(BIVN) – A controversy that has been simmering in Keaukaha since last year concerning funding for speed humps in the Hawaiian homestead community was brought to the attention of the Hawaiia Homes Commission recently.
“I’m here to talk about some speed bumps and lights,” said Floyd Eaglin, who testified on May 20 during the Hawaiian Homes Commission meeting in Waimea.
Eaglin was one of the concerned residents who spoke out before the Hawaiʻi County Council in opposition to an agreement between the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands and the County of Hawaiʻi, in which DHHL would partially reimburse the County for the installation of speed humps on a residential street in Keaukaha.
“Why does DHHL need to have MOU’s – Memorandums of Understanding – with the County of Hawaiʻi for services such as installation of speed bumps, or streetlights in their community?” said Eaglin, who says he was born and raised in the segregated society of Louisiana. “Everyone else received these services through the fuel tax or property / excise taxes,” Eaglin argued.
“Why does DHHL have to pay the county or the state government to install speed bumps into the neighborhoods,” Eaglin asked, “when everyone else received the same services at no cost? How, where, and when will you as commissioners ensure that these injustices do not happen to the people that you represent in your district?”
“My question is to you: how can Hawaiians survive under these conditions of systemic and institutional racism that is applied to their situation?” Eaglin stated. “You have the ability to be the solution.”
Eaglin concluded with remarks relating to the tensions between the department and the beneficiaries they are trying to serve.
“Always remember a house divided cannot stand,” Eaglin said. “Hawaiians have to come together as a group. I saw what they did with us when we were fighting for civil rights. I saw what happened. Matter of fact, I end up in Vietnam, place I didn’t want to go because I had nothing against those people. So I beg you, for the safety of your people, quit fighting and work together.”