Hawaii Governor Neil Abercrombie said something false in his “State of the State” speech on January 24, 2011.
It was not a mistake, and not a normal political lie. His statement was scurrilous because it serves to promote racial hostility. It’s always bad to stir up resentment and anger by one race against another, especially when the grievance has no basis in fact. Following the Tucson political massacre, our President has urged us all to speak with greater civility.
In the written press release of his speech, his falsehood was “In 1896 it was made illegal to teach in the Hawaiian language.” The sentence he actually spoke was even worse: “In 1896 it was made illegal to teach the Hawaiian language.” These are variations of a commonly told lie, which says that In 1896 Hawaiian language was made illegal.
Any of these sentences is usually mentioned in the middle of a long diatribe listing alleged historical grievances to show that Caucasians oppressed and abused ethnic Hawaiians, and Hawaiians are therefore entitled to apologies, repentance, and reparations from Caucasians.
A webpage provides full text of Abercrombie’s written speech, an audio podcast and a video of the speech (with timeline and closed captioning), and further analysis. See