THE STAR-BULLETIN’S editorial seems to suggest that the HISAC should report to Washington what is perceived to be the prevailing or popular sentiment in the islands as expressed in a recent poll supporting the Akaka Bill, apparently without the clutter of dissenting or varying opinions. This is a dangerous standard of reportage, and one which can only undermine the reporter’s credibility. There is no universal opinion in the islands on the Akaka Bill.
Archive for July, 2007
As reported on NewsMax.com:
Speaking to the House Natural Resources Committee, Hawaii Rep. Neil Abercrombie, also a Democrat, defined the bill this way: “What we’re trying to do in Hawaii is get the government out of the lives of native Hawaiians so that they can make their own decisions. The bottom line here is that this is a bill about the control of assets. This is about land, this is about money, and this is about who has the administrative authority and responsibility over it.”
“Greed, pure and simple” is motivating Hawaiian activists, One Nation United’s Lindsay tells NewsMax. “A small group of native Hawaiian activists think they can get more money, as a tribe, from U.S. taxpayers. And they also want to be given huge amounts of land in Hawaii worth hundreds of millions of dollars.
“They’ve told local property owners not to worry, they won’t take their land, but in the future they should plan on sending property taxes to the new Hawaiian entity rather than the county. This is very much a threat to the tax base and to local governments in Hawaii.”
Maybe you’re a second generation immigrant from China. Perhaps you’re the offspring of slaves who migrated west after the Civil War, and came to the Kingdom of Hawaii in the 1800s. Or maybe you’re a Micronesian who just got to Oahu. Maybe you’re all kapakahi (mixed-race), and have ancestors from all over the planet.
No matter who you are, you may wonder what kind of racial “rights” you have. If you’re Chinese, do you have a racial claim to land in Tianjin? If you’re the offspring of slaves, do you have a racial claim to land in the U.S. south, or somewhere in Africa? If you’re of mixed blood, do you have racial claims to land and sovereignty everywhere your ancestors lived?
In Hawaii, we only have one group with explicit racial privileges – native Hawaiians. Some of those privileges are based on blood-quantum (DHHL), and others are simply one-drop rule (KSBE). All of these special racial privileges have been and are being questioned in the courts. The Akaka Bill promises to enshrine these racial privileges into law and will help thwart the ideal of equal rights regardless of race, creed or color.
So if we could change the Akaka Bill, and add racial privileges for everyone, what kind of things would you add?
(as printed in the July 20, 2007 Honolulu Advertiser)
Congresswoman Mazie Hirono’s press release on the appointment of William Burgess and Paul Sullivan to the Hawai’i Civil Rights Advisory Board in which she states that the “group does not appear to reflect the position of the majority of the people of Hawai’i” misrepresents what I know to be the more prevalent public opinion about the Akaka bill.