In this intense election season, politicians seek our support through promises of greater social justice, equity, and inclusion. Racism, sexism, nationalism top their agenda, while another ‘ism’ is frequently left out of conversations — ableism.
Ableism is discrimination of and social prejudice against people with disabilities based on the belief typical abilities are superior. Ableism is rooted in the assumption disabled people require ‘fixing’ and defines people by their disability. Like racism and sexism, ableism classifies entire groups of people as ‘less than,’ and includes harmful stereotypes, misconceptions, and generalizations of people with disabilities. [source]
Constance Hee Lau, CEO & President of Hawaiian Electric Industries, is considered remarkable by some in the Aloha state. Connie is a product of a family able to send her to expensive Punahou academy when most keiki in Hawai’i were simply hoping for a second pair of cheap local slippahs from neighborhood Big Save. This enabled Connie to launch a remarkable career.
Connie’s family wasn’t always enabled in America. She spoke with Beverly Creamer in 2011 about frustrations and discrimination her father suffered:
“He grew up in a very different Hawai’i, before the Civil Rights Act, and I’m not even sure he went to sixth grade. He was born in 1904 and Mother in 1906, and there was still a Chinese Exclusion Act or quotas on immigration. He always told me he thought it would be important to become a lawyer so I would know my rights and be able to protect myself and my family and others.”
Yale president, Kingman Brewster, Jr., enabled Connie. She graduated Punahou in 1970 and became a historical member of the second class of undergraduate women admitted at what had been America’s prestigious and private All-Male university until 1969.
Connie claims to have become a lawyer so she would know her rights and be enabled to protect herself, family and others. She has not been remarkable in this pursuit. Due to Connie’s policies at Hawaiian Electric, HECO HR director Shana Buco fired me February 2019 because of my disability. I didn’t need fixing. Sought no accommodation. Senior management simply valued me “less than” them.
The most prestigious company and CEO in Hawai’i CANCELLED me from the workforce, although nearly 100 colleagues and coworkers considered me an outstanding and capable professional talent. Connie and her court classifies over 30,000+ suffering human beings in the Aloha state as “less than” and furthers vile and harmful stereotypes, misconceptions, and generalizations about those of us with disabilities.
Eugenicists justify such behavior as they work to eliminate the “unfit” by citing the betterment of society. Director Buco shamed me claiming I was unfit for the non-safety sensitive IT position, as in her opinion I presented a “danger to coworkers, the company and general public.” She can provide no evidence to support her slanderous statement.
Hitler’s Nazi Euthanasia Program worked to kill people with mental and physical disabilities, as the extremists desired to cleanse the Aryan race of people considered genetically defective and a financial burden to society. Connie and Shana just cancel employees like me. Good-bye!
Why Do The Privileged Punish Others?
Hawai’i DOH whistleblower Jennifer Smith was suspended with pay Friday after speaking out about understaffing of C19 contact tracers. The epidemiologist claims DOH fostered a “toxic” culture of fear that impeded the work of investigators trying to stop the spread of disease in the community. [source]
“A management culture of bullying, shame and blame fosters a culture of fear, not the solid science that is essential to ensure Hawaii’s public health. Employees should not have to choose between protecting their careers, through unquestioning loyalty to ineffective leadership, versus asking for the tools to do the kind and quality of science necessary to stop the pandemic. Our job is saving lives, not saving face.”
Dr. Jennifer Smith
For speaking out publicly about discrimination human beings like me suffer under policies of Constance Hee Lau, Hawaiian Electric bullied me by refusing to negotiate a return to work; blamed me after I spoke out by denying me an open position; and appeared to evoke their “culture of fear” by interfering with my ability to secure employment at Hawaiian Dental Services (HDS).
“Thank you for following up on the other position as well. Unfortunately, we are pursuing other candidates at this time for the Pricing Analyst position and I regret to inform you that we are no longer considering you for this position.”
Jan M. Iga, PHR | Director of Human Resources
Furthering a Culture of Fear
It’s well known in Hawai’i that O’ahu is a small island. Officials are inbred and highly interconnected. Connie’s minions widened their a corporate culture of fear and extended their reach to punish me for standing up. Democrats claim to adore the heroic work of recently-passed U.S. Representative John Lewis. He lived his life seeing something and saying something. Congressman Lewis was clear: Silence is Violence!
Democrat-controlled Hawai’i only gives lip service to Rep. Lewis. None care for me or more than 30,000 suffering human beings. Even my U.S. Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard is intimidated by Connie Lau. It’s not convenient or politically expedient to stand up, speak out or enable us. Further, Connie Lau is too callous and privileged to be bothered. Written over a hundred letters. She’s not considered remarkable in our community.
This is my good friend, Karla (below). She’s a participant with Special Olympics. As a pro athlete, I partnered with the special needs community. Directed basketball camps for over 15 years. In the classroom, taught students with behavior development issues. Karla told me Special Olympics Hawai’i needed additional help. I applied to assist my friend and her community.
Nip Ho, Senior VP of Programs, Dan Epstein, President & CEO, and I hit it off immediately. Nip had initiated discussions to join the team last spring prior to C19 outbreak. We paused due to lockdown. Nip reached out and reconnected when the island reopened in June.
I just wanted to check in with you and see if you are still interested in a job for Special Olympics Hawai’i. Currently we have 3 positions open and I think you might fit into any one of them. I have attached all 3 of those job descriptions for you. If you are still interested in one of them, I would like to set up a Zoom call with you next Thursday or Friday morning.
Please let me know. I look forward to hearing from you.
Nip Ho, Senior VP of Programs
The opportunity dried up after senior managers looked into my local history. I’m highly qualified and suited for the Director of Sports position. It remains unfilled (below) — punishing special needs athletes like Karla and the entire community. Hawaiian Electric ensures others find me to be toxic.
Connie Lau’s Culture of Fear and Retaliation appears to have influenced Special Olympics of Hawai’i. I followed up with CEO & President Dan Epstein to find out why they passed on me.
Due to the financial pressures of COVID, we’ve paused our search and are making it work with the staff we have in place.
Thanks for your e-mail.
President and CEO | Special Olympics Hawai‘i
As I have volunteered for years to assist Special Olympics and special needs athletes, I offered to continue volunteering for these people who need so much.
Nice to hear from you. Actually, not a problem. Much of my work for SO has been volunteer. Happy to step up now. When shall I start?
Thank you very much for the opportunity. Together we’ll bring much new energy to the community. Let me know.
My willingness to serve Special Olympics of Hawai’i wasn’t even welcome for free.
I appreciate the offer. Due to COVID we are doing everything virtually and have a team in place to manage that.
I’ll reach out if we need some help.
President and CEO | Special Olympics Hawai‘i
Constance Hee Lau is a queen in her kingdom. Her family enabled her; Punahou enabled her; Yale University enabled her — leading her to law school and prestigious Stanford Business School. Without a doubt, she punched her way to the top in a corporate world with many glass ceilings. Yet she lost compassion and substituted cruelty along the way. Although she chairs the virtuous Consuelo Foundation, she ignores the directive of founding philanthropist, Consuelo Zobel de Ayala:
“What matters in life is not great deeds, but great love.”
People in America and around the world are scared, frustrated and confused. We all want answers and seek evidence-based information about vaccines, possible medications and the threat facing all of us.
There is no evidence-based science to deny employment to 30,000+ suffering human beings like me. Connie Lau’s eugenicist policy to CANCEL people with disabilities is not remarkable — it’s despicable. Hawaiian Electric employees follow her lead and shame, blame and bully those who work to educate the public and say something about this travesty of ‘less than’ injustice.
Isn’t it time to stop punishing, denying and cancelling Americans with disabilities? Supremacists like Adolf Hitler say no. What say you, Constance Hee Lau? If you wish to leave a remarkable legacy, let’s end the harmful stereotypes, misconceptions, and generalizations so roses truly begin to fall from Heaven.
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Ko’olau of Kaua’i. I am the Defiant One
“I Believe We Can”