2007-11-14 OHA Fact Check
- 1 Correcting OHA's Deceptive "Correcting the Record"
- 2 Competing narratives
- 3 OHA's attack on both the national and local civil rights committees
- 4 What happened to Dr. Blaisdell's testimony?
- 5 1840 Constitution
- 6 Simple equality
- 7 Attack the messenger
- 8 Keeping the deck stacked
- 9 Historical errors?
- 10 We changed our mind again
- 11 The language of colorblindness
- 12 No homeland to lose?
- 13 More blame to go around
- 14 Disenfranchised by race?
- 15 Never mind the "voluntary" immigrants
- 16 Convicted of misprision
- 17 Blount, Blount, Blount, Blount
- 18 Ceded lands
- 19 Pro-monarchy?
- 20 Oh no! Jim Crow!
- 21 Mossman's Folly
- 22 Anti-annexation fraud
- 23 Lies about language
Correcting OHA's Deceptive "Correcting the Record"
On November 13, 2007 the State of Hawaii Office of Hawaiian Affairs posted on its website a carefully written 67-page propaganda document purporting to "correct the record" following a series of public hearings that included testimony devastating to OHA's support for the Akaka bill. The testimony exposed the fraudulent nature of the bill's historical and legal basis and of its likely consequences for Hawaii's future.
OHA's propaganda document "Correcting the Record" was posted on its website two days before a meeting of the Hawaii Advisory Committee to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights. The obvious purpose was to distribute the document to the media in an attempt to capture public opinion and to undercut the committee's work; and on such short notice that opponents of the Akaka bill would not have time to respond before news reports were written.
OHA's 67-page document in pdf format can be downloaded from the OHA website at http://oha.org/images/stories/071113correcting.pdf and a list of appendices can be downloaded at http://oha.org/images/stories/071113correcting.pdf
OHA has hundreds of millions of dollars at its disposal, hundreds of staffers working full-time, and numerous law firms and public relations firms it calls upon as needed. It worked on its document for two months. The following material correcting OHA's "Correcting the Record" has been prepared on short notice with zero budget by a few civil rights activists seeking to protect historical truth and "pono" (moral righteousness).
The OHA report repeatedly stresses that how history is reported and interpreted has a huge impact on public perception of what fairness and justice require society to do today. Thus OHA describes its own motive for the 67-page propaganda document, which tries to twist history in whatever ways might elicit public support for a race-based government. That's why it's important to correct OHA's deceptive "Correcting the Record."
As the OHA document points out, there are competing historical narratives; and which one is believed by our people will determine their attitude toward the Akaka bill. Should we believe the story as told by OHA and the powerful institutions dependent on passing the Akaka bill to protect their selfish interests? Or should we believe the story as told by eyewitnesses testifying under oath and cross-examination before a U.S. Senate committee in 1894, and by historians commissioned by Congress in the 1980s to do a thorough multi-year inquiry? The Morgan Report and the Native Hawaiians Study Commission majority report are now finally available on the internet.
For many years sovereignty zealots made available only their own narrative by a political hack (James Blount) assigned by Grover Cleveland to destabilize the revolutionary government and put his friend the ex-queen back on the throne - a narrative disproved and repudiated by the U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs during two months of hearings in 1894 with eyewitnesses under oath and cross-examination. In recent times the sovereignty zealots made available only their own self-interested minority report of the Native Hawaiians Study Commission, leaving the majority report to gather dust in library archives. But now all documents are available easily to anyone who cares to read them. For a summary of how the Morgan Report and Native Hawaiians Study Commission Report directly apply to refute the historical narrative found in the apology resolution and in the Akaka bill itself, including links to the full text of the reports, please see "What Does the United States Owe to Native Hawaiians? Two reports commissioned by Congress (Morgan 1894 and NHSC 1983) contain the answers, which are directly applicable to the Akaka bill"
Fortunately it is not necessary to reinvent the wheel in every generation even though OHA and its paid hacks try to do so. We stand on the shoulders of our predecessors who did the hard work already. Kamehameha the Great unified all Hawaii under one government not two. Kauikeaouli Kamehameha III proclaimed that all men are of one blood and created the rule of law and the right to private property. President Sanford B. Dole was head of government for the ten most turbulent years of the transition from Kingdom through Provisional Government, Republic, and Territory, protecting the life of his friend Liliuokalani and pardoning her even after she conspired in a violent counter-revolution against the government he headed. The Morgan Report refuted the Blount Report and persuaded President Grover Cleveland to stop intervening to restore the monarchy, and to grant full diplomatic recognition to the Republic of Hawaii. The Native Hawaiians Study Commission report of 1983 confirmed the historical narrative of the Morgan Report and recommended that whatever economic and social difficulties today's ethnic Hawaiians might face, those difficulties should be addressed through welfare programs available to people of all races and not through racially exclusionary entitlements or a racial separatist government. Finally, today, there are civil rights activists working through the political process, the courts, and even the civil rights committee; seeking to ensure for all Hawaii's people a future of unity, equality, and aloha for all. It seems that every generation must rise anew to defend those fundamental principles. Here we stand; we cannot do otherwise.
OHA's attack on both the national and local civil rights committees
Pages 3-9 of OHA's document is an attempt to undermine public confidence in the Hawaii Advisory Committee and also the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, entitled "Selection of Hawaii State Advisory Committee Members and Projects."
In May of 2006 the USCCR issued a briefing report strongly advising Congress not to pass the Akaka bill. That's when OHA began to attack USCCR. On May 2, 2007 the Honolulu Star-Bulletin published a news report entitled "Critics of Akaka Bill nominated for panel that would judge it -- Some of the staunchest critics of the bill could soon sit on an advisory board." The news was apparently leaked to the Star-Bulletin by a disgruntled outgoing "liberal" staffer of the Western Regional Office of USCCR, and identified three individuals who were in fact later named to the Hawaii Advisory Comittee in a formal announcement in July -- William Burgess, Paul Sullivan, and James Kuroiwa. The Star-Bulletin, which has repeatedly editorialized in favor of the Akaka bill, was clearly an excellent venue for the leak, which was probably intended to force withdrawal of the three tentative nominees.
A series of public hearings was held on several islands during August and September 2007 by the Hawaii Advisory Committee to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights. The purpose was to hear testimony by invited experts and by members of the public regarding the Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization bill, S.310/H.R.505 pending in the 110th Congress, commonly known as the Akaka bill.
Arguments were presented in favor of the bill by OHA trustees, state government officials, and representatives of powerful race-based institutions dependent on federal and private grants which are likely to be ruled illegal on 14th Amendment equal protection grounds unless the Akaka bill passes to allow federal recognition of ethnic Hawaiians as comparable to an Indian tribe.
Strong arguments against the bill were presented by nationally-known defenders of equality under the law and by local civil rights activists and ordinary citizens concerned about breaking up the State of Hawaii to create a racially exclusionary government.
From May 2007 through the present time, OHA and other supporters of the Akaka bill have waged a propaganda war against the Hawaii Advisory Committee and some of its new members, aided and abetted by editorials in the media. The OHA document of November 13 is one weapon in this propaganda war.
Why is the committee and its membership under such vicious attack? For many years the Hawaii Advisory Committee had been stacked with politically leftist members who unanimously and zealously supported Hawaii's plethora of race-based programs, including over 160 federally funded programs, two branches of the state government (OHA and DHHL), the $8-15 Billion Kamehameha Schools, and a host of other public and private programs for ethnic Hawaiians. Now suddenly the membership had true diversity of viewpoints, including some members who oppose racial separatism and support equality under the law. It was very unsettling for Akaka bill supporters to be forced to listen to opponents who had real power. It was important for Akaka bill supporters to launch vicious attacks against the committee and its new members to try to discredit an anticipated committee recommendation against the bill backed by the powerful historical, legal, and moral arguments being presented.
During the late 1990s, as the Rice v. Cayetano lawsuit worked its way through the courts, the Hawaii Advisory Committee and its chairman, Hawaiian secession activist Charles Kauluwehi Maxwell, began holding hearings to mobilize public opinion in support of the race-based programs and to lay the groundwork for the Akaka bill. Hearings were timed to respond to the granting of certiorari by the U.S. Supreme Court, and also in response to the Court's decision announced in February 2000.
The Akaka bill was first introduced in Congress in July 2000 as an effort to over-rule the Supreme Court's February decision. Many members of the Hawaii Advisory Committee participated aggressively in promoting the Akaka bill. Some of them had clear conflicts of interest because of their leadership positions in institutions that regarded the Akaka bill as necessary to their survival -- most notably Oswald Stender, who served during the first six years of the Akaka bill as both a Bishop Estate (Kamehameha Schools) trustee and also an OHA trustee.
For the decade from 1996 through 2006 the Hawaii Advisory Committee was a tool of the racial separatists and of powerful race-based institutions. Bishop Estate (Kamehameha Schools) was so powerful it controlled the state Legislature, as documented in the book "Broken trust: greed, mismanagement & political manipulation at America's largest charitable trust" by Judge Samuel P. King & Professor Randall W. Roth (Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 2006).
The Hawaii Advisory Committee (HAC) to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights (USCCR) was intimately involved in political activity to influence public opinion and to influence the U.S. Supreme Court at every stage of the appeal of the Rice v. Cayetano case. Indeed, the only activities of HAC that came to public attention during the period 1996-2006 were its unanimous and aggressive support for racially exclusionary voting rights, and racially exclusionary government handouts, for ethnic Hawaiians, as documented at http://www.angelfire.com/planet/big60/USCCRHAC.html
What happened to Dr. Blaisdell's testimony?
OHA's report failed to include any mention of the major, invited testimony provided by Dr. Richard Kekuni Blaisdell. Dr. Blaisdell is a revered kupuna (elder) and medical doctor who has been a recognized leader in the Hawaiian sovereignty movement for many decades. Why did the OHA report relegate Dr. Blaisdell to the status of a Soviet-style non-person? No doubt it's because he opposes the Akaka bill. Furthermore, Dr. Blaisdell's testimony provides strong arguments in favor of the complete independence of Hawaii - a topic which Akaka bill supporters in general and OHA in particular find very embarrassing. Ripping the 50th star off the flag is a hidden agenda of the Akaka bill - a secret desire deep in the hearts of most Akaka bill supporters but publicly professed by only the boldest among them.
Although Dr. Blaisdell opposes the Akaka bill because he fears it would interfere with secession, others support the Akaka bill as a pathway to eventual secession. Senator Akaka himself has said the Akaka bill does not interfere with eventual secession, and that secession is a matter for his grandchildren to decide. A webpage provides quotes from Senator Akaka and some leading secessionists indicating how the Akaka bill is a pathway to total independence for the entirety of Hawaii, see: http://www.angelfire.com/hi2/hawaiiansovereignty/AkakaSecession.html
The old Hawaii Advisory Committee did indeed actually support secession - a fact that is most embarrassing to OHA. Its report "Reconciliation at a Crossroads: The Implications of the Apology Resolution and Rice v. Cayetano for Federal and State Programs Benefiting Native Hawaiians." has been removed from the USCCR website, but remains available at http://www.angelfire.com/hi5/bigfiles/usccrhac0601.pdf
About halfway down the lengthy report is the section called "Conclusions and Recommendations" (followed by footnotes that occupy the entire second half of the report). The conclusions clearly support the Akaka bill as a way to overturn the Supreme Court decision; and they also support the right of ethnic Hawaiians to force the secession of Hawaii from the United States.
"... international resolution would necessarily involve secession, a drastic endeavor over which this nation purportedly fought a civil war ... The principle of self-determination necessarily contemplates the potential choice of forms of governance that may not be authorized by existing domestic law. Whether such a structure is politically or legally possible under the law is secondary, however, to the expression of one's desire for self-determination. ..."
"1. The federal government should accelerate efforts to formalize the political relationship between Native Hawaiians and the United States. This recommendation can be accomplished through the formal and direct recognition by Congress of the United States' responsibilities toward Native Hawaiians, by virtue of the unique political history between the United States and the former Kingdom of Hawaii....[T]he Advisory Committee requests that the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights urge Congress to pass legislation formally recognizing the political status of Native Hawaiians." ...
"4. International solutions should be explored as alternatives to the recognition of a Native Hawaiian governing entity.
"The Hawaii Advisory Committee recognizes that the sentiment for an international resolution to restore a sovereign Hawaiian entity is beyond the immediate scope and power of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights. Nevertheless, that limitation does not preclude the United States from exploring such alternatives as a part of the reconciliation process that the United States committed to pursue in the 1993 Apology Resolution. ... Accordingly, the United States should give due consideration to re-inscribing Hawaii on the United Nations' list of non-self-governing territories, among other possibilities. ...
"The Hawaii Advisory Committee is fully cognizant of the concern expressed by some that international resolution would necessarily involve secession, a drastic endeavor over which this nation purportedly fought a civil war. However, this view ignores the troubled and racist roots of our nation's history. The Civil War was at its core a conflict over the issue of slavery. Moreover, the Civil War Amendments and Civil Rights Acts, upon which the plaintiff in Rice based his claims, were supposed to effect a reconstruction of American society through equality for African Americans.
"The principle of self-determination necessarily contemplates the potential choice of forms of governance that may not be authorized by existing domestic law. Whether such a structure is politically or legally possible under the law is secondary, however, to the expression of one's desire for self-determination. The important proposition is that those who would choose to swear their allegiance to a restored sovereign Hawaiian entity be given that choice after a full and free debate with those who might prefer some form of association with the United States (including, perhaps, the status quo)....
"Those supervising the reconciliation process should provide for an open, free, and democratic plebiscite on all potential options by which Native Hawaiians might express their inherent right to self-determination. The process should allow for international oversight by nonaligned observers of international repute. After a period for organization of that government, the federal government should engage in negotiations with the sovereign Hawaiian entity.
"The Hawaii Advisory Committee believes that these deliberations should take into consideration and protect, or otherwise accommodate, the rights of non-Native Hawaiians. Thereafter, the federal government should provide financial assistance for the educational effort that may be necessary to reconcile conflicts raised by the choices made by Native Hawaiians. If necessary, the United States should engage in continuing negotiations to seek resolution of any outstanding issues with the sovereign Hawaiian entity."
OHA tries to whitewash the explicit assertion of the 1840 Hawaiian Kingdom Constitution statement that all people are "of one blood" by criticizing the Kingdom as being a mere pawn to Western interests.
At the time of the 1840 constitution, foreign interests put intense pressure on the monarchy to produce a Western-style constitution in order to secure their land holdings. - OHA's "Correcting the Record" 2007
The ideas of land reform and a Western-style constitution were important goals for all Hawaiians, regardless of their ancestry or heritage. The alternative, of maintaining a despotic monarchy with no land rights for anyone cannot be romanticized in any reasonable way.
In the Executive Summary of OHA's "Corrections", they speak of "indigenous peoples' civil and human rights" but apparently do not acknowledge the existence of these rights as applying to people who are not "indigenous". This apparent disconnect between understanding the idea of equality and civil rights drives throughout their entire polemic. Fastening on to a buzz-word marketing term "Restorative Justice", they demand that their neighbors and cousins of the present be solely responsible for some nebulous "restoration", regardless of the fact that they share the vast majority of their ancestry with their fellow, non-restoration eligible cousins. In a desperate attempt to reframe their victimhood status, the OHA report states:
With Native Hawaiian history as a backdrop, the Report shows that Native Hawaiians are asserting human rights as well as civil rights - not simply the right to be equal but to self-determination; not a right to entitlements but to restoration; not a right to special treatment but to reconnect spiritually with land and culture; not a right to simple equality but to a form of self-governance.
What of the self-determination of their cousins? Or the right of restoration to the Asians deprived of the vote by race in 1887? Or the right of all the people of Hawaii, regardless of race, to have spiritual connections with the land and culture of their ancestors and birth? What of the right of self-governance for other races and ethnicities?
The frightening thing is that these protestations of victimhood and innocence are said with full sincerity - these people truly believe that asking for more than equality is their right by blood, their right simply because of their race.
Attack the messenger
In their introduction, they complain about the 2006 USCCR report which recommended the following:
The Commission recommends against passage of the Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act of 2005 (S. 147) as reported out of committee on May 16, 2005, or any other legislation that would discriminate on the basis of race or national origin and further subdivide the American people into discrete subgroups accorded varying degrees of privilege.
Instead of addressing the issues raised by the report, OHA instead attacks the messengers, characterizing the people who testified before the USCCR as "anti-Hawaiian and anti-civil rights advocates". This simply does not pass the snicker test. When arguing for equality is somehow "anti-civil rights", one loses all credibility.
Keeping the deck stacked
After decades of control by extremists, OHA laments the end to a stacked deck, objecting to the following regulation for the selection criteria of committee members:
(b) No person is to be denied an opportunity to serve on a State Advisory Committee because of race, age, sex, religion, national origin, or disability. The Commisssion shall encourage membership on the State Advisory Committee to be broadly diverse.
Yes, you read that right. They objected to the idea that membership on any State Advisory Committee be open to anyone, regardless of their race, age, sex, religion, national origin, or disability. They flat out argue that State Advisory Committee members should be denied the opportunity to serve simply because of their personal demographics.
In the section titled "Accurate Native Hawaiian History: The Lasting Harms of Western Encroachment and the U.S. Aided Overthrow", OHA flounders hopelessly with the factual record. Let's go over a few of these "accurate" observations:
- Attorney William Burgess further claimed that the United States took no lands from Hawaiians at the time of the overthrow or the 1898 annexation.
- All OHA has to do is identify a single parcel of private land that was taken by the United States in either 1893, or in 1898. Apparently, they are unable to give us a single example.
- Calling the report inaccurate and flawed, Commissioners Yaki and Melendez voted against the recommendation.
- Let's also not forget that Mr. Yaki himself stated, "I cannot possibly be impartial when it comes to this issue [the Akaka Bill]". Mr. Yaki also asserted that his grandfather was from the "island[sic] of Hana" during one hearing on the issue - apparently unaware that Hana is a city on the island of Maui.
- "Enactment of this federal policy codifies United States recognition of the special legal and political relationship with Native Hawaiians as it has done previously with American Indians and Alaska Natives." - Haunani Apoliona
- Except of course, that no American Indian or Alaska Native group has ever been recognized solely because of a single drop of blood. Were we to force open the tribal rolls to everyone who had even the slightest racial connection to pre-western contact peoples of the Americas, and institute race-based governments for them, that would be equivalent to what Ms. Apoliona asks for here.
- Apoliona goes further, and starts citing the flawed and misinformed "Apology Resolution":
- The wrong of the grossly undemocratic (some say unconstitutional) overthrow of our sovereign government by the show of military force;
- Except, of course, that the sovereign government was a multi-racial government, and the overthrow was undertaken by local dissidents.
- The wrong of appropriating, ceding (some say stealing) our native lands; and,
- Except, of course, that the lands that were "ceded" were the public lands of the Kingdom of Hawaii, and upon statehood in 1959, those public lands were returned to the State of Hawaii for public use.
- The wrong of depriving Hawaiians, an indigenous sovereign people, of rights to self-determination.
- Except, of course, that the indigenous people of Hawaii determined by themselves to have a sovereign color-blind monarchy, open to people of any racial background, and since annexation in 1898 have enjoyed more expanded civil rights to suffrage and self-determination than ever before in the islands.
- Trustee Mossman first explained that "Hawaiians share the same history, culture, spirit, traditions, language and heritage of self governance within their homeland for almost two thousand years.
- Except for the fact that the original Marquesans only arrived around 800AD (1200 years ago), were not recognizably culturally "Hawaiian", and were invaded and displaced by Tahitians around 1000AD, who in around 1300AD cut off ties with other island nations and lived in isolation for only 400 years before Captain Cook arrived in 1778. Not to mention the fact that since 1778, Hawaiians of all races have shared a culture, spirit, traditions, language and heritage of self governance, together, regardless of blood. Apparently for Mr. Mossman, 400 years of isolation, under the despotic rule of ali'i and brutal kapu laws, is closer to his heart than the past 200 years of integration and growth of the culture of the people of Hawaii.
We changed our mind again
OHA quotes from Trustee Mossman, who states:
In 1893 the United States through its agent, John Stevens, collaborated and conspired with a tiny group of missionary descendants and businessmen to overthrow the lawful government of Hawaii. Hawaiians had no vote in the overthrow or annexation and in fact nearly unanimously opposed both...
Besides being drawn from the distorted and discredited Blount Report, Mossman's history fails to reveal that after annexation, Hawaiians had the majority vote, and nearly unanimously supported statehood. Given the chance to enjoy self-determination in the Territory of Hawaii, Native Hawaiians were active in the polls, powerful in the government and proud Americans. The deposed Queen herself, Liliuokalani, proudly flew the American flag from her house in downtown Honolulu. One can only hope that like his ancestors who embraced the promise of the ideals of the United States of Americas, after being at first viscerally opposed to them, Mossman may find a similar epiphany with time.
The language of colorblindness
In their rather colorful characterization of the testimony of Jere Krischel, OHA complains:
Krischel testified before the HISAC on September 5, 2007. He used the deceptive language of "colorblindness" backed by seductive and misleading historical arguments to frame his opposition to the NHGRA.
If arguing that we should not "divide ourselves by race, deny our brothers, sisters and cousins, and forsake the values which have made Hawaii into the special place that it is" is somehow "deceptive", how does one argue for equality? How else can you say, "we should treat people equally regardless of their race"? Why is that deceptive at all?
The real deception here is the idea that we must discriminate to be equal. The Orwellian nature of OHA's argument that DISCRIMINATION is EQUALITY is shown vividly here.
No homeland to lose?
Trustee Mossman is quoted by OHA stating:
"What homeland and culture do they have to lose? What language to they have to give up? They say 'Aloha For All' but only take and have none to give."
So according to OHA, those people who have lived in Hawaii for the past 200 years have no right to call it their homeland? They have no right to identify with the multi-cultural mix they have been a part of since the time of the Kingdom? What does he say to the people with caucasian ancestors who developed the Hawaiian alphabet and dictionaries, and preserved the language and culture of pre-contact Hawaii? What does he say to the foreigners who have taught celestial navigation once again to the people of Hawaii? The people of Hawaii have provided special racial benefits to people with pre-1778 immigrant ancestry in Hawaii since 1921 - but they have no aloha to give?
With this kind of rhetoric, the cycle of victimhood comes to a climax. Decades of special racial benefits have not placated a point of view which sees itself as owning a privileged position because of their race. Surely this can be seen as a direct refutation of the policy of appeasement, and demands an immediate end to the pernicious racial politics which have brought this kind of attitude to bear.
Mr. Mossman confuses government with culture - the two are not the same.
More blame to go around
In their attempt at rebuttal to the historical record explored and examined by testimony before the HISAC, OHA tried to re-frame the issue by claiming that the testimony turned "a blind eye to Hawaiian history and experience". OHA stated:
First, both failed to mention the intense pressure exerted by Westerners to wrest control of the Kingdom.
OHA seems to fail to mention the intense patriotism of many non-native Hawaiians in preserving the Kingdom, and the patriotic motives held by many non-native Hawaiians who saw the corruption of Kalakaua and Liliuokalani as a threat to all the people of Hawaii. Ken Conklin speaks of Gerrit Judd, a longtime advisor to the King, of American ancestry, who can be credited with restoring the sovereignty of the Hawaiian Kingdom after British Captain Paulet took over the Kingdom in 1843. OHA ignores the long and integral history of non-pre-1778 immigrants to the Hawaiian islands and the Hawaiian Kingdom.
Disenfranchised by race?
OHA tries to downplay the history expounded upon by Jere Krischel regarding the 1887 Constitution of the Kingdom of Hawaii, which represented the only outright racial discrimination of suffrage in the history of the Hawaiian islands - against Asians. Citing the distorted and one-sided "Reconciliation at a Crossroads" put forth by the previous, imbalanced HISAC, OHA states:
In response to King Kalakaua's refusal to turn over exclusive use of Pearl Harbor, American and European sugar planters and business interests - supported by an all-white 500-man militia - forced him to accept major changes in the governmental structure of the kingdom, effectively transferring key aspects of the monarch's political power.
Of course this makes Kalakaua seem principled, even heroic - except it's not true. The 1887 Constitution was imposed upon the corrupt Kalakaua on July 7, 1887. The Reform Party, on October 26, 1887, well after the new constitution was promulgated, advised in favor of extending the existing Reciprocity Treaty with the United States and including the lease of Pearl Harbor. Kalakaua's ministers encouraged him to accept, and he did on November 29, 1887. To somehow cast about the historical record, ignoring the actual ORDER of events, and portraying a corrupt monarch as some sort of hero is more than disingenuous.
Never mind the Aki opium scandal. Never mind the blatant corruption of Kalakaua, under the thumb of the notorious sugar planter Claus Spreckels. Never mind the "Minister of Everything", Walter Murray Gibson, who stole Lanai from the Mormons and brought racial demagoguery to Hawaiian politics. Never mind Kalakaua's ill-fated warship Kaimiloa, sent to Samoa to meddle in their politics. Put the blame entirely on the United States, regardless of the facts.
To quote from the iconic Hawaiian historian Ralph Kuykendall:
The petitions amounted to a detailed charge of incompetence, extravagance, and maladministration of the government by the king and his ministers. They cited the increasing burden of taxation, expansion of the public debt, and misapplication of funds contrary to statutory requirements; the king's interference in elections and his improper influence over the legislature; "the most unscrupulous attempts to arouse in the native mind a feeling of jealousy and hostility to foreigners"; "a perfectly criminal relaxation" of the laws relating to leprosy, thereby endangering the life and health of the people; a shameful neglect of roads, harbors and other public works. - The Hawaiian Kingdom 1874-1893, p 355
Never mind the "voluntary" immigrants
In a truly stunning show of callousness towards the injustices faced by immigrant plantation workers in the Kingdom and even Territory of Hawaii, OHA writes:
By highlighting discrimination against Asians and depicting other groups as equally victimized, Krischel attempted to shroud the unique historical injustice faced by Native Hawaiians and the need for rectification. Indeed, he ignored the "momentous difference between the harsh consequences of colonization for unwilling indigenous people and the experiences of voluntary immigration by ethnic groups seeking a better life."
So apparently, "voluntary" immigrants who were discriminated against in Hawaii should have no voice. Their suffering can never compare with "indigenous" suffering. This pernicious idea, that the quality of one's suffering is determined by blood rather than by the actual circumstances endured, dehumanizes all of the people of Hawaii. The idea of civil rights is that they are rights we all share, regardless of race. The idea of human rights is that they are rights we all share, regardless of race. To make the bold assertion that "rectification" is needed or deserving to people with a single drop of pre-1778 immigrant blood, and that the suffering of all other immigrant groups is insignificant in comparison is a chilling statement about what OHA believes about racial equality.
Convicted of misprision
In an odd paragraph, OHA quotes Jere Krischel, but then fails to rebut the accuracy of his statements. Krischel states:
The imprisonment of Queen Liliuokalani, instead of being known as a reaction to her involvement in the 1895 counter-revolution against [the] Republic of Hawaii, is blamed on the United States instead.
This particular line is referring to misstatements by Senator Inouye, who stated while supporting the inaccurate "Apology Resolution":
But in this case, the first thing they did was take over the palace, the only palace in the United States at this time, ran the legislature in the throne room, imprisoned the queen in her bedroom, desecrated the palace, something that we Americans have never done before or since. - Senator Inouye, October 27, 1993
First of all, in 1893, when the queen was deposed, Hawaii was not a part of the United States. Neither was it a part of the United States in 1895, when the queen was imprisoned after being convicted by the Republic of Hawaii. The United States did not desecrate Iolani Palace, nor did they run a legislature in the throne room, nor did they imprison the queen.
In response to this factual statement by Krischel, OHA writes:
In fact Queen Liliuokalani was arrested (with alleged knowledge of her supporters' attempt to restore the monarchy), tried by a military tribunal of the Republic of Hawaii, convicted of misprision of treason and imprisoned for eight months in Iolani Palace.
But that doesn't address anything at all regarding the mis-characterization commonly given that the United States imprisoned the Queen. In fact, it bolsters the case!
Blount, Blount, Blount, Blount
In a stunning show of time distortion, OHA tries to refute the 1894 Morgan Report with the 1893 Blount Report. Failing to understand that the mistakes, errors and falsehoods printed in the Blount Report, exposed by the Morgan Report, moved President Cleveland from a position of staunch support for the Queen to a position of non-interference, OHA writes:
Krischel made no mention that in 1893, President Cleveland's emissary James Blount investigated the United States' role in the overthrow and found it to be a stark violation of international law.
For a more detailed guide to how Blount's report was found flawed, and the true history of the United States response to the Hawaiian Revolution, see The Rest of The Rest of The Story.
Apparently unable to understand the depth of error in the so-called "Apology Resolution", OHA continues to rely on the whereas clauses of that symbolic resolution, stating:
Burgess made no mention of the Apology Resolution's finding that the "Republic of Hawaii also ceded 1,800,000 acres of crown, government and public lands of the Kingdom of Hawaii, without the consent of or compensation to the Native Hawaiian people of Hawaii or their sovereign government"
Again, starting with the basics, the Kingdom of Hawaii was not a government solely for or by native Hawaiians. The crown, government and public lands of this multi-racial Kingdom were in fact ceded without the consent of or compensation to ANY of the subjects of the Kingdom of Hawaii, regardless of race. However, if you turn the clock forward to 1959, these public lands of the Kingdom of Hawaii, were returned to the State of Hawaii. So what lands were taken from Hawaiians? They were public lands during the Kingdom period. They were held in trust during the Territory period. And since statehood, they are now the public lands of the State of Hawaii. Who lost anything?
In another violent distortion of the truth, OHA makes the following claim about Robert Wilcox, our first representative to Congress:
The party gained control of the territorial House and Senate and sent pro-monarchy advocate Robert Wilcox as the first delegate to Congress.
The words "pro-monarchy advocate" cannot possibly apply to Robert Wilcox. Although he participated in attempted rebellions, both against the Kingdom of Hawaii and the Republic of Hawaii, Robert Wilcox was far from an advocate for monarchy. On January 27, 1893, just days after the overthrow, Robert Wilcox stated:
Queen Liliuokalani brought these evils upon herself and the country both by her personal corruption, and that of her Government. She surrounded herself with bad advisers, and seemed determined to drive the nation to destruction. Good people had no influence over her whatever, for she indignantly refused to listen to them. I believe that if we can be annexed to the United States, the rights of all of our citizens, and especially those of the native Hawaiians, will be protected more carefully than they have ever been under the monarchy. - p1119, The Morgan Report
Although Robert Wilcox did participate in the 1895 rebellion against the Republic of Hawaii (ostensibly changing his mind from 1893), he did another turnaround once annexation was complete. On June 6, 1900, Robert Wilcox, upon his return from the mainland advocating for native Hawaiian rights in the Organic Act, spoke to a rally sponsored by Aloha 'Aina and Hui Kalai'aina, the two main Hawaiian political clubs. In his speech, he said, "The question of the restoration of the Monarchy is gone from us forever. We are now a people, however, who can vote. You all know we have two-thirds of the votes in this country." He also advised against racial loyalties, saying, "We are all Americans. We should not consider personality." On June 7, 1900, the Hawaiian Independent Party was established, its motto being, "Equal Rights for the People".
It is a far distance that OHA has traveled from their ancestors who once fought for equality for everyone.
Oh no! Jim Crow!
OHA struggled to answer the critiques about their application of the "one-drop rule" of the Jim Crow era of the South, framing their argument as unassailable and therefore without a need of defense. OHA wrote:
Krischel and Clegg twisted this painful history of virulent and often violent white subordination of African Americans into the equivalent of NHGRA's aim to restore a measure of self governance to Native Hawaiians and to thereby repair the historical harms.
Apparently unaware that the goal of the civil rights movement was equality for all people, not the separation of different races, OHA stumbles badly here. Their argument begs the question, "Why don't African Americans have self governance to repair the historical harms?" The answer is, there is no such thing as separate but equal.
Despite OHA's protests, the Akaka Bill is racist, is xenophobic discrimination, and it is as pernicious as the "one-drop rules" of the Jim Crow era.
Today, all native Hawaiian-Americans enjoy self governance, and participate in the political process at every level. They do so alongside their cousins, brothers, sisters, uncles, aunts, neighbors and peers, without regard to race. To assert that some nebulous and unspecified "historical harm" can justify racial separatism is simply without a viable rationale.
In their conclusion to section V of their report, OHA quotes Boyd Mossman again:
Twisting political recognition of a formerly independent nation into race discrimination does nothing to help Hawaii or the United States. We are not seeking any affirmative action. We are not asking for race based preferences. We are not holding ourselves up to be a superior race like the U.S. senators of 1898. We are merely seeking justice.
But Mr. Mossman, don't you realize that you're the one twisting a formerly independent, and very multi-racial nation into a legacy and birthright for only those of one race of that government? If you're fighting for the political recognition of all the people with ancestry dating back to the Kingdom of Hawaii, then include your cousins who do not share your pre-1778 bloodline.
OHA says on page 33:
"He [Burgess] also failed to mention the 1897 protest of 27,000 adult Native Hawaiians, who signed a petition to Congress condemning the impending U.S. annexation of Hawaii" referring to footnote 239 citing Noenoe Silva, "Aloha Betrayed."
A large and thoroughly documented book review made available in 2005 rips Silva's book to shreds, at http://www.angelfire.com/hi2/hawaiiansovereignty/noenoealohabetrayed.html
Footnote #3 of that book review goes into great detail regarding how many signatures there were on the petition. Although Silva on the back cover of her book says "Ninety-five percent of the native population signed the petition" [which would be about 37,000 signatures] she says correctly on page 4 that 21,269 people signed it -- not the 27,000 claimed in the OHA document. Furthermore, contrary to what the OHA document says, many of the signatures were by children or teenagers, as can plainly be seen on the petitions themselves where every signature is followed by the person's age. Additionally, there was a protest to the petitions which provided proof that many signatures were duplicates or forgeries and that ages on the document were sometimes changed to make children look like adults. The protest also stated that some Hawaiians in the legislature were known to get hundreds of signatures on completely blank papers which they would save until some occasion came along later when they would write whatever subject matter they wished on the top, unbeknownst to the signers. The book review includes internet links where anyone can view the petition pages and also the protest.
Lies about language
OHA, on page 33 also says:
"Hawaiian language was barred from the schools."
Referring to footnote 248, which says:
In 1896 the newly created Republic of Hawai'i enacted a law which rendered illegal the use of Hawaiian in public and private schools. See Rev. L. Haw. $211 at 156(1905).
The truth of the matter is thoroughly documented on a webpage first published in 2002 which has been repeatedly cited in letters to editor: http://www.angelfire.com/hi2/hawaiiansovereignty/hawlangillegal.html
1896 Laws of the Republic of Hawaii, Act 57, sec. 30: "The English Language shall be the medium and basis of instruction in all public and private schools, provided that where it is desired that another language shall be taught in addition to the English language, such instruction may be authorized by the Department, either by its rules, the curriculum of the school, or by direct order in any particular instance. Any schools that shall not conform to the provisions of this section shall not be recognized by the Department."
The fact is that by 1892 (the year before the revolution) 95% of all the Kingdom's government schools were already using English as the medium of instruction, because that's what the native Hawaiian parents and the sovereign monarch wanted.
The law clearly concerns only schools, not society at large. It does not single out Hawaiian language at all -- it applies equally to all languages other than English, including Japanese, Mandarin, Cantonese, Portuguese, etc. (the majority of the children at that time were children of Japanese and Chinese plantation workers, and there were also numerous immigrants from Portugal working on the plantations). The law does not prohibit establishing private after-school or weekend academies where the medium of instruction could be Hawaiian (or any other language) -- it merely states that such schools will not be recognized by the government as satisfying the requirement that all children must attend school. The law clearly states that Hawaiian (or any other language) may be taught in a language course even in the regular school day.
The purpose of the law was not to abolish Hawaiian language. It was intended to ensure that the majority of children, whose parents were Japanese or Chinese plantation workers, would grow up speaking English in a multilingual society where annexation to the United States was expected to happen soon. Nearly all ethnic Hawaiian children already spoke English in school before the law was passed, and most of them also spoke English in their homes because their (native) parents demanded they do so.