NATIVE HAWAIIANS AS THE STATE PET OR MASCOT: A Psychological Analysis of Why the People of Hawaii Tolerate and Irrationally Support Racial Separatism and Ethnic Nationalism

(c) Copyright 2001 - 2004 Kenneth R. Conklin, Ph.D. All rights reserved


Racial separatism and ethnic nationalism are the two evil faces of the Hawaiian sovereignty movement. But even when the evil is exposed -- even when the historical, legal, and moral claims are shown to be wrong -- many people nevertheless feel that ethnic Hawaiians somehow deserve special, race-specific, favorable treatment as a group. Why? When reason, logic, and common-sense all show that the sovereignty activists are wrong, why do so many of Hawai'i's people still support their absurd demands? It is not rational. It is emotional. This essay will explain such irrational support as being an example of a psychological reflex mechanism called the "mascot syndrome." By understanding how the syndrome works, we can hope to avoid falling prey to it.

A pet animal is cute, friendly, and loving; but also needy and dependent. The owners enjoy petting it, playing with it, and giving it lots of special treats. Vulnerable and dependent 3-year-old girls like to "take care of" dolls that cry and wet their pants, because such care-giving makes them feel generous and in-control. Sometimes a favorite child is treated like a pet, especially by grandparents, thereby becoming a "spoiled child." Sometimes a sports team adopts a real animal as a mascot, or a person will dress up in a costume resembling a real or imaginary animal. At sporting events, people cheer for the mascot just because it feels good to cheer. The mascot gets pampered and petted, even when it is just a costume disguise worn by a paid employee. The fans of the team cheer when the mascot runs around the playing field or does special tricks. Children run up and pet the mascot, and get their pictures taken with it.

Sometimes real individuals (usually children) who have a severe handicap or a deadly disease are used by charitable organizations as mascots, for purposes of fundraising or generating public support. People feel sympathy for the mascot and donate money and services to help the institutions that serve needy people, even when the institutions themselves are bloated with highly-paid bureaucrats. Long ago, mascots may have been treated like scapegoats or for purposes of insulting an opposing team. Today mascots are treated with affection. Sometimes individual humans take pride in being chosen as mascots to represent a team or a social cause. However, it is wrong to use an entire group of people, especially a racial group, as a mascot. That's because the individuals in a group can be very different from each other, and some individuals might not like being branded.

Ethnic Hawaiians as a racial group are treated as the unofficial pet or mascot of Hawai'i, with or without the approval of the individuals thus stigmatized. The Hawaiian sovereignty movement has been successful in portraying ethnic Hawaiians as poor, downtrodden people dealt a bad hand by history. This is racial profiling by the Hawaiian grievance industry to play the blame game, making non-Hawaiians feel guilty for alleged debts that can never be repaid. It wrongly categorizes all people with a drop of Hawaiian blood as being needy and being desirous of receiving government assistance through racially exclusionary agencies.

Treating a racial group of human beings as a pet or a mascot is patronizing, demeaning, and degrading to people who take pride in their individual accomplishments. It is especially pernicious when a few members of a racial group actively work to get their group portrayed as a mascot in order to get government assistance and political power. In some ways, treating Native Hawaiians this way is a form of "noblesse oblige" or "white man's burden." Middle class or wealthy liberals of all races feel guilt for being financially secure, and thus feel obligated to help poor, downtrodden people. White liberals buy into the notion that whites have an unfair social and economic advantage known as "white privilege" and therefore owe other races automatic deference and reparations. Today's leaders of the Hawaiian sovereignty movement and the Hawaiian racial entitlement programs are well aware of the special affection all people feel toward Native Hawaiians, and are also aware of those feelings of guilt. Thus the people of Hawai'i (and also Congress) are constantly told about the "plight" of Native Hawaiians, allegedly having the worst statistics for diabetes, breast cancer, drug abuse, poor education, incarceration, family dysfunction, etc. And then the mascot syndrome kicks in. "Aw, poor babies, let's help them. And they have such beautiful music, and hula, and other things that make us want to pet them."

The mascot syndrome is a blow to the pride of the vast majority of ethnic Hawaiians who live, work, and pray side-by-side with their non-Hawaiian friends and neighbors, succeeding and failing just like everyone else. It divides Hawai'i along racial lines, and threatens the Aloha Spirit.

By understanding how the mascot syndrome works, we can hope to avoid falling prey to it. The situation is analogous to what happens when someone undergoes training to become a psychotherapist. Every therapist is a human being with personal strengths, weaknesses, neuroses and prejudices. Those neuroses and prejudices will unavoidably affect how the therapist perceives his patients' problems. Therefore, someone training to become a psychotherapist undergoes psychotherapy, to help him recognize his own deep-seated neuroses and prejudices. The therapist can never eliminate all his own biases; but by honestly acknowledging his biases he can hope to compensate for them when analyzing his patients. Another analogy might be the way children with dyslexia are taught to understand their disability, allowing them to take precautions and compensate for it. Understanding the mascot syndrome will help us think carefully about Hawaiian sovereignty.

Three webpages related to this one have been created since this webpage was originally written. Readers might also want to read these:

(1) Playing Favorites -- Da Punahele Race

(2) Haole Collective Guilt for Hawaiian Grievances and Pain -- Major essay book review of "Then There Were None" by Martha H. Noyes (based on Elizabeth Lindsey Buyers TV docudrama)

(3) Pride and Prejudice -- What It Means To Be Proud of a Person, Group, Nation, or Race; Racial Profiling, Racial Prejudice, and Racial Supremacy


Anyone who has lived in Hawai'i for very long knows about powerful institutions which serve Native Hawaiians and work hard to exclude everyone else: OHA (Office of Hawaiian Affairs), DHHL (Department of Hawaiian Homelands), Kamehameha School/Bishop Estate; and smaller institutions like Alu Like, Papa Ola Lokahi, QLCC (Queen Lili'uokalani Children's Center), NHLC (Native Hawaiian Legal Corporation) and many others It took a U.S. Supreme Court decision (Rice v. Cayetano [1]) to stop a statewide apartheid voting scheme for OHA where voters of one race registered separately, were identified by race in official pollbooks, and were given separate ballots in statewide general elections. It took an additional federal court decision (Arakaki v. Hawai'i [2]) to make clear that if everyone can vote in OHA elections without racial restriction, then everyone also can run for the public office of OHA trustee without racial restriction. Further lawsuits are now underway or will be forthcoming to force OHA and other agencies to give benefits to people of all races instead of just to one racial group.

Anyone living in Hawai'i is also aware of a multitude of ethnic nationalist groups which vigorously proclaim that Hawai'i is not rightfully part of the United States, that Hawai'i has been under hostile military occupation by U.S. forces for over a century, and that an independent nation of Hawai'i should provide racial supremacy to anyone with a drop of native blood. They say the U.S. owes Native Hawaiians perhaps a trillion dollars in reparations. Some of these people and organizations have set up citizen/voter registration procedures requiring applicants to foreswear any citizenship or allegiance to any other government (such as the U.S.). Different documents are provided to each of three classes of people, whose applications are then given different priorities and procedures: blood-Hawaiians born and raised anywhere (even outside Hawai'i) get top priority, people with no Hawaiian blood but born in Hawai'i get middle priority, and everyone else gets lowest priority as "foreigners." Names of some ethnic nationalist leaders and institutions come readily to mind: Kekuni Blaisdell, Keanu Sai, Hayden Burgess (alias Poka Laenui), Bumpy Kanahele, Henry Noa, Butch Kekahu, Akahi Nui, Kingdom of Hawai'i, Restored Lawful Kingdom of Hawai'i, Reinstated Hawaiian Government, Nation of Hawai'i, Aloha March on Washington, Ha Hawai'i, 'Aha Hawai'i 'Oiwi (Native Hawaiian Convention), UH Center for Hawaiian Studies (your taxpayer dollars at work!), et. al. [3]

Whether racial separatist or ethnic nationalist, individuals and institutions of both types are not bashful about taking federal and state grants to operate their programs, even while they spew rhetoric that the U.S. is an enemy and the State of Hawai'i is merely a U.S. puppet regime. Some of these people and groups claim that all land titles in Hawai'i, public and private, are invalid. Some claim that 80% of Hawai'i's people are mere guests in an ethnic Hawaiian homeland and have no legal right to remain here without begging for naturalization and paying "back taxes" to their race-based government. One well-known ethnic nationalist is executive director of a mental health clinic that operates with federal grants; yet he refuses to allow the U.S. flag to fly on the clinic building or grounds. The building that was used for 70 years as capitol of the U.S. Territory of Hawai'i and State of Hawai'i, 1898 -1968, now flies only the flag that flew over it from 1882-1893 when it was the Royal Palace of the Kingdom of Hawai'i. The building itself is used as a propaganda factory, providing tours to visitors from throughout the world, presenting a distorted view of history favorable to Hawaiian ethnic nationalism. The former Palace and its grounds now serves as the capitol for activists who imagine the Kingdom still exists as the lawful government.

Yet very few of Hawai'i's people speak out against such nonsense. On the contrary, year after year we elect state legislatures which overwhelmingly endorse racial separatism and ethnic nationalism. In recent years the legislature sponsored the process leading to the Native Hawaiian Convention, knowing the result would be to propose a constitution for a racial separatist partitioning of Hawai'i or an ethnic nationalist independent nation of Hawai'i. In fact, the convention was internally split into two camps and produced both proposals! The legislature has paid hundreds of millions of public dollars to OHA and other racially exclusionary institutions; has asked the U.S. Congress to pass legislation to create a phony Indian tribe to protect Hawaiian racial entitlement programs; and the Hawai'i Senate even passed a resolution asking Congress and the United Nations to re-examine the statehood vote of 1959 with a view toward ripping the 50th star off the flag. [4]

Why? Why do we seemingly go along with all this nonsense? Of course some people simply don't pay attention to politics. Some may be both ignorant and apathetic -- "I don't know and I don't care!" But there are apparently huge numbers of people who do know something about the Hawaiian sovereignty movement and who nevertheless support it. There's a general feeling of sympathy, that Native Hawaiians are special, that they have been dealt a bad hand by history, that something should be done to help them to make up for the loss of their kingdom, sovereignty and land. The general attitude seems to be that ethnic Hawaiians as a group should be given pretty much whatever they decide they want, including money, land, special government programs, and some form of political autonomy or sovereignty. The only problems are that Hawaiians seem unable to agree among themselves about what they want, while some allegedly hard-hearted, racist non-Hawaiians keep filing lawsuits to take away Hawaiian racial "entitlements."

Some people mistakenly think the historical, legal, and moral claims of the Hawaiian sovereignty activists are valid. But even when those claims are analyzed carefully and people see they are not valid, there still seems to be a feeling that ethnic Hawaiians somehow deserve special, race-specific, favorable treatment as a group. Why does such a feeling persist?

This irrational feeling is similar to the strong support people sometimes give to a sports team that underperforms year after year. For example, residents of Chicago have great affection for the Chicago Cubs baseball team even though for many years it was near the bottom of the rankings, and in some years it would do well for most of the season only to break the fans' hearts with a disastrous finish. Another example is the "Special Olympics" -- children with severe handicaps participate in athletic "competitions" where all are cheered and treated as winners by an adoring crowd. That's the sort of support given to ethnic Hawaiians.

Sometimes sports teams have names of powerful or vicious animals like lions, tigers, and bears. But during the game, and especially at half-time, someone dressed in a costume resembling a soft-and-fuzzy, smiling version of the animal will walk and dance along the sidelines giving hugs and autographed pictures to children. 210 years ago Hawaiians were fierce warriors using clubs, spears, and recently-introduced guns and canons to slaughter each other by the thousands. The warrior symbol is still used by the tourist bureau and the university sports team. But now Hawaiians are widely seen as lovely hula dancers, participants in song contests, practitioners of the "Hawaiian values" of aloha (love), ha'aha'a (humility), 'olu'olu (mellowness), ho'okipa (hospitality), lokahi (cooperation), 'ahonui (patience), etc.

Today it has become politically incorrect to use Indians as team names or team mascots: Braves, Indians, Redskins. Mascots like Chief Illiniwek (University of Illinois) are under severe attack even though they use authentic costumes made for them by Indians and portray an image of noble dignity. However, it is still acceptable to use human beings as mascots for some worthy causes.

People older than 50 might remember the March of Dimes poster boy used to raise funds to fight polio. Each year a new crippled boy would win a victimhood contest to be chosen for the annual campaign. His picture with leg braces, crutches, and pleading eyes would appear on thousands of posters throughout America.

This author was a high school teacher in a Boston suburb from 1975-1992. For 2 or 3 years during that period, there was a male student confined to a wheelchair because of either Parkinson's disease or multiple sclerosis, and his speech was also slurred because of the disease. He was the mascot of the high school football team, attending all the games and treated royally.

In Hawai'i in 1996-97, a little girl became a mascot for the bone marrow registry and the fight against leukemia. Alana Dung died at the age of three after a two year struggle, but her fight for life was featured in numerous newspaper articles. [5] 42 bone marrow drives were held throughout Hawai'i and 30,788 people went through a painful test and registration of their marrow type specifically for Alana Dung in a fruitless attempt to find a matching donor. A match was finally found from Taiwan and the transplant was done, but she died 15 months later. Alana Dung is not alone among Hawai'i's human mascots. In July, 2001 the Honolulu Star-Bulletin featured a front-page story with photograph of Natalie Frazier, 12, describing her explicitly as "mascot" for a Transpac Yacht Race crew. [6] The girl was undergoing numerous chemotherapy treatments for cancer.

The cases of Alana Dung and Natalie Frazier illustrate that humans are used as mascots for a variety of personal and social reasons. The mascot must be someone in need of help, sympathetic, suffering unjustly, struggling against an overwhelming problem where the odds are stacked against her, have a cute appearance and friendly disposition, and be capable of getting plenty of publicity. The publicity directly helps the mascot either by enlisting people to donate something or by boosting morale; and the publicity might also help social institutions acquire donations, a database of possible future donors, and public goodwill. Nobody would ever dream of saying bad things about a mascot. Like a beloved family dog, it is always petted, treated gently, loved, adored, and its occasional rascal behavior is celebrated rather than punished. But if someone does yell, wag a finger angrily, or take away food from a pampered dog, it might snarl and bite.

Most people of Hawaiian ancestry are mainstream members of the general public. They have the same hopes, dreams and worries as anyone else. They work hard at the same real jobs as their non-Hawaiian neighbors. But when ethnic Hawaiians need government assistance, they often turn to special racial entitlement programs because that's the way government has structured things since 1978. The managers of various entitlement programs have built large staffs to aggressively reach out to recruit any ethnic Hawaiian who might be eligible for benefits; thus the institutions grow in size and power and can claim they need still more resources because of the great demand for assistance from poor, downtrodden Hawaiians. Even people who are not needy are encouraged to seek benefits, because the benefits are given to anyone of Hawaiian ancestry whether needy or not. The institutions grow and prosper, write more grant proposals, get more racial entitlement programs enacted, recruit more beneficiaries, etc. The public then sees large numbers of Hawaiians getting benefits and concludes that Hawaiians really are poor and downtrodden. Mainstream Hawaiians might not like being described that way. Most Hawaiians are justifiably proud that their hard work has brought them to the same level of prosperity as their non-Hawaiian neighbors. But money, land, and power are at stake, so the sovereignty activists play on public sentiment and perpetuate an image of Hawaiians as mascots.

Sovereignty leaders aggressively market Hawaiians' victimhood statistics, knowing the generous people of Hawai'i will rally to meet their growing and insatiable demands. Sovereignty leaders have learned how to play the blame game -- all the world's troubles are caused by the white oppressors who owe the downtrodden dark races a debt which can never be repaid. The same idea helps Jesse Jackson shake down multibillion dollar corporations, and helps American leftists justify Osama bin Laden's terrorist attck of September 11, 2001. This idea is pervasive in American universities and left-wing political circles. Stolen kingdom, stolen lands, language made illegal -- these claims are false, but arouse sympathy. Devastating diseases following Captain Cook's arrival (true) reverberate in today's Hawaiians having the worst statistics for longevity, disease, drug abuse, alcoholism, education, incarceration, poverty (debatable statistics, but misses the point that government help should go to needy people of all races based on need alone and not race). Large, wealthy Hawaiian institutions and highly paid bureaucrats seek to keep their power and paychecks by milking public sympathy for poor, downtrodden Hawaiians. The Hawaiian grievance industry depends on persuading the public that ethnic Hawaiians should receive government benefits through race-based institutions rather than through impartial government agencies where all races are treated equally. But the public is easily swayed, because Hawaiians are the treasured mascot of Hawai'i. Even proud, successful, wealthy Hawaiians find themselves portrayed as members of a downtrodden minority that has become the state mascot.

People cheer for Hawaiians much as people cheer for a sports team -- just because it feels good to cheer. Cheering for a symbol of community pride is a longstanding habit even if a team is on a losing streak or some of its members have personal scandals. Such cheering is emotional, not rational. People cheer for Hawaiians and rush to help them at great public expense, much as people cheered for Alana Dung and volunteered in large numbers for painful bone marrow tests. Alana Dung was a genuine victim in need of help. But even though there is no historical, legal, or moral justification for political sovereignty for racially-defined Native Hawaiians, and many Native Hawaiians are wealthy and powerful, people in Hawai'i still tend to see them as a victimized group. The State bird of Hawai'i is the nene -- an endangered species chosen to be the state bird precisely because it is native to Hawai'i and an endangered species. People cheer for the underdog. But in the 100 years since Hawai'i was annexed by the United States, the population of Native Hawaiians has multiplied ten-fold, from 40,000 to 400,000. U.S. sovereignty has been clearly beneficial to them, and they are no longer an endangered species. [7]

Public acceptance of Hawaiians as needy victims might weaken if the public were aware of the substantial numbers of Hawaiians who are well-educated, wealthy, have high-incomes and high-status jobs. That's why some embarrassing information is buried, like the SMS report on family income [8] (OHA-paid research report shows 50% of all Hawaiian families have over $50,000 per year annual income, including 11% above $100,000), and the new Kalawahine DHHL housing project (free use of government land for building $385,000 houses in an upscale racially segregated community). [9] There is some social pressure among Hawaiian teenagers of high intelligence to deny their academic abilities and interests in order not to seem too "haolified" (white) -- this phenomenon is similar to the one noted among African-Americans on the continent. [10] Thus, pidgin is spoken in preference to standard English, as a way of dumbing-down to retain "local" group cohesion, and some youngsters in danger of getting high grades might sabotage their own performance.

To remain mascots, Hawaiians must keep their image as gentle and peaceful. Hula, chanting, song contests, lomilomi (massage), ho'oponopono (conflict resolution), taro farming, and fishpond rebuilding are well-publicized. Alcoholism, drug abuse, and spouse abuse are kept out of public view, although cited in a general way as evidence of victimhood. Lua (Hawaiian martial arts) is seldom demonstrated publicly. Kamehameha's brutal massacres of his enemies are downplayed in order to portray him as a wise and benevolent ruler, author of the Law of the Splintered Paddle. Queen Lili'uokalani's "temporary" surrender to the 162 U.S. soldiers is portrayed as an attempt to avoid bloodshed, while in reality it was her last hope to hold onto power and avoid permanent surrender to the truly victorious 1500 local members of the Honolulu Rifles. The violent Wilcox counterrevolution is downplayed in favor of portraying the ex-queen as having been victimized by a kangaroo court and "imprisoned" in the Palace.

There are occasional hints that the sovereignty movement could turn violent if demands are not met peacefully. But such hints are carefully veiled. One example comes from "Uncle Charlie" Charles Kauluwehi Maxwell, an activist who publicly styles himself as a minister (never had a congregation) but in private speaks harshly and tries to intimidate people (shades of Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson). In speeches and written articles he has urged the public to give Hawaiians enormous amounts of money, land, and power that is "rightfully ours," and then he includes a thinly disguised threat by saying "Remember, Hawaiians once were a warrior people." [11]

A great tradition in Hawaiian hula, chant, and speech is the use of multiple layers of meanings. When a song refers to the fragrance of a flower, it might simultaneously and intentionally be referring to the sweetness of a child (flower of a marriage) or the irresistability of a woman's genitalia. Thus, multiple thoughts or stories are conveyed by a single song, including political messages recognizable only to people "in the know." Before the recent WIPCE (World Indigenous Peoples' Conference on Education) held in Hilo, hundreds of people were trained at small meetings throughout the islands to memorize some chants that would be used on the beach to greet canoes full of arriving delegates from other nations. Program coordinators provided written copies of the lyrics, but made clear in training that a particular chant would be given twice -- once softly and sweetly at a slow pace and again loudly and challengingly at a faster pace with clipped, staccato rhythms. The first version included, for example, the soft plucking of flower blossoms and gently stringing them to make a lei to welcome arriving guests. The second version used the same words, but with the implication that the blossoms (people) would be harshly snapped off (divide and conquer) and pierced with the needle (spears) to make a trophy collection of unwelcome invaders (remember the Europeans and Americans who took over Hawai'i and are still here).

In 1921, Congress passed the HHCA (Hawaiian Homes Commission Act). In 1959, the Statehood Act returned the ceded lands to Hawai'i in the form of a public trust to benefit all Hawai'i's people, to be used for any one or more of five purposes, one of which was the betterment of Native Hawaiians. Hawai'i established the Department of Hawaiian Homelands to carry forward the HHCA. In 1978 OHA was established. For the next 22 years, Hawaiians rapidly gained a host of federal and state racial entitlement programs. According to advocates at OHA, there are now over 160 such programs, with more on the way. In 1995 the Hawai'i Supreme Court ruled in the PASH case that certain traditional and customary rights to gather materials for food and cultural use are superior to private property rights, and it might be that such gathering rights belong exclusively to Native Hawaiians. In 2001 the newspapers reported that Hawaiians were now able to move in to an upscale DHHL housing project on a hillside with spectacular view overlooking downtown Honolulu -- free land and roads and sewage and utility system were provided for wealthy Hawaiians to build houses with free-market values approaching $400,000. [9] The mascot syndrome was working very well.

But at the same time, things began to fall apart. Fighting among OHA trustees, always entertaining, became more serious. Greedy Bishop Estate trustees were held up to ridicule and found guilty of unethical and illegal activity; all five were forced out of office and the IRS launched a major investigation resulting in huge assessments. [12] The U.S. Supreme Court handed down its Rice v. Cayetano decision [13] in February 2000, allowing all Hawai'i voters regardless of race to vote for OHA trustees. A few months later, the federal district court in Honolulu ruled in the Arakaki case [14] that there can be no racial restrictions on candidacy for OHA trustee. More than a dozen non-Hawaiians ran, and one was elected. Lawsuits were filed to declare OHA and DHHL unconstitutional, or to force them to provide benefits without racial restrictions.

The courts seem to be recognizing the difference between voluntarily petting a mascot vs. unconstitutional racial entitlements. The sovereignty movement has been like a wolf in sheep's clothing. Hawai'i's generous people love Native Hawaiians and their culture, eagerly giving them money and "moral support." Hula, music, aloha and "Hawaiian values" are the soft and gentle "sheep's clothing." But underneath is a vicious, insatiable wolf whose fangs come out when it wants more food -- an evil empire of wealthy, powerful Hawaiian institutions protecting unconstitutional racial entitlement programs and seeking to establish more.

Following the Rice decision, the mascot cowered in fear, asked for help, and got support from an admiring public. The Hawai'i legislature was ready to pass laws to circumvent the Rice decision by making OHA a private charitable trust, or by transferring all its assets to DHHL (sort of like a wealthy man threatened with divorce might try to hide his assets in a Swiss bank account). But in the end OHA decided to move forward with the Akaka bill to create a phony Indian tribe, [15] and of course our Congressional delegation was happy to help our mascot do that. The Hawai'i state Senate in the year 2001 went so far as to pass unanimously a Hawaiian sovereignty resolution asking Congress and the United Nations to revisit the Statehood plebiscite of 1959 (94% "yes" votes) on the grounds that the option of sovereign independence had not been offered. [4] Petting the mascot must feel very good indeed.

In September 2001 the Hawai'i Supreme Court ruled that there is no way a court can figure out how much money the state owes to OHA for use of ceded lands; therefore, no further money is owed. [16] Immediately both Honolulu daily newspapers editorialized that the legislature should "fix" this "problem" and find some way to help those poor, downtrodden Hawaiians get what is "rightfully theirs." It doesn't matter that historically, legally, and morally the ceded lands belong to all Hawai'i's people, and that Hawaiians are citizens of Hawai'i and can participate in receiving government benefits just like everyone else. It doesn't matter that OHA had sued all the people of Hawai'i and had been offered a settlement of a quarter Billion dollars and 360,000 acres of land and had greedily rejected that settlement before the decision came down. What matters is that Hawaiians are the state mascot and must be appeased.

Following the terrorism of September 11, 2001 in New York and Washington D.C., the people of Hawai'i felt shocked. We contributed massively to the blood bank and the Red Cross. Hundreds of prayer vigils were held, and thousands of people began flying the U.S. flag to show their patriotism.

But some Hawaiian sovereignty activists refused to fly Old Glory and incurred the wrath of an outraged public. One long-time sovereignty activist who runs a mental health clinic in Wai'anae removed the flag from his clinic (funded with federal and state grants) after a staffer had put it up. When questioned by a reporter, he hid behind a clinic policy against displaying any political or religious emblems or symbols which allegedly might be disturbing to mental patients; and he added that many residents of his community do not feel any allegiance to the U.S. [17] Outraged patriotic citizens of all races, including many Hawaiians, flooded the talk-radio programs and newspapers with complaints.

Responding to the September 11 terrorism, the Friends of 'Iolani Palace raised the U.S. flag over the Palace for a 30-day period for the first time since the new state capitol building opened in 1968. [18] The Friends defend not flying the U.S. flag for 33 years by saying the Palace is a museum which tries to appear as it was during the monarchy period. But many Hawaiian sovereignty activists see the Palace as the capitol of a Kingdom of Hawai'i which they believe still exists as the rightful government. They complained bitterly to the management of the Palace that the flag of the "oppressor" should never fly there, and their comments in newspapers and talk-radio further alarmed Hawai'i's patriotic citizenry.

The terror attack of September 11 also awakened Hawai'i's people to the need for a strong and well-trained U.S. military. Previously the Army had been on the defensive, under attack from environmentalists, pacificists, and Hawaiian sovereignty activists. Pushing the Army out of Makua Valley and pushing the U.S. military out of Hawai'i would be a first step toward ripping the 50th star off the flag. [19] The anti-military feeling seemed to be winning the political battle, because pacifism is the right attitude for a mascot. But the terrorist attack reminded Hawai'i's people about the importance of military training. People are now more able to recognize the anti-American attitude of Hawaiian sovereignty activists.

The sheep's clothing is slipping off, making the wolf more visible. Racial separatism and ethnic nationalism are unacceptable. It can be hoped that the mascot syndrome will give way to a rejuvenation of unity, equality, and aloha for all. [20]






[ 4 ] Here is the text of the Hawai'i Senate resolution:


requesting the united states government and the united nations to review the actions taken in 1959 relevant to hawaii's statehood.

WHEREAS, over the last three decades, the Hawaii society, and especially the Native Hawaiian population within that broader society, has had the opportunity to engage in a process of recovery and rediscovery - recovery of the arts, crafts, cultural expressions and language of Hawai`i past, and rediscovery of the historical events which have brought Hawai`i to its present political, social, and economic condition; and

WHEREAS, the process of recovery and rediscovery has brought about much mourning amongst the Native Hawaiian people, the descendants of Hawaiian nationals of the Kingdom of Hawai`i, and others who also share today the Hawaiian archipelago astheir home; and

WHEREAS, in the aftermath of the process of recovery and rediscovery and of mourning, from many fronts within the Hawai`i society, people have engaged in dreaming of a just and secure Hawai`i society, addressing both possibilities of remaining within or stepping without the United States of America; and

WHEREAS, in 1991, the Hawai`i State Legislature, by Concurrent Resolution, encouraged the continued discussion and debate over the subject of Hawaii's future, both within or without the United States of America, forming the first of three legislatively construed entities, the Sovereignty Advisory Commission (SAC); and

WHEREAS, in 1993, the Hawai`i State Legislature, following the report of SAC, formed the Hawaiian Sovereignty Advisory Council (HSAC) which continued the investigation of Hawaii's history and conducted mass consultation with the native Hawaiian people on the future steps to be taken on the subject of Hawaiian sovereignty; and

WHEREAS, on November 23, 1993, the United States Congress adopted and the President of the United States signed Public Law 103-150 thereby confessing to a list of events violating the rights of self-determination to the Hawaiian Kingdom and apologized to the Native Hawaiian People for the complicity of the United States in such events which resulted in the overthrow of the Hawaiian Kingdom; and

WHEREAS, in 1993, the Hawai`i State Legislature enacted Act 354, Session Laws of Hawai`i 1993, acknowledging that the actions of the United States were illegal and immoral, and pledged its continued support to the native Hawaiian community by appropriating funds for the development of programs and curriculum to educate the general public about Hawaiian sovereignty through a purchase of service contract with Hui Na'auao; and

WHEREAS, throughout these developments, it has become more and more apparent that the events which brought Hawai`i into union with the States of the United States were of questionable legality and morality; and

WHEREAS, during these three decades, it is now made clear that the standards of international law and the obligations of the United States under the Charter of the United Nations had not been fully complied with in that the process of self-determination leading up to a choice for the people's future form of governance were not met in Hawai`i at the time the 1959 vote on Statehood was taken; and

WHEREAS, in 1959, when the Statehood Vote was put to the people of Hawai`i, the choices given to the people did not include choices for independence from or free association with the United States of America, but only the option of integration with the United States, in the form of a State of the Union, or as a territory of the United States; and

WHEREAS, when the United States Congress acted upon the vote bringing Hawai`i into the Union of States, a serious question was raised as to whether or not that act was consistent with the fulfillment of the human rights and fundamental freedoms of the people who were governed under a system of non-self governing territories pursuant to General Assembly Resolution 66 of the United Nations; now, therefore,

BE IT RESOLVED by the Senate of the Twenty-First Legislature of the State of Hawaii, Regular Session of 2001, that the Senate calls upon the United States government and the United Nations, as parties to the Charter of the United Nations, to:

(1) Review the actions taken in 1959 relevant to Hawaii's Statehood within the Union of the United States of America, the fact that, in affording the people the opportunity for self-governance, no choices were given for independence or free association, but only for integration within the United States of America; and

(2) Consider the implications for the continuing right of self-determination for the Native Hawaiian people and for the people of Hawai`i, as both a matter of domestic law and international law; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that certified copies of this Resolution be transmitted to the President of the United States, the Majority Leader of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of the United States Congress, the Secretary General of the United Nations, and the United Nations' Special Committee on the situation with regard to the Implementation of the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples.


[ 5 ]

Excerpts: Hawaii's little girl is dead. Cute, frail Alana Dung in need drove thousands of strangers to cafeterias, shopping malls and sports complexes across the state to be tested as possible bone marrow donors. Their only link: a compelling need to help Alana. Thousands of Hawaii residents lined up for hours at 42 bone marrow drives held across the state. Before the Dung family's plea for donors, the Hawaii registry had 16,500 registrants. Today, there are more then 50,000 names on the list, with 30,788 of those names directly attributed to Alana Dung.


[ 6 ]

Caption on photo: "Natalie Frazier, 12, mascot for the Transpac Yacht Race crew, posed proudly yesterday with a large U.S. flag hanging inside her Mililani home."

Excerpts: Natalie, who was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma in April of last year, was made an honorary crew member to help raise awareness and funds for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. Doyle was looking for a way to let more people know about the organization's mission of fighting blood-related cancers. 'Let's take it a step further and get you somebody that you can connect the mission to,'" said Neal, who put Doyle in touch with Natalie and her parents, Nancy and Dean. "She ended up being the perfect person to be their honorary crew member," Neal said. "She's a wonderful little girl." Doyle says it is fitting that his boat is represented by Natalie because her fight parallels the challenges that he and Burgess face in the TransPac: Theirs is the smallest boat in the field.


[ 7 ] A spreadsheet of U.S. Census 2000 data shows that there are over 400,000 Native Hawaiians living in the United States, including 160,000 who choose to live outside Hawai'i. [ 8 ]


[ 9 ]

Excerpts: This unique upper-middle-class neighborhood on Hawaiian homestead land has 54 multilevel duplex units and 33 three-story single-family homes. Selections were made off the Hawaiian Home Lands waiting list, but the asking price of $174,900 to $196,100 for a duplex or $214,900 to $225,900 for a single-family unit made it unaffordable for most. Schuler Homes sells a market product of the same size for around $385,000."


[ 10 ] "John H. McWhorter (34-year-old African-American Berkeley linguistics professor) has written a book: "Losing the Race: Self-Sabotage in Black America."


[ 11 ]

Excerpts: Hawaiian activist Charles Maxwell warned yesterday that Hawaiians once were warriors and could become warriors again if no one listens to their concerns. Maxwell took his people's cause to a middle-class crowd of predominantly haole members of the Rotary Club at their luncheon in Waikiki. Maxwell, a Maui resident who is chairman of the Hawaii Advisory Committee to the U.S. Civil Rights Commission, said he ... refused to sing "God Bless America" because he considered what America had done to Hawaii — from the overthrow of the monarchy through annexation and statehood — to be "despicable." Did he really think Hawaiians would be justified in becoming warriors again "if there is no redress?" "I tell you what," Maxwell said, "I will be in the front of the line."


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[ 20 ] A heartfelt published plea to abandon racial separatism and ethnic nationalism in favor of unity and equality can be found at

Two webpages related to this one have been created since this webpage was originally written. Readers might also want to read these:

(1) Playing Favorites -- Da Punahele Race

(2) Pride and Prejudice -- What It Means To Be Proud of a Person, Group, Nation, or Race; Racial Profiling, Racial Prejudice, and Racial Supremacy

(c) Copyright 2001 - 2004 Kenneth R. Conklin, Ph.D. All rights reserved