The criticism was of the use of a statue of someone who was not Hawai’ian to represent Hawai’i.
The choice, not the person, was what was associated with ‘white supremacy’. In other words the story of Hawai’i being told by the selection of the statue was part of the story of the colonisers not the story of the indigenous people.
As Ms Ocasio-Cortez said through her office:
“Fr. Damien conducted acts of great good, and his is a story worth telling. It is still worthy for us to examine from a US history perspective why a non-Hawaiian, non-American was chosen as the statue to represent Hawaii in the Capitol over other Hawaiian natives who conducted great acts of good, and why so few women and people of color are represented in Capitol statues at all.”
Incidentally I have been reading about Fr Damien and find his story fascinating. If I did one of those thought experiments in which you say with whom in history you would like to have dinner with Fr Damien would not be one of my early choices. But I would love to interview him and understand his dedication. It would also be interesting to know (I have not found a reference to this) about his appreciation of the language and traditions of Hawai’i. Did he leave any writings in the Hawaiian language?