Okay, this discussion has just gotten silly; but, hey, if you want to truly respect the Native Hawaiians as you oookalele professors seem to indicate, you can’t stop at the pronunciation of a single word and think you have given your all to their culture. Quite to the contrary. No, if you want to actually honor them as you claim, then you must acquiesce to their cultural heritage and goals to restore the Motherland to the true native people.
If that is your goal, I agree with you wholeheartedly. But if your position in this silly little discussion goes no further than goading we “youkalele” folks to say “ooo-koo-lele,” then your shallow attempt at being culturally sensitive is not only pointless, it is inconsequential.
The United States illegally overthrew the Kingdom of Hawaii in 1893 and suppressed the inherent sovereignty of the Native Hawaiian people. This was officially recognized in 1993 when President Bill Clinton signed an official apology to Native Hawaiians for the illegal overthrow of their nation (Public law 103-150).
So then, let’s agree to truly honor the Native Hawaiians, not by just pronouncing a single word to their satisfaction, but by returning the land the United States stole from them in the first place. The pronunciation of a single word is nothing but tokenism in its purest form. And anyone’s silly little pronunciation “correction” is superfluous.
Let’s go to one of the greatest Native Hawaiian uke player to get some finality to my position. Listen to the words Israel Kamakawioʻole sings in Hawai'i 78' (video attached) and tell me saying OOOOOOOOOOOOOOkalele is sufficient! No, your inane drivel is contemptuous.
Cry for the land that was taken away…
Ua mau, ke ea o ka aina, i ka pono, o Hawai'