So which years was barry actually physically present in attendance at your school?
I don’t know for sure, he was a few years behind me so I never knew the guy because I was already in college on the Mainland. I think he was Class of ‘79 if I remember correctly, 3 years behind my younger sister.
The first I heard of him was when he made Harvard Law Review editor. Then I think Punahou ran some sort of article about him in the alumni magazine, and there may have been some coverage in the local papers as well.
There were not many blacks in Hawaii in those days. There was only one black student in the Academy (equivalent to high school) when I was there. Had nothing to do with discrimination by Punahou; there just weren’t many blacks and those that were were usually in the military and their kids went to public schools near base.
So black kids were a curiosity. I remember there were at the time a couple at Iolani, which was and is Punahou’s rival in terms of academics.
I would have to say there was a lot of discrimination against blacks out in the community, not necessarily because of just race but because it was obvious they were “outsiders” (if they were white, they would be “haoles” who also got a lot of discrimination).
The thing that cracks me up about Obama is his phony black accent. There was no way he would have talked like that growing up in Hawaii, and especially at Punahou, where speaking proper standard English was insisted on and kids speaking pidgin or with a pidgin accent would be looked down on.
A couple of times when he was out here in Hawaii and got interviewed before he became quite so famous, you could hear him moving in and out of the accent, so it’s all learned. He can speak “white” if he wants to.