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Ethnic Hawaiians Refusing to Sign Up on a Racial Registry -- Only 18,000 out of 400,000 ethnic Hawaiians signed up after 17 months of intense advertising and community outreach


(c) Copyright 2005, Kenneth R. Conklin, Ph.D. All rights reserved


On Monday May 30, 2005 the Associated Press and the Honolulu Star-Bulletin reported that 18,000 people have placed their names on a racial registry of ethnic Hawaiians. The idea is to build a list of certified "Native Hawaiians" that can quickly be converted to a tribal membership roll as soon as the Akaka bill passes. A similar AP article by the same author, including somewhat different details and a different spin, was published by yahoo news on June 8. Both articles are copied below.

The really big news is that there are more than 400,000 ethnic Hawaiians who could have signed up, and that only 18,000 names were gathered during seventeen months of massive advertising and community outreach both in Hawai'i and on the mainland.

OHA, Kamehameha Schools, and other powerful, wealthy institutions have sponsored a lavish propaganda campaign including 17 months of fancy TV, radio and newspaper ads. Countless sign-up tables at Hawai'i and mainland shopping centers, colleges, and community events have been staffed by highly salaried OHA employees. Free "Kau Inoa" T-shirts and campaign buttons were given to anyone who signed up. At some events there was free food, and music. Total spending for ads, salaries, travel, gifts, printing, and postage probably add up to several hundred dollars per collected name. The cost per name will rise in the future because the most enthusiastic people have already signed up.

This is not the first time OHA tried to build a racial registry. Immediately prior to this latest effort there was a program that provided photo-ID cards to ethnic Hawaiians who could prove they have at least one native ancestor -- card-holders were then literally able to "play the race card" to get government handouts, admission to racially exclusionary Kamehameha School, and discounts from cooperating merchants.

The TV commercials in the current campaign are very slick and beautifully filmed. The ethnic Hawaiians chosen for the ads all seem to have high native blood quantum and rich dark skin, even though about 75% of all ethnic Hawaiians have less than 25% native ancestry and even though we are bombarded with other propaganda that ethnic Hawaiians are more sickly than other groups. The people in the ads are dressed in a very "indigenous"-looking style, in costumes never seen in "real life" that are made of modern materials but imitate someone's dream of what ancient Hawaiians looked like. (In ancient times the women went topless; but unfortunately not in these ads!) In the ad running many times each day in March 2005 on every major TV channel on every island in Hawai'i, a half-naked man with rippling muscles shows how easy it is to break several individual sticks in half one by one (each with a loud snap). A group of sticks are then bundled together and tied with a red cord, and we see that the bundle cannot be broken. Thus, we have an Indian-style illustration of the saying common to all cultures, that "there's strength in numbers" or "the people united can never be defeated" or "unless we hang together we shall all hang separately."

The sluggish sign-up (fewer than five per cent after seventeen months of intensive advertising and community outreach) shows that ethnic Hawaiian sentiment is overwhelmingly apathetic or hostile toward establishing a race-based government. More than 382,000 ethnic Hawaiians deserve praise for resisting OHA's lavish propaganda campaign for "Kau Inoa." 95% of ethnic Hawaiians have sent a loud "'A'ole!" [no] to racial separatism.

Ethnic Hawaiians are deeply divided among themselves regarding whether to support or oppose the Akaka bill. Native Hawaiian Opposition to the Native Hawaiian Recognition bill is important, and it is growing. When the people who will allegedly benefit from legislation say they donŐt want it, everyone should listen carefully. Public statements in opposition, and photographs of protestors, are provided. See:
http://www.angelfire.com/hi2/hawaiiansovereignty/AkakaKanakaOpposed.html

Further evidence of opposition to the Akaka bill is found in a straw poll done by the Honolulu Star-Bulletin in March 2005. 75% of respondents were opposed to the bill.
http://www.angelfire.com/hi2/hawaiiansovereignty/AkakaSBpollmarch2005.html

In 2003 two different scientific surveys were done to discover the relative importance of various priorities as ranked by the people of Hawai'i in general, and by ethnic Hawaiians in particular. One survey was paid for by the Honolulu Advertiser newspaper, and conducted by the professional data-gathering and analysis company Ward Research. The other survey was paid for by the Office of Hawaiian Affairs -- it included data gathered both at public long-range planning meetings hosted by OHA in numerous neighborhoods, and also a survey conducted by the professional data-gathering and analysis company SMS Research which is frequently hired by OHA to do in-house surveys.

Both surveys produced remarkably similar results. It is also remarkable that the results were nearly the same for ethnic Hawaiians as for the general public. Top priorities are education, healthcare, housing, the environment, and traffic. The lowest priorities are Native Hawaiian rights, race-based handouts -- and. lowest of all -- ethnic Hawaiian "nationhood" (i.e., the Akaka bill). For complete details, see:
http://www.angelfire.com/hi2/hawaiiansovereignty/prioritieshawnonhaw.html

The Akaka bill does not allow any vote on whether a race-based government should be created at all -- neither ethnic Hawaiians as a group, nor Hawai'i's people, will ever get to vote on the overall concept. Furthermore, there is no minimum number of ethnic Hawaiians necessary to create the tribe. But if the Akaka bill passes, those 18,000 who signed up are eager to impose their will on more than a million citizens of Hawai'i. 'Auwe! Once the phony tribe has been created, the bill allows a future radical breakup of our government and lands to be approved by the Legislature without any vote by the people as would be required for an ordinary Constitutional amendment. For further information on the anti-democratic nature of the Akaka bill and a few of the amendments that would be needed to "improve" this fundamentally evil bill, see:
http://www.angelfire.com/hi2/hawaiiansovereignty/AkakaAmendmentIdeas020105.html

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http://starbulletin.com/2005/05/30/news/story4.html
Honolulu Star-Bulletin, Monday, May 30, 2005

Hawaiian registry has 18,000 on its list
An estimated 400,000 Hawaiians are living worldwide

By Jeannette J. Lee
Associated Press

Bradford Lum is Irish, Dutch, German and Chinese, but it's the three-eighths Hawaiian blood running through his veins that matters most.

That's why Lum and his elderly mother, Lily, entered their names with the Native Hawaiian Registration Program, a database of people with documented proof of their Hawaiian bloodlines.

Many Hawaiians believe a catalog of all living Hawaiians, estimated at 400,000 worldwide, is the key to founding a nation, or at least gaining federal recognition, for Hawaii's native people.

"We need to be a nation within a nation," Lum said, "but we're not even recognized as an indigenous people right now."

Others who entered their names in the registry, including John Kaukali, 67, do not believe a Hawaiian nation or government is a practical goal. "I really don't think so," said Kaukali, who is half Hawaiian. "You cannot have a nation within a nation."

Kaukali doubts the registry, dubbed Kau Inoa, or "place your name," will do anything to help Hawaiians in his lifetime. He signed up hoping his grandchildren will benefit from any social services the government offers to Hawaiians if they manage to gain the same federal status as other indigenous groups in the United States.

The Native Hawaiian Recognition Act, also called the Akaka Bill, after its sponsor, Democratic Sen. Daniel Akaka, would formally recognize native Hawaiians as an indigenous people in the same way the U.S. government recognizes American Indians and Alaska natives.

Congress is scheduled to take up the bill later this year.

Kau Inoa is the third attempt to count Hawaiians since the 1990s when self-determination for Hawaii's native population became a more prominent issue.

The process became easier after the U.S. Census began counting native Hawaiians for the first time in 2000. Many Hawaiians were inspired by the 1993 centennial of the overthrow of Queen Liliuokalani and a congressional apology for the U.S.-backed coup that same year.

The apology resolution included federal recognition of Hawaiians' sovereignty over their lands.

"We have been robbed of our country," Lum said. "I believe it's time to be recognized."

So far, the Kau Inoa project has registered only 18,000 since starting sign-ups in January 2004, according to Hawaii Maoli, the group funded by the state Office of Hawaiian Affairs to gather and store the information.

At the Moiliili Community Center this weekend, Corrane Park-Chun waited for registrants at a table covered with sign-up forms and free Kau Inoa souvenir pens.

She collected just nine registration forms after an hour and a half, but said overall sign-ups have risen because of recent publicity generated by large, colorful newspaper ads and TV commercials offering free T-shirts to Hawaiians who "kau inoa."

Each week, Park-Chun, a community outreach specialist for the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, canvasses neighborhoods, sets up small booths at neighborhood fairs or larger events such as the Merrie Monarch hula festival in Hilo, and has even visited prisons to persuade Hawaiians to sign up. "My husband is going to divorce me. I'm never around. I have no life," Park-Chun said.

Many Hawaiians have not entered their names in the Kau Inoa registry, which accepts birth, marriage or death certificates as proof. Some do not want state or federal officials to know they support Hawaiian interests. "I understand people not wanting to give out their names and addresses," said William Ha'ole, a recent registrant who manages the docent program at Iolani Palace. Queen Liliuokalani, Hawaii's last reigning monarch, lived in the palace under house arrest for eight months spanning 1895-96.

The Office of Hawaiian Affairs, a state agency, is funding the ads and the sign-up effort, but Administrator Clyde Namuo said the registry is free of state or federal influence because the information is stored in an independent repository.

Almost half of the people with Hawaiian blood live on the U.S. mainland, clustered mainly in West Coast cities, according to the U.S. Census, which included the Hawaiian designation for first time in 2000.

But even those living far from Hawaii are encouraged to sign up. Hawaiians, however, have divergent views on what such a nation or government would be. Many scoff at federal recognition and say the Hawaiian nation is already legitimate.

Others support a Hawaiian government based in the state of Hawaii and sanctioned by the United States. Some demand full sovereignty and the reinstatement of a monarchy.

The most radical endorse a separate nation-state that would partner with the United States only on certain issues, such as defense or trade.

** Photo caption **

ASSOCIATED PRESS
Ha'aheo Frias, foreground, Pomai Frias, right, and Wenda Namocot, center, filled out forms in Waimanalo earlier this month to prove their native Hawaiian ancestry as Leona Kalima, left, from the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, explained "kau inoa," the act of signing up and registering, in this case to support the creation of a new native Hawaiian governing body.

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** On June 8, 2005 an article was published on yahoo news by the same AP reporter whose article above was published on May 30 in the Honolulu Star-Bulletin. The two stories are similar, but some of the content is different. **

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20050608/ap_on_re_us/hawaiian_registry

Residents Recording Hawaiian Heritage

By JEANNETTE J. LEE, Associated Press WriterWed Jun 8, 2:32 PM ET

Bradford Lum is Irish, Dutch, German and Chinese, but it's the three-eighths of Hawaiian blood running through his veins that matters to him most.

That is why Lum and his mother, Lily, entered their names with the Native Hawaiian Registration Program, a database of people with documented proof of their Hawaiian bloodlines.

Many Hawaiians believe a catalog of all living Hawaiians, estimated at 400,000 worldwide, is the key to founding a nation, or at least gaining federal recognition, for Hawaii's native people.

"We need to be a nation within a nation," said Lum, a hula teacher in Honolulu. "But we're not even recognized as an indigenous people right now."

In a separate effort, the Native Hawaiian Recognition Act, sponsored by Sen. Daniel Akaka (news, bio, voting record), D-Hawaii, would formally recognize Native Hawaiians as an indigenous people in the same way the U.S. government recognizes American Indians and Alaska Natives.

The Akaka bill, which Congress is scheduled to take up later this year, is aimed at fending off race-based lawsuits questioning the legality of Native Hawaiian programs and entitlements.

"We feel that by having federal recognition via Akaka, we would have another form of defense against race-based claims akin to what Alaska Natives and American Indians already have," said Ron Mun, deputy administrator of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs.

Many Hawaiians scoff at the pursuit of federal recognition. Others support a certain degree of Hawaiian autonomy, such as a separate Hawaiian government that would form a partnership with the U.S. on issues such as defense or trade. The most radical among them demand full sovereignty and the reinstatement of a monarchy.

The registry project, called "Kau Inoa" or "place your name," is the third attempt to count Hawaiians since the 1990s, when self-determination for Hawaii's native population became a more prominent issue. Many Hawaiians were inspired by the 1993 centennial of the overthrow of Queen Liliuokalani and a congressional apology for the U.S.-backed coup that same year.

"We have been robbed of our country," Lum said. "I believe it's time to be recognized."

The Kau Inoa project so far has registered only 18,000 since starting sign-ups in January 2004, according to Hawaii Maoli, the group funded by the state Office of Hawaiian Affairs to gather and store the information.

One TV ad resembles a telecommunications commercial with neon blue lines on a world map tracing the purported links between Hawaiians. It urges Hawaiians all over the globe to help "build a nation."


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Ken_Conklin@yahoo.com

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