South Dakota law school: Hawaiian Day is offensive. Hawaii state rep: No it's not. | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED

South Dakota law school: Hawaiian Day is offensive. Hawaii state rep: No it's not.

The University of South Dakota allegedly pressured the Student Bar Association to change the name of its event from “Hawaiian day” to “Beach Day.” However, after first keeping leis in the program, USD later advised against wearing them, calling them “culturally insensitive.”

Now, a Hawaii state representative is accusing some at USD of having “their head stuck in a snowbank.”

“The lei is a symbol of our Aloha spirit in Hawaii, inclusive and welcoming. One individual’s objection to its use at a festive event is both patronizing and an insult to our island tradition"

Hawaii state Rep. Bob McDermott commented on the situation in a letter to the editor published by the University of South Dakota's school newspaper, The Volante, and claimed that usage of the leis is not offensive, but honorable.

“The lei is a symbol of our Aloha spirit in Hawaii, inclusive and welcoming," McDermott said. "One individual’s objection to its use at a festive event is both patronizing and an insult to our island tradition."

“It is also a demonstration of ignorance about the cultural significance of the lei," the state representative added.

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