A Podcast where we will explore the root causes of division in America and discover what it would take to heal our divides.
Would you quit your job and sell everything to pursue a dream? This was the decision facing us back in 2016.
On this podcast we retell the story of how our ‘yes’ to that question unlocked a dream that launched our family of five on a 50-state learning journey into the deep well of division in America.
After 14 solid months on the road, having heard hundreds of stories and witnessed countless American experiences unlike our own, the journey continues in the form of this podcast, as we invite you to hear the stories and meet the people who touched our lives and reshaped our understanding of America’s past, present and who we could become.
For more information visit https://undividednation.us.
Strangling Hands Upon a Nation’s Throat (Pt. 4) – Dr. Keanu Sai
What is the longest running war in U.S. history? The answer might surprise you. For over 125 years, the U.S. has been in a state of war with the Hawaiian Kingdom. We continue our conversation with Dr. Keanu Sai discussing how Hawaii became America’s so-called 50th state. The U.S. backed overthrow of Hawaii's government on January 12, 1893 triggered a state of war between the United States and the Hawaiian Kingdom, a state that continues to this day as a peace treaty has never been ratified.
Two attempts to officially annex Hawaii by treaty were defeated in the U.S. Senate in large part because of overwhelming opposition to annexation by the Hawaiian people. However, support for annexation shifted in Congress in 1898 when the U.S. went to war with Spain. The Hawaiian Islands, specifically Pearl Harbor, became a highly valuable naval outpost in the Pacific campaign of the war. Congress passed a joint resolution supposedly annexing the Hawaiian Islands. The problem with this act, which paved the way to full statehood, is that congressional resolutions are domestic in authority and have no standing outside of U.S. borders.
Join us for part four of our series, Strangling Hands Upon a Nation’s Throat, as we continue our journey discovering the people and events that led us to where we are today.
Strangling Hands Upon a Nation’s Throat (Pt. 3) – Dr. Keanu Sai
There is a phrase with a double meaning in Hawaiian, "ka wa ma hope,” which means to look to the future is to look at the past. When you invite a Hawaiian to look to the future, they will instinctively turn to the past. This episode is a deep dive into Hawaii’s past to answer this age-old question that has reverberated since the late 1800’s on the eight small islands in the middle of the Pacific. What is our future?
We continue our journey of how Hawaii became America’s so-called 50th state this week with Dr. Keanu Sai, political scientist and professor at the University of Hawaii. Dr. Sai takes us on his personal journey into the past, sitting with his grandmother on her deathbed as she encouraged him to examine his genealogy. What this former U.S. Army veteran discovers changes him forever as he uncovers his family’s part in Hawaii’s story and the unique role he now gets to play in keeping that story and that heritage alive.
Dr. Kai also takes us way behind the curtain of the story of Hawaii’s annexation, which he explains cannot be told without the story of sugar. In the later part of the 19th Century, wealthy sugar plantation owners conspired with the U.S. minister to the Kingdom of Hawaii, who shared the goal of the United State’s annexation of Hawaii. The sugar magnates wanted profits and the U.S. wanted a military base on the island called Pearl Harbor, which gave them a common enemy; the Kingdom itself, and the government upon which the Kingdom rested.
Join us for part three of our series, Strangling Hands Upon a Nation’s Throat, as we learn about the people and events that led us to where we are today. Characters like Lorrin Thurston, John Stevens, King Kalakaua, Queen Lili`uokalani, the Bayonet Constitution, the Honolulu Rifles, and the landing of 160 U.S. Marines which supported the overthrow of a sovereign government to begin the march towards a falsified statehood.
Strangling Hands Upon a Nation’s Throat (Pt. 2) – Dr. Lynette Cruz
Is Hawaii our 50th state? Join us for part 2 of our series, “Strangling Hands Upon a Nation’s Throat,” as we discuss how our understanding of this question underwent a total transformation while spending time in Hawaii with our guest, Lynette Cruz. We arrived assuming the Aloha state was our 50th, only to spend an evening with Lynette to learn that what we’ve believed all our lives about the state of Hawaii could not be further from the truth. We took part that evening in a reenactment of an 1897 meeting of Hawaiian residents who were part of a massive movement to oppose the annexation of the Kingdom of Hawaii by the United States. The dramatization is inspired by a journalist who witnessed the meeting and wrote an article in the San Francisco Call newspaper titled, “Strangling Hands Upon a Nation’s Throat.” In this episode, we discuss the impact of that evening, the question of sovereignty, the unique power of the aloha spirit and the profound gift Hawaii has to offer the world. As protests at Mauna Kea continue to mount, Lynette shares with us the underlying reason for their efforts. If America is to be a beacon of freedom and liberty, deriving its just powers from the consent of the governed, we believe it is time to take a serious look at the situation in Hawaii.
Strangling Hands Upon a Nation’s Throat (Pt. 1) – Introduction
A new multi-part series from Undivided Nation titled, "Strangling Hands Upon a Nation's Throat," takes a look into how Hawaii became America's 50th state. The title for our series comes from an 1897 newspaper article that told the vivid, firsthand account of the Hawaiian people's opposition to annexation by the United States of America. The story of the 1893 coup d'état of the government of the Kingdom of Hawaii and Queen Liliʻuokalani by a group of local businessmen backed by the U.S. Foreign Minister and a force of 120 US Marines will leave you on the edge of your seat. Join us on this series as we uncover a largely hidden past in search of truth and justice. This series will help many non-Hawaiians understand the situation in Hawaii today, especially as it relates to the opposition to the protests against the Thirty Meter Telescope on Mauna Kea.
Never Call a Person Illegal
Meet Mimi Martinez, a beautiful young Tulsan by way of Honduras, who was gracious enough to join us for dinner during our time in our first stop of Oklahoma on a 50-state road trip. Mimi’s story, which she shares with us in vivid detail on this episode, will shake you to your core, as we relive her perilous journey at the tender age of ten from the small town in Honduras where she grew up, through Guatemala and the streets of Chiapas, Mexico on to arrive in her mother’s arms in Oklahoma. This episode will have your heart racing as you get a real life glimpse into immigration through the eyes of an immigrant who has changed our lives and perspective forever.
The Fight to Dream
At what point did America lose its sense of humanity and interconnectedness as human beings, regardless of what country we belong to? As our nation wrestles with the complex issue of immigration, we wanted to introduce you to Jordan, a bright and talented individual who was brought to America when he was just two years old. As he shares his immigration story and what life was like growing up as an undocumented immigrant in America, he experienced a great shift when President Obama announced the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) policy. Jordan is one of almost 800,000 “dreamers” who entered the U.S. as children and were given the right to work and go to school in America. Our encounter with Jordan challenged us to see immigration and more importantly, immigrants, from a human perspective.
A Must Listen
This podcast is spot on and discloses the truths we as a nation need to face in order to move forward. It’s honest. It’s positive and respectful in delivery and such a breath of fresh air in this current divisive climate that we are living through in this country. If there was an option for 10 stars I would give it 10 out of 10. Keep up the good work.
Listening to The Great Exchange, and I am in awe of Mechelle Brown. Not only the work she is doing now, but I was just floored by her choice to tell Erin and Dave and then me about her personal trauma and healing. Such boldness. As she spoke about the birth of her daughter this quote is left in my ear: “...and if they had not been so offended by the color of my skin, that my care would have been different.” Thank you for sharing your story, Mechelle.
Compelling and thought provoking
David and Erin bring it all to the table, and really make you think. Great job keeping it real and telling it like it really is.