Red-Shirt Pro-Apartheid March of September 2003 and Follow-Up Newspaper Articles

A huge pro-apartheid march and rally were held in Waikiki on Sunday September 7, 2003. Somewhere between 5,000 - 10,000 ethnic Hawaiians and their supporters wore red shirts symbolizing the blood that unifies and defines who is Native Hawaiian, and also symbolizing the ominous red cloud that is the name of the lead organization in the march, 'Ilio'ulaokalani.

Some observers see this march as a turning point in ethnic Hawaiian activism, zealotry, and perhaps militancy. On September 7, 2003 the shirts were red. In the 1930s in Germany, the shirts were brown and black. A march of 5,000 -10,000 in low-population Waikiki feels comparable to a march of 50,000 - 100,000 in Berlin; and the Waikiki march was more ominous because some marchers dressed in the style of warriors and carried ancient Hawaiian weapons.

Another march has been planned for Sunday November 16 and Monday November 17, to coincide with the November 17 court date for both the Arakaki 2 lawsuit and one of the kamehameha lawsuits. On Sunday there will be a march from Mauna Ala (the Royal Mausoleum) to ‘Iolani Palace, with music and hula and speeches planned at the Palace through the evening. Then early Monday morning there will be a torchlight march from the Palace to the federal courthouse, with signs and banners to be displayed throughout the courthouse area right up until the hearings begin. This is clearly an attempt by a political mob to harrass and intimidate federal judges, and begins to resemble actions taken against unfriendly judges by the Mafia in Italy and by the drug lords in Colombia.

It is also interesting that dozens, perhaps hundreds, of Hawaiian (Kingdom) flags are always carried and displayed in these marches, but never a single U.S. flag. The Office of Hawaiian Affairs, and Kamehameha Schools, (who aggressively promote these events and demand passage of the Akaka bill to save their programs) always like to say they are not anti-American. They say they are merely using the provisions of American law to ask the American Congress to pass a bill; and they are seeking their rights as “indigenous” people of the United States, comparable to the Indian tribes and Alaska natives. But OHA, Kamehameha Schools, and other organizations in control of these marches know that the mob would never tolerate the presence of an American flag, because the propaganda for many years has been that America colonized Hawai’i, staged an armed invasion, overthrew the monarchy, suppressed the language and culture, illegally annexed Hawai’i to the U.S., stole the land, and illegally conducted the statehood vote of 1959. Thus, any display of respect for America would be very unwelcome.

This webpage first describes the September 7 march itself and why it was scheduled for that date. Then this page will provide some of the important newspaper articles and letters to editor that were published in the weeks afterward.

In late August, 2003 a federal court judge had ruled that a student with no native blood must be admitted temporarily to Kamehameha School, until a full trial can be held on the legality of the school's racially exclusionary admissions policy. See:

There was also a hearing scheduled in federal court for Monday September 8 in the Arakaki 2 lawsuit seeking to dismantle OHA and DHHL as unconstitutional on account of their racial exclusion on who can receive benefits. See:

Sunday September 7 had been set aside months before, as the ethnic Hawaiian "Family Sunday in Kapi'olani Park" when there would be picnics, food booths, crafts displays, music, etc. Then the Office of Hawaiian Affairs decided to make use of that event to distribute propaganda in favor of the Akaka bill and to sign up ethnic Hawaiians for a photo-ID race card. When the Kamehameha School lawsuits grabbed headlines in August, the Hawaiian activists decided to make September 7 a date for a unity rally and protest march. The march and rally were to show ethnic Hawaiian unity, and to express outrage against the Kamehameha lawsuits and also against the Arakaki 2 lawsuit which had a hearing scheduled for the following day. The march was scheduled for the morning, to end up at Kapi’olani Park where marchers could then participate in the previously scheduled family-day events and sign up for their race-cards.

On September 7, 2003 the march was estimated at 5,000 to 10,000 people. To get an impression of the size of the march and its effectiveness in coordinating the wearing of red shirts, here's a photo taken from the porch of the Moana Surfrider Hotel in Waikiki:

Here are excerpts from a newspaper article about the red-shirt march. The article as published included three photos which can be seen at the indicated URL:
The Honolulu Advertiser, Monday, September 8, 2003
Thousands join march for Hawaiian rights
By Dan Nakaso and Vicki Viotti

Tears ringed Nyla Lolotai's eyes as she marched down Kalakaua Avenue yesterday with more than 5,000 other supporters of Hawaiian rights in a rare, massive display of Hawaiian unity. Lolotai, like many others who marched yesterday, doesn't normally take part in public demonstrations. But like the others, she was moved to join yesterday's "March for Justice" in response to an Aug. 20 federal court order forcing Kamehameha Schools to enroll a non-Hawaiian boy until a final verdict on the admission policy is made this fall. "It's usually the Hawaiian way to be quiet," Lolotai said. "But we've been too quiet too long." Some marchers yesterday chose to wear traditional Hawaiian clothing and carry staffs and other weapons. Representatives from Hawaiian Ali'i Trusts and Royal Ali'i Orders called for a peaceful march in support of social justice for Hawaiians. "This is a great turnout from all kinds of people from across the state," Governor Linda Lingle said while walking down Kalakaua Avenue alongside Lt. Gov. James "Duke" Aiona. Aiona, who has at least one-eighth Hawaiian blood, said people came out yesterday out of a sense of urgency for Hawaiian rights. "With that comes unity and strength," he said. "That's where my community is at right now. It's awesome. You can feel the spirit. And it's all well intentioned." Both Lingle and Aiona wore red T-shirts that read, "Ku I Ka Pono Justice for Hawaiians." "It means stand up for righteousness," said Brawnson Adams, an 11-year-old, Kamehameha Schools seventh-grader. "The red represents the blood of Hawaiians." Organizers sold out of the 5,000, red T-shirts and tank tops that were going for $5. And police estimated the crowd at about 5,000. At the front of the march, members of various schools of lua, or Hawaiian martial arts, wore traditional kihei cloaks and carried staffs and other weapons. Further in back, other marchers sipped from water bottles and pushed baby strollers. Police reported no problems. The march was organized by the 'Ilio'ulaokalani Coalition, a Hawaiian political action group. It was soon joined by other organizations and ended in a rally at the Kapi'olani Park Bandstand, where the Office of Hawaiian Affairs had planned its family day celebration. The disparate groups represented various points along the Hawaiian political scale, including supporters and opponents of the Hawaiian federal recognition bill before Congress. Lynette Cruz, a longtime opponent of the so-called Akaka bill, said the theme of the march was Hawaiian unity. But not all Hawaiians are unified, she said. "We want to show support for Hawaiian rights," Cruz said. "But we're not going to the rally afterwards because we don't support federal recognition." With the sound of conch shells blowing in the background along Kalakaua Avenue, Roy Benham, who helped push for reforms at the former Bishop Estate and is now a member of Kamehameha's board of advisers, said the march may prove a significant turning point in Hawaiian activism. "It's one of the first times we've seen so many organizations come together," Benham said. "It's something we're going to need in the future as we move forward. This is a good first step." It was a step that began with Honolulu police shutting down Kalakaua Avenue through Waikiki. At the intersection of Kalakaua Avenue and Saratoga Road, speaker after speaker rallied marchers with stories of injustices toward Hawaiians and the need for action. The next two hours were filled with angry shouts and times of solace. At key points along the route, organizers erected portraits of Hawaiian royalty, where marchers stopped to pay homage. Outside the Royal Hawaiian Shopping Center representatives of various Hawaiian associations — including descendants of Hawaiian royalty — stood by a portrait of Princess Bernice Pauahi Bishop, whose will created the Kamehameha Schools in 1884. Kamehameha Schools trustees stood a few yards away, including trustee Robert Kihune, who held his straw hat over his heart. Like other Kamehameha students, Brawnson — the Kamehameha seventh-grader — was offered extra credit in his social studies and Hawaiian classes if he writes a paper about the march. Many marchers felt that similar offers detracted from the day. One student carried a hand-written sign that said, "Not Here 4 Extra Credit." Another's read, "What Extra Credit?"


On September 29, Kamehameha School filed a motion for summary judgment in both lawsuits asking that they be dismissed. The motions were accompanied by amicus statements from political and community leaders (many of whom have no native blood) supporting Kamehameha School’s racially exclusionary admissions policy. Here is an essay about the red-shirt march, the Kamehameha School motion for summary judgment on September 29 2003, and the amicus statements. The webpage includes three published articles describing the contents of the amicus statements and the people who wrote them:


The Honolulu Advertiser has loudly and frequently editorialized in support of the Akaka bill, in support of OHA, and in support of Kamehameha Schools' racially exclusionary policy. Thus it is perhaps no accident that a new ethnic Hawaiian columnist, Wade Kilohana Shirkey, was hired to write a weekly column to rouse public sympathy for the Advertiser's viewpoint. Here is his article about the red-shirt march, conveniently published just three days before the court filing of Kamehameha’s motion for summary judgment. The Honolulu Advertiser, Friday, September 26, 2003

Red T-shirts reflect spirit of Hawaiian solidarity

By Wade Kilohana Shirkey

It was the law of supply and demand, Hawaiian style. And it made the recent Waikiki "March for Justice" red T-shirts a red-hot commodity — and, for organizer Vicky Holt Takamine, a pleasant merchandising madness. After the recent judicial decision allowing a non-Hawaiian into The Kamehameha Schools, frustrated Hawaiian community leaders — dismayed by that and other recent court challenges to Native Hawaiian entitlements — "had to do something," said Takamine. "We had to make our outrage known."

Naturally, "everyone looked at me," Takamine joked. "The 'Queen of Demonstrations.' "But we weren't interested in coming together just to bring attention to the anger and frustration" of the Kamehameha admissions decision, she said. "We wanted a broader stage, for other threatened entitlements" — native rights, programs, ceded lands, revenues.

"We wanted to bring awareness to everything being attacked."

Timed to coincide with the planned Office of Hawaiian Affairs "Family Day" at Kapi'olani Park on Sept. 7, it was from the beginning based on the intrinsic Hawaiian value of sharing: "We asked if (OHA) would mind a sharing. And, we wanted to share the larger event with other Hawaiian organizations. You always ask! We didn't want to be maha'oi," impertinent.

"I tend to go with my na'au." And her gut said "go for it." She called on other values as well: kuleana and lokahi. "We delegated (among organizations); everyone took on a kuleana," said Takamine. "And that's why it worked so well: everyone came together."

From the beginning, Takamine thought big: "I didn't see 50 (marchers). I didn't see 500. I saw 5,000 — that would make a statement."

That and the color red.

Red: one of the royal colors, and appropriately, the color of koko, blood, a concept of percentage that had become important in the rights movement — but, mostly because red is vibrant.

Recent ho'ailona, signs/portents, supported her color choice: 'Ilio'ulaokalani, her Hawaiian rights organization's namesake, that red-tinged, "red dog of the heavens" cloud formation, and the recent running of the 'aweoweo, both thought to portend a significant event in the Hawaiian community. She wondered if the recent appearance of reddish Mars in Hawaiian skies was perhaps another.

So red shirts it was: five thousand, in the matter of a week, a task that would surely make any veteran halau or band organizer cringe. Wayne Wainwright of Kapala'ahu (literally: garment printing) did the design and printing: "KU I KA PONO" in the 'olelo makuahine, the mother tongue; and "JUSTICE FOR HAWAIIANS" in English.

"You could see us coming," Takamine jokes of the intensity of the red design.

"We wiped out (local) distributors," Takamine said, laughing. When they ran out of red T-shirts, Wainwright switched to tank tops.

Students volunteered to distribute the shirts from tables at the march: "No! trucks," rally veteran Takamine said. "Six of them — one for each (shirt) size." An hour after a 6:30 a.m. set-up, the T-shirts, at $5 a pop, were gone — and had become an instant collectors' item.

Many of the estimated 8,000 to 10,000 marchers, some wearing their own red T-shirts, had flown in from Neighbor Islands, and Mainland states as far away as Florida.

Those without official shirts clamored for one. "You're going to be seeing more of these" at future events, said Wainwright. "It's a 'rally shirt' now."

"It's because (the fight) isn't over," said Takamine. "The shirt represents the struggle."

Already hundreds of orders are streaming in to Wainwright and Takamine, sending Wainwright to scour the Internet for T-shirt sources. By the end of the year, he estimates he'll have filled as many orders as at the original march.

"This march brought people together," said Takamine. "It's not about race. It's that common understanding that something has to be done" — and, this time, people "showed up for the party."

And, maybe, to get that red T-shirt.




Following is a series of letters to editor published in response to Mr. Shirkey’s article; and sometimes also in response to the statements by the Arakaki2 plaintiffs and/or the OHA trustees.
The Honolulu Advertiser, Thursday, October 2, 2003

Protesting Hawaiians want more than others

Regarding Wade Shirkey's Sept. 26 column "Red T-shirts reflect spirit of Hawaiian solidarity": Red is the right color to wear when your negotiating strategy is to "act mad," intimidate and imply violence and bloodshed if you don't get what you want. But what the protesting Hawaiians want is more than other citizens merely because of their ancestry, something they never had even under the kingdom and they certainly cannot have in an American democracy.

Stolen lands? Under the Kingdom of Hawai'i, the public lands (then called "crown" and "government" lands) were held for the benefit of all subjects, not just for those of one ancestry. They still are.

Genocide? The population of Hawaiians had started to decline before Captain Cook arrived; declined throughout the years of the kingdom; then reversed itself and has increased steadily since annexation in 1898. Today, Hawaiians are the fastest-growing population in Hawai'i, according to OHA's Web site.

Culture? Religion? In 1819, shortly after the death of Kamehameha the Great, his son Liholiho, the new king, broke the kapu, dismantled the heiau and burned the wooden idols. The first missionaries arrived the next year, 1820, and soon Ka'ahumanu took charge of Christianity and made it the official religion of the Kingdom of Hawai'i. No one forced Hawaiians to do this. They themselves rejected their ancient culture and legal system and, for good reason, replaced it with Western religion and culture and legal institutions.

Anger? Frustration? Poor us, we're mad and frustrated because we don't get more than other citizens? Please spare us. Nothing in Hawai'i's past or present deprives today's Hawaiians of the same rights and the same opportunities that other citizens have to develop themselves, to take pride in their cultural traditions, and to succeed in their chosen endeavors.

This is the land of aloha and equality. The shirts should be red, white and blue, and they should say "Ku i ka pono no kakou" ("Equal justice for all").

H. William Burgess

The Honolulu Advertiser, Monday, October 6, 2003

Stop trying to change Hawaiian history

In response to letter writer H. William Burgess:
Hawaiians were not evicted from their homes?
Kamehameha Schools' admissions policy was not challenged as racist?
Hawaiian children were not punished in school for speaking Hawaiian?
Hawaiian ali'i lands were not forced to be sold?
Hawaiian children were taught of the Kamehamehas, Maui and Liloa?
Today they are taught of George Washington and Paul Bunyan?
Why is it so hard to understand that just as you are loyal to America, we will forever remain loyal to Hawai'i?
We were not at the Boston Tea Party.
We did not fight in the Revolutionary War.
We did not enslave Africans.
We were not at your Constitutional Convention.
We did not pass your Bill of Rights.
We did not come to America. America came to us.
We cannot go home. We are home. We were born here.
Our kupuna's bones are buried here.
Our ancestors shed their blood here.
Our roots run deep.
Please stop trying to rewrite history.
Please stop trying to take what is not yours.
Please stop trying to tell us how we should live.
We are who we are, who we were and who we forever will be — Hawaiian!
Kealiimahiai Burgess

The Honolulu Advertiser, Wednesday, October 8, 2003

Constitution bypassed on Hawai'i

The commentary from Earl Arakaki in the Advertiser's Sept. 28 Focus section was followed up by William Burgess' letter in the Oct. 2 editorial section, and both adopt the same peculiar stance to issues of justice, law and history.

Arakaki's essential premise is that he and the other plaintiffs are merely trying to right a constitutional wrong. But there are other constitutional issues involved.

Consider the U.S. takeover in Hawai'i. The American Constitution is very clear about how the U.S. may acquire foreign territory. But instead of the treaty of annexation required by law, the Senate and House of Representatives passed a joint resolution in 1898 to bypass the uncomfortable truth that there simply weren't enough senators who could be convinced that annexing a nation friendly to the United States was in their country's best interest. Had Americans observed their Constitution in 1898, we Hawaiians would not be troubled by their Constitution today.

Burgess insists that no lands were stolen when the U.S. took over Hawai'i and that the crown and government lands were public lands before and after the takeover. However, the crown lands were actually the private property of the monarch.

When the Republic of Hawai'i took those lands from Lili'uokalani and gave them to the United States, it offered no compensation to the queen, who maintained to her death that she was the rightful owner of those lands. Those lands, almost a million acres, were clearly stolen.

Moreover, crown and government lands were much more accessible to ordinary native subjects for homes and farms under the kingdom than they have been under American rule. With the loss of the kingdom's government, crown and government lands immediately were leased out to the largest sugar businesses in Hawai'i and became a major part of their corporate holdings and resources for the next century. Many historians, including American and European scholars, have concluded that financial gain was at the heart of the movement to end the monarchy.

There are laws and there are laws. Arakaki et al. would have us believe that some parts of their Constitution are more sacred than others. But they make truly despicable arguments when they imply that they wish only to care for all of Hawai'i's poor. I have met many people who actually work with Hawai'i's poor and homeless. None of them are, or ever would be, plaintiffs in this case.

The terrible truth is that Arakaki, Burgess and the others represent a reprehensible American type that sees laws only as opportunities for personal enrichment. People in Hawai'i, not just Hawaiians, should repudiate this suit and its plaintiffs for using a civil rights ideal against the people for whom such laws were formed to protect.

If these plaintiffs win, the state of Hawai'i may have a few more million dollars to commit to public education, but Hawaiians will have even fewer reasons to trust the integrity of American laws, and very significant motivations to regain our sovereignty.

Jon Osorio

------------------ The Honolulu Advertiser, Thursday, October 9, 2003

Truth is the victim in stolen-land claim

It seems The Honolulu Advertiser is taking lessons from the L.A. Times for publishing distortions of the truth. Sunday in the "Opinion" pages, we are once again told someone stole land from the "Hawaiians."

Truth is that no person has ever reported to the police such a crime. Why? Maybe it was because it did not happen. The American court system is very good at correcting wrongs. Why is the judiciary silent? There is no crime.

On Tuesday, under the disguise of an opinion from a Californian, The Advertiser prints another obvious lie: "William Burgess preaches hate for Hawaiians." The Honolulu Advertiser knows there is no factual truth that Mr. Burgess preaches hate.

One must question the motive of The Honolulu Advertiser when it publishes these types of letters from readers.

With its cadre of writers and editors, why can't The Advertiser identify this blatant distortion of the truth? Printing a lie as an opinion does not make it right.

Ed Stewart

The Honolulu Advertiser, Saturday, October 11, 2003

Complaining Hawaiian has wrong perspective

In response to letter writer Kealiimahiai Burgess: I have been a resident of the Islands for 10 years now, and it never ceases to amaze me how some Hawaiians cannot deal with the fact that they are part of the United States. Mr. Burgess, you say that Hawaiians did not participate in the Boston Tea Party, Revolutionary War or the Constitutional Convention. How lucky you are that you are part of a country for which you did not have to fight for the freedoms you now enjoy. It is ironic that even though Hawaiians did not pass the Bill of Rights, you take advantage of the First Amendment by writing your letter to the editor of this newspaper. You are correct in saying America came to Hawai'i, but so did the French, the English and the Spanish. In fact, the state flag you so proudly fly has British overtones. You make the absurd statement that Hawaiians did not enslave Africans, yet Kamehameha enslaved or threw off a cliff anyone who opposed his ideas. Are these the deep roots you speak of? You are Hawaiian, Mr. Burgess, but you are also an American. Does being "loyal to Hawai'i" mean that you support being admitted to the greatest country in the world, as the Hawaiian voters were in 1959?Ê You get the best of both cultures being both an American and a Hawaiian, but you choose bitterness over appreciation and naivete over the reality of progress. This doesn't sound like the "aloha spirit" I know. Greg Smith

The Honolulu Advertiser, Tuesday, October 14, 2003

Issues of crown lands, annexation are settled

Jon Osorio, in his Oct. 8 letter, is wrong about the crown lands and wrong about annexation.

In 1910, Lili'uokalani sued the United States, claiming her private property, a "vested equitable life interest" in the crown lands, was taken without compensation.

The court ruled that, under kingdom laws since 1865, the monarch did not personally own the crown lands; they were owned by the government to support the office of head of state. The court held that, when the monarchy ceased to exist, the crown lands became part of the public domain and passed ultimately to the United States. The matter is settled.

Pursuant to the Annexation Act, the United States then held the crown and other ceded lands in trust for all the people. In 1959, the United States returned them to Hawai'i. They are still held by the state for the benefit of all of us. None of the lands was stolen.

The argument that annexation could be accomplished only by treaty and not by joint resolution was raised vigorously but did not persuade other members of Congress in 1846 for Texas or in 1898 for Hawai'i. The powerful interests opposing both annexations could have filed timely actions to litigate the issue. None did. The world and the billions of people born since then have moved on.

In Territory of Hawaii vs. Mankichi (1903), Justice Harlan said: "By the resolution, the annexation of the Hawaiian Islands became complete, and the object of the proposed treaty, 'that those islands should be incorporated into the United States as an integral part thereof, and under its sovereignty was accomplished.' "

The matter is settled.

Robert M. Chapman

The Honolulu Advertiser, Wednesday, October 15, 2003

Letter writer wrong on Hawaiian claims

Kealiimahiai Burgess' Oct. 6 letter is mistaken:

• Kamehameha Schools' admissions policy actually disrespects Pauahi's will, which has no racial exclusion.

• Beginning in the late 1840s, the kingdom fostered English-speaking schools. The ali'i recognized that English was the key to a better life for Hawaiians. By the 1850s, Hawai'i had the highest literacy rate in the world. By 1893, over 96 percent of public schools instructed in English. Pauahi's will specifies English for Kamehameha Schools.

• Yes, America enslaved Africans for 300 years. Hawaiians enslaved their own people for over a thousand years. Called kauwa, meaning "foul corpse," they were kept for human sacrifice. Slavery in Hawai'i ended because of missionary Christianity.

• You said "We didn't come to America — America came to us." Wrong. You came to America in 1903, when the Territory of Hawai'i's Senate, with a clear majority of Hawaiians, voted unanimously for statehood (Prince Kuhio presented the petition to the U.S. Congress). In 1959, over 94 percent of Hawai'i's voters said yes to statehood.

• Your ancestors "shed their blood here" because your other ancestors killed them for their land. America did not tell "your ancestors how to live." Kamehameha II and III and Ka'ahumanu did that when, beginning in 1819, they abandoned the bloody kapu system and steered the kingdom toward Christianity, a constitution and civil rights.

• In 1898, America assumed Hawai'i's debt of $3.8 million, more than the value of the entire 1.8 million acres of ceded lands. And America immediately returned possession and control of most of those lands to the new territory of Hawai'i. (Title to most of the ceded lands was transferred back to Hawai'i in 1959 upon statehood.) No lands were stolen.

People of many different races were born here and Hawai'i is their home. Stop forcing Hawai'i's other citizens to pay your way. We don't owe you anything.

Sandra Puanani Burgess

The Honolulu Advertiser, Thursday, October 16, 2003

OHA relies on myths, falsehoods for support

The Oct. 5 response of the OHA board of trustees to the Sept. 28 commentary by Earl Arakaki says to look at the facts — but then uses myths and falsehoods as its justification.

The OHA trustees would have people believe that the more than 100 acts of Congress benefitting Hawaiians are somehow acknowledgment by the United States that some form of reparations or payment is due Native Hawaiians for perceived past injustices.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

Even the often misquoted "apology bill" does not mandate any sort of monetary settlement to Hawaiians, nor does it recognize them as being a political class of people with special entitlements.

The OHA trustees claim that the $70 million in federal programs that benefit Hawaiians-only programs actually helps state taxpayers because it brings federal funds to Hawai'i. These same federal funds would probably be brought into the state anyway, however, and given to all people of all races based on their need and not their ancestry. What about the millions in state tax dollars siphoned away from needy individuals (including Hawai'i's public school students) who have no Hawaiian blood and that go to pay for Hawaiians-only programs such as Hawaiian Homelands and OHA itself?

No court has ever rendered a judgment stating that Hawaiians, due solely to their ancestry, are owed funding of their programs over those intended to benefit all needy citizens. As a taxpayer, I find it repugnant that some of my tax dollars are being used to fund programs that are available only to persons of a certain ethnic group because this is a brazen violation of the U.S. Constitution.

Richard Chang

The Honolulu Advertiser, Sunday, October 19, 2003

Arakaki lawsuit threatens all of our diverse society

By Adrian Kamalaniikekai Kamali'i

At long last, the Arakaki plaintiffs have voiced their views and reasons for their litigation to dismantle the Office of Hawaiian Affairs and the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands. Much of what has been said in their reasons seems to be contradictory.

The plaintiffs ask, "Are we trying to harm Native Hawaiians?"

Their answer is "certainly not."

Do these plaintiffs not look at the residual effects of this case? Perhaps all 15 plaintiffs need to spend a night at the Institute for Human Services and see the number of Native Hawaiians who fill its confines and, even more devastating, the children who live under these conditions.

Perhaps all 15 plaintiffs need to spend some time at a maternity ward and get a close look at the mortality rates of Native Hawaiian infants. Perhaps all 15 plaintiffs need to spend a week at a correctional facility - not for their criminal action of filing such a lawsuit, but to see the number of Native Hawaiians who have succumbed to various crimes.

When these 15 individuals say "certainly not," they increase the notion that Hawaiians are owed nothing and they decrease the number of programs, of Hawaiian service organizations, and the hope that is used to heal and allay these and other social ills.

Their statement is plagued with the word "fair." What does fair mean nowadays? Fair simply means the following: To remove, by a perceived manifest right, the hereditary ruler of a kingdom and to place within it a corrupt system that strips its native people to a bare minimum.

Of course Arakaki et al. believe that "nothing about Hawai'i's past or present justifies denying government aid to one modern-day applicant and giving it to another solely because of somebody's ancestry."

Where, then, do they stand on issues of reparations to Japanese who were locked in internment camps? Where do they stand on the issue of Native American reservations? Or what are their views of possible reparations for African American slaves and their kin? Case in point: For every injustice that America has perpetrated, there has to be a form of justice.

No one can thoroughly conclude that "nothing about Hawai'i's past or present justifies" the need to help Native Hawaiians. Everything about Hawai'i's past and present has everything to do with current programs and the establishment of Hawaiian service organizations.

In the past 10 years, the number of Hawaiian service organizations - those that focus primarily on the betterment of Native Hawaiians and allaying their social ills - has increased 35 to 40 percent. This case seeks more than doing away with the quasi-governmental agencies; it seeks to continue an onslaught of future cases that will do away with aid to Native Hawaiians.

The plaintiffs stated that "Hawai'i is the only state in the nation that gives homesteads from its public lands and distributes public revenues exclusively to individuals of one race."

In 1897 Queen Lili'uokalani submitted her opposition to a treaty to then-President William McKinley, wherein she stated, "(I) do hereby protest against the ratification of a certain treaty ... purporting to cede those Islands to the territory and dominion of the United States." The queen continued her remarks by saying, "I declare such a treaty to be an act of wrong toward the native and part-native people of Hawai'i."

Lili'uokalani in this case clearly defines her role as an ali'i, to provide and protect what rightfully belonged to her "native and part-native people of Hawai'i" - that which she calls "the hereditary property of their chiefs."

Let's look at the residual effects of such a case.

Perchance the federal courts affirm the Arakaki case. What does this mean for Hawaiians? It would be another realistic stake of greed joining the many others in the hearts of many Hawaiians, both in Hawai'i and elsewhere. It would also add fuel to the color-blind fire that has become larger in recent years.

Such a case, if successful, would not only begin to rid the state of Hawai'i of its fiduciary responsibility to Native Hawaiians, but also begin to paint Hawai'i in an eggshell color and begin the process of a color-blind society in a place where we are proud of our diversity.

So, are these plaintiffs "trying to harm Native Hawaiians"? I agree with their reply, "certainly not." These 15 individuals are harming more than just Native Hawaiians; they are beginning to tear the very seams of our colorful fabric.

Adrian Kamalaniikekai Kamali'i is a 2000 graduate of the Kamehameha Schools and the president and CEO of Hui Ho'oulu Inc., a Hawaiian service organization geared toward advancing Hawaiian youths through education, culture, politics and the environment.

The Honolulu Advertiser, Tuesday, October 21, 2003

U.S. has no authority over Hawaiian lands

Regarding the Oct. 13 letter by Robert M. Chapman ("Issues of crown lands, annexation are settled"): The court that passed the ruling in 1910 on Lili'uokalani vs. the United States was not an international court nor a court of the Kingdom of Hawai'i, so why would anyone think the judgment was a legal ruling?

Crown lands, ceded lands and public government lands are not legal titles and have no validity by kingdom or U.S. law. These terms in English do not define the land system that was subject to the wahi kanaka on government lands and they do not describe the tenement rights of kanaka living with all rights of property ownership on those lands. Hence the "special legislature" thrown into the annexation documents (really a genocide council) to remove the rightful inhabitants protected by government land titles.

The Joint Resolution treaty, July 7, 1897 (I have a copy of it), was a penned document only by those who possessed no title or title of nobility; it had no legal effect to grant the United States constitutional authority over the nation of Hawai'i.

U.S. Constitution, Article 4, Clause 3 of the 10th Amendment gives Congress the power to admit "states into this Union" only — not a territory, as was the nation of Hawai'i.

So there are the true and hard facts, Mr. Chapman. Your country still has no constitutional authority over the citizens, land or anything of the nation of Hawai'i.

Mahealani Ventura-Oliver


A SERIES OF RED-SHIRT MARCHES AND RALLIES WAS HELD ABOUT TEN WEEKS LATER, NOVEMBER 16-18, 2003. It was a clear attempt to intimidate federal judges and the general public. See:

On September 6, 2004 (Labor Day) another large red-shirt protest march traveled through the heart of Waikiki, ending with a rally including speeches and music at the Waikiki Shell. For newspaper articles, photos, and analysis see:


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