'Entitled colonizer': Big Island man pees on Mount Kea and shows middle finger in 'disrespectful' video

After a torrent of criticism, Travis Upright posted three apology videos, saying he had learned a valuable lesson

'Entitled colonizer': Big Island man pees on Mount Kea and shows middle finger in 'disrespectful' video
Travis Upright faces backlash after posting ‘disrespectful’ video of himself peeing on Mount Kea (Screenshot from DailyMail and Lotus_walker/Instagram)
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BIG ISLAND, HAWAII: A Hawaii man found himself at the end of online backlash after posting a disrespectful video of him urinating on Mauna Kea, a mountain sacred to native Hawaiians.

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The Big Island resident, identified as Travis Upright, took to his Instagram handle to post the offensive video, which captured him urinating atop the sacred mountain before holding up his middle finger to the camera. Upright first explained his action by saying he desperately had to go to the bathroom after an 11-hour-long mountain hike. "As many were doing. I (thought) it looked cool with the clouds underneath me and so I had a video taken," he wrote. "And the last-minute flip-off was just me being silly."

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His action caused outrage online and made him delete the video. Bashing Travis for his action, one user wrote, “Entitled, disrespectful colonizer posts a video of himself pissing on sacred Kanaka Maoli (Hawaiian) land. He’s only sorry because he got caught. Want forgiveness? Leave Hawai‘i.” The second user said, “And yet many other island residents are urinating and defecating all over our other lands including parks beaches sidewalks parking lots, etc.”

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“Where’s an active volcano when you really need one. This guy’s lucky the mayor over there isn’t a Scientologist,” said a third user while another user said, “He’s a resident and not aware of the cultural significance of Maunakea. BS. He went to the top and filmed himself desecrating this sacred place.”

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After a torrent of criticism, Upright posted three apology videos, saying he had learned a valuable lesson and now wants to work to help educate others. He said, "I'm so sorry to all of you. I was so arrogant and I just didn't get it. I'm beginning to and I humbly ask for your forgiveness... I am so sorry that I hurt so many people. I want to understand what it means to hold life and the land so precious and sacred that I would protect it with my life. But not for me. But so I can teach it to the next generation after me. So that the pain ends with me. No more."

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However, his apologies have caused further distress to Hawaiians,

"In all of this, you continue to inflate yourself," read one response online. "Just be quiet already. True humility isn’t loud like this," read another posting.
Responding to the video, the State Department of Land and Natural Resources said the video "certainly could be viewed as culturally disrespectful." But Upright will not be facing any legal actions as there is no state law against urinating on sacred mountains.

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But Hawaiian natives are still distressed by what they witnessed. "This is very disrespectful to 'aina, land and to the cultural practices of Native Hawaiians here, myself included," Hawaii Island resident and Native Hawaiian activist Alfonso Kekuku said to KITV. "It was just the sense of entitlement and privilege, it almost says, 'I don't care about my choices and my actions here,' and, 'I'm going to do whatever I'm going to do. I'm going to do whatever I want,'' Kekuku explained.

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