Broken Rainbow: Hawaii's Racial Separatism Threatens America's Fundamental Principles

(c) Copyright 2008 Kenneth R. Conklin, Ph.D. All rights reserved

Among the 50 states, Hawaii is the most diverse. All ethnic groups are minorities. Intermarriage is commonplace. All races live, work, play and pray side by side. But despite the Aloha Spirit, institutional racism has become entrenched in Hawaii, causing huge problems. Hawaii is rapidly building a bridge to the Nineteenth Century.

Hawaii has "affirmative action" on steroids. The favorite racial group is the 20% who have at least one drop of Hawaiian native blood. Two state government agencies serve "Native Hawaiians" exclusively.

The state's largest private landowner is Kamehameha Schools, with assets of $8 billion to $15 billion, serving only ethnic Hawaiians. It recently paid $7 million "hush" money to settle a desegregation lawsuit just hours before the U.S. Supreme Court would probably have taken the case.

The State of Hawaii Office of Hawaiian Affairs openly boasts there are more than 160 federally funded programs exclusively for ethnic Hawaiians.

Nearly every politician supports Hawaii's apartheid system because federal megabucks flow throughout the economy. Wealthy racial separatist institutions (government and private) are so powerful that is extremely rare for a politician to dare to defy them.

How did so many unconstitutional programs get established? Hawaii is the only state both of whose Senators served for decades on the Indian Affairs Committee -- although Hawaii has no Indian tribes.

When bills passed through that committee providing housing, healthcare, or education to genuine Indian tribes, Senators Daniel Inouye and Daniel Akaka quietly inserted "and Native Hawaiians."

Civil rights lawsuits have recently attacked "Hawaiians"-only programs. That's why a bill was introduced in Congress eight years ago to arbitrarily declare ethnic Hawaiians an Indian tribe, giving immunity against 14th Amendment challenges.

The "Akaka bill" passed the U.S. House in 2007 with every Democrat voting yes. Its Senate clone, S.310, awaits floor action whenever Majority Leader Harry Reid calls it up. Two years ago every Democrat Senator supported it.

Ethnic Hawaiians are nothing like an Indian tribe. That's why S.310 relies on a dangerous new theory of the Constitution that Congress has power to single out any group of so-called "indigenous" people and create a tribal government for them out of thin air.

If that theory were enacted, get ready for thousands more new tribes composed of the vast majority of Indians not currently eligible to join one. Also get ready for a "tribe" consisting of all Americans of Mexican ancestry, since they have a drop of Aztec or Mayan "indigenous" blood. Their activists already demand a "Nation of Aztlan" comprising the states that formerly were part of Mexico.

Once the Akaka tribe is created, S.310 empowers its leaders to negotiate with state and federal governments for money, land, and jurisdictional authority. Agreements between leaders need approval only from the tribal council and state legislature, requiring neither a vote of tribal members nor a state ballot question. Sweetheart deals will give away massive state resources without voter approval.

No other state has 20 percent of its people being "Native American," let alone 20 percent eligible to join a single tribe laying claim to half the state's land.

To envision the proportional impact of such apartheid on Hawaii, imagine 60 million African-Americans and Hispanic-Americans combined being lumped together, electing a tribal council, and negotiating against the U.S. government and all states for money and ethnic homelands with laws different from nearby communities.

The members of this huge "tribe" also remain citizens of the U.S. and of their states, sitting on both sides of negotiations and making campaign contributions not limited by federal or state law.

What are the worst racial separatist problems already facing Hawaii?

OHA has begun "Plan B" to implement the Akaka bill and establish its own Hawaiian government even if the federal legislation never passes.

The Hawaii State Legislature seems eager to pass some truly outrageous OHA bills in the name of "protecting Hawaiian culture" or "paying our overdue debts." Some of these Include:

* Giving OHA ownership of several valuable parcels of land, including Hilo's waterfront where numerous large hotels have only a few years left on their land leases.

* Giving OHA management and eventual ownership of a huge portion of a suburban residential valley for a "cultural preserve." (OHA was previously given the entire valley containing Waimea Falls park, plus 40 square miles of forrest on Hawaii Island).

* Declaring that all naturally occurring plants and animals on public and private land now belong to the state; no small samples can be taken for biological research without government permits; the permitting authority must have a guaranteed majority of ethnic Hawaiians; and a large portion of revenues generated from commercial applications of biological research must be given to OHA as payment for "indigenous intellectual property rights."

* The state Supreme Court ruled January 31, 2008, that the state cannot sell any "ceded lands" (about 95% of government lands) until such time as "claims" by ethnic Hawaiians can be resolved, based on a misguided 1993 U.S. apology to the Hawaiians pushed by U.S. Senator Inouye under false pretenses.

The only way to stop this dangerous trend is if the U.S. Senate defeats the Akaka Bill; if the state holds a Constitutional Convention before 2010 and the Concon delegates vote to curb OHA's power, implement government reforms including legalizing referendum and initiative as well as recall so elected officials who betray the public trust can be removed from office.

-- Dr. Conklin is a retired professor of philosophy. He recently published "Hawaiian Apartheid: Racial Separatism and ethnic Nationalism in the Aloha State" (302 pages) available through, portions available free at


"Hawaiian Apartheid: Racial Separatism and Ethnic Nationalism in the Aloha State" 302 pages, paperback. Chapter 1, detailed table of contents, and link to publisher's online bookstore:


Office of Hawaiian Affairs -- Watching the Moves It Makes to Expand the Evil Empire

OHA/Lingle 2008 legislation for $200 Million settlement of so-called back rent for ceded lands

Hawaii Supreme Court ruled on January 31, 2008 that the State of Hawaii cannot sell any ceded lands until it resolves the claims of ethnic Hawaiians based on the apology resolution of 1993.

Ceded Lands Belong to All the People of Hawai'i; There Should Be No Racial Allocation of Ceded Lands or Their Revenues

Text of bill in 2008 Legislature converting Haiku Valley (Oahu) into a cultural preserve to be managed by a commission with a guaranteed majority of ethnic Hawaiians, under control of OHA, and automatic transfer of ownership to a future "Native Hawaiian" nation recognized through the Akaka bill.
Compiled testimony on the bill

Hawaii Bioprospecting -- Hearings by the Temporary Advisory Committee on Bioprospecting (late 2007), and testimony by Ken Conklin

Indigenous Intellectual Property Rights -- The General Theory, and Why It Does Not Apply in Hawaii

NOTE: This essay was also published in Hawaii Reporter (online) on February 28, 2008, at:


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(c) Copyright 2008 Kenneth R. Conklin, Ph.D. All rights reserved