Hawaiian Sovereignty


Here’s a pop quiz - what country is Hawaii a part of?

I’ve never lived there, but whenever I think of Hawaii, I think of a foreign place, and I have a hunch most people do too. Sometimes it seems almost like Puerto Rico - not really a state but still somehow a part of the US.

Of course, Hawaii is state. Some white plantation owners went over way back when and killed a bunch of the natives, abused the survivors and stole the land, fair and square, like they did the rest of America. Maybe my history’s a little fuzzy, but the point is, it is ancient history. If there was ever anything to get over, this is one. What’s done is done and hopefully we’ve learned something from it.

Some people won’t get over it. Carrying a grudge over a slight, real or imagined, is usually considered a character flaw. Ever meet a 30-year-old who keeps talking about how their bicycle was stolen - when they were 11? Kinda wears on ‘ya after awhile. And when that slight occurred not to them, but to someone else, it’s even worse.

But for some reason when it happened hundreds of years ago to people long since dead, it’s considered to be a legitimate ‘cause’. The slavery reparations movement drives me nuts for this very reason. Good grief, America’s embrace of slavery was a horrible, evil mistake - let’s not ever do that again. But how is giving money to black people today going to make it any different? Didn’t we already fight a long, bloody Civil War in no small measure over the states right to allow or forbid slavery?

Damn, folks, let’s get over it already and get going with the rest of life. There’s plenty of other problems to solve without trying to right a wrong that can never be righted.

But some people are still trying:

‘Hawaii Sen. Daniel K. Akaka thinks Hawaiians should be allowed to govern themselves as Native Americans and Alaskans do, and after seven years of pushing a bill to start the process, the Senate is expected to take it up this week.’

And how are Indian reservations considered to be desirable?

‘Mr. Akaka says the bill is a way to give «indigenous» Hawaiians a sense of pride…’

Stop right there - a sense of pride? Huh? Aren’t they proud to be Americans? And do you mean to tell me we’re doing this for their self-esteem?

Oh, and who defines ‘indigenous’?

’…and a chance for sovereignty for the first time since 1893, when Queen Liliuokalani was deposed and lands were illegally seized by U.S. Marines and a cadre of sugar-plantation businessmen.’

The US Marines! Damn them! See, they’ve been committing atrocities for over 100 years!

’«For the first time, if it passes, Hawaiians will have parity and be able to form a government entity to address their concerns, since the overthrow,» Mr. Akaka said.’

‘Parity’ with whom? With whom do they not have ‘parity’? Don’t they have elections over there? Where did Senator Akaka come from? What’s he doing? Isn’t Senator Akaka addressing the concerns of Hawaiian citizens in a government entity of the people’s making?

’«This is just the next step in that process of acknowledging the wrong committed against the Native Hawaiian people and recognize them as a sovereign entity,» said Donalyn Dela Cruz, spokeswoman for Mr. Akaka.’

‘Just the next step’? What’s next for Hawaii? Secession from the US?

President Lincoln wasn’t out to abolish slavery as much as preserve the Union - ’«If there be those who would not save the Union, unless they could at the same time save slavery, I do not agree with them. If there be those who would not save the Union unless they could at the same time destroy slavery, I do not agree with them. My paramount objective in this struggle is to save the Union, and is not either to save or to destroy slavery. If I could save the Union without freeing any slave I would do it, and if I could save it by freeing all the slaves I would do it; and if I could save it by freeing some and leaving others alone I would also do that. What I do about slavery, and the colored race, I do because I believe it helps to save the Union; and what I forbear, I forbear because I do not believe it would help to save the Union.»’

Creating a separate race-based government for the sake of someone’s self-esteem and justified by wrongs done by our ancestors is a bizarre idea that tramples the principles of some of those very same ancestors - the ones who were trying to set things right in the first place.