Archive for the ‘Questions’ category

What racial “rights” do you have?

July 26th, 2007

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?