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Fighting in ParadiseLabor Unions, Racism, and Communists in the Making of Modern Hawaii$
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Gerald Horne

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780824835026

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824835026.001.0001

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State of Anxiety?

State of Anxiety?

(p.156) Chapter 9 State of Anxiety?
Fighting in Paradise

Gerald Horne

University of Hawai'i Press

This chapter considers the various issues that plagued Hawaii's quest for statehood. Among these are concerns over the rising influence of Communism on the economic, political, and social life of the Territory of Hawaii. This raised difficult questions for Washington as to what to do about what had become something of a problem colony at a time when labor and the Left had become fierce proponents of statehood and the Big Five was having second and third thoughts. According to Senator Hugh Butler of Nebraska, the rise of the Community Party in Hawaii was part of a larger challenge to Washington's interests in the Pacific basin. But equivalent to or perhaps even surpassing this alleged threat from the Left were the gnawing racial anxieties that permeated the atmosphere with a miasmic haze. Indeed, there was an overlap between the two, since the “threat” from the Left was widely seen as being borne by Japanese-Americans and was part and parcel of the anomalous minority status of Euro-Americans.

Keywords:   Hawaii, statehood, Communism, labor movement, Left, Hugh Butler, Communist Party, race, Japanese-Americans

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