(c) Copyright 2002 - 2010
Kenneth R. Conklin, Ph.D.
All rights reserved
SUMMARY: Today's Hawaiian sovereignty independence activists are systematically ignoring heroes of the Hawaiian Kingdom who had no native blood. By removing non-natives from the pantheon of Hawaiian national historical heroes, today's Hawaiian activists show their intentions for the future. They say their movement is about a nation, not a race. They say people of all races will be welcome as citizens in the newly re-established nation. But their clear intention is to make second-class citizens of everyone lacking native blood, giving them only voting rights restricted to certain topics and property rights restricted to certain areas. This webpage explores several Hawaiian holidays (both historical and modern) to show how the ethnic cleansing is being implemented. Holidays include Ka La Ho'iho'i Ea (Sovereignty Restoration Day), Ka La Ku'oko'a (Independence Day), Martin Luther King's birthday, the 4th of July, and a newly created Hawaiian memorial day to supplant Christmas.
Hawaiian sovereignty activists are hijacking historical holidays, in two ways:
(A) The activists are reviving Hawaiian Kingdom holidays (sometimes obscure ones) whose dates fall close to American holidays. In this way, they hope to pull Hawaiians away from the American mainstream by getting them to celebrate and identify with Hawaiian holidays at the expense of American holidays.
(B) The activists are doing ethnic cleansing of historical Hawaiian Kingdom holidays. Non-natives were important and often essential in establishing and protecting the multiracial Kingdom of Hawai'i. Some important Hawaiian Kingdom holidays would never have existed without non-native heroes of the Kingdom -- indeed, the Kingdom itself would not have been created and could not have survived without non-native heroes. Downplaying or eliminating the essential role of non-natives in establishing and protecting the Kingdom of Hawai'i is clearly racist. It serves as a warning to everyone who has no native blood that they would be relegated to second-class status in a Hawaiian racial-supremacist government.
The strategy of reviving Kingdom holidays that coincide with American holidays has an appearance of not being racist. Hawaiian Kingdom patriots of all races would naturally want to celebrate Kingdom holidays in preference to American ones. This strategy of hijacking holidays has been practiced for thousands of years throughout the world. For example, the Christians living in the Roman Empire during the first few centuries A.D. selected their dates for Christmas and Easter to coincide with popular pagan festivals, and also used some of the same materials and similar rituals. Even today, with modern technology for archeology and astronomy, scholars are unable to determine the correct date or month or year when Jesus was born and when he died; thus demonstrating that the choice of dates was arbitrary (timed to coincide with existing holidays of the dominant culture).
But sometimes the hijacking of a holiday can be racial. For example, African-Americans invented a brand new holiday called Kwanzaa to provide a race-based holiday to be celebrated at roughly the same time as Christmas and Chanukah, and using similar materials and ceremonies. The Kwanzaa holiday also adopted Swahili-language terms for various ceremonial concepts, because Swahili is the language of a part of Africa and because it is also associated with the Muslim religion that some African-Americans adopted to separate themselves from the dominant-culture Christianity in which they were born and raised.
The strategy of ignoring, forgetting, or removing disfavored individuals from historical memory also has an appearance of not being racist. For example, George Orwell's book "1984" describes how the leaders of a totalitarian society removed all references to disfavored individuals from newspapers, books, movies, etc. People thus removed were referred to as "non-persons." The Soviet Union practiced such a policy regarding losers of political infighting, and even the long-term dictator Joseph Stalin later became a non-person and had his body removed from the glass-case display in the mausoleum in Red Square. Stalingrad, the hero-city famous for resisting the Nazis in World War II, had its name changed to Volgograd (the Volga River runs past it) before the Soviet Union collapsed. And after the Soviet Union collapsed, the city of Leningrad reverted to its 19th Century name of St. Petersburg.
Likewise, cultural cleansing can be non-racial. For example, the French government passed a law to protect the French language by prohibiting the use in newspapers of American slang words that had crept into French usage and were called "Franglish." The government of Canada passed laws to protect the separateness of Canadian culture by requiring Canadian TV stations to maintain a certain percentage of TV programming created and produced in Canada. Preventing cultural colonization, or taking steps to decolonize a culture, can be non-racial.
Although the hijacking of a holiday could be either race-based or not race-based, there is no doubt that ethnic cleansing of a traditional holiday is racist. And although the removal of great leaders from the pantheon of heroes might be either race-based or not race-based, there is no doubt that the systematic removal of heroes of one race in order to elevate lesser-known heroes of another race is racist.
Some sovereignty activists who favor independence like to trumpet their claim that sovereignty is about a nation and not a race. They correctly say the Kingdom was multiracial, and they say the future independent nation of Hawai'i would likewise be multiracial. But of course, South Africa under apartheid was multiracial, and so was the southern United States under slavery! The issue is race-based political power. The issue is who gets to vote, and who gets to own property, and whether such rights are restricted by law according to race.
Hawaiian activists currently exercise their power as writers, speakers, and TV producers to celebrate only kanaka maoli as heroes and to intentionally forget and eliminate non-kanaka heroes of the Kingdom. Thus the activists seeking independence show their intention to turn non-kanaka into second-class citizens in a future nation of Hawai'i. Non-kanaka are not good enough to be heroes of a Hawaiian nation. Non-kanaka can never be sufficiently "Hawaiian" no matter how well they learn the language or practice the culture; no matter how zealously they nourish and protect Hawaiian nationhood.
Following are some examples of the hijacking of holidays: (1) the ethnic cleansing of the Hawaiian Kingdom's Sovereignty Restoration Day; (2) the ethnic cleansing of the Hawaiian Kingdom's Independence Day; (3) the hijacking of Martin Luther King's birthday; (4) the hijacking of July 4 for a protest against the founding of the Republic of Hawaii on July 4, 1894; (5) the revival/invention of a Hawaiian memorial day at the end of December, to hijack Christmas and New Years.
On a different but related topic: those who may be interested in how the holidays of Thanksgiving and Christmas came to Hawaii should see these webpages:
"How Thanksgiving Came to Hawaii"
"How Christmas Came to Hawaii"
(1) THE ETHNIC CLEANSING OF THE HAWAIIAN KINGDOM'S SOVEREIGNTY RESTORATION DAY -- KA LA HO'IHO'I EA. REV. DR. GERRIT JUDD, PATRIOT OF THE HAWAIIAN KINGDOM AND HERO OF SOVEREIGNTY RESTORATION IN 1843 IS NOW CONVENIENTLY FORGOTTEN.
July 31, 1843 was the day when King Kauikeaouli Kamehameha III uttered his famous statement from the steps of Kawaiaha'o Church: "Ua mau ke ea o ka 'aina i ka pono." (Sovereignty has been preserved because it is righteous). For several years this date was a national holiday celebrated with many days of huge parades and feasts: Ka La Ho'iho'i Ea (Sovereignty Restoration Day).
In recent years Hawaiian sovereignty activists for independence, led by Dr. Kekuni Blaisdell, have revived a celebration of this day at Thomas Square, usually on the Sunday closest to the actual date. In 2001, the commemoration was Sunday, July 29. But the activists called it Kanaka Maoli Restoration Day, violating both the literal meaning and the spirit of "Ka La Ho'iho'i Ea." Why must it be racial?
Today's Hawaiian sovereignty ethnic nationalists conveniently forget the heroic role of Rev. Dr. Gerrit Judd in restoring the sovereignty of the Kingdom. If Gerrit Judd had not taken strong action, the Kingdom would almost certainly have been lost in 1843. The independence activists say sovereignty is about nationhood and not race. But if that is true, then Gerrit Judd should be remembered on this day as a great hero of the Hawaiian people (nation, not race).
At the commemoration in 2001, two sovereignty groups set up separate activities at Thomas Square. The larger group, under the direction of Dr. Kekuni Blaisdell, held some ceremonies and hosted a number of speeches; but the name of Gerrit Judd was mentioned only by one speaker, and only in passing. The smaller group of about 5 people sent a speaker to the larger group who stated, among other things, that the restored nation welcomes all people to citizenship; but the multitude of banners associated with his citizen registration area referred only to kanaka maoli, "your ancestors," etc. and it would be extremely surprising if more than a token membership of non-kanaka maoli exists or would be tolerated.
When Lord Paulet forced the King to cede sovereignty to Britain, the King, suffering personal problems and a deep depression, was unable to take action. Dr. Judd, close friend of the King who held many cabinet positions over the years, wrote the appeal to the British government that persuaded Britain to send Admiral Thomas to Honolulu to restore sovereignty. Dr. Judd, risking his life, worked secretly at night by candlelight in the Royal Mausoleum (which was then on the grounds of 'Iolani Palace), using the coffin of Queen Ka'ahumanu as his writing desk. He persuaded the King to sign the document, and recruited an American merchant to take it to Europe. When Admiral Thomas later arrived in Honolulu with the proclamation restoring sovereignty, it was Gerrit Judd who stood side by side with the King on the steps of Kawaiaha'o Church. Dr. Judd, fluent in Hawaiian, took the English-language proclamation and read it loudly in Hawaiian, whereupon the King made his famous one-sentence reply.
Let us remember that the Kingdom of Hawai'i was multiracial, multiethnic, with full partnership, full voting rights, and full property rights; for non-natives who were either naturalized or born in the Kingdom. See
http://www.angelfire.com/hi2/hawaiiansovereignty/HanifinCitizen.html Thousands of their descendants still live here today. Let us remember that there were many patriotic non-native subjects of the Kingdom, such as Dr. Judd. Let us respect the equality and unity of all Hawai'i's people today. Please see
Today's Hawaiian sovereignty independence activists are seeking to "restore" an independent nation of Hawai'i where the only people with full and equal voting rights and property rights would be kanaka maoli (people with at least one drop of native Hawaiian blood). 80% of Hawai'i's people would become second-class citizens. See
The argument is that "indigenous" people deserve special rights and that the Kingdom should be restored to the "Hawaiian people" from whom it was "stolen." See
These sovereignty activists forget kanaka maoli were already a minority of the population before the overthrow (by the first U.S. Census in 1900 only 26% had any Hawaiian blood). They forget that many non-natives had full voting rights and property rights in the Kingdom; all persons naturalized, or born in the Kingdom, regardless of ancestry, were fully equal with natives. Many non-natives were elected or appointed to the legislature; and most high government positions were held by non-natives appointed by the sovereign monarchs. Non-natives were full partners in the Kingdom. The sovereign Kings and chiefs exercised self-determination in making the choices they thought best, welcoming newcomers to become full partners. Today's activists who seek racial supremacy for kanaka maoli are disrespecting their ancestors' choices. See
Ethnic cleansing is no more acceptable when applied to history than when applied to the population of Bosnia. The kings gave non-Hawaiians full partnership in order to encourage them to come to Hawai'i, stay here permanently, and make major investments of capital, expertise, and labor. It would be wrong for today's people of native ancestry to exclude non-Hawaiians from full equality in the nation, just as it would be impossible for them to remove the non-native blood from their veins.
Here is a quote about Gerrit Judd from the Hawaiian history book by Gavan Daws, titled "Shoal of Time", p128
"Of all the white men in the Hawaiian government no one did more for the chiefs than Gerrit Judd. In formal procession at Honolulu he always marched closest to the king, and no matter how much this upset the other cabinet ministers the chiefs never begrudged him his place of honor. He had their unreserved confidence. He spoke their language fluently, looked after them when they were ill, translated state papers for them, and defended with all his considerable strength the right of the Hawaiian kingdom to be recognized as a sovereign nation."
In 2003 the University of Hawai'i Press re-published a medical book on human anatomy written in Hawaiian language by Dr. Gerrit P. Judd that was originally published in 1838. The book review in the Honolulu Advertiser of July 6, 2003 described Judd's intimate knowledge of Hawaiian language and his love for the Hawaiian people.
"Anatomia 1838," by G. P. Judd, translated by Esther T Mookini; University of Hawai'i Press, hardback, $26
By Wanda Adams
Advertiser Book Editor
This project of the Native Hawaiian Center of Excellence may seem remote and esoteric — a back-to-back translation and reproduction of Dr. Gerret P. Judd's book of anatomy, the first in the Hawaiian language.
But there is much both of value and of interest in the book, which illustrates how fluent Judd had become in his adopted language, such that he could make effective use of idiom and employ a plain and yet somehow elegant tone that is very Hawaiian.
He teaches through gentle questions and examples: "If a man was made without bones, such as a sea cucumber, loli, then how could he possibly stand up?"
The late O. A. Bushnell's introduction invites the reader to imagine the difficulties involved in this project for Judd and the Hawaiian students who helped him create the engravings for the book.
The book itself seems infused with the love of the man whose tombstone reads, "Hawai'i's Friend."
(2) THE ETHNIC CLEANSING OF THE HAWAIIAN KINGDOM'S INDEPENDENCE DAY -- KA LA KU'OKO'A
The events of 1843 that led to Sovereignty Restoration Day, where Gerrit Judd was the undisputed hero, were also related to a triumph of Hawaiian Kingdom diplomacy later in the year that led to Hawaiian Independence Day.
Britain and France were major world powers, and both had occasionally expressed an interest in annexing Hawai'i. Captain Cook, the "discoverer" of Hawai'i, was British. 65 years later, the Paulet affair, in which Gerrit Judd was the hero, was an actual takeover of Hawai'i for several months by a renegade British military government.
The Hawaiian government, responding to these pressures, sent a diplomatic mission in 1842 (before the Paulet incident) to Britain, France, and the United States to seek assurances that none of them would invade or take over the Hawaiian islands.
On November 28, 1843, the governments of Britain and France issued a joint resolution "to engage, reciprocally, to consider the Sandwich Islands as an independent state, and never to take possession, either directly or under the title of protectorate, or under any other form, of any part of the territory of which they are composed."
This was not a treaty with Hawai'i. Rather, it was a non-aggression agreement between Britain and France, agreeing with each other that neither country would take over Hawai'i at the expense of the other one. Hawai'i, of course, was the beneficiary, and chose to regard this joint resolution as a treaty recognizing Hawaiian independence. Modern-day sovereignty activists hail this joint resolution as a formal recognition of Hawai'i as a member of the worldwide community of nations whose independence is protected under international law.
The Hawaian Kingdom diplomatic delegation to Britain, France, and America which left in 1842 consisted of two men: Reverend William Richards, a white missionary who had become a powerful close advisor to the King, and Timoteo Ha'alilio, a native chief.
Richards had arrived in Hawai'i in 1823, and served as a missionary in Lahaina where he was noted for educating thousands of natives and protecting them against drunken sailors and sharp businessmen. In 1838 Richards was appointed by the King to serve as "Chaplain, Teacher, and Translator to the King." Richards helped the King write his 1839 declaration of the rights of man, and the Constitution of 1840. Gerrit Judd had arrived in Hawai'i later than Richards, and was brought into the King's cabinet to serve under Richards. Thus, Richards was a very senior member of the Kingdom government.
Timoteo Ha'alilio is described by Gavan Daws ("Shoal of Time") as "a capable young chief who had been private secretary to King Kauikeaouli."
Richards had been given virtually unlimited powers by the King. Gavan Daws reports that Daniel Webster, U.S. Secretary of State, "was unresponsive, and he remained so until Richards let it be known that he would place the islands in the hands of Great Britain. As a matter of fact he was empowered to do anything he wanted: he was carrying papers signed and sealed by King Kauikeaouli but otherwise completely blank."
Later on, before leaving to return to Hawai'i, Timoteo Ha'alilio died. William Richards alone brought back to Hawai'i the precious joint resolution from Britain and France, and the unused signed blank Royal papers.
Note that William Richards was definitely the senior partner in the diplomatic mission, and Timoteo Ha'alilio was described as having been private secretary to the King. Yet, ethnic Hawaiian sovereignty activists like to do ethnic cleansing of history by reversing their roles, claiming that Richards served as a mere secretary to Ha'alilio!
The following is taken from an e-mail announcement of the celebration of Hawaiian Independence Day in November, 1998, written by noted activist Noenoe Silva. (The celebration was attended by about a dozen people). The announcement is still used as recently as November 2001. Note that Richards is described as secretary to Ha'alilio; and the Hawaiian holiday is explicitly touted as a hijacking of "the quintessential colonizers' holiday" of Thanksgiving.
"Aloha kakou: Thanksgiving is the quintessential colonizers' holiday. It celebrates the first firm foothold of the puritans on north america, a land already populated by indigenous peoples. The early history of the settlements were characterized by massacres rather than the myth of mutual cooperation that is called Thanksgiving (see Howard Zinn's _A People's History of the United States.) For those of us living in U.S. colonies,
Thanksgiving has much greater emotional (and economic) impact than Columbus Day because of the attendant ritual feasting and the intense
religious overtones. Thanksgiving was not always officially celebrated in Hawai'i nei: after all, it is not our history, except the puritans also had a hand in colonizing Hawai'i nei; it has nothing to do with the Kanaka Maoli, except as we empathize with the indigenous people of north america, some
of whom call it the National Day of Mourning. La Ku'oko'a -- Hawai'i's Independence Day -- was celebrated around the same time as Thanksgiving from about 1844 until 1893. La Ku'oko'a is the 28th of November. It marks the day, November 28, 1843, that the Ali'i Timoteo Ha'alilio succeeded in obtaining the signatures of the authorities of Great Britain and France on a treaty recognizing Hawai'i as a sovereign nation. Ha'alilio, with the missionary William Richards along as his secretary, traveled through Mexico on foot and donkey to Washington D.C., where they met President John Tyler. President Tyler agreed to the intent of the proposed treaty. Ha'alilio and Richards, armed with his agreement, then went on to Europe, to Belgium, Paris, and London, where the treaty was finally signed. They returned to the United States to cement U.S. agreement. On the journey Ke Ali'i Timoteo Ha'alilio died, on December 3, 1844 ... In our current process of decolonizing, reject the colonizer's holiday, and resurrect La Ku'oko'a instead.
King Kauikeaouli Kamehameha III issued a Royal Proclamation establishing December 31, 1849 as a national day of prayer and thanksgiving. Thanksgiving is a uniquely American holiday, and it is a Christian holiday. To discover why Hawai'i became a Christian nation, and why the King proclaimed an American holiday as a way of cementing his relationship with the U.S. and showing his respect for American missionaries, see:
(3) THE HIJACKING OF MARTIN LUTHER KING'S BIRTHDAY
Is there a valid analogy between the American hero Dr. Martin Luther King, and the Native Hawaiian hero Queen Lili'uokalani? Hawaiian sovereignty activists, and a few African-Americans, seem to think so. They jointly produced an hour-long TV program in 1998 which is rebroadcast each year several times during mid-January. For example, in January 2002, there was a political rally at ‘Iolani Palace on Sunday January 13 to commemorate the January 17, 1893 overthrow of the Hawaiian monarchy. And Monday January 21 was the U.S. national holiday commemorating the birthday of Martin Luther King. Between January 7 and January 21, this TV program was broadcast at least five times.
The announcement of the broadcast is copied below, and gives some of the main alleged similarities between these two historical figures. But the similarities in fact are quite superficial.
True, they were both "imprisoned" by their enemies. But MLK was imprisoned in solitary confinement in a small, dirty,cold, wet, real jail cell, while QL was "imprisoned" in a huge Palace room that is larger than most people's two-bedroom apartments, and which included a private bathroom, her own maidservant, and plenty of sewing supplies and writing materials (she worked on a large quilt containing Hawaiian sovereignty symbols and political slogans, and composed music).
MLK was imprisoned for minor non-violent infractions, like parading without a permit. QL was convicted of misprision of treason for knowingly permitting guns to be hidden in her flowerbed in support of an armed counter-revolution by her friend Robert Wilcox that attempted to put her back on the throne. Thus QL was supporting violence, which MLK never condoned. QL was sentenced to five years at hard labor and a $10,000 fine (a huge amount in 1895), but she served only a few months, paid no fine, and her hard labor was done with sewing needles while chatting with her servant.
Supposedly, QL surrendered because her highest priority was to avoid bloodshed. But actually, she surrendered temporarilly for other reasons. (1) If she seriously believed the 162 members of the U.S. peacekeeping force were her true enemies, then she remembered the Paulet affair when the British government restored the Hawaiian King after a rogue British military takeover; and she hoped history would repeat itself. Thus, she was making a shrewd political evaluation rather than giving top priority to non-violence. So long as she didn't shed the blood of the Americans, she hoped the American government would undo what it had done. (2) But QL was much smarter than that. She knew the 1500 armed local people who belonged to the Honolulu Rifles had actually succeeded in overthrowing her, and the Americans were merely peacekeepers. But by surrendering to the Americans rather than to the real victors, she could still hope that a far-away friendly country would reverse her defeat after her close-up enemies had won.
The collaboration between radical left African-Americans and ethnic nationalist racial separatist Hawaiians is really rather curious. If an independent nation of Hawai'i were to be restored, under the racial supremacy of kanaka maoli, people of African ancestry would be second-class citizens just like people of European and Asian ancestry. But the TV show makes shockingly clear what the Hawaiian and African-American radicals have in common. Both view America as a white-dominated imperialist colonizing power that enslaved Africans and took over Hawai'i. Both see themselves as colored people, fighting back against white domination. Race is clearly the focus.
The genius of Dr. Martin Luther King is his harnessing of a deep spirituality that unifies all people regardless of race. MLK developed an adaptation of Gandhi's non-violent resistance that was successful in America. MLK knew that by submitting non-violently to the violent racial hatred of his enemies, he would eventually force them to see the wrongfulness of their actions. Even the worst racist has, deep down inside, an inherent goodness that will rebuke him for his hatred and violence.
MLK was a hero to American Negroes because he helped them achieve equal rights. But Hawaiian sovereignty activists do not want equal rights -- they already have equal rights plus 160 racial entitlement programs and they now demand racial supremacy for themselves. Most important, MLK was a hero to all the American people, because he helped bring out the best in us all. He helped us become fully equal in practice as well as in theory. He helped us unify America more closely. QL is merely an ethnic hero, who lost her crown because she sought power for herself and her racial group at the expense of her multiracial nation. MLK is a national and international hero for people of all races and all nations, towering far above QL.
Here is the announcement of the TV program:
"THE QUEEN & DR. KING"
AS WE COME TO THE 109TH COMMEMORATION OF THE ARMED INVASION AND OVERTHROW OF THE HAWAIIAN KINGDOM & THE 84TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE BIRTH OF DR. MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR., WE MUST TAKE THIS TIME TO REFLECT.
"They were people of peace whose lives were notably lacking in peace.
She a deposed Queen, he an embattled young minister. The Queen that
would not shed one drop of her people`s blood to save a nation and the
young minister, whose philosophy of non-violence won him a Nobel peace
prize. Their time and place on this earth did not overlap, but their
scars came from the same source."
"They were prisoners. Their prisons were not the same, his the cold wet
cells of Southern jails. Hers the stark emptiness of an upstairs room
closed off from the outside world, in the palace. Stripped of their
dignity, stripped of their "somebodydness". Managing to retain their
spiritual being while imprisoned they inspired nations, gave hope to
their people, wrote, beautiful songs, long letters, thought long
thoughts and prayed long prayers. It is the product of these
imprisonments that has brought us here."
"The Queen & Dr. King" an original production. featuring our own Don
Hayman, Nalani Olds, The Royal Hawaiian Band, with a cast of hundreds,
written & produced by Marsha Joyner, will air on 'Olelo throughout the
Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday.
(4) THE HIJACKING OF THE 4TH OF JULY
In recent years, Hawaiian independence activist Hayden Burgess, alias Poka Laenui, has held an annual rally at 'Iolani Palace on July 4. This is clearly an attempt to hijack the American Independence Day holiday -- indeed, independence (from America) is exactly what the activists want. July 4, 1894 was the date when Sanford B. Dole stood on the steps of 'Iolani Palace to proclaim the Republic of Hawai'i. Readers will recall that following the revolution of January 17, 1893, when the Hawaiian monarchy was overthrown, there was a Provisional Government set up by the revolutionary Committee of Safety to hold power temporarily while seeking annexation to the United States.
When political power in Washington changed hands, the new President Cleveland delivered a blistering message to Congress objecting to the overthrow. The proposed Treaty of Annexation offered by the Provisional Government was withdrawn from Congress by President Cleveland. Thus, the Provisional Government understood they would need to hold power for at least four more years. Like many revolutionary governments immediately after a coup or revolution, the Provisional Government ruled by decree, with no formal system of laws. Four more years would be too long for a merely temporary government. Accordingly they created a Republic of Hawai'i with a Constitution and an elected legislature.
The Republic was proclaimed on July 4, 1894. Poka Laenui likes to show up at the Palace each year on July 4 to deliver a diatribe against that proclamation, calling it illegal, arrogant, racist, etc. Actually, the Republic was not racist -- there were Native Hawaiians who served in the Republic legislature, including the Speaker of the House. And the Republic was not a puppet regime of the U.S. -- on the contrary, the Republic (together with its predecessor the Provisional Government) held power for more than 5 years despite 4 years of a hostile U.S. government under President Cleveland, including an armed counter-revolution led by Robert Wilcox in 1895 using rifles smuggled into Hawai'i with the knowledge of the U.S. Navy.
The Republic of Hawai'i selected July 4 as the date to proclaim its new governmental structure because July 4 was the American Independence Day holiday. The multiracial Republic was asserting its own status as successor to the Kingdom of Hawai'i, as the government of the continuing independent nation of Hawai'i. Thus, the Republic's use of the American July 4 Independence Day holiday was a non-racial show of respect to the nation with which they were seeking eventual annexation.
But Poka Laenui today likes to hijack July 4 for a protest against U.S. sovereignty over Hawai'i and against the historic proclaiming of the Republic on July 4, 1894. Poka's biggest complaint against the Republic is that the overthrow, the Provisional Government, and the Republic were not controlled by racially-defined kanaka maoli. If a native person had overthrown Queen Lili'uokalani and established a new revolutionary government, Poka would probably not complain so much. After all, that's what happened throughout the earlier history of Hawai'i, as when Kamehameha conquered and killed the chiefs who opposed his armed invasions of their islands, or when rival chiefs would quietly displace their predecessors through intrigue or stealth.
What made the new Provisional Government and Republic of Hawai'i different from all previous changes of government was that kanaka maoli no longer dominated the government. That's what Poka is protesting. That's why his use of July 4 is racist. From the viewpoint of anyone who would be a non-racist advocate of Hawaiian independence, the Republic was a vast improvement over the Provisional Government: more democratic, more politically independent from the U.S., and more racially inclusive. But Poka bitterly protests because the Republic was not dominated by his favored racial group and because it was sufficiently strong and stable to stand up against both a hostile United States President and an armed counter-revolution by Poka's favored racial group.
On July 4, 2002, the holiday was used for a greatly expanded and more virulent Anti-American sovereignty rally at ‘Iolani Palace, trashing the U.S. Declaration of Independence, the proclamation of the Republic of Hawai'i in 1894, and the modern-day war against terrorism. For details, see:
(5) THE REVIVAL/INVENTION OF A HAWAIIAN MEMORIAL DAY AT THE END OF DECEMBER, TO HIJACK CHRISTMAS AND NEW YEARS.
Christmas is, of course, a Christian holiday brought to Hawai'i by the New England missionaries in 1820. Some ethnic Hawaiian activists today favor a return to the precontact pagan Hawaiian religion. They see Christianity as the religion of the white colonizers. Even though the vast majority of natives converted to Christianity following the lead of their chiefs, and most ethnic Hawaiians today are Christians, the activists would like to replace Christian holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas with ancient holidays or seasons like Makahiki. The ancient Hawaiian calendar was a lunar one. The closest thing to New Years Day would be the first day of the Makahiki harvest cycle and rainy season of rest; but its date in the modern calendar is months too early to successfully replace Christmas and New Years.
Until December 2001 there was an unmet need for a Hawaiian Kingdom holiday to hijack Christmas and New Years. A few people doing research in Hawaiian-language newspapers from 150 years ago found an obscure holiday to resurrect. King Kauikeaouli Kamehameha III had set aside a day in late December to memorialize the death of his dearly beloved sister, whom the missionaries had forbidden him to marry. Thus a perfect holiday was available to hijack Christmas and New Years.
This new Hawaiian Memorial Day was first celebrated on Sunday December 30, 2001, at ‘Iolani Palace. Conveniently, it was on a Sunday when most people could attend. Conveniently it was a few days after Christmas and a day before New Years Eve day, so it would not prevent people from celebrating either major holiday of the dominant culture. Conveniently, it was a commemoration of a King's lifelong sexual and emotional love affair with his sister -- a relationship greatly favored by the ancient Hawaiian religion but strongly prohibited by the white man's Christianity -- a relationship which the missionaries had "forced" the native King to publicly abandon but which he nevertheless defiantly re-established from time to time in private.
This memorial day also gives an opportunity to remember and celebrate fallen heroes of the Hawaiian Kingdom (including some who may have died in recent years!). Naturally, all the great heroes thus memorialized are racially-defined kanaka maoli -- a few non-natives might be remembered, but even the greatest non-natives are always mentioned only in passing, and are relegated to a status below that of the least notable native.
(c) Copyright 2002 - 2010
Kenneth R. Conklin, Ph.D.
All rights reserved
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