FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE November 7, 2019
Ph.D. Student Discriminated Against Due to Hawaiian Nationality
A Hawaiian Ph.D. student at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia, U.S.A., has been the target of discrimination due to his nationality. Mr. Robert Hernandez Kajiwara is being required by a professor, Dr. Leah Tarwater, to respond to questioning in class regarding Hawaii and Hawaiian issues, even when such questions are irrelevant to the course, no credit or compensation is being offered, and no other student is having to respond to challenges regarding his or her race or nationality.
“As a student, Mr. Kajiwara is not required to respond to such questioning unless he so chooses,” wrote Hawaiian Kingdom Minister of Foreign Affairs, H.E. Leon Siu, in a letter addressed to Liberty University. “For a faculty member to force or coerce him to respond is a violation of your own U.S. Federal Law Title VI: Race and National Origin Discrimination. Targeting Mr. Kajiwara on the basis of his Hawaiian nationality is a clear case of discrimination.”
Kajiwara is a Hawaiian national as well as a diplomat in the Hawaiian Kingdom's Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He is also President of the Peace For Okinawa Coalition. Due to his work, Kajiwara has often been the target of high-profile attacks and harassment from Japanese and white supremacists.
The Hawaiian Kingdom has issued a letter to Liberty University condemning the actions of Dr. Tarwater and asking that appropriate disciplinary action be taken. The Hawaiian Kingdom has also requested the University ensure the safety and well-being of Kajiwara while he is enrolled at their institution.
The Hawaiian Kingdom condemns all forms of discrimination against Hawaiian students, regardless of their age, grade level, or location of study. We encourage Hawaiian students to come forward if they believe they have been discriminated against due to their race or nationality. If you believe your rights have been violated, please check out our website at www.HawaiianKingdom.net or contact us at info@HawaiianKingdom.net to see if we might be able to help you.