Posted a few weeks ago, TikTok user @Sofmcmillan posted a video of her and her friends climbing up the Haʻikū Stairs, also known as the “Stairway to Heaven.” The stairs, originally used for U.S Navy communication facilities, span across a mountain range and have over 3,000 steps. The video, which some might think is harmless, shows a beautiful rainbow and a great view of the Ko’olau mountain range. However, a Hawai’ian native duets the video to talk about why it was actually a disrespectful thing to do.
full circle rainbow on stairway to heaven… can’t top that
The Hawai’ian TikToker, Camille, duets the video and goes into detail about why the video is not harmless, as beautiful as the view is. She explains that climbing the stairs has been illegal since 1987, as residents often have to pay thousands in taxes after people get stuck and need to be rescued. She notes that though she is from Hawaii, she has never been able to climb and see the view herself and she never will as she has respect for her homeland. She also points out that tourists often come to Hawaii and ignore laws, not dealing with any consequences.
This is not the only time that Hawaii natives have to deal with the consequences of tourism. Recently, there have been many natives asking people to not visit Hawaii due to COVID-19 overwhelm and other water issues. During COVID-19, the Governor of Hawaii asked tourism to stop due to the spike. However, many people continue to not listen, and the point of Camille’s video is that many travel to Hawaii and disrespect the laws there, leaving it for the residents who have to deal with it instead.
Many in the comments disagreed with Camille, however, and claimed that it was just a hike or that it was not hurting or affecting anyone else. Others also said that the video was old, but Camille continued to worry that since the video was so popular, it would encourage other tourists to attempt the climb. In one comment, she addresses this by explaining how tourists are not entitled to the hike, saying “Hawaiians literally say ‘Don’t do this one hike, there are hundreds more that are legal’ and yall lose your minds like you’re entitled to it.”