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Losing Their Aloha, II

I spied Kevin's participation in the Bonfire of the Vanities and thought we were done guest-blogging here, but since everyone is still hanging out...

The Akaka bill, which would form a race-based separate government for Native Hawaiians, is scheduled to come up for a cloture vote in the Senate Sept. 6, so next week is the week to complain about it, if you want to.

Townhall's Tim Chapman called it the "Worst Bill You've Never Heard Of." Michelle Malkin has done lots of work on it, as has the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii (including a survey, which found 67% of Hawaiians are against the bill).

More recently, Slade Gorton and Hank Brown have chimed in:

The Senate is poised to sanction the creation of a racially exclusive government by and for Native Hawaiians who satisfy a blood test. The new race-based sovereign that would be summoned into being by the so-called Akaka Bill would operate outside the U.S. Constitution and the nation's most cherished civil rights statutes. Indeed, the champions of the proposed legislation boast that the new Native Hawaiian entity could secede from the Union like the Confederacy, but without the necessity of shelling Fort Sumter.

Rich Lowry thinks it's clearly unconstitutional.

Betsy Newmark:

Are senators really that comfortable with the idea of a birth certificate check or blood test becoming a necessary requirement for voting in an election? Perhaps they could take a remedial course in American history to understand why we should be moving away from this sort of thing rather than endorsing it.

I blogged about it last time I was here, and got some interesting discussion in the comments. This thing is nasty for a lot of reasons. My co-worker Tim, who has his ear to the Hill (is that even an expression?), fears it will pass because some senators just don't know what it is, and others have made deals with Akaka. My senators will hear from me about it.

Mary Katharine blogs at Townhall, and refers you to our Contact Congress page, for an easy way to contact Congress, if you wish.



Comments (19)

What about the kind, sensit... (Below threshold)
Ed:

What about the kind, sensitive, tolerant, diverse Left??? Isn't this R-A-C-I-S-T????

It seems that the bill prop... (Below threshold)

It seems that the bill proposed by the appropriately-named senator is trying to afford "native Hawaiians" the same kind of special relationship that Native Americans have on the mainland.

The problem is, it's not the same thing. Native American treaties deal with tribes as political entities, not racial entities. Blood quantum issues regarding Native Americans refer to treaties negotiated when Indians were political adversaries.

By contrast, ALL of Hawaii's political issues with the US Government were settled once and for all with statehood.

Akaka is mocking Native American treaty rights with his legislation. He's sick.

It isn't as if Hawaii had a... (Below threshold)
Sean:

It isn't as if Hawaii had a functioning government that was overthrown by merchants, contrary to the desire of most native Hawaii'ans. Oh wait, that's exactly what happened.

Toward the end of the 19th cent., agitation for constitutional reform in Hawaii led to the overthrow (1893) of Queen Liliuokalani, who had ruled since 1891. A provisional government was established and John L. Stevens, the U.S. minister to Hawaii, proclaimed the country a U.S. protectorate. President Grover Cleveland, however, refused to annex Hawaii since most Hawaiians did not support a revolution; the Hawaiians and Americans in the sugar industry had encouraged the overthrow of the monarchy to serve their business needs.

The United States tried to bring about the restoration of Queen Liliuokalani, but the provisional government on the islands refused to give up power and instead established (1894) a republic with Sanford B. Dole as president.

And it isn't as if this is some kind of a new movement.

Movements for a return of some sort of native sovereignty have been periodically active.

They're basing this bill and the new government on the fact that Hawaii was stolen from native Hawaiians. The bill grants sovereignty to native Hawaiians. Why is it racist to grant such sovereignty to only native Hawaiians, and to require proof that one is, in fact, native? This bill puts the native Hawaiians on the same footing as the native indians. And there is no reason at all why it shouldn't.

Statehood abrogates the fact that we overthrew the local government? Then why do we deal with native indians as sovereign nations? Every piece of land they once claimed as their own is now a state.

I disagree with Sean only b... (Below threshold)
fatman:

I disagree with Sean only by degree. I think native Hawaiians should not only be granted an autonomous government, they deserve independence. Free them from the hegemony of the autocrats in Washington! Throw off the imperialism of Chimpy McHitler Bushco and his eeeevil minions at Haliburton. Not to mention getting rid of three sure pop blue state votes in the Electoral College...oh,wait...

Of course, Sean, the... (Below threshold)

Of course, Sean, the bill will reduce the apportionment of Hawaii's HR delegation by the number of "Hawaiians not taxed", yes?

Oops. Should have been "FOU... (Below threshold)
fatman:

Oops. Should have been "FOUR sure pop blue state votes in the Electoral College." ^^

h/t to John "Akatsukami" Braue

Sean, the lan... (Below threshold)
B Moe:


Sean,
the land wasn't stolen from the people alive today, but from their ancestors. People of the same RACE. To give it to their descentants, you have to determine their RACE. Anyone not of the proper RACE whose ancestors may or may not have stolen the property they now own, could lose said property because they are not of the proper RACE.

This is a RACIST POLICY any way you look at it.

It's a fucking bitch when you knee-jerk so hard you kick yourself in the ass, huh?


There's a lot to be debated... (Below threshold)
Diego:

There's a lot to be debated about the rights and wrongs of history, in this case and numorous others in the world. What needs to be considered is that Hawaiian are not, nor ever will be Indians. Period. Many Hawaiian don't want any part of this law because it will hamper any attempt for true independence. The law simpily does not allow such a group to be recognized by Indian law. If redress is due, then Akaka and Co. need to draft legislation that legally recognizes Hawaiians, not as Indians, but at Hawaiians. It's that simple. All this pussy footing around the Constitution will just put the burden on the Surpreme Court, which has already decided in a nominaly way (Rice v. Cayetano) that it probablly won't past the muster test. The fact that it even has gotten to this point is just pure horse trading on the Senate floor (read the energy bill). Pols sell out; it is what they are best at.

Diego

Among the worst and most ob... (Below threshold)
-S-:

Among the worst and most obvious problems to interpreting and applying this legislation is that there are about less than one hundred living human beings who are even 'blood quantum' "Hawaiian" and even they have Samoan "blood."

Scott Ferguson summed it up well here (^^). The issue has been argued and argued and it leans in on the emotional sympathies of people ("to support indiginous people", "give the natives their lands" and such) inorder to even try to make sense of this legislation, while in reality it is quite purely a racially based legislation based upon a racially typed "person" who literally does not exist.

Even the Queen herself was the daughter of a Samoan, all that money that is the basis of the whole arguement here and the reason the legislation has been proposed: control of the Queen's will and estate and who it is to be spent on and for.

She wrote that she wanted her estate to be spent on "the children of Hawaii" and since she was already in agreement with the Western world as to the lands she lived on being a part of a greater nation, she certainly was not living in a vacuum of perceptions that relegated "children of Hawaii" to one racial type or distant tribe, if and what that even was.

Again, the Queen herself was daughter to King Kamehameha and he was Samoan, not "Hawaiian" and who and what "Hawaiian" is is defined today by state residency. In the King's time, it was his "kingdom." And that kingdom was under his rule, a Samoan.

The blood quantum thing is entirely foolish because there is no blood quantum that can define anyone based upon blood as to being Hawaiian or not. The whole group of people who lived there long before the argument with the West, and later the U.S., began were also of mixed Polynesian "blood" and various groups from various locations all of whom lived in the now-Hawaiian Islands, AND they engaged in bloody battles among themselves for who was more ruler and who wasn't, as to "royalty" and such, and even that was a sliding scale depending upon which side of what island you lived on.

Face it, the "Hawaiian" people are not a race but a residency. They have not been in the Islands long enough (not nearly) to be considered "indigineous people" to there or North America, even, as when compared to others here (who actually are not indiginous, either but let's allow them that for now).

The argument for the legislation is racially and economically motivated to ensure a very, very small number of dubiously "blood quantum" people to seize control of the monies from a will that was never intended to be shored up but shared. The Queen bestowed her legacy upon "children" not "a child," nor "select children," but, primarily, upon needy children in and of Hawaii.

The "needy" part has since been dropped and the schools funded by her will are now the most expensive in the states and dole out few scholarships because they have to to maintain their tenuous "tax free" status, which is also a driving motivation for this Akaka legislation...something a lot aren't discussing.

The I.R.S. has been at issue with the Kamehameha Schools in Hawaii for a while now about their tax exemptions (they accept federal funding and yet they engage in racially based admissions -- they want to continue racially based admissions and continue as a 'tax exempt' educational organization and the only way to do that is to rename "Hawaiians" as a special class but you can't do both, you can't accept public funds and engage in racially based admisssions and policies).

Akaka is trying to maintain those racially based standards, and, they aren't even based upon what a Hawaiian wanted, but a Samoan. The legislation is like reading a fairy tale.

A lot of onlookers assume t... (Below threshold)
-S-:

A lot of onlookers assume that there's a tribe or group of "natives" in the Islands of Hawaii, that the place has a group of people who run around like Sioux Indians in headdress and such and long for the days of migrations at will...

It just does not exist. There are no "native" people there on any similarity with the, say, Sioux and/or Apaches and/or Seminoles, if only by a huge time differential in residence. The people who lived earliest (recorded) in Hawaii were of mixed Polynesian descent and there are more of Samoan descent than there are of any other Polynesian group...AND, to repeat, King Kamehameha, the last Hawaiian Monarch, father to Queen Loki.something, forget her name as I write this...anyway, the last Monarch was SAMOAN. And yet he ruled Hawaii.

It'd be like saying that the McGregors were a race in Scotland, if this argument was applied elsewhere.

And, I agree, it is entirel... (Below threshold)
-S-:

And, I agree, it is entirely un-Constitutional.

There are a handful of people in Hawaii of various mixed ancestry who dislike the U.S. Akaka is a Democrat. They want secession and things of that nature, related. It's similar to parts of the Philippines with various groups seeking revolution and militant uprising and such.

It's also posing a very, very negative affect to the whole State of Hawaii, makes for obvious racial tensions nearly everywhere. I can't speak for Akaka and what his motivations actually are, but they don't look very reasonable to my view after reading what he's proposed and especially after having lived there a long time and seeing the reality of the place. It's not the antiquated, prosaic place that a lot of people elsewhere assume it to be and even the "luau" is not HAWAIIAN but a tradition from Fiji.

Drinks with little umbrellas, those aren't Hawaiian either but people still expect to see them when they sit down to cocktails.

But I digress. My point is that there is much that is attempted to be applied and even claimed by some in and about Hawaii that is not at all realistic. The people who inhabited the Hawaii Islands arrived only a short number of centuries ago, compared with those in North America, and there just is no clear tribe or group and no basis for any 'blood quantum' evaluation to indicate any one race or another other than all are Asian. Or are in some degree.

But, there's nothing to bestow any "Hawaiian" characterisitic upon anyone based upon evaluating their blood. But there IS a notion held by some that they are of special and/or of (evn) "royal" lineage based upon an ancestor who lived next door to an uncle who knew a neice of a...

There are only, in reality, so few desccendants of the Samoan King Kamehameha that there is no clear "royalty" remaining who are even "Hawaiian," whatever that now means.

The whole argument arises from the King Kamehameha Schools, that insist on applying a "blood quantum" admissiions standard, insist on maintaining a tax exemption (and thus, benefit from taxpayers while engaging in racial based admissions and policies, which is wrong). But, because they access the funds bestowed by the Queen L., daughter to the Samoan King, they are clinging to a sense of privilege that does not exist. By getting their "status" as a "race" declared via Akaka's legislation, they get to continue on with this faux racial process and clamp down on sharing the economic legacy that was intended to benefit "the children of Hawaii," not the children of maybe seventy people who aren't even "Hawaiian" to begin with.

This is a RACIST POLICY ... (Below threshold)
Sean:

This is a RACIST POLICY any way you look at it.

It's a fucking bitch when you knee-jerk so hard you kick yourself in the ass, huh?

You know what must be a real fucking bitch? When you're too fucking stupid to know the meaning of a word, like racism.

Racism: 1 : a belief that race is the primary determinant of human traits and capacities and that racial differences produce an inherent superiority of a particular race
2 : racial prejudice or discrimination

This legislation provides benefits to ancestors of the original inhabitants of the Hawaiian islands. Yes, you genius you, those people will be of a certain race. And yes, you paragon of logic you, in order to provide benefits to the correct people, they must be distinguished from non-ancestral Hawaiians by their - GASP! - race! That does not make this a "racist" policy, you idiot. Segregation is a racist policy. Not allowing blacks into combat units of the army because of perceived shortcomings based on their race, is a racist policy. Not allowing Jews to join a country club is a racist policy. Getting the idea?

On the other hand, acknowledging that the government royally, and illegally, screwed a native people and is now trying to do right by them, is not a "racist" policy.

Cripes. Does it hurt being that stupid?

The people who inhabited the Hawaii Islands arrived only a short number of centuries ago, compared with those in North America, and there just is no clear tribe or group and no basis for any 'blood quantum' evaluation to indicate any one race or another other than all are Asian.

Nobody, as far as I can tell, is trying to reinstate the royal lineage. And it wasn't just the royal family that was displaced by sugar trader revolution. It was the government and the native people who lost their country. Let's face it. Until we took over there was a monarch in place who ruled the islands. That's pretty much the definition of a sovereign nation.

Of course, Sean, the bill will reduce the apportionment of Hawaii's HR delegation by the number of "Hawaiians not taxed", yes?

I would imagine so. House reps are determined by population. I have no idea if Indian populations count toward House seats on the mainland. Either way, that's tangential to the discussion and not really important at this point.

Sean, while you have your d... (Below threshold)
B Moe:

Sean, while you have your dictionary out look up the word "discrimination".

"...acknowledging that the government royally, and illegally, screwed a native people and is now trying to do right by them, is not a "racist" policy."

No, simple acknowledgement is not. But if we reward one race exlusively, then we have to exclude everyone else, and this is racism by the definition you gave. You can't do this without discriminating based on race.

Your problem is you only see the negative conotations of racism and discrimination, because they have been magic words the left have turned to for years to stifle any argument (at least in their mind). Now confronted with the fact that a policy you advocate is racist and discriminatory it is apparently causing you a bit of distress.

I guess growing pains are a bitch, huh?


You also might want to look... (Below threshold)
B Moe:

You also might want to look up "segregation" while you are in there, you seemed to be a little confused by that one also.


Is it a "reward" B Moe? Is... (Below threshold)
Sean:

Is it a "reward" B Moe? Is putting something right, trying to restore a status that was wrongfully taken, the same as giving a "reward"? No, of course not.

And the definition of discrimination you're looking for is 3b: b : prejudiced or prejudicial outlook, action, or treatment

So let's take a good look at this. Non-native Hawaiians will go about life as usual, losing no rights, privileges, or protections under the law. Sure doesn't sound like "discrimination". But what about the ancestral native Hawaiians? They will be granted sovereignty, or a form of it, and allowed self-rule, within limitations. Boy howdy, that sure sounds like "discrimination" to me.

Moe, you seriously have no clue what you're talking about.

All right, I'll try ... (Below threshold)
B Moe:


All right, I'll try this one more time, but I am getting rather tired of getting insulted by an apparent retard.

No where in any of those definitions is the negativity you assume implied. You keep asserting that it can't be racism or discrimination because it is good, that makes no sense at all.

"They will be granted sovereignty, or a form of it, and allowed self-rule, within limitations. Boy howdy, that sure sounds like "discrimination" to me."

That is discrimination, if only one race is eligible how could you possibly call it anything else? I'm not saying it is wrong or unjustified, I really don't know enough about Hawaiian history to make a call. All I am trying to point out is you are denying it is discriminatory and racist based on a false assumption rampant in the left that all discrimination and racism is wrong.

Think about it calmly and rationally and try to expand your mind a little. It is an example of that thing called nuance you guys were so enamored with a year or so ago.


All right, I'll try this... (Below threshold)
Sean:

All right, I'll try this one more time, but I am getting rather tired of getting insulted by an apparent retard.

You took the words right out of my mouth.

No where in any of those definitions is the negativity you assume implied.

Wow. Maybe you should try re-reading them slowly. Read them out loud if you must. Perhaps "prejudiced or prejudicial outlook, action, or treatment" is not negativity in your little corner of the world, but it is everywhere else. Sheesh.

According to you, St. Patrick's Day and Columbus Day parades are "racist". "Colleen" contests, open only to girls of Irish descent, are racist and should be banned. [Insert nationality here] Aid Society (like Italian, Irish, Polish, German) are all racist and should be disbanded and made illegal. Is that it? Or, maybe, because they are not denigrating (another big word, I know, but I've already pointed you to the online dictionary) some other race, they are not "racist". What a concept.

You mean, "racism" involves denigrating another race? You learn something new every day.

It is an example of that thing called nuance you guys were so enamored with a year or so ago.

Who are you talking to? I voted for Bush. "Nuance" was the Kerry flip-flop excuse.

"prejudiced or prejudicial ... (Below threshold)
B Moe:

"prejudiced or prejudicial outlook, action, or treatment" is not negativity in your little corner of the world, but it is everywhere else."

You don't believe it is possible to have positive prejudices? Any type of discrimination is inherently negative? What do you do, if you haven't researched a situation carefully, all your decisions are made my flipping a coin?

And most of the events you named I would consider racist and discriminatory, but I don't think they should be banned. As I have stated repeatedly I don't think racism, prejudice or discrimination are necessarily bad. They can be misused for sure, but I think they also can serve a valuable purpose if not abused. And I think if you were honest with yourself you would realize you use them from time yourself.

What do you do, if you h... (Below threshold)
Sean:

What do you do, if you haven't researched a situation carefully, all your decisions are made my flipping a coin?

I don't pre-judge (where "prejudice" comes from). What do you do?

As I have stated repeatedly I don't think racism, prejudice or discrimination are necessarily bad.

You should run for office with that as your slogan. See how far you get.




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