Correcting Akaka

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Senator Akaka promised to speak daily regarding S. 147, aka the Akaka Bill in 2006. Coming on the heels of a damning report released by the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, it represented a new tactic for a troubled bill.

Akaka's attempt in 2006 to pass the Akaka Bill failed, but emboldened by a Democrat takeover of both the House and the Senate, he has reintroduced his bill in the 2007 session.

This webpage includes links to specific statements made by proponents of the Akaka Bill, with detailed refutations and corrections.

Rewriting history

Akaka has worked diligently to rewrite history to provide a basis for his race-based bill. A comprehensive review of Native Hawaiian history was conducted in the early 1980s, and culminated in the Native Hawaiians Study Commission Report on June 23, 1983. Senator Akaka admitted to using the Apology Bill (PL103-150) to rewrite the historical record in a speech on September 4, 1999:

"I wanted ... to neutralize the 1983 Native Hawaiians Study Commission's Majority Report conclusion that the U.S. government was not liable for the loss of sovereignty or lands of the Hawaiian people in the 1893 overthrow."

Unintended consequences

The Honolulu Star Bulletin, February 22, 2007, reported the brutal beating of a young couple by a native Hawaiian man, his wife and teenage son after a parking lot accident. H. William Burgess wrote in a letter to the editor:

The vicious attack by the teen aged Hawaiian boy, his mother and father, on the young Haole couple in the mall parking lot at Kapolei (front page 2/22/07 Star-Bulletin) is disturbing, to say the least.
Such an eruption of rage against Haoles is exactly what would be expected when Senator Akaka speaks on the Senate floor (1/17/07) of anger and frustration in his grandchildren's generation, without apology or even a hint of disapproval; and when our Governor wears red and supports protest marches and allows large angry anti-American signs to be posted regularly at the Iolani Palace grounds along King Street, Honolulu’s busiest downtown thoroughfare; and when thugs with bullhorns and loudspeakers drown out, intimidate and drive away the Kalani High School band waiting to play patriotic American music at the Statehood Day celebration last August (again without a word of disapproval from our Governor); and a study just released shows over 53% of Native Hawaiians stated that they believed the desire to attain sovereignty will eventually result in violence.
Passage of the Akaka bill would validate and inflame that irrational conduct.
The one ray of hope in the story of the attack was the 65 year old Hawaiian lady who witnessed the incident and said, "It's really sad to see. You would think that we, as Hawaiians, would have outgrown that." We need calming words like hers from the aunties and Kupunas and from Senator Akaka and our Governor and Lieutenant Governor and the OHA and Kamehameha Schools trustees and strong words from U.S. Attorney Ed Kubo, and Hawaii Attorney General Mark Bennett that such behavior is not pono and will be swiftly and surely dealt with.
And we need to forget about the Akaka bill; and special privileges for anyone just because of the accident of ancestry. Unity, equal opportunity and Aloha for every individual is the only way to make Hawaii as close as humanly possible to heaven on earth.
Very truly yours,
H. William Burgess


Correcting errors of fact and interpretation in Senator Akaka's speeches and other politicians in support of Akaka's bill. Point-counterpoint, and further analysis.




January 20, 2006 USCCR meeting transcript
Hearings before the USCCR, including testimony from both pro-S.147 and anti-S.147 experts.
May 4, 2006 USCCR draft report recommending against the Akaka bill
Draft report including a findings section.
May 4, 2006 USCCR final report recommending against the Akaka bill
Final report with findings section redacted after complaint from 2 of the commissioners. See USCCR Akaka Findings for details on the findings.
May 4, 2006 USCCR final report including minority dissents
See corrections for Michael J. Yaki and Arlan D. Melendez above.
Akaka Substitute Comparison
Detailed comparison between the current version of S.147 actually before the Senate, and an allegedly proposed version addressing some, but not all, of the concerns raised by the U.S. Department of Justice. Senator Akaka posted the trial balloon on his Senate website in September 2005 with great fanfare, but has never formally introduced it in the Senate. A few days later in September the DOJ issued a statement that the trial balloon still does not resolve important issues. Senator Akaka now complains that the U.S. Civil Rights Commission considered only the version actually pending in the Senate, and did not consider his allegedly amended version. Interestingly, the trial balloon was not different from the actually-pending bill on the issues of concern to the Civil Rights Commission, as can be seen by comparing the two versions.
S.147 to S.310 Comparison
Detailed comparison between the last version of the Akaka Bill, and the 2007 version recently introduced.
Hawaii on the chopping block
Discussion of S.147 and its possible impacts.
Commission’s findings clarify position on Akaka Bill
Commentary piece from May 13, 2006 Honolulu Star Bulletin
Why Congress Must Reject Race-Based Government for Native Hawaiians
PDF explaining how S.147 offends basic American values.
2006-06-07 DOJ to Frist
Letter to Majority Leader Bill Frist regarding the Bush administration's strong opposition to S.147.