Celia Padron went on a Hawaiian vacation last year, lured by the prospect of beautiful beaches and friendly people. She, her husband and two teenage daughters enjoyed the black sand beach at Makena State Park on Maui. But a Hawaiian girl accosted her two teenage daughters, saying, "Go back to the mainland" and "Take your white ass off our beaches," says Padron, a pediatric gastroenterologist in New Jersey.
When her husband, 68 at the time, stepped between the girls, three young Hawaiian men slammed him against a vehicle, cutting his ear, and choked and punched him, Padron says. Police officers persuaded the Padrons not to press charges, saying it would be expensive for them to return for court appearances and a Hawaiian judge would side with the Hawaiian assailants, the doctor contends."There is no doubt in my mind [the attack] was racially motivated," she adds.
That sound you hear was the Hawaii Tourism Industry going into damage control mode. I would be willing to bet that the Padron family and millions like them will be going to Aruba or St. Kitts for their sun and sand vacation from here on in. Just what our ailing tourism industry needs is charges of racism that are very hard to deny.