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Akaka Bill Dialog -- Robert K. Fukuda vs. Oswald K. Stender, January to February 2006

The three articles below make an excellent dialog or debate regarding the "social justice" aspects of the Akaka bill.

Robert K. Fukuda was Deputy Attorney General of the Territory Of Hawaii from 1953 to 1959, and the attorney for the Hawaiian Homes Commission, an agency that managed and supervised the use of lands allocated to native Hawaiians for residential and agricultural uses. He was elected to the first Hawaii State Legislature, serving as a Representative from 1959 to 1962, served as the United States Attorney for the State of Hawaii from 1969 to 1973, and was in the United States Army in World War II working as a Japanese Language interpreter and translator.

Oswald K. Stender is currently (February 2006) Trustee of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, an agency of the government of the State of Hawai'i that provides benefits on a racially exclusionary basis and is the primary source of funding for advertisements and lobbying in support of the Akaka bill. Mr. Stender was formerly Trustee of Kamehameha Schools.

Hawaii Reporter, January 27, 2006

The Akaka Bill Would Legalize Racial Segregation
January 2006 Testimony Presented to the U.S. Civil Rights Commission

By Robert K. Fukuda

This testimony was presented in Washington DC last week to the U.S. Commission On Civil Rights regarding the proposed Akaka Bill now up for a vote in the U.S. Senate.

I was Deputy Attorney General of the Territory Of Hawaii from 1953 to 1959. During that time, I was the attorney for the Hawaiian Homes Commission, an agency that managed and supervised the use of lands allocated to native Hawaiians for residential and agricultural uses. The agency survives as the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands of the State of Hawaii. I was elected to the first Hawaii State Legislature, serving as a Representative from 1959 to 1962. In addition, I served as the United States Attorney for the State of Hawaii from 1969 to 1973, and was in the United States Army in World War II working as a Japanese Language interpreter and translator.

So I believe I have sufficient legal experience and personal understanding of the issues to submit these statements as testimony regarding S 147, otherwise known as the Akaka Bill, which is intended to create a race-based Hawaiian nation within the State of Hawaii.

This Akaka Bill proposes to create a government whose citizens would be restricted to persons whose ancestry includes any amount, however small, of blood quantum of natives who lived in the Hawaiian Islands before the discovery of the Islands by English explorer Captain James Cook in 1778. This is beyond any serious debate an attempt to create a race-based nation and government.

An appropriate analogy would be an attempt to create a foreign nation within California, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas whose citizens would be limited to descendants of persons of Hispanic blood who lived there before they became American Territories and States, because the lands belonged to Mexico before they were stolen by America.

This is similar to the argument being used by the proponents of S 147 to create a new Hawaiian nation.

The initial argument against the Akaka Bill is one of simple historical fact. From the time of its discovery, the Hawaiian Kingdom allowed the free immigration of people of all races and all nations of the world, initially from Europe and America, and later from Asia.

Hawaii is the most racially integrated State in America, and its population includes descendants of people who came from England, France, Germany, Russia, Scotland, Ireland, Spain, Portugal, Australia, New Zealand, China, Japan, Korea, the Philippines, Puerto Rico, other Pacific islands, and the progeny of mixed marriages of all of these racial and ethnic groups.

The Hawaiians may be the most racially mixed group in Hawaii because they have been here the longest with the most opportunities to marry people of other races. The number of persons of pure Hawaiian ancestry is now less than one percent of the population. Throughout the history of the Hawaiian Kingdom, there was never any constitutional or Legislative restriction of Hawaiian citizenship to persons of Hawaiian descent.

This is a historical fact, which the backers of S 147 do not publicly acknowledge, but cannot truthfully deny. To create a new Hawaiian nation whose citizenship is based on race, where no racial restriction existed in the preceding Hawaiian Kingdom is simply a political attempt to disregard history and create an unacceptable racial discrimination and segregation in an American State, where the U.S. Constitution and laws against racial discrimination must remain paramount.

This bill will result in severe and permanent damage to existing race relations in Hawaii. A true example would be my own extended family. We have lived in Hawaii continuously for five generations and 120 years.

My grandparents and many thousands of other immigrants of all races came here to work on the sugar plantations at the invitation of the Hawaiian King Kalakaua. They were invited because there were not enough native Hawaiians who were able or willing to do the work to assist the economy of the Hawaiian Kingdom. The immigration of the Japanese followed a formal treaty between the King and the Japanese Emperor Meiji in 1885. My father and his three sisters were born in Hawaii. My mother was also Japanese, so I am pure Japanese in ancestry. However, one of my aunts married a man who was one-half native Hawaiian and therefore my cousin was one-fourth Hawaiian.

If the Akaka Bill becomes law, my cousin's children and descendants will be entitled to all the economic and legal benefits that will be given to Hawaiians while my children and descendants will get nothing, simply because of an accident of birth. This is precisely why the Constitution and laws of the United States prohibit discrimination on the basis of race or color.

Nobody in my family had anything to do with the overthrow of the Hawaiian Monarchy. Both my cousin and I were born long after Hawaii became an American Territory, yet the Akaka Bill will reward my cousin's children and descendants for "injuries" they never suffered, while my children and descendants will be punished by denying them the same benefits for "crimes" they never committed.

It is ironic that one of the supporters of this Bill is Senator Daniel Inouye who fought with great valor and distinction in World War II against foreign enemies and against racial discrimination and segregation in America. However, this Bill will affect not only Japanese Americans, but people of all races living in Hawaii.

Because of the inter-marriage of the races, there is no racial majority in the population of Hawaii. This Bill is not about a white supremacy over a colored minority. It is an attempt to legalize racial segregation and create special privileges and benefits for one racial minority over all other minorities. It is also an attempt to secede from the United States by a partition of a State and the creation of a foreign nation.

In addition to the arguments against this Bill of historical precedent and racial discrimination, there are other equally important Constitutional and legal questions which must be considered and resolved before this Bill should be brought to the floor of Congress:

* 1) Does the Congress have any power to create a foreign nation within a State and cede Federal and State lands and make appropriations to that nation;

* 2) How to foresee, prevent or resolve the multitude of problems which will arise from dual citizenship, conflicts of laws and privileges and immunities which will be inescapable if two nations occupy and exist in the same land, sea and airspace;

* 3) The right of the Hawaiian nation to secede from the United States Of America;

* 4) The power or right of the Hawaiian nation to become a member of the United Nations, with all attendant powers, privileges and authority. It is imperative that all these questions be brought to light and to the attention of the Congress before any vote should be taken on this Bill.

The underlying purpose of this Bill, in addition to the secession goal, is to circumvent and frustrate judicial scrutiny of existing and future Federal and State programs, which are designated by race only for Hawaiians.

By creating a new Hawaiian nation and a pseudo-diplomatic relationship with the United States, the promoters of S 147 would secure continued grants of Federal and State lands and money for the exclusive use and benefit of one race of people to the exclusion of all other people living in Hawaii. Presumably, the exclusive benefits would be considered as a form of "foreign aid".

If it is the purpose of the Congress to make amends for the annexation of Hawaii, then the appropriate action would be to kill this Bill and enact a reparations Bill with programs and benefits for descendants of all the people who were living in Hawaii at the time of annexation. This would benefit all Hawaiians as well as all other races who were affected by the annexation, and achieve the goal of assisting the Hawaiians without violating the proscription against racial discrimination. If, as many Hawaiians claim, they are on the bottom of the economic ladder, and the benefits are allocated on the basis of financial need, then assuredly most, if not all the program benefits will go to Hawaiians, and there would be no reason to create a Hawaiian nation with al the attendant constitutional and legal problems.

Despite large amounts of inspired hyperbole the supporters of this Bill, the Hawaiians are not an oppressed race. Since the time of the Hawaiian Kingdom and Territory and State, Hawaiians have thrived and succeeded professionally, politically and economically. The sponsor of S 147 is U.S. Senator Akaka, a Hawaiian. There have been thousands of Hawaiian doctors, lawyers, politicians, judges, professors, teachers, Olympic medallists, NFL football players, grand champion sumo wrestlers, singers, dancers, and other professionals. A former Territorial Governor and State Governor, a former Chief Justice and several Associate Justices of the Appellate and Supreme Courts of the Hawaii have been Hawaiians. The present Lieutenant Governor of Hawaii is a Hawaiian. There are pockets of poverty and cultural challenges in various areas of Hawaii, but these are problems that affect every race, and not just Hawaiians. The Hawaiian language, history and culture are thriving and being taught in public and private schools and the University Of Hawaii, and not in any danger of being lost or extinguished.

Americans did not steal the property of Hawaiians. In fact many Americans helped the Hawaiians. One of the best examples is the Bishop Estate, a private charitable trust, which owns thousands of acres of prime land in Hawaii. The assets of this trust are estimated to value more than eight billion dollars, with an annual income of several hundred million dollars, which is entirely dedicated to the education of Hawaiian children. The founders of this Trust were Bernice Pauahi, a member of the Hawaiian royal family, and her husband who was a white American who donated his own personal fortune to the trust, and took no benefits in return.

If the Akaka Bill succeeds in creating a race-based nation with segregation and discrimination where none existed before, it will be a social and political disaster for Hawaii and the United States. It will officially create and support a form of Apartheid in America, while we continue to publicly denounce racism. It will also approve the partition of a State and the creation of a foreign nation within the borders of the United States in violation of the Constitutional plan of a single nation composed of sovereign States.

The design and purposes of the Akaka Bill are in direct conflict with the Constitution and laws of the United States and must be defeated in the Congress.

Hawaii Reporter, February 1, 2006

Akaka Bill Corrects Injustices of Past and Accounts for Present

By Oswald K. Stender

On Friday, Jan. 20, 2006, the United States Commission on Civil Rights held a briefing on the Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act, better known as the "Akaka Bill." Although the Commission is tasked with monitoring and protecting civil rights, they may have had preconceived ideas as shown through their media advisory entitled "USCCR to examine Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act Proposed legislation described by critics as ‘racial balkanization.'"

Robert K. Fukuda's statements in his article to the Hawaii Reporter reflect the same biased and misinformed viewpoint expressed by the two supposed experts opposing the Akaka bill at the USCCR briefing. See "The Akaka Bill Would Legalize Racial Segregation" Mr. Fukuda and those "experts" ignore a key fact that is well stated in the expert written testimony submitted to the USCCR by Patricia Zell, former Staff Director and Chief Counsel for the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs:

For nearly a century, Federal law has recognized these three groups -- American Indians, Alaska Natives, and Native Hawaiians -- as comprising the class of people known as Native Americans. Well before the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution were adopted to address the effects of historic patterns of racial discrimination, the Supreme Court had recognized the unique status of America's native peoples under the Constitution and laws of the United States.

The purpose of the Akaka Bill is not racial balkanization or anything like it. The Akaka Bill provides the next steps of a process of rectifying past wrongs and injustices done to the Hawaiian people by agents working in the name of the United States and its military.

Individuals like Mr. Fukuda would like the public to think Native Hawaiians had no rich culture including a system of commerce, governance, and self-determination prior and subsequent to the arrival of western explorers, missionaries, and those pursuing profit through commerce, trade, and control of assets and resources. They would like to convince the world that the Hawaiian Kingdom did not have over five internationally recognized treaties and compacts between the Kingdom and the U.S. Their hope is to get the public to ignore the insidious methods of those Americans, turned Kingdom subjects, to convince the Hawaiian monarchy to sell land in fee simple, relinquish control over their hereditary lineage, and, in short, cast off the glorious history and culture of their people in exchange for capitalist goals of monetary interest and dividends.

Robert Fukuda states in his article, "This bill will result in severe and permanent damage to existing race relations in Hawaii." However, Mr. Fukuda's statement is misleading. The key wording here is "existing race relations," which, at this point, are strained, restless, and generally uneasy. The existing race relations in Hawaii are a shaky house built upon the sands of a hundred years ago when Hawaiians were dispossessed of their lands and told their ways were pagan and of no good in the new world. The sugar plantations of Fukuda's grandparents' days were not good for the Hawaiian economy; they were good for the foreign sugar barons, most of whom were American. In fact, a large German sugar baron, Claus Spreckles, opposed the overthrow and annexation partly because he was content living in a Hawaiian Kingdom and didn't care for the greedy aspirations of his American counterparts. The Akaka Bill would be the first step in resolving the old prejudices and shame afflicting all peoples in Hawaii because of the underhanded methods of American interests in the past century.

Congress has the power to deal with Native Hawaiians just as it has with other indigenous peoples who had an established political entity within what is now U.S. territory. Congress has exercised this power on numerous occasions, and the federally recognized peoples in Alaska and the continental U.S., and the economies of their states, have seen the benefits of this status. Mr. Fukuda's concern of "the multitude of problems… [arising]…from dual citizenship, conflicts of laws and privileges" if two nations share the same space has already been dealt with across all the other 49 states with no worrisome consequences. As to Hawaii, these questions can be adequately dealt with during the negotiation process between the Hawaiian governing entity, the State of Hawaii, and the federal government.

The intent of the Akaka Bill is merely to express an already existing policy of the U.S. regarding its relationship with Native Hawaiians and provide a process for formal "recognition … of a Native Hawaiian Governing entity." This purpose says it all. There is currently no established process for a relationship between the United States and the reorganized Native Hawaiian governing entity. The last recognized relationship between the two were the treaties between the Kingdom of Hawaii and the United States in the 1800s, all of which were broken by the U.S. in their grab for economic and military control of what might be considered the most valuable piece of real estate in the world.

Something must be done to rectify the past wrongs committed, wrongs that have been acknowledged by the U.S. Congress and President in 1993 through the passage of Public Law 103-150. These wrongs stem not just from the annexation, as Mr. Fukuda argues, but from all events leading up to annexation, including the so-called "Great Mahele," the overthrow, the bayonet constitution, taxation and "adverse possession" laws, and the subsequent decimation of the Native Hawaiian population.

Mr. Fukuda also fails to note that the Akaka Bill is supported by some of the very groups and entities with whom he purports to identify, including but not limited to:

* Japanese American Citizens League, Honolulu Chapter
* Japanese American Citizens League, National
* Hawaiian Homes Commission
* Hawaii State Legislature
* All four Counties in Hawaii
* Leadership Conference on Civil Rights, National
* and many more

The Akaka Bill, far from what Fukuda represents, is the perfect example of democracy in action and a clear depiction of what the framers of the U.S. Constitution intended when they wrote of justice and liberty for all. They, perhaps more so than some of our current bureaucracy, knew full well the transgressions instigated upon native peoples in the American search for the "city on the hill" and thus incorporated those ideals into their vision of America.

We can only hope the American government of today reflects those ancient values of accountability, giving justice where justice is due.

Hawaii Reporter, February 16, 2006

Taking Issue With the Race-Based Direction of the Akaka Bill

By Robert K. Fukuda

This is in response to Mr. Oswald Stender’s comments concerning my opposition to S 147, the Akaka Bill.

Initially I think Mr. Stender and others should know something about the association that my family and I have had with the Hawaiian community. My grandfather was a cook for Prince Kuhio and his household. In both the Japanese and Hawaiian cultures it was a position of honor and esteem for a commoner to be a retainer of the Royal family. I have a fine walking cane made of koa wood that the Prince gave my grandfather when they parted. It is a treasured heirloom of my family. My mother knew the Prince, and said he was a friendly, kind man. My mother was also a personal friend of Princess Kawananakoa, and was a frequent guest in the Princess’ home.

As a Deputy Attorney General of the Territory of Hawaii, I was the attorney for the Hawaiian Homes Commission, which was created by Prince Kuhio when he was the Delegate to Congress from Hawaii. The Commission could not do much to help Hawaiians because it had very little funds and poor records to work with. One of the things I did was to write an opinion stating that Hawaiian Homes lands could not be used for the expansion of the Hilo airport without the prior approval of Congress. Many years later, my opinion was proved correct in a lawsuit against the state of Hawaii for the improper use of the Hawaiian Homes lands. In 1982 I had the opportunity to help Hawaiian Homes lessees much more, when I was appointed the manager of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development for the state of Hawaii. During my tenure, the department initiated the Federal Housing Authority mortgage insurance program for Hawaiian Homes leaseholds. This finally opened the way for Hawaiians to get mortgage loans to build their houses.

When the Hawaii State Legislature passed the “Maryland land law,” allowing the sale of Bishop Estate residential leases, I marched in a torchlight parade around Iolani Palace, protesting the law. I was in the front row of marchers, between Speaker Kauhane and Reverend Abraham Akaka. Reverend Akaka also performed the christening ceremonies for my two fishing boats, the Kailani and the Kaimiloa. When I was elected to the House of Representatives, my strongest supporters were from Papakolea, the Hawaiian Homes subdivision. My legislative secretary and several of my law office secretaries were Hawaiian women. My wife’s long-time secretary and best friend was a Hawaiian woman. My personal friends have included my boy scout troop leader Ainsley Mahikoa, my boss Sgt. Rodenhurst of the Honolulu Police Department, Kamehameha Schools Trustee Richard Lyman, Delegate and Governor Samuel Wilder King, Mayor and Lieutenant Governor James Kealoha, Mayor Neal Blaisdell, Federal Judges C. Nils Tavares and Samuel P. King, Chief Justice William Richardson, attorneys Earl Robinson, Fred Titcomb, Arthur and Bernard Trask, Nane Aluli, Hiram Kamaka, William Amona and many other Hawaiian persons, not the least Mr. Stender’s own older brother. We were together as defense workers in 1942 and 1943.

I am not against Hawaiians. I am against the partition of Hawaii, the creation of a race-based nation, dual citizenship, the racial discrimination against all non-Hawaiians, and the secession from the United States, which are all parts of the plan of S 147. For five generations and 120 years my family has lived in Hawaii with Hawaiians and all other races here, with mutual respect and affection. It is this social harmony and love that are threatened and will be destroyed by the creation of a race-based Hawaiian nation.

Nothing good has ever come out a race-based nation. The worst examples were the Aryan nation of Nazi Germany and Yamato nation of imperialist Japan. To this day the Japanese use the epithet “Gaijin” in reference to anyone who is not considered to be Japanese in racial origin. Pride of race can be constructive in the preservation of the language, history and culture of Hawaiians. Arrogance of race in the form of a race-based Hawaiian nation will divide and destroy all the Aloha and inter-racial harmony that has made Hawaii a special place.

In reading Mr. Stender’s comments, I see an anger and bitterness about the whole history of Hawaii since the arrival of Captain Cook. It is like a native American wishing Columbus had never discovered America. It is an unreasoning and irrational anger that consumes some Hawaiians and blames all misfortunes on America and Americans without regard to individual failings. I hope Mr. Stender realizes he received an American education and became personally wealthy in an American territory and state.

I have suggested a simple way to avoid all the legal challenges to assistance programs for Hawaiians. Simply define the beneficiaries as descendants of all the people who were living in Hawaii at the time of the annexation, but allocate the benefits on the basis of financial need. This would guarantee assistance to all needy Hawaiians, but would eliminate persons who are not in need like Mr. Stender and myself.

Robert K. Fukuda was Deputy Attorney General of the Territory Of Hawaii from 1953 to 1959, and the attorney for the Hawaiian Homes Commission, an agency that managed and supervised the use of lands allocated to native Hawaiians for residential and agricultural uses. He was elected to the first Hawaii State Legislature, serving as a Representative from 1959 to 1962, served as the United States Attorney for the State of Hawaii from 1969 to 1973, and was in the United States Army in World War II working as a Japanese Language interpreter and translator.







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