All Woke Up: Imperialist surfing

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Pictured: LEFT – Hawaiian Surfer; RIGHT – Woke Professor (Not Hawaiian, Not Surfer) & The College Fix:

A painfully Woke professor is making waves with his column in The Washington Post  that claims surfing became an Olympic sport after “centuries of U.S. Imperialism.”

Thomas Earle, who teaches in the Department of Liberal Studies at Texas A&M at Galveston, asserts a man named Alexander Hume Ford used surfing to “secure Hawaii as an outpost of the American empire,” according to The College Fix. This newfound adoration of surfing brought whites to the islands which “strengthen[ed] America’s imperial grasp.” (Never mind that Hawaii has long been thought of paradise.)

All of this occurred after missionaries and business executives dominated Hawaii for “centuries,” a stretch to be sure since American imperialism in the Pacific didn’t really begin until the mid- to late-1800s.

But in Woke Land, facts ride second to a good wave of anti-American dogma.

During the Cold War, “surfing and U.S. military involvement went hand in hand, bringing wave riding to places such as Japan, Vietnam and Central America,” Earle wrote. With the assistance of American tourists, this expansion of the sport “became a central part of America’s use of soft power to win hearts and minds.”

Earle concludes that this imperialist history of surfing, now on display at the Tokyo Olympics, compares to the every-four-year spectacle’s “showcas[ing of] international inequities.”

Like the inequity of Carissa Moore  a native Hawaiian taking home America’s first gold medal in women’s surfing in its Olympic debut. She’s being hailed as a hero in Hawaii, the United States of America, and the surfing world.

But to the painfully Woke, even the sport associated with sun and fun is an imperialistic bummer.

The missionaries

They sought to impose their morality and values while stamping out practices viewed as sinful and licentious. Missionaries helped pass laws that banned hula dancing and discouraged the wearing of leis. While surfing remained legal, practices associated with the sport, including nudity and gambling were not. …

The missionary emphasis on Calvinist ethics such as hard work and enterprise left little time for surfing. Missionary Hiram Bingham noted this relationship: “The decline and discontinuance of the use of the surf-board, as civilization advances, may be accounted for by the increase in modesty, industry, and religion.”

During the 20th century, many of these missionaries’ offspring became business executives on the island, and “this cadre of powerful Americans,” along with U.S. Marines, brought about the late-19th century coup which formally annexed Hawaii.

(Earle, at left, also exaggerates the term for a one thousand-year time span; he says by the time of Cook’s arrival in Hawaii, Polynesians had been surfing for “millennia.” According to Collections of Waikiki, the earliest evidence of surfing Polynesians dates back to the 12th century … making it roughly 900 years.)

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