I was originally neutral regarding the Thirty Meter Telescope and Mauna Kea situation prior to this year's protests. It escalated when stars Jason Momoa, Dwayne The Rock Johnson, and Jack Johnson went to Mauna Kea. Governor David Ige went to Mauna Kea. Tulsi Gabbard and Senator Lorraine Inouye addressed the matter. Hawaiʻi Island has a special place in my heart! I've performed for live concerts and events out there!
Then, I saw the posts by a passionate TMT protector on Mauna Kea that appeared controversial. I decided to look at the facts from both sides, and there was a lot of social media sensationalism and online noise pollution.
Thirty Meter Telescope astronomers and advocates did their due legal process. TMT protesters were able to voice their thoughts in that same legal process. The result is that the TMT is permitted to be built on Mauna Kea. Mauna Kea protectors are contesting it on Mauna Kea!
As a University of Hawaiʻi alumni at Kapiʻolani, law-abiding fourth-generation American, Hawaiʻi native, Freeman Foundation Scholarship recipient at Beijing Foreign Studies University, human beatbox, musician, mathematician, STEM advocate, and lover of mathematics, I personally know how good mathematics is currently doing for me in my life and the lives of others. More good than not good!
It appears this TMT topic is a complex topic as it is affecting the people, my people, our people of Hawaiʻi nei. It also affects the livelihood of TMT builders, astronomers, and engineers.
I am grateful for my mathematics education, audio engineering education, and study abroad scholarship in China! Yes, STEM and higher learning institutions do offer great solutions! With that being said, it's difficult for me not to see the Mauna Kea protectors' point of view as well as the TMT astronomers' point of view.
With that said, regardless of which side we're on, TMT supporters and Mauna Kea protectors, are not above the law of the state of Hawaii nor the United States of American that govern us all. Neither is the Government above its people. As Abraham Lincoln is quoted as saying, "government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth."
I want to urge Mauna Kea protectors, if your protesters come, they have to still abide by state laws that governs each and every American and Hawaiʻi citizen. I respect our people of Hawaiʻi Nei and I also respect the laws that govern us as a people in the United States of America and the state of Hawaiʻi, please take ownership! -Jason Tom