Hawaii is a reliably Democratic state in Presidential elections so it is seldom exposed to the kind of media criticism given Republican states, such as in Thomas Frank’s What’s the Matter with Kansas.
But, wow, in the 21st Century, Hawaii sure is an underachiever, especially compared to the high hopes invested in it in the 1950s and 1960s. For example, in the Urban Institute’s study of federal NAEP test scores by state shown below, Hawaii’s students do worst of all 50 states when adjusted for demographics. Hawaii’s racial mix isn’t that different, as first glance, from Silicon Valley’s, but they don’t test like Silicon Valley kids.
Hawaii was made a state in 1959 as a Cold War strategy to create a showcase state with nonwhite and mixed race political leaders, such as the war hero and future Senator Daniel Inouye. A goal was to persuade nonwhites around the world to accept American imperial leadership by demonstrating that leadership ranks would be open to nonwhites.
LBJ got Congress to put up a lot of money to make the East-West Center at the U. of Hawaii, the home base of President Obama’s mother for most of her career, the American equivalent of Moscow’s Patrice Lumumba University. At the East-West Center, Third World students from leadership backgrounds, such as Lolo Soetoro from a well-connected Indonesian family (Lolo’s father was the top indigenous petroleum geologist in Indonesia), mingled with and married American students.
Oddly enough, the U. of Hawaii’s most important influence on American power turned out to be not abroad but back at home, where a product of the enthusiasm of the era for race-mixing as a demonstration of liberal empire became the U.S. President.
But nobody in the U.S. much thinks about Hawaii anymore. Heck, it took me about a half dozen years to figure out how our current President is a direct product of the Cold War goals behind the Hawaiian statehood that was so celebrated in the media (e.g., the movie version of James Michener’s breakthrough bestseller Hawaii was the top box office hit of 1966) when I was young. As far as I can tell, nobody else has ever noticed it.
Commenter Wren notes:
Hawaii has been another portrait of our future for generations.Hawaii has rich volcanic soil, so American elites imported large numbers of poor agricultural workers to replace the illness-beset Native Hawaiians as laborers, such as East Asians, Portuguese, and Puerto Ricans.
It is a textbook case of elite-driven cheap-labor-importing population replacement, and the results are evident in those test results.
The overthrow of the Hawaiian nation was accomplished through the machinations of a group of what we would now consider foreign global elites who wanted cheap labor.
Filipinos are now the largest ethnic group, and growing due to immigration, birthrate and young age.[Comment at Unz.com]
The test results show the future of Hawaii more than other things because they look at the students (kids), whose ethnic breakdown skews much further toward recent immigrants, etc. Median age of the Japanese is way higher, and they aren’t taking tests in school anymore.
There are now more Filipinos than whites or Japanese, and, I think, more Hispanics than there are Hawaiians.