Tag Archives: racism

Senator Will Espero is one of the few brave politicians who are willing to ask the tough questions and execute on policies when law enforcement misbehaves.


Senator Will Espero is one of the few brave politicians who are willing to ask the tough questions and execute on policies when law enforcement misbehaves.

Senator Will Espero is one of the few brave politicians who are willing to ask the tough questions and execute on policies when law enforcement misbehaves.

Senator Will Espero is one of the few brave politicians who are willing to ask the tough questions and execute on policies when law enforcement misbehaves. He did that when he was Chair of the Hawaii Senate’s Public Safety Committee.
 
While I served in the Hawaii State House of Representatives, I quietly talked to leadership of law enforcement on behalf of my constituents whenever my constituents complained about police misconduct.
 
In my career as a politician, I also supported the police’s awesome benefits package. My friend, the late Scott Dunn was their lobbyist. I also have family and friends who served in law enforcement who try their best to do what’s right. There are good people in law enforcement and the judiciary branch.
 
I’ll tell you what, there’s a backlash when you speak up when those in power do bad things against our citizens, and that’s why I have so much respect for Senator Espero. I felt this backlash when I hired a couple of dozen police for security for a concert I was a business partner of when former Honolulu Prosecuting Attorney Peter Carlisle and a former Deputy Police Chief attacked me on the news, saying I supported an event that encourages illegal drug use. To the contrary, I hired the police to help prevent any wrongdoing. This group attacked Honolulu Prosecutor Keith Kaneshiro by placing slandering and untrue posters in public restrooms and park benches, and mailed them to numerous people with no return address. This same group is trying to bring Kaneshiro down from his position trying to tie him with the Kealoha case. Up to today, I’m still feeling the backlash by this network still active in law enforcement and the judiciary branch.
 
This is one of the reasons why I don’t want to be involved in politics anymore, but I realized a couple of years ago that I can’t just hide. I have to support positive people who seek leadership positions in our community, or else the bad, power hungry ones will get in power.
 
Senator Espero and I didn’t always agree on policies, but we always understood that the both of us were trying our best for the community. Unlike these other factions that enjoy power for power’s sake by bashing their opponents and finding pleasure in it, Senator Espero is there to seek solutions for our community, period.
 
With the rise of police misconduct happening so often over the decades that have culminated to the recent worldwide protests against police misbehavior, I’m finally getting the guts to tell you my stories of police misbehavior now, rather than having it written in a publication or book when I’m older and braver.
 
Please vote for Will Espero for Honolulu City Council. Thank you so much! 😊
 
With Warmest Aloha,
 
Jon Riki Karamatsu

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Together with love, compassion, and empathy.


Together with love, compassion, and empathy

Together with love, compassion, and empathy

With the police using excessive and discriminatory force that killed George Floyd on May 25, 2020 and the following unrest that has been felt around the world, I found myself falling deeper into sadness. My past experiences with racism on the U.S. mainland flashed back in my mind and so did my experiences with law enforcement abusing their power even here in beautiful Hawaii. Stuff I would rather keep tucked away in the back of my memory.

When a person wears a badge representing the law and carries a gun to enforce it, that’s extreme power, power that can go terribly wrong when the mindset of that person is filled with anger, fear, bias, or racism, and lacking empathy and a cool headed thought process necessary to address stressful situations. The easiest emotion to use in a stressful situation is anger, which can result in verbal and physical violence, or worse, deadly force. If police officers don’t have peace within their lives or their families, how can society expect them to enforce peace for our community.

As a former politician and deputy prosecuting attorney, I’ve worked with the police often. When my constituents contacted me about misconduct by police officers, I worked with the leadership of the Honolulu Police Department to address these issues with their rank and file. As a result, there were members of the law enforcement who didn’t like me.

I’ve also been mistreated by the police. As a young man, I took a young woman I was dating to see the ocean and stars at Diamond Head in Honolulu, Hawaii when an officer banged his large flashlight against my car’s window and yelled at us. In college, a police officer choked my friend and dorm roommate because while the police officers were arresting a fellow dorm resident outside for speeding on his motorcycle, other dorm residents on our floor started chanting, “Let Ed go.” The officer choked my friend while he was brushing his teeth in a bathroom of our dorm, but wasn’t able to choke all the dorm residents since they were in their locked rooms. Physical violence by the police officer on a college kid who made no violent threats against him was uncalled for.

When I had my driving under the influence (“DUI”), I asked the police about the results of the field sobriety test, the probable cause. They got upset and threw me in jail without giving me the opportunity to take the breathalyzer even when I asked for it. They lied to me when they said they didn’t have an officer operating the breathalyzer machine when they did as shown by their records. They charged me with refusal even though I didn’t refuse when I asked them to let me take the breathalyzer test, a law that was overturned by the Hawaii Supreme Court as violating one’s rights. When I was arrested for driving under the influence, I never told the police that I was a deputy prosecuting attorney and legislative liaison at the Department of Prosecuting Attorney of the City and County of Honolulu at that time. Nor did I mention any of my friends or family who were police officers because I didn’t want to be treated differently because of my position or relationship with other police officers.

African Americans face the harshest treatment and punishment by law enforcement and the judicial system. Many of them have died by it. African Americans also face more discrimination throughout our society. Facts and statistics prove this. It hurts that we’re still facing the same problems many of our ancestors and predecessors fought to improve.

A part of my soul feels beaten down; however, I will continue to work with you and others to to better our world. Working on +positive masters+ has been therapeutic for me, and I hope that some of the content I share can help ease any anxiety, depression, or anger that you may be undergoing.

Love,

Jon Riki Karamatsu

+positive masters+

Feel free to visit the +positive masters+ universe at www.positivemasters.com for mindset practices, motivational writing, business development strategies, and inspirational apparel to boost your happiness and counter any anxiety, sadness, or anger that you may be facing.

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I’m hopeful that love, compassion, and empathy will overcome anger, hate, and discrimination. Together, we’ll make this world better!


Being a 5th generation American on my mom’s side of the family and 4th generation on my dad’s and born and raised in Hawaii where there is a mixture of ethnicities with no majority, I was surprised to experience discrimination in Eastern Washington when I lived there and Idaho where I frequented with my law school friends for snowboarding and events. In Idaho, on a snowboarding trip, my law school friends Paul from Hawaii (hapa: Caucasian and Japanese), Joe from Southern California (Filipino), Marx from New Orleans, Louisiana (Jewish), and I went to a venue where we weren’t served. Not quite sure if my friend Karlin (Inupiak Eskimo and Caucasian) was there since he snowboarded with us. Also, in Cour d’alene, Idaho, on 4th of July, white supremacists drove by in their 4×4 trucks and jeeps yelling bad stuff with their Confederate and Nazi flags. Our country, the United States is not doing too well on these issues with a number of very public incidents.

My late great uncle Roy Okubo, my late grandma Bessie Karamatsu’s baby brother enlisted in the 442nd Regimental Combat Team, 522nd Artillery during World War II to prove the loyalty of Americans of Japanese Ancestry despite the racism and mass imprisonment done by our country.

When I became a politician in Hawaii, I pushed for equal rights for all, including legislation for gay marriage for the LBGT community and support of programs for single mothers and survivors of abuse. My political career has been overshadowed by my legal bouts with driving under the influence. Thus, now, I’m directing a good portion of my energy towards writing fiction, nonfiction, poems, and creative writing, on top of my business projects and legal career. Through stories, we can touch people’s souls by reaching into their emotions. Laws can’t do this in the way storytelling can. I’m hopeful that love, compassion, and empathy will overcome anger, hate, and discrimination. Together, we’ll make this world better!

#peace #innerpeace #racism #discrimination #equalrights #womensrights #blacklivesmatter #hispanic #asian #jewish #lgbt #caucasian #minorities #love #compassion #empathy #onelove

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