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  • A Separate, Race-Based Government for Native Hawaiians?

    Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act

    The U.S. House is expected to vote today on the creation of the largest tribal entity in U.S. history under the Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act, despite last-minute opposition by Hawaii’s governor, Linda Lingle (R), and serious questions regarding the bill’s constitutionality. Meanwhile, President Barack Obama promised to sign the legislation.

    The bill would establish a separate, race-based governing body to represent Native Hawaiians in negotiations with state and federal governments. As The National Review writes, the Act would:

    …partly disenfranchise a portion of one state’s residents, create a parallel government for those meeting a legislated criterion of ethnic purity, and would portend the transfer of public assets, land, and political power from those who fail to satisfy the standard of ethnic purity to those who do.

    The goal, as The National Review notes, is “to apply the model of American Indian tribes’ formal sovereignty to people of native Hawaiian ancestry.”

    Notably, Gov. Lingle reversed course after more than seven years of support for the Act (also known as “the Akaka Bill”), citing recent amendments to the legislation she says aren’t in the best interest of Hawaiians:

    The basic problem as I see it, is that in the current version of the bill, the ‘governmental’ (non-commercial) activities of the Native Hawaiian governing entity, its employees, and its officers, will be almost completely free from State and County regulation, including free from those laws and rules that protect the health and safety of Hawai‘i’s people, and protect the environment. ’Governmental’ activity is a broad undefined term that can encompass almost any non-commercial activity.

    “This structure will, in my opinion, promote divisiveness and litigation, rather than negotiation and resolution.

    The Akaka Bill also drew fire from five members of the United States Commission on Civil Rights, who sent a letter to House leadership on Monday urging opposition to the proposal. In their letter, they reasserted objections to the bill they initially raised in August of last year. From the August 2009 letter:

    We do not believe Congress has the constitutional authority to “reorganize” racial or ethnic groups into dependent sovereign nations unless those groups have a long and continuous history of separate self-governance. Moreover, quite apart from the issue of constitutional authority, creating such an entity sets a harmful precedent. Ethnic Hawaiians will surely not be the only group to demand such treatment. On what ground will Congress tell these other would-be tribes no?

    And in their letter yesterday, the commissioners also questioned the manner in which the bill came to a vote, stating that it was “slated for a hasty House vote [that] was apparently negotiated behind closed doors…”

    In NRO’s “the corner,” Commissioner Peter Kirsanow, who was a signatory to the letter, writes that the precedent the Akaka Bill sets is a dangerous one:

    The bill is not only constitutionally defective and morally repugnant, but by logical extension it opens the door for members of other racial classifications to petition the government for sovereign status.

    While the House is poised to pass the bill, concern over those constitutional questions and the precedent the Akaka Bill would set are quite significant. The U.S. Constitution stands for the proposition that all Americans should be treated equally under the law. It certainly stands to reason, then, that Congress shouldn’t be in the business of granting different ethnic groups special treatment under the law in direct contravention of Constitutional principles.

    Posted in Ongoing Priorities [slideshow_deploy]

    36 Responses to A Separate, Race-Based Government for Native Hawaiians?

    1. juandos says:

      Isn't this carrying pandering to the losers just a little to far?

      I mean just look at this inane silliness

    2. Doug Holdridge, Ohio says:

      They may have been the last of the 50 to join the Union but they CHOSE to become Americans. Nobody is or should want to stop them from maintaining or celebrating their cultural heritage. If there are enough who feel the need to separate themselves from America then maybe they should start a cessation movement. After all, it is their Constitutional right to do so. This will only intensify the divisiveness that already exists and lead to civil disobedience if not outright conflict.

    3. Bill Meadows, Colora says:

      So much for the U.S. being the 'melting pot' for the world. Now we will have RACE being the tool which will be used to divide the nation into races. It will be African, Hispanic, Islamic and everybody else. Even Christians will be cut out of the nation by race as we come from every race in the world. Obama is the biggest racist in the world. He hates the freedoms, the mixing of the races, and the Constitution of this country. If this is passed and he signs it into law he should be impeached for distruction of the Constitution that he pledged to protect.

      Bill Meadows

    4. David, TN says:

      what's to stop someone like Rev. Wright from seeking a separate governing body for black Americans?

      What's to stop American Muslims from seeking separate governance so they can impose sharia law, as in England?

    5. Mark in Arizona says:

      Having lived on the Big Island in the '60s and visited the state several times since then, I have reservations about this legislation. Furthermore, I'm concerned that an unintended consequence will be that it will hurt the tourism business more than anyone suspects it might.

    6. Pingback: Cold Fury » The South (Pacific) Shall Rise Again!

    7. Pingback: A Separate, Race-Based Government for Native Hawaiians? | The … | 1st Gov

    8. DeclareTruth, The fo says:

      It would make much more sense and be a far more moral undertaking to allow Hawaii to secede from the Union. I knew a man who was a native Hawaiian, and he maintained until his death last year that the United States stole the Hawaiian Islands from the native people and that the U.S. has NEVER had the right to any governing authority there. This Akaka bill is absolutely one of the most idiotic proposals I have heard – just when I think this administration has reached the limits of ridiculous they come up with something so far-fetched that it's hard to believe they're serious.

    9. Rich Angelo, GA says:

      Does the constitution mean anything to this current administration?? Ethnic origin based politics in the US??? What are the "tests" going to be to determine ethic purity in this case?? Who decides ???? How many generations back to we benchmark?? Absolutely incredible………..

    10. Ozzy6900, CT says:

      This bill is creating and approving a Government within the Government of the United States. That is against the Constitution and needs to be stopped.

    11. Joy Duval says:

      When this is passed, precedent is established to allow Arab Americans to answer to Sharia law rather than the US law. Give them the separate race-based government which they have been seeking.

      Our Republic has never been in more peril.

    12. Geoff, Henderson, Ne says:

      When has anything based on ethnicity worked? How is this uniting a nation? The economy of Hawaii will implode like California and they will be back in Washington D.C.begging for help. I used to temper my language when it came to this administration, but STUPID is becoming more appropriate every day.

    13. Chad says:

      Mr. Obama and his left / progressivist sidekicks Pelosi, Reid, Axelrod, Rahm, Holder, Rev. Wright (20+ years in the pugh), Van Jones (a communist!), ……….. ACORN – which Mr. Obama during elections said he hadn't worked with for 13 years, yet behind closed doors swears to be an advocate every working day……..(See Glenn Beck). Hawaii should produce Mr. Obama's long form birth certificate first, not a laser printed "version" when lasers didn't exist.

      We cannot be suprised by anything out of this administration. Let us look for a quick and single term and vote these RADICALS out!

      Just wait til he gets his tax plans in place, single handedly in the process of attempting to have government run ALL aspects of our lives. They just don't respect the individiual lives of the American people, and they truly believe we are better off with their hands in our pockets. AMERICA – PLEASE WAKE UP!!!

    14. Alex, Washington DC says:

      Obama is clearly biased on this issue because he comes from the Big Island. I don't think any person who grew up in the continental United States would support such a ludicrious proposal.

    15. Rick74 says:

      Governor Perry –

      Your idea that Texas might secede from the Union now seems prescient.

      Wait, we may not have a Union for Texas to secede from.

      What does the United in United States stand for? What does States stand for?

    16. Pingback: A Separate, Race-Based Government for Native Hawaiians? « Secession and Nullification — News & Information

    17. Drew Page, IL says:

      I thought President Obama said "We aren't red states or blue states; we are the United States". Hawaii was annexed based on a vote of the people there and is one of the United States. It's over and done. What possible good would come of creating a government within a government? And what would be next, giving the country back to the Indians?

      All something like this would do is cost the American taxpayers more money. Don't we have enough other places where our tax money could be better spent?

      Doesn't Mr. Obama have anything better to do?

    18. Chuck In Larkspur, C says:

      When a recent visitor to Hawaii went to the grocery store, they discovered that there are multiple prices for the items being sold. The lowest price was for the "Native Hawaiians". Apparently the Native Hawaiians are having second thoughts about living under the constitution of the United States. They do not want liberty and justice for all. They want special treatment for themselves and no thought about who is going to pay for their "free lunch".

      I say let them all go to one of the islands where they can revert to their native ways and we will not bother them at all.

    19. Jeanne Stotler,Woodb says:

      Would that also appy to Okla. and the indians there, Fla. and the Seminole, Tenn and the Cherokee and NY and what is left of several tribes there?? I do not know about stealing Hawaii, my grandfather was stationed there 1928-1934 at Scholfield barracks and they were considered a territory then. Of course the American Indians claim we stole their land and we did in some instances, although there are documents showing that the Indians in Mass. were paid and so were those in Jamestown.

    20. Chuck In Larkspur, C says:

      It appears that the Native Hawaiians want what the American Indians have. Maybe they should look a little closer. The evolution of the Native American Indians since they have been "adopeted" by the US government is both the saddest and best example of what socialism will do to a society.

    21. George Walden RI says:

      My wife is a card carrying Wampanoag indian and as such,with similar legislation in Massachusets, would have claim to enhanced rights in south-eastern MA [including Cape Cod] depending on which band holds her affiliation.

      In addition,wouldn't the Apache or any other native tribe have a similar claim? And what about all the African-American or white people who have no native claims at all?

    22. Josh, Maine says:

      This should come as no surprise to anybody. We currently have a completely out of control narcissist at the helm of the USA Titanic who instead of trying to be a good captain and avoid the icebergs to save his ship and passengers is steering into them. We are going to be lucky to survive this voyage.

    23. Leeners, Seattle says:

      I would concur that this sets a horrible precident and is even worse than the Native Indian Reservations (of which we have many in Washington State). Making certain groups of people obey laws when others are kept at a different standard does not unite this country and I would question the Constitutionality of this bill.

    24. Lloyd Scallan - New says:

      Again, why is this a surpirse? Obama just gave black farmers $1.25 BILLION dollars for reparations. The "native Hawaiians" are getting reparation. The illegals

      are getting reparations in the form of "free health care. The only group that is not

      getting reparation is "whites" despite that fact without whites, we would not have

      reparation to give.

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    26. Spiritof76, NH says:

      Isn't this wonderful-another step towards dismantling the United States. The current government (Congress included) is hell bent on destroying the American economy, individual freedom and property rights. Welcome to the Soviet Union of the west.

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    29. JB, Texas says:

      This would be hilarious, if it wasn't so sad.

    30. Just John, Big Islan says:

      As an American land owner on the Big Island I will not give up my freedom, or my land, to someone who says, you are not Hawai'ian, your land is mine. I dug this piece of 'NOTHING' out and made 'SOMETHING' of it. After I am dead it no longer matters to me. I do not plan on dying anytime soon! I am a farmer/pioneer and will defend what is mine. God Bless the United States of America.

    31. Nick, North Dakota says:

      Do any of you who are blaming Obama and the current administration for this bill realize that this has been an issue for Native Hawaiians for many years? They goal behind the bill is to apply the model of American Indian tribes’ formal sovereignty to people of native Hawaiian ancestry. A similar bill actually went before congress in 2005 but was not passed. Who was president in 2005? Was George W. Bush a socialist too?

    32. Joey, Washington DC says:

      Silly. Hawaii already had a government in place, with its own laws, civil rights regulations , and a system of society. Through economic and military pressure, westerners pushed their way into Hawaii and soon it became a territory. Westerners recruited Filipinos, Japanese, Portuguese, and other’s to work on their sugar plantations. By the time a vote for statehood had become an issue, Hawaiians were already a minority in their own native lands. Westerner’s promised these immigrants opportunities and jobs and, of course, this swayed a lot of people in the communities. But the interests of Native Hawaiians, decendants of navigators that first discovered the islands, were grossly ignored.

      It seems like many people have commented without having any actual knowledge of the bill. The bill will not take away any land from people who currently own private property in Hawaii. Yes, Hawaiians feel that the American government has dealt wrongly with Native Hawaiians, however, it really isn’t realistic to believe that Hawaii will ever have a separate, completely sovereign government. This bill acknowledges that!

      Also, if you know how to do your research, you would find that the Hawaiian community wouldn’t need anyone to “foot the bill” and is not looking for a “free lunch”.

      Like someone has already said, this is an issue that has always been on the minds and hearts of Hawaiians. It’s not the new administration. It’s not that Native Hawaiians have all of a sudden changed their minds.

      I suggest having actual knowledge of the political events in Hawaii’s history and actually reading the bill instead of forming an opinion based upon political rhetoric and your three vacations to Waikiki.

    33. Ron, Las Vegas says:

      Joey is the only real person on here with knowledge of the situation in Hawaii. He is correct, the Hawaiians don't want to take anything away from anyone who lives in Hawaii and is not "Native." There was land set aside by the U.S. government called the ceded lands for the native people when they took over Hawaii, but was never given to the Hawaiian people, it was taken over by the state and used for profit. The Hawaiians were at one point not allowed to even practice any of their customs or culture and slowly were converted to the english language. If a native child couldn't speak perfect english they were not allowed to go to the good schools, where they could get a good education. Instead most of the native kids were brought up with a really bad education on purpose to prevent them from gaining knowledge on what happened and what lands they were entitled too. Hawaiians are some of nicest people with big hearts and have lots of "Aloha" as I have heard described by many many people of all different backgrounds, explaining why so many tourists love to go there besides the beauty of the islands. Hawaiians would accept anyone of any culture with open arms and are always giving and never taking more than they gave, which is why they have ended up in this situation. The difference is greed! Greedy people don't ever give more than they take, are all about making money and don't consider the "aina" (land) or the people they affect, and that is what makes Hawaiian people angry about their situation. If a few people weren't greedy and everyone shared and didn't make it so expensive that more Hawaiians have to live outside of Hawaii to make a living than live in Hawaii, they wouldn't be so angry or trying to govern themselves. Its just that so many tourists come in, love it there then want to move buy a house and the next thing you know its been flipped 4 times i one year and the price has gone up 200% causing all the surrounding lands, owned by Local people to go up also. Which is great in a western point of view, profit, profit, profit! But what if your point of view is not profit, its just living a simple life for your family and not to be greedy? Your property taxes go through the roof until you can't afford it anymore, then you have to sell and then realize you can't afford another property because they all have gone up so quickly that only really wealthy people can afford them. Along with that as the wealthier people move in, all the luxury things follow, making all things go up in costs, from gas, to food, to clothes. All the basics in life are now beyond your means as a native, what do you do just to survive? Hawaiians just want to be able to live where they are from in a simple fashion, without having to suffer just to survive! There are so many native homeless people living on the beach these days, that was never the case years ago, but with the rising costs and the greed of people who don't even live there but own property and try to flip it to the next rich guy for profit is whats causing the Hawaiians to seek self governing. You know with such a terrible education system for natives, they aren't going to get the 6 figure jobs needed to live in Hawaii, and they really don't care about that, they want to live simply, with the basics of life and family. That is why even with all the suffering they go through in basic day to day living, they are still always smiling and happy, because this is how they live, without all the stress and worries of the next big profit, or the next big sum of money they need to make to maintain a luxury lifestyle. But now a days, its tough just to make ends meet, but they are still happy and smiling. That says a lot about a people. As a Native Hawaiian, I am proud to be Hawaiian and proud to be an American Citizen, just wish I could afford to live in Hawaii where I am from. In the ancient days of Hawaii everyone was given a piece of land to provide for their families, and it wasn't based on how much money you made. Today we go by how much you can afford, how good your credit is, how much someone says a piece of property is worth(which changes all the time), and how much a bank wants to make off of you for buying this property, don't forget insurance costs, land taxes,etc. Its basically greed, and that is what has caused our economy to collapse recently, but this has been going on in Hawaii for a long time which has shut the Hawaiians out from their homeland. If you were Japanese, Filipino, Irish, English, Dutch, French, African, Middle Eastern, and you didn't like it, you could always go back home to your, countries. If we don't like it, we have no where to go home too! So I repeat, nothing will change in Hawaii for all of you who love to visit, live, work, farm, or whatever you like to do there, we don't want to build casinos, or kick people off their land, but us natives outside of Hawaii, would love to come home and be able to survive and live a simple life, free of stress of this greed system we got going on and receive the ceded lands that was set aside for us many many years ago. I believe in Capitalism, but Greedalism is a whole other game we don't like to play. Please do your research, and help the Hawaiians, they are such a loving people in distress!

    34. Ron, Las Vegas says:

      "When we have pleaded for understanding our character has been distorted, when we have asked for simple caring, we have been handed empty inspirational appellations, then stuck in the farthest corner."(Walker, p. 698). When the United States managed to annex Hawaii in 1898, they did break the law and the human code of conduct. A joint resolution of Congress produced the annexation rather than a two-thirds majority vote, which is required under the United States Constitution. (MacKenzie, p.24) Also, the Native Hawaiians were vastly opposed to the annexation because it violated a treaty the U.S. had with Hawaii stating that they would not interfere with Hawaii's right to self-government. (Castanha, p.2) So when the U.S. held a vote on whether or not Hawaii should become a state, many Hawaiians did not vote because their only choices were statehood or staying a territory of the U.S. and they did not want either of these. Many people today question the validity of the statehood because of the legal violations of long ago. Also, as human beings there is a naturally agreed upon law that we share with one another and that is to treat people with respect and dignity. The U.S. did not do this when they disregarded the treaty and the law to annex Hawaii. These are the reasons that Native Hawaiians are presently seeking reparations.

    35. An Educated Hawaiian says:

      First of all, for all those who are absolutely ignorant of Hawaii's past, we have NEVER agreed to become a part of the United States. Therefore mindless statements such as: "They chose this, they agreed to become a part of the U.S" Should cease, immediately.

      Second of all, we were once under monarchical rule. We had a King, we had a Queen, and we were more than capable of sustaining ourselves. The United States took over Hawaii for the same reason they took over every other place, for their own selfish benefits.

      Third of all, if you need proof of Hawaii's resistance to American occupation, look up something referred to as "The Ku`e Petition" there you will see the thousands of signatures by Native Hawaiians who were in complete opposition to becoming a state. Furthermore, have you heard of the Apology Resolution signed by President Clinton in 1993? The United States offers an apology for ILLEGALLY "overthrowing" the Kingdom of Hawaii. If you still lack the understanding of what that means, let me break it down for you: The U.S was wrong for what they did to Native Hawaiians and to the Kingdom of Hawaii at large. Does that make it clear enough for you to understand?

      Why are Americans so upset that Hawaiians want back what is rightfully ours? And Americans wonder why so much people are angry with the U.S. Look at what they do! They take everything by force. They illegally occupy other lands(such as Hawaii) and even break their OWN laws by doing so. Lets just be real. Yet the ignorant comments such as "Native Hawaiians were never recognized as it's own people" continue to resonate within my ears. That's the mindset of Americans, isn't it? Tell me, how does Captain Cook get credit for "discovering" the Hawaiian Islands? Maybe someone should inform him and the rest of America that it's impossible to discover a place that is already occupied. Do you know what that means? It means that who ever was on that land BEFORE he arrived, are the ones who discovered it. But leave it up to pompous Americans to take credit.

      You should really educate yourselves before making ignorant and mindless comments about a people who you know NOTHING about.

    36. Tatum says:

      Okay I have read each and every post on this site and i will admit, that this is my very 1st post on ANY forum, I read each of these individuals opinions and arguments, but I had to reply to say that If you are just on these sites spurting BS to fill your day, that is one thing, but until you KNOW what really went on in the Islands in 1893, which- I don't believe you do… Then you would realize that for one thing, when Hawaii and their Kingdom, yes kingdom ( With a Monarchy that was educated in Great Britain ) not a tribe! They weren't living in teepee's or wanderers, they lived in a Victorian Palace. I`olani Palace is the ONLY palace in the entire US. And it isn't even within the Continental US. The Kanaka Queen, was forcefully imprisoned by the US military and of course the Kanaka (native Hawaiian) weren't any match for them. They were in fact- do the research and find out; not even a territory at that time. The US were there as guests. It was after the overthrow of the Monarchy and the banning of the native languages, religion and way of life that it became a territory in 1900, seven years later. Then in 1959 Hawaii became a state. The vote of statehood included two options: territory continuation or statehood. Neither Commonwealth nor Independence appeared as choices on the ballot.
      The facts are worth knowing BEFORE you post your BS.

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