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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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Radicals Advance—and Retreat

Radicals Advance—and Retreat

(p.294) Chapter 16 Radicals Advance—and Retreat
Fighting in Paradise

Gerald Horne

University of Hawai'i Press

This chapter discusses changes in labor radicalism in the aftermath of Smith Act trials. The expansion of civil liberties in the mainland, brought on by the civil rights movement, was incompatible with the prevailing anticommunist drift and thus undermined it, to the benefit of the International Longshore and Warehousemen's Union (ILWU). In addition, these developments made problematic the denial of statehood for Hawaii on racist and anticommunist grounds. This new conversation about racism boosted the ILWU, whose members had been historic victims of this ghastly phenomenon, and, correspondingly, it placed on the defensive those who had been its beneficiaries—a category that included the haole elite in Hawaii. Yet, paradoxically, as the atmosphere on the mainland liberalized and the ILWU gained in power and influence and was accepted in Hawaii, there seemed to be less of a perceived need for a confrontational radicalism that had characterized the archipelago in the prelude to the watershed 1954 elections. In other words, ironically, acceptance of the ILWU may have brought a softened, less militant ILWU.

Keywords:   Hawaii, racism, civil rights movement, civil liberties, International Longshore and Warehousemen's Union, ILWU, labor radicalism

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