Letter to the Editor –Hawaii Tribune-Herald

Response to “Ploy for attention.”

The letter “Ploy for attention” by Hilo High School  counselor, John Casey Carpenter on 2/27, was a cheap shot.  I have spoken at Hilo H.S. before and at schools throughout the state for over 40 years in a low key fashion.  The present controversy erupted over an attempt to control the content of my speech.
The controversy at Hilo High School is over the right of free speech and not about me personally.   To quote Benjamin Franklin: “Freedom of speech is a principal pillar of a free government; when this support is taken away, the constitution of a free society is dissolved, and tyranny is erected on its ruins.
The free speech issue at Hilo H.S. is about the American bill of rights which was designed to protect the minority from the tyranny of the majority and a government run a muck.
The minority in the present case is the voice for peace and non-violence.  The tyranny  is represented by the “Sacred Cow” of militarism, policies of endless wars, increasing special ops and drone attacks, a bloated military budget that dominates social programs, and is reflected in Jr. ROTC programs and military recruiters on High School campuses, with little or no room for a voice of peace and non-violence.

Contrary to Mr. Carpenter’s false claim of me attempting to “besmirch” Hilo H.S. personnel and the school, I  made a good faith proposal to defuse the charged atmosphere, create a Win-Win situation
and avoid a costly and embarrassing first amendment lawsuit for school officials.  The proposal contained the following 3 points.

1. Have Principal Dircks publicly state I’ll speak to the classes at a later unspecified date, but within the next month.
2. My speaking can be in a classroom, not necessarily the Hilo H.S. Library.
3. No publicity on dates I will speak so it doesn’t draw right wing opposition to the school.

Let the reader decide if this was a “ploy for attention” or in everyone’s best interest.

Jim Albertini Malu ‘Aina Center For Non-violent Education & Action P.O. Box AB Ola’a (Kurtistown) Hawai’i 96760 Phone 808-966-7622 Email ja@malu-aina.org www.malu-aina.org