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Dear Editor,

In all my years of services to our people and country, I have come to expect a high degree of good judgment and integrity from the respectful body of decision makers as we rely on their wisdom to solve problems and maintain peace to the parties involved. I don’t intend to dwell on what has been said but merely to express my deepest disappointment with the way those with authority handled (1) the incident that took place at the Department of Human and Social Services staff meeting on November 9th between the Director and the staff and (2) the confirmation of Taeaoafua Dr. Meki Solomona.

Taeaoafua, I want you to know, I have so much respect and love for you. I have known you to be a humble and respectful person. I admired and was proud when you addressed the public whenever you were behind that microphone.

Unfortunately, it took just a few seconds to err and destroy all the goodness that will be difficult to forget.

O lena ua e iloaina nei le aiga e tupuga ma ai Simeonica, ma e le fanauina e le aiga lenei ni maile. Tulou, tulou lava le mamalu ma le paia ole atunuu. I am sad and very disappointed.

Taeaoafua’s behavior and language were unbecoming and unacceptable. Feelings were hurt and still are. The unfortunate incident that happened, did not just affect a few individuals. My family was also affected.

My questions to Taeaoafua: Did you need to go there? Was it necessary to go that far and rub it in further? How far did you want to go on with this issue?

This is fine, as this family has the courage to accept this and has strong bones to carry the heavy load you placed on us. Thank you for the blessings from above, as nothing can be hidden from HIM.

In reference to the letter to the editor printed on Feb. 14 017, I am concerned that those in authority or fathers of our country are not utilizing their “Uta and Tofa” in their decision-making.

Despite the incident that occurred, Governor Lolo reappointed Taeaoafua as Director to DHSS again. The silence of the Governor Lolo is another concern. Could it be he didn’t want to be part of the problem? While silence is golden, to me personally, his action is loud and clear. It seems to me that no one wants to rattle the cage because of the consequences it would bring.

I expected the Legislative body to delay their action in lieu of the federal investigation ongoing now. However, in their haste to finalize their decision, while this dark cloud is hovering over our country, was not a favorable and wise decision.

And, due to the need of a tool to prove their point, they pulled in this innocent 13-letter word — DISRESPECTFUL — to take the blame, while deep down under, their conscious is haunting them.

This is a tactic or pattern people use to hide their mistakes, when they don’t have the courage to tackle problems with a straight face.

We are respectful people and I want to clearly say this — every child of Samoan ancestry are nurtured and raised by their ‘goodly’ parents to respect, and that goes to respect all and not only the powerful. Remember also that respect begins at home and has to be earned. The message you (the Fono & governor) sent out to the country is loud and clear, that the powerful are untouchable and forever prevail, while the powerless are humiliated and crushed.

Food For Thought

There is a public outcry from the people regarding the electing of the senate seats, and more so now because of the incident of November 9, which became popular street talk, especially by the youth of this country. They are seriously planning to bring this to a forum for discussion in the near future.

During this recent election, the youth again are screaming loud to vote in the seat of the senate to make them accountable to the people. As of this writing one of the districts of Manu’a has taken the selection of their senator to court.

I believe it’s that time to let the people decide who they want to occupy the seat of their district. Voting the senate will bring peace of mind. Times have changed and change comes with the times. Should we remain as is, and the powerful continue to rule with an iron fist?

Democracy is a government by the people with supreme power vested and exercised by them in a system of representation. Let’s end the selection process and let the people have their choice in choosing their senator in the democratic process.

I like to take this opportunity to acknowledge and extend our appreciation to Dr. Failautusi Avegalio for his outstanding words of wisdom and courage. He took a stand and shared his honest opinion, which lightened up the burden on our family. Fa’afetai le amanaia, fa’afetai le alofa.

God bless American Samoa


Salote Lutu-Schuster