In order to communicate, we
need to understand what is being said. If we don’t understand,
confusion and chaos can result. One way of understanding is
sometimes referred to as cultural sensitivity. That is, understanding
the world view of others helps us to communicate. That said, we need to
keep in mind that understanding these differences is not the same as saying all
these views are necessarily equal nor appropriate.
Recently, Celebrity Cruises ran what appears to be an image of the King Kamehameha
statute. The part that changed is the out-stretched hand which is now holding a champaign glass (photo
on the right).
Some Hawaiian groups are shocked
and outraged that the statue of the Hawaiian king would be used for commercial purposes. One person
asks how would most US citizens feel if the Lincoln memorial where photo-shopped
to include an image of a beer in the hand of the president as a way of
advertising a product. Would this be considered appropriate?
Upon hearing of the uproar, the cruise line pulled the ad and apologized. However, some
apparently wish for a more tangible punishment and may file a law suit.
May I gently suggest that the courts may not be the appropriate
place for understanding, communication, or healing to occur. There are
Hawaiian alternative dispute resolution avenues that can be explored.
The Hawaiian groups and the cruise line could use these paths to discuss
ways to make this right. Maybe the cruise line could
make a donation to an appropriate local cultural organization. Maybe
something else. But going to court to find a punishment,
in my opinion, may not fit the crime and seems to be, in this case, culturally insensitive.
YMMV. Insert disclaimer here.