shit and acts like douche bags with blings on beaches.The locals hate that. They don’t hate white people, they hate their attitudes. Hawaiians are the nicest persons in da world. You have to know them and respect them as much as the lands and ocean. You can be haole or you can be a fracking dumb haole..your choice. BTW, I am white and I cannot stand haoles. There’s also those white haoles “wanna bees”, they try to talk pidgin, spraytan themselves and get a lookalike polynesian tribal tattoo…douchebags! That is why they “hate” haoles. And btw, this fact is overrated, not EVERY hawaiians hates haoles. Don’t day that..by sayin that you just make their point of hate even more clear. Hawaiians aren’t haters, they hate people with attitudes! Aloha

  32. And btw, if you are white-living in hawaii and yur wife is also white and yu both plan on getting children…they will be white! They will go to school and probably face some racism. Just like the rest of da world. If I ever plan on gettin children, they won’t be white. The racism thing is something comon mostly everywhere in the world..why esspecially Hawaii? Because of their unique culture and because native polynesians are facing extinction which is really sad. I would highly suggest thinking before having white kids in hawaii or everywhere in the world where we are not native.

  33. That being said, find yourself a local husband or wife, so your kids can be native by blood and be accepted by others and their kids of your kids will also be accepted. That way your kids will keep the spirit of their ancestors forver and for many generations to come. But having white kids in hawaii is definitely an attacked to locals and you are also destroying the history.
    (Sorry for all the spelling mistakes im on a mobile)
    Haole: Hā=breath Ole=none/zero
    Aloha: Alo=face Hā=breath
    Enjoy Hawaii, enjoy the people but respect them and their history. Mahalo

  34. Let me change around a few words and SHOW you why Hawaiians are sickening racists! Typical comment above, changed just a few words but not the meaning… now look how racist.

    “And btw, if you are black-living in hawaii and yur wife is also black and yu both plan on getting children…they will be black! They will go to school and probably face some racism. Just like the rest of da world. If I ever plan on gettin children, they won’t be black. The racism thing is something comon mostly everywhere in the world..why esspecially Hawaii? Because of their unique culture and because native polynesians are facing extinction which is really sad. I would highly suggest thinking before having black kids in hawaii or everywhere in the world where we are not native.”

  35. Like ya did not copy and paste my comments.
    Whatever people will say..I am white and love those people and I love my local native friends!

  36. Like I said in a previous post, Hawaii is probably no more racist then any other state or place in the world. Human nature is what it is. I believe that as long as a tourist behaves themselves, and has a positive and friendly attitude, they shouldn’t have any problems at all. I am a caucasian, and lived on Oahu for 4 years and did not have a single problem with the locals. I loved Hawaii and have a great respect for the culture and the aina (land) Just like ANYWHERE you go on earth; if you have a bad attitude, you will receive it right back in spades. Treat others with respect, and dignity, and you will be just fine anywhere in Hawaii.

  37. Dear John, you look obviously attacked and in pain. It seams like YOU are the racist here, not us or the locals, BUT YOU! If ya hate them so much, stay off any Islands and avoid blogs like this one. Ya got dat?

  38. Haoles took over these islands, subjugated the population, threw them off their lands, & imposed a racial caste system. Today, many haole tourists come here, make embarrassing spectacles of themselves, & conduct themselves poorly. Such people give decent haole residents of the islands (such as myself) a bad name. There are legitimate historical grievances here that go back to the 18th century, but most locals are still cool with haoles who are cool with them. If you just go about your honest business & treat people right, you shouldn’t have too many problems here.
    Having said that, I still think it’s worth pointing out that there is small but noticeable element of the local populace that simply doesn’t like haoles no matter what. I’m a generally humble, quiet person, but people here sometimes make racial comments to me, or about me, when I’m totally minding my own business. In the car-repair shop or the grocery store, I sometimes hear employees saying things about haoles & they’re looking right at me as they’re saying it, almost as if they’re “daring” me to say something (which I sometimes do).
    My point here is merely that, contrary to some of the postings above by well-meaning people, simply being respectful to the locals does not guarantee reciprocation. If you’re haole in Hawai’i, it doesn’t matter how long you’ve lived here or how much respect you give to people; you will never quite “belong.” There will always be someone there to remind you, gently or otherwise, of your haoleness.

  39. RESPECT the people in Hawaii. Treat them the way you would like to be treated. Locals are friendly, laid back and protective of Hawaii. Look what’s happening in Hawaii. Haoles as governor and mayor. Development out of control on Oahu! You bet the locals are not happy! Locals welcome visitors, but when it’s time to go…go home!

  40. Honestly your perception of Hawaii or anywhere is a reflection of how we are inside. I can’t wait till the aliens show up and we realize we are all earthlings. Yes I’m an earthling and I’ve lived on maui for some years I’m irish cherokee mix and when I experience racism is when I fall into a racist mindset. It happens I’m only human:/ but remember in the long run we all originated from the same place. Aloha!

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