Major Articles Opposing the Hawaiian Government Reorganization bill (Akaka bill) -- September 2005 through May 2006. The Economist (London, England); Kristina Rasmussen, National Taxpayers Union, Human Events; Frank Gaffney, Washington Times; George Berish, Washington Times; Ed Feulner, President, The Heritage Foundation, in Chicago Sun Times; Wes Vernon, Renew America; Edward Hudgins, The Objectivist Center; Rich Karlgaard, Forbes magazine; Washington Times Editorial; National Review Editorial; Linda Chavez, President of the Center for Equal Opportunity, Jewish World Review; others in Honolulu newspapers including Robert Fukuda (former U.S. Attorney for Hawaii), Joseph Gedan (Retired U.S. Magistrate Judge), Ken Conklin, Don Newman, Elaine Willman

Here is a table of contents of the articles in the order they appear lower on this webpage. To see the actual articles, scroll down.

Scared of the Akaka Bill
By Don Newman, senior policy analyst for the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii
Hawaii Reporter, September 1, 2005

On September 2, 2005 the Hawaii Reporter on-line newspaper published excerpts of an article from "The Economist", a prestigious journal published in London England. The excerpts were at
Ken Conklin has since then obtained the full text of the article, provided below in chronological order.
SURF, SUN, AND SECESSION? A daft proposal for racial separatism approaches the Senate
The Economist, September 2, 2005

Move Over Kilauea -- 'Native Hawaiians' Legislation Threatens Fiscal Eruption
by Kristina Rasmussen
[Ms. Rasmussen is the Government Affairs Manager for the 350,000-member National Taxpayers Union ( ]
Human Events, September 2, 2005

Homeland IN-Security
[Excerpt from "Going To Pieces - The Dismantling of The United States of America; Perspective from a Native American on a Lack of Homeland Security on Tribal Lands; How Hawaii Senators are Involved]
By Elaine D. Willman, MPA
Hawaii Reporter, September 2, 2005

The undoing of America
By Frank J. Gaffney Jr.
The Washington Times, September 5, 2005
Frank J. Gaffney Jr. is president of the Center for Security Policy and a columnist for The Washington Times.

"Oppose the Akaka Bill On Principle"
[Extraordinarily powerful statement of principles on which America was founded and which require rejection of Akaka bill]
by George Berish
Letter to editor, Washington Times, September 5, 2005

State of the Union
by Ed Feulner, President, The Heritage Foundation
The Conservative Voice, September 5, 2005

Sneak attack of the racial/ethnic dividers
by Wes Vernon
Renew America, September 5, 2005

Fascism in a Lei
by Edward Hudgins, Executive Director
The Objectivist Center, September 6, 2005

** Elaine Willman, Chair of Citizens Equal Rights Alliance, published a powerful essay "Battered Communities." She describes non-Indian communities living inside or near Indian reservations as being like battered spouses, who often seem too timid to stand up for their rights; and she asks whether government officials in Hawai'i are like that. **
Hawaii Reporter, September 7, 2005

Dunce of the Week [Weekly feature every Friday in Forbes Magazine]
Dunce(s) Of The Week: Daniel Akaka and Linda Lingle
by Rich Karlgaard
Forbes, September 9, 2005

Akaka Bill would reverse tradition of equal rights
by Joseph Gedan (former counsel to various legislative committees and a retired U.S. magistrate judge, now living in Honolulu)
Honolulu Star-Bulletin, September 29, 2005

Separate but equal, Hawaiian-style
The Washington Times, October 3, 2005

Akaka Bill Dialog -- Robert K. Fukuda (former U.S. attorney for Hawai'i) vs. Oswald K. Stender (current OHA trustee), January to February 2006

National Review Online, May 24, 2006, Editorial
A Hawaiian Punch to E Pluribus Unum

May 31, 2006: Linda Chavez, President of the Center for Equal Opportunity, writes an article in the Jewish World Review chastizing Republican Senators for abandoning the principles of Ronald Reagan in regard to immigration and especially in regard to the Akaka bill. She calls the Akaka bill a "reconquista of Hawaii" and a creation of group rights for a new victim class.

May 31, 2006: Ed Feulner, President of the Heritage Foundation, writes an article in the Chicago Sun-Times: "'E pluribus whatever' hardly a unifying national motto"

May 31, 2006: Ken Conklin, article in Hawaii Reporter, asks "What Does the United States Owe to Native Hawaiians?" and describes two reports to Congress which clearly say the answer is "Nothing more nor less that what is owed to every other U.S. citizen" (the Morgan Report, 1894, and the Native Hawaiians Study Commission report, 1983).

Hawaii Reporter, September 1, 2005

Scared of the Akaka Bill

By Don Newman, senior policy analyst for the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii

One of the things that people are not considering when they advocate passage of the Akaka Bill, is what it will do to the political dynamics of the state. We only have to look at what has happened in numerous states that have Indian tribes. The money generated by these tribes was used to sway state legislation to the benefit of those tribes at the expense of everyone else.

Even if, as Gov. Lingle says (without any evidence at this point), that federal legislation will circumscribe legalizing casinos on land controlled by the newly reorganized Native Hawaiian government, such laws will only remain in effect as long as the state of Hawaii doesn't legalize gambling in any form. If the state of Hawaii modifies this proviso in any form then the whole "ballgame" changes.

Many entities have come to the fore advocating legalizing gambling in this state long before the Akaka Bill. With the resources garnered behind the new Hawaiian government the lobbying effort to legalize gambling would be greatly augmented. As has been demonstrated so many times in the past this is a "pay to play" state where those who have the greatest capability to contribute to political campaigns have the greatest clout. There is no reason to think it would be any different for the newly created Native Hawaiian entity.

The national legal precedent is that as long as a state outlaws gambling outright then Indian tribes can not introduce gambling. But if the state legalizes gambling in any form then the barn door is wide open. This happened in Oregon when the state legislators decided to legalize "video poker" in bars to provide funding for education (as well as legalizing a lottery for the same reason) and the Indian tribes jumped on this to build casinos all around the state. Now they have numerous such monsters and public education still starves.

Much to the chagrin of those state legislators there was nothing they could do. It is an either/or situation when it comes to the federal law. Either gambling is utterly forbidden or it is legal and the tribes can do whatever they wish. The only question then is, who benefits? Typically this is just the handful of families that control the tribe. Mostly, the majority remain in grinding poverty. For this reason, most leave the tribe.

Thus the majority of Native Americans, about 80 percent, do not live on reservations and have nothing to do with their "tribe." They have long since moved into mainstream America and built their lives on the opportunity available there. It is only those who remain in the tribes that live the degraded life of drugs, poverty and alcoholism that we are incessantly told is the Native American's lot. This is not the typical case though. The majority have moved on.

Life in the general populace of America is far preferable to the tribes unless one of the ruling members of the tribes who control the income from the casinos and other tribal income sources. There is no reason to think the situation would be any different here in Hawaii. The only issue would be: Who would control?

This brings us back to the means of control. This is only achieved through legislative action. The newly formed Hawaiian government would be in a position to control millions of dollars and influence any number of legislative races. Would they support those who would maintain, or repeal, laws against gambling? What would best serve the interests of the Hawaiian government? Since they would be exempt, as all Indian governments are, from state and federal taxes, why wouldn't they advocate easing the gambling laws?

How long would it be before the lobbying clout of the newly formed Hawaiian government succeeded in prevailing upon the state Legislature to create a single exception to the "no gambling" laws currently in effect in this state? The irony is that it would only take a single exception, whether it would be something like video poker or a lottery, to make Hawaiian "tribe" gambling perfectly legal here. That's all. Merely a single exception.

This is just another aspect of the Akaka Bill that is completely unsettled. As much as our some of our elected officials say that such things cannot happen, they really cannot know. The Akaka Bill, ultimately, leaves such things wide open. There is no knowing where it will lead. To claim to know otherwise is to claim to know the future. This is impossible. It is the uncertainty that is paramount. Who knows where all this will lead? The answer: No one.

This is just one aspect of the Akaka Bill that is unclear. There are many more. The fact is, there is no knowing what all the ramifications of this bill actually are. One of the main claims of those who support the Akaka Bill is to assert against its detractors is that they are "scare mongers." But with such a poorly crafted bill it just might be rational, logical and reasonable to be "scared" as to the potential outcome of this bill. As much as the advocates claim they know "everything" that the Akaka bill implies, they could be wrong. And if they are, we are entirely right to be "scared."

Don Newman, senior policy analyst for the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii, Hawaii's first and only free market public policy institute focused on individual freedom and liberty, can be reached at:


On September 2, 2005 the Hawaii Reporter on-line newspaper published excerpts of an article from "The Economist", a prestigious journal published in London England. The excerpts were at

Ken Conklin has since then obtained the full text of the article. Here is the full text.

A daft proposal for racial separatism approaches the Senate
The Economist, September 2, 2005

WHEN Queen Liliuokalani of Hawaii was overthrown by a band of local rebels in 1893, not many of her subjects cared. At least, not enough to fire a single shot in her defence. Nonetheless, the incident, which some say occurred with American connivance and which led to the annexation of Hawaii to the United States, is now a source of immense grievance to some native Hawaiians.

Bill Clinton apologised for it in 1993, even though, strictly speaking, it was not his fault. But that was not enough for Daniel Akaka. The Democratic senator has tabled a bill to right the wrongs of the past by granting "self-governance" to native Hawaiians. The Senate is to consider the bill next week.

A casual observer might think that a century under the American yoke has not been all bad for native Hawaiians. Their median household income is $52,000, making them slightly better off than white Americans and much richer than any group of Polynesians outside the United States. And they also live in Hawaii.

Mr Akaka comments on the bill to grant "self-governance" to Hawaiians, which the Senate will consider. See also the Office of Hawaiian Affairs and the University of Hawaii.

Statehood was not imposed on native Hawaiians by force. In 1959, they voted for it by a two-to-one margin. Since then, native and non-native have rubbed along well enough to marry each other with casual abandon. Back in 1984, only 4% of native Hawaiians were classified by the Office of Hawaiian Affairs as pure native Hawaiian, and colour-blind love must have reduced that figure since then.

Mr Akaka's gripe, however, is that native Hawaiians have been denied the degree of self-determination that has made Native American reservations such happy places. His bill, which is supported by Hawaii's Republican governor and its other Democratic senator, would allow the creation of a separate "governing entity" for native Hawaiians. Exactly what this would entail is unclear, but it seems to allow the one-quarter or so of Hawaiians who can show native ancestry to choose to be governed by a different set of laws from their neighbours.

That could have interesting consequences. Unlike Native American tribes, which have been separate political entities since before the American constitution was framed, native Hawaiians live intermingled with those whose ancestors arrived more recently. So, under the new system, could you have two shops side by side, one of them paying taxes, and one exempt because its owner has a drop of native blood? Asked that question by a caller to a Hawaiian radio station, Robert Klein, a lawyer for the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, which is promoting the Akaka bill, replied: "I don't know. We would need to see how that will play out in the negotiations."

Would this sort of thing foster harmony between native and non-native Hawaiians, as the bill's sponsors suggest? "The opposite is more likely," says Rubellite Kawena Kinney Johnson, a local academic and prominent native opponent of the bill. "Different laws for different races" is a system with an inglorious history. It is also unconstitutional, say the bill's critics. And it could pave the way for other ethnic groups to demand new rights based on perceived historical injustices. Latinos could make a case that they would be better off had the United States not beaten Mexico in the war of 1846-48. And don't even get started on blacks.

In an unguarded moment, Mr Akaka admitted that his bill could lead to independence for native Hawaiians. Amid the ensuing uproar, he retreated, while carefully keeping that option open. The threat of secession could help the new racially-exclusive native authority squeeze more concessions out of the federal or state government.

And that still leaves the most amazing thing about the Akaka bill. It might pass.

Human Events, September 2, 2005

Move Over Kilauea -- 'Native Hawaiians' Legislation Threatens Fiscal Eruption

by Kristina Rasmussen
[Ms. Rasmussen is the Government Affairs Manager for the 350,000-member National Taxpayers Union ( ]

Senate May Approve Race-Based Government for Native Hawaiians

Among the most-treasured natural wonders of Hawaii is Volcanoes National Park, which attracts some 2.5 million visitors per year to gaze at Kilauea, the world's most active volcano. But now many more eyes may be drawn to pending legislation in the Senate called the "Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act," the passage of which could trigger a lava-hot political eruption across the Hawaiian Islands as well as the nation.

Championed by Hawaii's U.S. Senator Daniel Akaka (D), the proposal would create a race-based governing entity for the "tribe" of "Native Hawaiians" with roles and responsibilities similar to those held by American Indian and Alaskan Native tribes.

In effect, the Akaka bill would use taxpayer money to condone the creation of divisive racial preferences in a state known for its harmonious blend of various cultures and traditions. Indeed, during 1950s statehood debates, Congress reached a consensus that Native Hawaiians would not be treated as a separate race. Knowledge of the Jim Crow laws of the South led many statehood activists to trumpet Hawaii as a post-racial "melting pot . . . which has produced a common nationality." Why the sudden turnabout on this principle? Bigger government may be one motivation.

By most reasonable interpretations of federal rules -- such as demonstrating a separate and distinct geographical and cultural community with preexisting, intact political structures -- Native Hawaiians would not seem to qualify for official recognition as a "tribe." Although the certification process has been criticized for inconsistency, the current language before Congress places no bets on being able to game the system. Instead, the bill brazenly turns to race, by defining a "Native Hawaiian" as a direct, lineal descendant of the indigenous people who resided and exercised sovereignty in the Hawaiian archipelago before January 1, 1893. A nine-member commission would be responsible for creating and certifying a roll of adult Hawaiians based on these race classifications.

Under such definitions, the "Native Hawaiian Tribe" could represent a total of 400,000 people, covering about 20 percent of Hawaiian residents in addition to members living in the remaining 49 states. Were every eligible individual to sign up for membership, the Native Hawaiians could constitute the largest Indian tribe in the nation.

Yet race-based governments have not withstood the test of time. In 2000, the Supreme Court ruled in Rice v. Cayetano that efforts to create such odious structures violated the 15th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, and that enlightened legal systems should strive toward color-blind justice and treatment.

Nonetheless, if the Akaka bill were passed into law, the new native government would be recognized by the U.S. as "the representative governing body of the Hawaiian people" and among other activities would take control of state and federal social services that spend money collected from taxpayers nationwide.

Granted, the administrative expenditures from the U.S. Treasury associated with this legislation are modest – nearly $1 million annually in fiscal years 2006-2008 and less than $500,000 in each subsequent year to establish and fund bureaucracies like the United States Office for Native Hawaiian Relations and the Native Hawaiian Interagency Coordinating Group. However, in addition to maintaining support for existing programs, both the federal government and the State of Hawaii may be expected to turn significant land holdings over to the new entity pending further negotiations.

Yet another form of taxpayer liability would be the exceedingly long 20-year statute of limitations contained in the bill for new legal claims brought by "Native Hawaiians" against the federal government. Burgeoning legal disputes over land or treatment could further drain government coffers.

Meanwhile, Hawaiian citizens could face seriously higher tax bills owing to the cash-hungry gaggle of local bureaucracies that will surely hatch from the creation of a new, inefficient government structure.

Ironically, Hawaii's taxes are already among the worst in the nation. The Census Bureau reports that state-level taxes per capita in Hawaii were the highest of all 50 states last year, while the Tax Foundation ranks the Aloha State third for the heaviest state and local tax load as a percentage of income. Both Native and non-native Hawaiians would be best served by public policies that reduce rather than expand the size and number of government burdens in the Islands.

Furthermore, the Hawaiians impacted by the bill will have no opportunity to vote on this sweeping change. This is especially concerning since a recent survey released by the non-profit Grassroots Institute of Hawaii pointed to strong opposition (67%) among Hawaiian residents toward the proposed legislation, even as Hawaiian political elites continue to ram the bill through the Senate.

Thankfully, the Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act faces more of a challenge among Members of the House of Representatives, who do not want to codify race-based discrimination into law. A recent joint letter to House lawmakers, signed by Representative Steve King (R-IA) and 21 of his colleagues, expressed "serious concerns" that the bill's "result would be contrary to fundamental American values and would set a dangerous precedent for our nation."

Their words could not ring truer at a time when a rumbling mountain of misguided legislation threatens to spew a fiscally-noxious cloud not only over Hawaii, but over America's taxpaying heartland too.

Ms. Rasmussen is the Government Affairs Manager for the 350,000-member National Taxpayers Union (

Hawaii Reporter, September 2, 2005

Homeland IN-Security

Excerpt from "Going To Pieces - The Dismantling of The United States of America; Perspective from a Native American on a Lack of Homeland Security on Tribal Lands; How Hawaii Senators are Involved

By Elaine D. Willman, MPA

A terrorist attack could strike anywhere in America at any time. No one and no place is immune. This discussion must begin with two guiding principles: The first principle is that all cultures, and most certainly American Indian culture, are to be respected and cherished within the United States of America. The second principle is that there is a clear and distinct separation between ethnic culture and governing systems. Government is not culture. Culture is not government.

One other important issue is worthy of ongoing acknowledgement. Individual American Indians have, and continue to provide, sacrifice and service to the United States military, in order to keep America safe, and our military is the better and stronger for this service. This has been the factual history from the American Revolutionary War to the current conflicts in Iraq.

Again, this is a discussion of governing systems only; not culture.

Surfacing and deterring terrorist activity requires full cooperation and collaboration of federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies in one, seamless continuum. Interconnectivity, coordination and collaboration are prevailing themes determined to best ensure safety of America's homeland.

The Homeland Security Act of 2002 (HSA) specifically includes the involvement of tribal governments, along with federal, state, county and municipal governments and other supportive law enforcement, intelligence and emergency response agencies. The HSA passed by Congress in November 2002 was a massive reorganization of the federal government that created a cabinet-level department, the Department of Homeland Security, out of all or parts of at least twenty-two federal agencies.

In February 2003, Senator Daniel Inouye (D-HI) was one of nine senators who voted against the Homeland Security Act of 2002. In a summary of remarks at a February 2003 Winter Conference of the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI), published in an American Indian news service, Senator Inouye "urged tribal leaders to capitalize on the war on terrorism in order to press their claims for tribal sovereignty."

On September 11, 2001, the very day of the national tragedy, the NCAI was meeting in Washington D.C. to promulgate a Tribal Sovereignty Protection Initiative, that evolved into the "Tribal Governance and Economic Act of 2002." This Act was foundational to Senate Bill 578, submitted by Senator Inouye in 2003, and entitled "The Tribal Government Amendment to the Homeland Security Act of 2002." The content of this legislation, had it passed, would have significantly balkanized the United States by creating literally hundreds of separate, sovereign, "Tribal Homelands," apart from America's national homeland.

Currently, the existing HSA of 2002 funnels Homeland Security appropriations out to the fifty states, which then distribute funds to "local governments," including Indian tribes. This was not satisfactory to Senator Inouye, or the NCAI. Senate Bill 578 would have required, among other demands, the following:

* Separate tribal homelands, apart from state lands.
* Separate Homeland Security funding distributed directly from the federal government to Indian tribes.
* A tribal government's ability to define the term "terrorist" as it applies to an individual "tribal homeland." This would easily allow anyone who disagreed with a tribe to be identified as not just a "dissident," but also perhaps as a "terrorist" to the tribe.
* Full "inherent sovereign authority of an Indian tribal government to enforce and adjudicate violations of applicable criminal, civil, and regulatory laws committed by any person on land under the jurisdiction of the Indian tribal government."

The language of S. 578 would have removed the Constitutional rights and traditional, republic form of American government of several hundred thousand U.S. citizens. Citizens residing within reservation boundaries would be subject to tribal law enforcement, tribal courts, and the bill would have repealed powerful Supreme Court law that protects citizens from criminal or civil powers enacted upon them by a private tribal government. The Fourteenth Amendment providing equal protection, would have been rendered null and void.

Somehow, the NCAI and Senator Inouye believed this to be a good thing. Fortunately, citizens across the country raised a vigorous opposition to such a travesty, and S. 578 disappeared, but it is not gone. Attempts to insert language contained within S. 578 into newer bills, continues.

Many tribes in the Northwest have seriously pursued dam breaching. There is little acknowledgement that when a dam is breached, the end result does not restore a river to its original formation; rather, years of built up silt and debris behind a dam releases to unpredictable results that can cause injury or death to anything in its path. There are major dams throughout the Northwest and Western states that provide life-giving water and energy to America's homes and economy.

Simultaneously, with substantial federal funding appropriations and new federal efforts to promote tribal government entry into energy production, energy distribution systems and energy management, current public energy systems are at risk of going into private tribal government management, with far less accountability to citizen users and ratepayers, limited federal and no state oversight. Water and energy resources are attractive targets for terrorists.

Just six months after September 11, 2001, a Washington State tribe boasted of "visiting dignitaries" who were "civic journalists" coming to tour the tribe's radio station and newspaper. The tribal radio station is a tiny, leased building with modest provisions.

On Easter Sunday afternoon of 2002, a local informant knocked on my door, and handed me some papers. The informant said, "You need to see these. They were in a fax machine in a tribal office, and they worry me."

The papers delivered were detailed announcements about some visiting dignitaries and civic journalists, including their names and countries. There were fourteen "civic journalists" from: Algeria, Morocco, Qatar, Syria, Tunisia and Yemen. This was six months after September 11th, and these were countries not on the best of terms with the United States.

Had the journalists been from the Orient, the Americas or Europe, I would not have felt such a chill as I did then. Immediately after the visit, the local newspaper and Indian newspaper carried photographs and stories of these dignitaries, without identifying either their names or home countries.

What concerned me most is this: The tribe's reservation, a very large and relatively isolated Indian reservation is bounded on the East by the Hanford Nuclear site; on the South, across the Columbia River is the Umatilla Chemical Weapons Storage Facility; on the West boundary of the reservation is an Army Training Center where troops are trained for Iraq and the War on Terrorism; and on the North, the reservation is bounded by several major dams in the Northwest, including Grand Coulee Dam.

These visitors were in a very isolated area of Washington State, at the wrong time, and from politically worrisome countries. Homeland security has held all new meaning to me, from this point on.

There are daily complexities that also factor in to Homeland Security when dealing with the existence of separate tribal governments of strong, separatist mentalities, and often less than affection for other cultures:

Many tribal governments issue separate vehicle license plates. How does this fold into national identification systems?

Many 911 emergency systems are literally "race-based." How can it be helpful in an emergency to have to identify one's race in order to request emergency assistance? Some of the 911 systems in Idaho, Montana and Nebraska, and likely many other states, create this obstacle.

Tribal Class III casinos are meg-bucks locations, substantially less accountable and audited than private sector casinos. Aren't these casinos at the very least, a quite private, "attractive nuisance" inviting of money laundering, when operating on tribal lands, difficult to access by traditional law enforcement?

Tribal governments can enroll anyone they choose. Recently in Washington State, a scam was discovered wherein a tribe was offering to sell its enrollment to encourage business advantages not available to private sector. Just who might be interested in such an arrangement that would imply some legal status within the United States, by a purchased tribal enrollment?

Tribal governments insist upon identifying themselves and being treated as "separate nations." In an individual state with dozens, sometimes over thirty, such separate nations, how does one state ensure the safety of all of its citizens when having to contend with such a balkanization within a single state?

A toxic mix of foreign (Maylasian, Chinese, South African) investors, the highest and lowest echelons of the American gambling industry, Saudi Arabian hospitality and service industries that provide resources to private tribal governments that partner with private tribal Class III casinos and hotels, are located on lands immune from state and local authority, in a business only minimally monitored by the National Indian Gaming Industry. This scenario invites trouble and potential money-laundering for terrorism.

It has not mattered that thousands of citizens and community groups across the country raised a huge cry to protect and preserve statewide public safety nets that include tribal government participation. We defeated S. 578 and continue the vigilance. Even so, now in 2005 a new, stealth version of the Tribal Government Amendment to the Homeland Security Act of 2002 bill exists. Senate Bill 477, submitted on March 1, 2005, is sponsored by Senator Byron Dorgan, and Senators Akaka and Inouye, with no other co-sponsors. Citizens have to be ever vigilant to preserve their right to never be governed by a private tribal government, absent their mutual consent.

An excerpt from "Going To Pieces...The Dismantling of The United States of America," by Elaine D. Willman. To obtain this book, send an email to the author at

The Washington Times, September 5, 2005

The undoing of America

By Frank J. Gaffney Jr.
Frank J. Gaffney Jr. is president of the Center for Security Policy and a columnist for The Washington Times.

The U.S. Senate is scheduled tomorrow to decide whether to clear the way for the most odious, anti-American piece of legislation in memory: S. 147, the "Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act." Incredibly, as of now, more than 61 senators are expected to vote to begin a process that would ineluctably unravel the United States as a nation.

This legislation has been advanced in the spirit of pandering that has come to characterize all too much of our national political life. In this case, the pandering is on behalf of an ethnic community that is largely a figment of some politicians' imaginations -- a once-sovereign, identifiably blooded race of "Native Hawaiians" that are, if S. 147 were to become law, to be given the right to govern themselves as they see fit. This could involve creating a new Hawaiian monarchy and perhaps lead to the islands' secession from the Union.

Hawaii's longtime Democratic Sens. Daniel Akaka and Daniel Inouye are leading the charge for S. 147. The latter has considerable influence within his party and across the aisle as the ranking Democrat on the Senate Appropriations Committee. They are joined by the State's Republican Gov. Linda Lingle. Her political ambitions and appeals for support from the Bush White House have borne Republican fruit. In particular, the administration again has demonstrated its willingness to subordinate national interests to playing for ethnic votes.

The result is a clearly unconstitutional effort to legislatively manufacture a new "tribe" out of one of the most heterogenous and fully assimilated populations in America: people who can claim through one of two qualifications to have had something to do with Hawaii. S. 147 would designate as a "Native Hawaiian" anyone who is: (1) one of the "indigenous, native people of Hawaii" and who is a "direct lineal descendant of the aboriginal, indigenous, native people who" resided in the Hawaiian Islands on or before Jan. 1, 1893, and "exercised sovereignty" in the same region; or (2) eligible in 1921 for the programs authorized by the Hawaiian Homes Commission Act -- that is, "any descendant of not less than one-half of the blood of the races inhabiting the Hawaiian Islands previous to 1778."

Absent from this definition are any characteristics previously required for a Native American tribe to be recognized as such. For example, a "Native Hawaiian" need not demonstrate: residency in Hawaii (either currently or at any time in the past), ties to a particular traditional culture or language, or any documented involvement or interest in Hawaiian, much less Native Hawaiian, community or political affairs. This is not an accident. The law could not establish such conditions because it would be difficult to constitute a tribe if they applied.

Instead, S. 147 uses as its test for membership in the so-called "sovereign" Native Hawaiian "race" what amounts to the ability to claim a one-drop-of-blood connection to a "aboriginal, indigenous, and native person" who lived in Hawaii at the designated times. This test is complicated by two inconvenient facts: The "Native Hawaiian's" governing regime was a monarchy -- under which sovereignty resided in a single individual, not in a people -- and it was not racially based. And since the 19th century, the Hawaiian "people" included many native-born and naturalized subjects who were Americans, Chinese, Samoans, etc., not "ethnic" Hawaiians.

As it happens, in 2000, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down an earlier effort by Hawaii to create a state-sanctioned, race-based entity composed solely of Native Hawaiians (defined in a manner similar to S. 147). The court -- citing the Constitution's 15th Amendment, which forbids discrimination in voting based on race -- ruled such a race-based government in Hawaii was unconstitutional. The Supreme Court stated:

"One of the reasons race is treated as a forbidden classification is that it demeans the dignity and worth of a person to be judged by ancestry instead of by his or her own merit and essential qualities. An inquiry into ancestral lines is not consistent with respect based on the unique personality each of us possesses, a respect the Constitution itself secures in its concern for persons and citizens. ... [To do so would be] odious to a free people whose institutions are founded upon the doctrine of equality."

Should senators violate their oath of office -- which obliges them to "support and defend the Constitution" -- by enacting S. 147, they will invite an even greater problem down the road. Other self-designating communities can be expected to demand recognition of their rights to have their own government and sovereign laws. These might include Chicanos, Cajuns, Amish and Puerto Ricans.

Given the contortions involved in identifying, let alone conferring sovereignty upon, a "Native Hawaiian" community, who is to say other groups won't demand the right to govern themselves by their own rules, as well? Already, Islamists in Canada and elsewhere demand to have their affairs adjudicated by Shari'a -- a religious code that, taken to its extreme, produces Talibanlike repression of women and other living things. Lest we think it couldn't happen in a society like ours, international protests against the establishing Shari'a-ruled communities will be held Thursday across Canada and in France, Britain, Sweden and the Netherlands.

No good can come of a "yes" vote on S. 147. It will be a black day for the Senate and the United States of America if a cloture-breaking majority of senators casts it.

Frank J. Gaffney Jr. is president of the Center for Security Policy and a columnist for The Washington Times.

The Washington Times, September 5, 2005, LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Oppose the Akaka bill on principle

I oppose the Akaka Bill for the same reason given by America's founders for shedding King George and the old world's royalty-ruled system: The creator of the universe equally endowed all rights and power in individuals, not in a monarch, king, chief, ali'i or other "sovereign" ("Backsliding in Hawaii," Commentary, Aug. 27).

That means American nationality is based on shared ideals, instead of a shared bloodline, and in America power will forever be shared equally by all current citizens, not vested forever in the descendents of the bloodline that first grabbed it by force.

Principle-based citizenship lets me, the grandson of four immigrants, stand in a room of people whose bloodlines do not cross mine until Adam and Eve, and say "we Americans." I would not enjoy that acceptance today had my grandparents chosen any other country -- Japan, Africa, France, etc.

It let America embrace Einstein as an American and benefit from his brilliance, while Germany drove him away because his blood made him a Jew. It lets Americans readily unite to demand severe justice for crimes by a skinhead despite some Americans sharing his bloodline, while people who choose to associate by ancestry often seem pressured to defend, or excuse, indefensible crimes. Association by shared principles permits a more moral nation.

American principles declare that power will forever be shared equally among Americans alive at the time. They deny special rights for the first to arrive, and deny special rights for any privileged bloodline. They also guarantee Americans tasked to fight, struggle, suffer and sometimes die, to protect the nation, and their descendents, will share equally in the rights they defend, and the nation they build. They will not return in second place to a group anointed with unearned privilege.

Therefore, I do not see the Akaka Bill as a debate but a choice between first principles, and first principles are a line beyond which debate is no longer useful: I only hope it will be as self-evident to Congress, as it was to America's founders, that a society organized around shared principles, instead of a shared bloodline, and in which power and rights are shared equally by all forever, is best for humanity.

Honolulu, Hawaii

The Conservative Voice, September 5, 2005

State of the Union

by Ed Feulner

"We all agree that the seceded States, so called, are out of their proper relation with the Union; and that the sole object of the government, civil and military, in regard to those States is to again get them into that proper practical relation." -- Abraham Lincoln, April 11, 1865

As President Lincoln spoke those words, he had just led the country through a bloody war of secession. Yet he never doubted that the defeated southern states would rejoin the United States.

This is, after all, the land of E Pluribus Unum. One of the fundamental beliefs that makes America a great idea and a great country is that of national unity. America draws strength not only from her diversity, but also from the fact that we have all historically viewed ourselves as one people.

Unfortunately, in recent years the great and fundamental idea "Out of many, one" has come under attack. It is attacked by the identity politics that pervade our nation's colleges and universities. It is attacked by the political correctness that affects our children's educations. And today it faces a new and profound threat: a Senate bill named the Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act.

This measure -- quietly moved forward by Sen. Daniel Akaka, D-Hawaii -- would create a separate government for "Native Hawaiians." Anyone who could prove a relationship with "the aboriginal, indigenous, native people who resided in the islands that now comprise the state of Hawaii on or before January 1, 1893" would be eligible to join up.

Once this new government was up and running, the Akaka bill would authorize the United States, "to enter into negotiations with the governing entity to lead to an agreement addressing specified matters, including the transfer of lands, natural resources, and other assets and the protection of existing rights related to such lands or resources."

In other words, the bill would allow portions of Hawaii to do what Americans went to war to prevent the South from doing in 1861 -- secede from the United States.

Of course, there's no evidence that Hawaiians even want this bill. In 1954, the people of Hawaii voted overwhelmingly to become one of the United States, to become full citizens, committing themselves to protect and defend the Constitution and to build our country side by side. And Hawaiians are some of the proudest and most loyal citizens of our country.

During the recent Little League World Series, it was a team from Hawaii that represented the United States in the championship game. And as they played that game, their fans shouted in unison, "U-S-A!, U-S-A!, U-S-A!" But this bill specifically bypasses the Hawaiian people. They'll be given no chance to vote on whether or not they even want to create, out of whole cloth, a "tribe" of "Native Hawaiians."

The United States never has believed -- nor ever should believe -- in race-based government. The idea of making any citizen of our country with a drop of Hawaiian blood immune to our Constitution and legal structure would set us on an irreversible course away from "E Pluribus Unum." We might as well allow every racial group to began claiming sovereignty of its own and immunity from federal laws.

Until now, by moving forward with this bill in secrecy, a small group of activists has been able to make great progress toward their goal of secession. But there's little doubt that most Americans, and probably most Hawaiians, wish to preserve our union. The Senate is expected to consider the Akaka bill early this month, and if democracy prevails it will be soundly voted down.

President Lincoln knew Americans were committed to building one country where freedom, opportunity, prosperity and civil society could flourish for all. We'll soon find out if that's as true in the 21st century as it was in the 19th.

Ed Feulner is president of The Heritage Foundation (, a Washington-based public policy research institute.

Renew America, September 5, 2005

Sneak attack of the racial/ethnic dividers

by Wes Vernon

The Political Correct police have tried every which way to divide this country by gender, race, ethnicity, sexual preference, religion, and background.

They forbid us to use such designations as "chairman," and insist the presiding officer at a given meeting is a "chair," even as that "neutral" word more commonly describes an inanimate object. In personal relationships, "wife," "husband," "fiancé," (or even "boyfriend" or girlfriend") have given way to the less specific "significant other." They have mainstreamed the term "African-Americans" to describe millions of our citizens who have never visited Africa, and have no desire to do so. "Native Americans" and "European Americans" are divided solely by their ancestry regardless of whether they themselves were born here or ever lived in Europe (A variation on the old snob boast "My ancestors came over here on the Mayflower").

These unofficial but emphatic speech edicts may seem frivolous or a matter of semantics. But they helped create a climate that has emboldened legislators to move a big step beyond all that.

Not out in the open, of course — at least at first. But the push behind a pernicious piece of legislation on Capitol Hill, known as "The Native Hawaiian Bill" is making its way through the congressional mill. It seeks to establish a race-based government on our soil — a separate nation that can disregard the provisions of our Constitution, Bill or Rights, as well as U.S. and state law.

Visitors to Hawaii in previous years have marveled at how in this arguably most integrated of all the 50 states, people of so many races lived in a harmony that allowed for something approaching the ideal color-blind society. In more recent years, however, that has been changing. The politics of "multiculturalism" and politicized ethnic identity have reached the shores of the beautiful island. And in the shadows of a Capitol Hill pre-occupied with Katrina's rescue efforts, Supreme Court vacancies and nomination fights, and the ongoing War on Terror, there lurks this mischief that would carry the balkanization of America toward possible ultimate secession. It would create a separate nation of "Native Hawaiians." We already fought one war over secession. Do we need another one?

S-147, the Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act of 2005 is patently unconstitutional, and some folks at the White House believe it is so absurdly out of sync with the framework of our society that surely if it becomes law, the courts will rule it unconstitutional on its face. Oh, sure. Opponents of the bill note these are the same wise prognosticators who were confident that the anti-free speech McCain-Feingold campaign finance "reform" bill would be struck down by the Supreme Court. The court upheld it, much to the shock of its authors themselves.

Senator John Kyl, a Republican from Arizona, is leading the fight against the measure. His analysis prepared for the Senate Republican Policy Committee makes the following points (which we list here, along with some of our own comments):

S-147 creates the race-based government by shoehorning in the Native Hawaiian population, wherever located, into the federal Indian law system and calling the resulting government a "tribe." To qualify as a "Native Hawaiian" under this bill, one has to have just a drop of Native Hawaiian blood. With so many intermarriages among the many races in Hawaii, this is a surefire recipe for what Wall Street Journal columnist John Fund calls "permanent racial conflict," to say nothing of legal chaos. Thus, the famed remarkable harmony that has existed on the island would sink like a lead balloon.

S-147 advocates argue that the bill merely grants Native Hawaiians the same status as American Indians and Alaska Natives, but this claim represents a serious distortion of the constitutional and historical standards of recognizing Indian tribes.

The Supreme Court has ruled that Congress cannot simply create an Indian tribe. Only those groups of people who have long operated as an Indian tribe, live as a separate and distinct community (geographically and culturally), and have a pre-existing political structure can be recognized as a tribe. Native Hawaiians do not satisfy any of these criteria.

When Hawaii became a state in 1959, there was a broad consensus in the Congress and in the nation that Native Hawaiians would not be treated as a separate racial group, and that they would not be transformed into an "Indian tribe."

To create a race-based government would be offensive to our nation's commitment to equal justice and the elimination of racial distinctions in the law. The inevitable constitutional challenge to this bill almost certainly would reach the U.S. Supreme Court.

S-147 would lead the nation down the path to a racial balkanization, with different legal codes being applied to persons of different races who live in the same communities. (Excuse me, but didn't we have a "civil rights" movement four decades ago that led marches and demonstrations against just that sort of thing? Do we call this "The Return of Jim Crow?")

The bill also encourages increased litigation (Hmmmm. Might have known the trial lawyers had a hand in this somewhere). This would include claims against private landowners and state and federal entities which would heavily impact private and public resources (And guess whose pockets would benefit thereby).

The bill represents a step backwards in American history and would create far more problems — cultural, practical, and constitutional — than it purports to solve.

But there is a reason S-147 has been called "the worst bill you never heard of." Backers have hoped you never learn of it, let alone examine the fine print until it's a done deal.

It is not as if there has been a popular outcry fin favor of the measure. A survey of the Hawaiian people released in July and conducted by ccAdvertising, showed they are opposed to the legislation by 55-45%. 82% oppose racial preferences. What is most interesting is that nearly 80% of Native Hawaiians themselves oppose the bill. That suggests the "guilt trip" Political Correctness police, not the people, are the driving force here. There is no true grassroots effort involved.

A brief history of the legislation is in order. And for that, I am indebted to the research of Kenneth R. Conklin, a retired schoolteacher who has lived in Hawaii for thirteen years:

In February of 2000, the Rice vs. Cayetano court decision wiped from the books a Hawaii state law that said only Native Hawaiians could vote for trustees of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs. The court held that the term "Native Hawaiian" names a racial category and not a political group.

Well, of course, the ethnic identity powers-that-be were not going to give up. After all, as Conklin puts it, "Billions of dollars and enormous political power were at stake." So defenders of racial preferences met in secret to plan other ways to get around the Fourteenth and Fifteenth amendments to the Constitution.

The relevant part of the Fourteenth Amendment reads, "All persons born or naturalized in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of the United States; nor shall the State deprive any person of life, liberty or property without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws."

The relevant portion of the Fifteenth Amendment reads, "The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of race, color or previous condition of servitude."

You would think the unambiguous language etched in our guiding document would allow for no ifs, ands, buts, or maybes. But plain English does not deter the trial bar, especially when lots of money and power hang in the balance. The end result was the Akaka Bill, named for its chief sponsor, Hawaii's junior Senator Daniel Akaka. He has the backing of the state's senior senator Daniel Inouye, who literally runs the Democratic Party in Hawaii. The measure is also backed by Hawaii's Republican Governor Linda Lingle. The Akaka Bill, through its various incarnations in successive congresses, would give political recognition to Native Hawaiians as an Indian tribe.

This is odd indeed, given that U.S. law stipulates that only those groups that have long operated as Indian tribes and live in communities (reservations) and had been recognized as quasi-sovereign national entities that were in existence before Congress or the Constitution could be considered Indian tribes. Native Hawaiians are dispersed all throughout all 50 states of the nation — not just Hawaii.

Phyllis Schlafly's Eagle Forum warns the Senate is "trying to pull a fast one," by slipping in a vote — as quietly as possible — on S-147, which creates Native Hawaiian "tribe" that can "accept or reject any part of the Constitution as it sees fit."

Indeed the legislation has been slipping through dark corners of the legislative process unbeknownst to most Americans for some time. In 2000 and 2001, it was trucked away inside a huge Defense Appropriations bill; it had actually passed the House in 2000 in what Conklin describes as "a stealth maneuver," but died in the Senate when "an Inouye stealth maneuver failed on the last day of the 106th Congress."

"If passed, there is no turning back," Eagle Forum says. "This bill will create a sovereign entity which could negotiate treaties with other nations, establish its own theocracy, and ignore the Bill of rights. The Senate must reject this racist bill."

Eagle Forum suggests the following senators need to hear from you, and that your calls to Capitol Hill should not be delayed, as there is little time to lose:

Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), George Allen (R-Va.) Bob Bennett (R-Ut.), Jeff Bingaman (D-N.M.), Jim Bunning (R-Ky.), Conrad Burns (R-Mont.), Richard Burr-R-N.C.), Norm Coleman (R-Minn.), Larry Craig (R-Ida.), Pete Domenici (R-N.M.), Bill Frist (R-Tenn.), Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), Chuck Grassley (R-Ia.), Tom Harkin (D-Ia.), Orrin Hatch (R-Ut.), Mel Martinez (R-Fla.), John McCain (R-Ariz.), Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), Gordon Smith (R-Ore.), Jim Talent (R-Mo.), Craig Thomas (R-Wyo.), John Warner (R-Va.).

When Congress was debating making Hawaii our 50th state, there were those who predicted it would not work and that Hawaii's multi-ethnic population would make it difficult for the island to unite for true statehood — that it would soon be at war with itself.

Well, they were wrong...until jackboot Political Correctness intruded. For over 40 years, Hawaii's diverse ethnic population got along just fine. Every year, Hawaiians would mark the anniversary of statehood with parades, fireworks, speeches and U.S. flags flying high. But in 2000, then-Democrat Governor Ben Cayetano ended all that. Now, as columnist John Fund reported after a visit to the island, "(T)he streets were taken over instead by demonstrators crusading for 'Native Hawaiian rights' and the Akaka bill now before the U.S. Senate."

Senator Akaka does not deny that this bill could lead to secession. If we end up with a particular racial group in our midst in all 49 states as a separate nation, it takes no active imagination to envision what will follow. What's next? An African-American "nation?" Hispanic-American "nation?" Japanese American? Chinese American? German-American? Where does it stop? We would end up with something worse than an ethnic tower of Babel. We would have nations within a nation, which in turn could very well lead to the breakup and downfall of the United States of America.

If the bill were harmless, as its supporters claim, why all the extraordinary measures to sneak it through in the dead of night?

It is time to shout this from the rooftops, and let the timid politicians here in Washington understand that Americans will not stand by and allow their country to be destroyed and become the Dis-United States of America.

The time to act is now.

Click here to contact your senators -- tell them to vote NO on S.147

Wes Vernon is a Washington-based writer and veteran broadcast journalist.

The Objectivist Center, September 6, 2005

Fascism in a Lei

By Edward Hudgins, Executive Director

What could be friendlier or more welcoming place than Hawaii, America's 50th state? If S-147, the Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act of 2005, introduced by that state's Democratic Sen. Daniel Akaka, is passed by the U.S. Congress, the ugly scourge of racism — the real, honest-to-badness type, not the name calling type that gets flung around too often — will rule those islands which, in the future, might cease to be part of the United States.

The proposed legislation would divide Hawaiians into "natives" and all others. Anyone with a drop of blood of the original inhabitants of the islands might quality. How is that determined? There would be a nine-member race commission to declare who is "really" a native. (Can you imagine such a commission to determine who's really a white or Aryan?) Further, the bill would allow these official "natives" to establish their own government with laws that are outside of and thus not subject to the U.S. Constitution. This government would be related to the federal government by treaty, like a foreign power or a Native American Indian tribe.

This proposal on the surface might seem to mimic the arrangement between many American Indian tribes and the federal government. It might seem like an innocent attempt by some native Hawaiians to grab a chance at setting up tax-exempt casinos and to make a pile of money. But the real motives are much more sinister and dangerous.

To begin with, the current tax advantages that many American Indian tribes enjoy today hardly make up for the tragic fact of reservation life that stretches back to the nineteenth century. America is the land of opportunity; immigrants from all over the world, the poorest of the poor, came to these shores and, thanks to economic freedom, prospered. Cultural clashes and injustices, sadly, put Americans Indians on reservations where they have suffered in squalid, socialist poverty rather than becoming part of the American economic and cultural mainstream and enjoying its blessings.

Native Hawaiians, however, were never ghettoized. They and the latecomers to the islands mixed together and now form a multiethnic community. S-147 would undo this. It would set aside huge tracts of land for a new apartheid arrangement. It could even create "extraterritoriality," meaning that natives outside of their reservations might still be subject to reservation law.

And what of this law? Subjects of the native government would not enjoy any of the protection of the U.S. Constitution. The native government would in fact be a corrupt, third-world type dictatorship that would abuse the rights of it subjects. We know this because those are the core values of the advocates and anyone who would take away the protections for freedom accorded by the Constitution and replace them not with a government that respects individual liberty even more but, rather, political power exercised on the most vile, race-based premises. Many advocates do not disguise the fact that they want Hawaii to secede from the United States.

The advocates of this plan are true tribalists. They take their identity from their accidental membership in some group to which they were born. But the achievements of others in their groups are not their achievements nor are the failures and follies of those who share their genes theirs either. They should be judged — and should judge themselves — in the words of Martin Luther King, not by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.

When native Hawaiians — or anyone else — look in a mirror, what they ought to see, first and foremost, is not a native Hawaiian, not a citizen of that state and not even an American. They ought to see an individual, what they have made of themselves. If they can only see their own worth in terms of their membership in some blood group, they place themselves on the level of barnyard animals.

Most of us Americans have immigrant pasts and thus it's not surprising that we keep positive aspects of our traditions. But far from seeing our ethic origins as exclusionary, we like to celebrate them and also the cultures with others — on Columbus Day, Italian, on St. Patrick's Day, the Irish, on Cinco de Mayo, Mexican. But it's quite another thing to use our traditions against others. German Fascists used Norse mythology and pseudo-history and to promote their theories of the master race. Native Hawaiians who advocate similar fascist policies appeal to native gods and to sheer fabrications about Hawaii's past that are shamefully recited in S-147.

The Akaka bill would accelerate the politics of racial, ethnic and cultural division that today's collectivists have foisted on this country for decades. If Americans don't want to revive the ugly nationalism that plagued Europe and the world for centuries, they will fight for the laws and the culture that respects above all the freedom and dignity of each individual.

Copyright, The Objectivist Center. For more information, please visit


** Elaine Willman, Chair of Citizens Equal Rights Alliance, published "Battered Communities" describing non-Indian communities living inside or near Indian reservations as being like battered spouses, who often seem too timid to stand up for their rights; and she asks whether government officials in Hawai'i are like that. **
Hawaii Reporter, September 7, 2005

Battered Communities -- Does This Describe Hawaii's Elected Officials?

By Elaine Willman

A couple of years ago, I submitted a guest commentary to the Yakima Herald Republic newspaper, in Yakima, Washington, suggesting that feelings of citizens and communities situated within or near Indian reservations were strikingly similar to the feelings of a battered spouse. The newspaper published the article on January 5, 2003, and the reaction to the article was so remarkable, that I expanded upon the illustration, for a recent national newsletter. The subject seemed to strike a chord somewhere deep within many citizens in my region as well as across America. Here's what I am speaking of:

A battered spouse deeply wishes that she could love and respect her spouse, and is likely to keep frequent beatings and humiliations to herself. She'll choose silence and secrecy for so long as she can. She may often think that if she just says the right words, or acts in a different manner, the beatings will stop. Next time will be different. Things will get better. For battered spouses, things don't get better. They get worse.

I think there's an analogy here for three municipalities located within exterior reservations of the Yakama Nation, as well as other communities on other reservations across the country. These communities are currently experiencing a serious battering from a neighboring government. A government that is not of a municipality, county or state, is forcing itself upon these communities. A tribal government is pushing out for jurisdictional, regulatory and economic control of local communities through gaming, air quality, pesticides, water and water quality, area dams, utility taxation, and unwarranted obstruction of new non-tribal projects. That's quite a growing list of tools by which to threaten, intimidate, control or drive off anyone who is not an enrolled tribal member.

I believe that most Americans fundamentally desire to love and respect each other, including tribal government systems, just as the battered spouse desires to love a spouse. But it's like trying to love a porcupine; one must do so very carefully, and the love is seldom—if ever— reciprocal. Notwithstanding enormous national financial and political clout, no one truly understands why tribes are so aggressive these days, but the general response of adjacent community members in the past, isn't working. Being nice at all times, hoping for better understandings, crossing fingers that dialogue and productive partnerships might one day occur - none of these socially preferred postures has helped at all. Pretending that everything is really o.k., that the tribe doesn't really mean to control or strangle non-Indian communities, is thinking like the battered wife. If we all just stay nice, maybe tribal leaders will be nice next time.

Most area businesses and citizens in my local communities have behaved exactly as an embarrassed and frightened battered wife. Don't say anything. Don't tell anyone. Don't make it worse. Be quiet, be good and maybe it will get better soon. Is it getting better? Nope. Seldom does. Is it getting worse? Yes, conditions like this are more likely to worsen than improve, until someone says enough is enough. It stops now. It changes now.

So what can citizens in battered and bullied communities do, to encourage fair play and better behavior from a tribal government? They can call upon resources, much like a battered wife, who has taken her last beating, must also do. She will call upon law enforcement, legal guidance and other resources that put an end to the destructive behavior.

Likewise, citizens in the predominantly non-Indian communities must raise a great collective voice. We must demand the assistance of our State legal guidance and whatever other resources that will cause a tribal government to concern itself with its own productive development, and stop harassing its neighbors that have always supported the tribe, have never interfered with the tribe, and have only wished tribal government and tribal members all the best for a full, quality life.

For example, here in Central Washington, no municipal, county, state or federal entity has imposed itself upon the Yakama tribe, or interfered with its future potentials. In fact area governments have gone the "extra mile" at every request of Yakama Tribes. No conduct has occurred that warrants the menacing, interfering actions and behaviors tribal leaders are increasing in intensity and frequency against their neighbors. Generations of mixed-cultures have been wonderful neighbors for over a century. There is no excuse for this millennium mayhem causing such jurisdictional and economic distress.

If a battering spouse is unable to stop himself, he can be stopped. It just takes courage, speaking up, and a solid determination to do so. It is time for three non-Indian communities located within the exterior boundaries of the Yakama Reservation to take protective measures. If our homes, jobs, communities and quality of life mean anything at all to us, we can do no less.

Since publication of this theory, I have received contacts from across the country, identifying with the feelings described. Citizens truly do wish the best for their tribal neighbors and for all communities on and near Indian reservations. Citizens have been anxious and apprehensive to speak up and assert their rights on reservations, whether tribal members or not.

We have, as citizens, submerged an innate courage, that is now surfacing across America. I believe it is at least partially to CERA's credit that mainstream media is now paying closer attention to the proliferation of Indian casinos, and corrupt political practices occurring on numerous reservations.

The way out of oppression is first to call it by name, and then to stop submitting in silence. This is the pathway to recovery for battered spouses, battered citizens, communities and battered and bullied States.

Elaine Willman, MPA, is Chair of Citizens Equal Rights Alliance (CERA) a national organization of community education groups and citizens in 25 states who reside within or near federally recognized Indian reservations. Ms. Willman is a former City of Ojai assistant administrator, teaches in the Masters in Public and Business Administration programs for a university, and is pursuing a doctoral in federal Indian policy. Contact her via email at


Forbes, September 9, 2005

Dunce of the Week [Weekly feature every Friday in Forbes Magazine]

Dunce(s) Of The Week: Daniel Akaka and Linda Lingle

by Rich Karlgaard

NEW YORK - Back from the Forbes Global CEO Conference and six days in Sydney. Thanks for letting me punt on last week's "Dunce of the Week" column.

Katrina has ushered in a flood of Dunce commentary on economics. U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-Washington) has called for price controls on gas. I guess she prefers unavailable gas at $2.50 to available gas at $3.25. I'm waiting for her to quote Ralph Nader on the soulful virtues of waiting in lines. Another U.S. Senator, Byron Dorgan, a Democrat from my home state of North Dakota, demands a super tax on oil-company profits. That's a fine way to stop the search for new wells. I know Sen. Dorgan--nice guy, crackling sense of humor, loyal to his state, but dumb as a brick on economics.

But we're going to leave Katrina behind and look to the future. In early October, the U.S. Senate will vote on what is the worst bill I've seen in my lifetime: The Hawaiian Government Recognition Bill. It was brought to the floor by Sen. Daniel Akaka (D-Hawaii) and it seeks to create one new Native American tribe made up of U.S. citizens with "one drop" or more of native Hawaiian blood. The tribe would have its own Constitution, and be exempt from state and federal taxes. It would, of course, get gobs of federal money just like other Native American tribes. Tax Californians to pay Hawaiians is the idea. You can read the bill for yourself.

The disaster in New Orleans reminds us that the most blighted economic regions within the U.S. are in welfare colonies: public housing in older cities and Indian reservations. The irony, of course, is that the Hawaiian Government Reorganization Bill seeks to take the very worst economic model we have in the U.S. and apply to much of the 50th state.

Unbelievably, Hawaii's Republican Governor, Linda Lingle, supports Akaka's bill. So do a least six U.S. Senate Republicans, who are set to vote yes in early October. It is even rumored that President George W. Bush will let this racist act sneak by without a veto, should it pass. If the bill passes, and the president refuses to veto it, you can be sure GWB will be our Dunce of the Week, perhaps even our Dunce of the Year.

Here is terrific commentary on the insanity of Sen. Akaka's cockeyed bill.

Honolulu Star-Bulletin, September 29, 2005
Gathering Place

Akaka Bill would reverse tradition of equal rights

by Joseph Gedan (former counsel to various legislative committees and a retired U.S. magistrate judge. He lives in Honolulu)

The recent commentary by Tex Hall (Star-Bulletin, Sept. 13) rationalizes the Akaka Bill by referencing the federal government's recognition of American Indian tribes.

Hawaii presents a totally different experience than that of the American Indians. Hall's rationalization is in error.

Throughout the reigns of the Hawaiian royalty, newcomers were subject to the rule of the monarchs. Citizenship for newcomers was easily obtained, and persons born in Hawaii were citizens by birth. There was extensive intermarriage among all races. Furthermore, a great many non-Hawaiians worked for the monarchy and served it at the highest levels. While attempting to draw parallel to American Indians, Hall focuses on prehistoric Hawaii and ignores what was an evolving Hawaiian nation, molded by a succession of monarchs.

Kamehameha the Great employed foreign advisers and, in fact, appointed one as governor of Oahu. During the reign of Kamehameha III, it was made clear by the Declaration of Rights of 1839 and the Constitution of 1840 that the kingdom treated both Hawaiian and non-Hawaiian on equal terms. The Declaration of Rights of 1839 says that "God hath made of one blood all nations of men" and refers to rights "given alike to every man." Equal rights to all, without reference to ethnicity, is the proud tradition of Kamehameha III. This tradition persisted through the reigns of all the Hawaiian monarchs. Hawaiian traditions and customs thrived in a Hawaiian western-style government.

The overthrow of 1893 was the overthrow of the person of the monarch and institution of monarchy, not the displacement of any customs or traditional rights of native Hawaiians. Also, Hawaiians lost no land because of the overthrow. Lands not privately owned were crown lands and, according to the Constitution of 1840, "belonged to the chiefs and people in common." "People in common" meant all Hawaiian citizens, not just those of Hawaiian ethnicity. Similarly, the overthrow did not deprive Hawaiians of any right to participate in self-government. Rather, from annexation through statehood, Hawaiians have become leaders of our single multiracial community.

We have had Hawaiians or part-Hawaiians as delegates to Congress prior to statehood; governor of the state of Hawaii; delegates to Hawaii's constitutional convention; lieutenant governors; judges and members of the Hawaii Supreme Court; U.S. senator; mayors; U.S. marshals; members of the Legislature and county councils; and department heads and employees of the state and county governments.

Through this participation, Hawaiians have exercised self-determination and have aided in promoting Hawaiian customs through sensitivity, without a separate sovereignty.

The proponents of the Akaka Bill ignore, or worse yet, now seek to reverse the proud tradition of Kamehameha III. They chose as their reference prehistoric Hawaii. What is more relevant, prehistoric Hawaii or the Hawaii nation fashioned by its kings and queen? If they succeed in obscuring history, what then will be the bill's real impact? Whether it's about land or a collection of amorphous ills, ultimately, it will be about money and special privilege.

What are the ills that sovereignty is suppose to alleviate? Some of the bill's proponents assert that Hawaiians are overrepresented in negative socioeconomic statistics such as health, poverty, homelessness, child abuse and neglect and criminal activity. If that is so, then Hawaiians should get a greater share of resources, but only consistent with their proportional greater need. However, the ultimate effect of the Akaka Bill will be to allocate public resources to address these negatives for Hawaiians only, and to exclude the poor and disadvantaged of other races. This would be racially divisive, contrary to the principals of both our state and federal constitutions, and contrary to our proud tradition of equal rights. Ironically, in its spirit, it is also un-Hawaiian.

Joseph Gedan is a former counsel to various legislative committees and a retired U.S. magistrate judge. He lives in Honolulu.

The Washington Times, October 3, 2005

Separate but equal, Hawaiian-style

The Akaka bill on Native Hawaiian sovereignty, often portrayed by its critics as multiculturalism run amok, is gaining steam and portending the break-up of the union. In reality, the measure is more segregation and self-interest than symbolism or secession. Sen. Daniel Akaka, Hawaii Democrat, championed the bill as a way to "bring unity in the State by providing an inclusive process for... Native Hawaiians and non-Native Hawaiians to finally address the consequences of our painful history." Mr. Akaka first introduced a version of this legislation in 2000, predicated on the notion that the formal apology signed in 1993 by President Clinton, which acknowledged the overthrow of the Hawaiian kingdom in 1893, was no longer sufficient among his constituents. The 2005 bill had been scheduled for a cloture vote in August, but was postponed indefinitely because of the situation caused by Hurricane Katrina. The motion, Mr. Akaka's office hopes, will be rescheduled later this month, and given strong Democratic support and the bill's five Republican cosponsors, the bill will likely pass if proponents are able to force a vote.

The cloak of rhetorical "reconciliation and healing" -- that the bill would restore stolen lands and usurped sovereignty -- belies a more tangible and pragmatic goal. This legislation was introduced in 2000. This occurred primarily not in response to the formal apology Mr. Clinton signed seven years prior (nor to the overthrow of the kingdom 100 years before that) but as a rebuttal to the consequential Supreme Court ruling in Rice v. Cayetano, also in 2000.

In that case, the Supreme Court overturned a Ninth Circuit Court ruling and, in a 7-2 decision, correctly struck down the "Hawaiian only" voting restriction that permitted only Native Hawaiians to vote for trustees of the state's Office of Hawaiian Affairs (OHA). Justice Anthony Kennedy, writing the majority opinion, strongly decried this practice as the unconstitutional construction of a race-based government, in violation of the Fifteenth Amendment guarantee of equal voting rights. Subsequent court decisions have adhered to the tone set by the Supreme Court. Most recently, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals (perhaps noting that its ruling in Rice v. Cayetano had been overturned) declared the exclusively Native Hawaiian Kamehameha Schools also in violation of federal civil-rights laws.

The OHA funds many programs for the betterment of Native Hawaiians from revenue derived from specially designated "ceded" land in Hawaii, and from its nearly $380 million in reserve. There is more land in dispute -- around 1.8 million acres -- from which OHA now gets about $9.5 million a year, but the potential revenue is in the hundreds of millions of dollars -- a substantial sum considering the Census Bureau reports that there are only approximately 68,000 Native Hawaiians living in Hawaii.

Enter the Akaka bill as a possible solution: congressional recognition of Native Hawaiians not as a race, but as an indigenous, American Indian-like group, with the same privileges and exclusions. Supreme Court precedent recognizes a difference in these designations (though manifestly there isn't one), finding an exclusive government of the latter constitutional, but not of the former. Hence the court can rule the Jim Crow laws unconstitutional and American Indian sovereignty constitutional without contradicting itself.

Passing the Akaka bill may not be tantamount to dissolving the union, but it would almost certainly allow OHA to return to its practice of a racially (now dubbed indigenously) exclusive voting register. And the Kamehameha School could resume its race-based admissions policy. The Akaka bill also provides the framework by which the OHA can negotiate with the Department of the Interior to tap into more of the revenue from the disputed land.

What seems most sorely lacking is the achievement of Mr. Akaka's goal of an "inclusive process for... Native Hawaiians and non-Native Hawaiians." Indeed, the Akaka bill would have the opposite effect -- bringing back the segregation that the Supreme Court struck down, only now with congressional approval.


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

National Review Online, May 24, 2006, Editorial

A Hawaiian Punch to E Pluribus Unum

By The Editors

After a long wait backstage, the Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act of 2005 (S. 147, widely known as the Akaka bill) is tentatively scheduled to hit the Senate floor sometime after the Memorial Day recess. No one knows for sure whether Sen. Daniel Akaka's longtime production—he first introduced the bill in 1999—will be greeted with applause or mercilessly yanked from the stage. For the sake of national unity, and to strike a blow against racial pandering, it should be the latter.

The Akaka bill is a terrible piece of legislation. Every aspect of it—from its premises to its goals to its methods—undermines the American belief that we are one people from many. It would create a separate government for "native" Hawaiians, who would in all likelihood be determined almost exclusively by bloodlines. The new government would be able to conduct sovereign-to-sovereign relations with the United States, much as Indian tribes do today. Although no one knows what the final form of the government would be, presumably some 400,000 "natives" would be invited to weigh in—even a resident of New Hampshire who has never stepped foot in Hawaii and has but a trace of Hawaiian blood would get a say in forming the new government. The most pernicious outcome is perhaps the only one that is assured: The governing entity would lead to a permanent hereditary caste in Hawaii, where natives—defined however the interim government chooses to define them—enjoy at least some rights that non-natives do not. Tax-exempt status and immunity from Occupational Safety and Health Administration regulations are two possibilities.

The logical (and rhetorical) backbone of the Akaka bill is the misguided 1993 Apology Resolution that asked forgiveness for America's supposed role in the 1893 overthrow of Hawaii's queen. But the United States had only a tangential part in that insurrection, which was primarily carried out by inhabitants of the kingdom acting outside U.S. jurisdiction. The claim that the U.S. was responsible was just one historical exaggeration in a vast sea of myths perpetuated by the Apology Resolution. The current bill, though much worse, is a variation on the same theme: Using all the multicultural buzzwords, proponents seek to rectify alleged past wrongs and to protect a complex network of native-exclusive programs already operating in Hawaii. (The Office of Hawaiian Affairs, a quasi-state entity that promotes the native cause, has assets of $300 million and an annual budget of $30 million. State auditors have consistently found it to be wasteful.)

The bill very well may pass, for there are number of Republican cosponsors—Norm Coleman, Lindsey Graham, Lisa Murkowski, Gordon Smith, Ted Stevens—and a number of GOP senators who are on the fence. These senators have thus far chosen the easy way out; Senators Jon Kyl, John Cornyn, and Lamar Alexander, on the other hand, deserve credit for their public fight against the bill. The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights has also come out against it, which should give political cover to any senators worried about being subjected to racial demagoguery from the likes of Senator Akaka.

Opponents should not expect any help from the Bush administration. The concerns about the bill that the Department of Justice raised last fall in a letter to John McCain—that native Hawaiians might not be subject to criminal laws; that military bases might be put in jeopardy; that the new entity might have gaming rights; that the bill might serve as grounds to sue the federal government for reparations—are certainly important, and speak to the bill's vagueness. But the Department of Justice punted the larger constitutional question of whether Congress even has the authority to create such an entity. The White House has refused to issue any statement of principle, but, if the administration's history with racially divisive issues is any indication, it will not wade into the fight—especially since some believe, erroneously, that the Akaka bill will help the GOP in Hawaii.

Passage of the bill would only embolden fringe groups seeking similar recognition or compensation. It would simultaneously drive a wedge into Hawaiian society—all for the purpose of silencing activists who trot out the "racist" canard at every possible moment. Even so, the greatest victim of the Akaka bill would not be non-native Hawaiians. It would be, rather, the belief that every American belongs to a single, indivisible society.

Jewish World Review May 31, 2006

Republican hypocrisy

by Linda Chavez

What is going on with Republicans in Congress? They've largely abandoned many traditional conservative principles — smaller government, belief in the free market and protection of individual, not group, rights.

Instead of acting as good stewards of the people's money, Republican members have taken the art of "earmarking" funds for their pet projects to heights that should make big-spending Democrats blush. They've become so obsessed by immigration, many have adopted the centrally planned economic models of radical population-control advocates.

And now some Republicans are about to engineer the reconquista of Hawaii. There is much talk among some Republican members of Congress of late that Mexicans are trying to reconquer the American Southwest, but the real irredentist threat seems to be coming from Hawaiians, not Mexicans, with the help of a lot of Republican politicians. Instead of being the party of principle, Republicans are in danger of becoming the party of hypocrisy.

The latest travesty comes in the form of a bill to grant "Native Hawaiians" status as a sovereign government within the United States. Half of the co-sponsors of the legislation are Republicans: Sens. Lisa Murkowski, Gordon Smith, Norm Coleman, Ted Stevens and Lindsey Graham. And so many Republicans are supporting the bill that opponents may not be able to sustain a filibuster when it comes up for a Senate vote next week.

The bill creates a new racial category — so-called Native Hawaiians — that will be defined as a "tribe" for purposes of self-government. Anyone who is one of the "indigenous, native people of Hawaii" and who is a "direct, lineal descendant of the aboriginal, indigenous, native people" who resided in the Hawaiian Islands on or before Jan. 1, 1893, and "exercised sovereignty" in the same region will be given special autonomous rights, including the right to "negotiate" with the federal government over lands and natural resources.

In order to qualify for membership in the group there will be strictly a racial test — "tribal" members wouldn't even have to live in Hawaii. And never mind the obvious nonsense that the indigenous peoples of the Hawaiian Islands ever exercised "sovereignty." The only sovereign of the Hawaiian peoples in 1893 was Queen Liliuokalani, but that won't stop some 400,000 people claiming special privileges under this bill.

The legislation is a marked departure from the government's treatment of legitimate Indian tribes, which must produce evidence to show that they have been in continuous existence since 1900 and have kinship and marriage, as well as cultural or religious, patterns that are distinctive. Indian tribes must also prove that their membership is based on historical tribes that have functioned as a political entity in the past — none of which will be required for Native Hawaiians.

The recent debate over immigration has raised important questions about national identity, but conservative Republicans are no better than their Democrat colleagues in tackling this issue head-on. Republicans — including illegal alien foe and Judiciary Committee Chairman James Sensenbrenner — back bilingual ballots, for example.

When I testified at Judiciary Committee hearings against providing bilingual ballots, I felt a little like the skunk at the tea party. And Republicans have been almost as bad as Democrats in including racial preferences for supposedly underrepresented minorities in federal legislation, even voting again to include such preferences in legislation that had been the subject of a successful Supreme Court challenge in the 1995 Adarand v. Pena case.

What we need now is not more racial categories and special privileges, but fewer, especially in light of the changing demographics of the country. Instead of pushing legislation to create a whole new victim-group — Native Hawaiians — Republicans ought to get back to color-blind principles and a commitment to the melting pot.

But principles don't seem to matter to some members of Congress nearly as much as interest groups pushing an agenda. At this rate, it's hard to figure out what some Republicans really stand for anymore. Aside from support for aggressively challenging our enemies abroad, the GOP doesn't bear much resemblance to the party of Ronald Reagan on much of anything these days.

JWR contributor Linda Chavez is President of the Center for Equal Opportunity.

Chicago Sun-Times, May 31, 2006

'E pluribus whatever' hardly a unifying national motto


Last year, the U.S. Senate passed a resolution congratulating the West Oahu baseball team for winning the 2005 Little League World Series. Those young men were an American success story because they never gave up. They scored three late runs to tie the championship game in regulation and then won it in extra innings.

But if an upcoming Senate measure becomes law, future Hawaiian teams may celebrate championships as members of the international squad instead of as Americans.

Lawmakers will vote as early as next week on the measure, which would permit the creation of an exclusively race-based government of ''native'' Hawaiians to exercise sovereignty over native Hawaiians living anywhere in the United States. This government would be treated as a separate but dependent nation, just as many Indian tribes are. It also would have the right to exempt itself from any parts of the Constitution it didn't agree with.

This proposal has been shot down before, but it's proved to be like the vampire who won't die in a bad movie. No matter how many times opponents think they've killed it, it keeps coming back.

In a paper last fall, two Heritage Foundation legal scholars outlined perhaps the best reason to oppose allowing supposed Hawaiian natives to form a government: ''There are no 'native' Hawaiians living apart from other Americans,'' former Attorney General Edwin Meese and Todd Gaziano wrote. ''Hawaiians, whether they have pure, part, or no 'aboriginal blood,' all live in the same neighborhoods, go to the same schools and churches and participate in the same community life.''

In other words, they're Americans, in the truest sense of the word.

Right now, they live in the melting pot that brings people of many different backgrounds together as a united people. And there's no reason to change that. In fact, any time lawmakers consider passing a law, they ought to ask, ''Will this unite us or divide us?'' Here, the answer is clear. It would drive a stake between Americans, including many who've been friends and neighbors for decades.

In addition to being divisive, the measure is also unconstitutional.

No government organized under the U.S. Constitution may create another government that is exempted from parts of the Constitution. Congress is simply not allowed to create new nations, new governments or new tribes and leave them free from their constitutional responsibilities. We all enjoy the many benefits of the Constitution because we all agree to be bound by it in its entirety, even if we occasionally disagree with parts of it.

Imagine if Congress did allow native Hawaiians to discriminate on the basis of race. That would clearly violate the 14th Amendment, drafted specifically to ensure that all residents of a state enjoy identical citizenship privileges. Whether you are a ''native Hawaiian'' with direct blood ties to the former monarchy or someone who moved to Hawaii last week, you're entitled to equal protection as a Hawaiian and as an American.

In 1959, the people of Hawaii voted overwhelmingly to join the United States. They understood they were voting to become full citizens, committing themselves to protect and defend the Constitution and to build our country side by side with Americans in the 49 other states.

It's ironic that even as the U.S. Senate is proposing to offer amnesty to millions of illegal aliens so they can supposedly integrate into American society, it may also create a new government that would allow millions of native-born Americans to segregate themselves from American society.

Before voting, lawmakers ought to step back and ask themselves: Am I upholding the Constitution? Am I maintaining our traditional policy of E pluribus unum? Nothing less than a ''yes'' in both cases is acceptable.

Ed Feulner is president of the Heritage Foundation and co-author of the book Getting America Right.

Hawaii Reporter, May 31, 2006

What Does the United States Owe to Native Hawaiians?

By Kenneth R. Conklin

The United States owes to Native Hawaiians the same things it owes to all citizens -- things like protection of life, liberty, property, and the rule of law; and assistance to individuals who are unable to help themselves.

The question raised here is this: Does the United States owe Native Hawaiians anything else, in addition to what it owes all citizens? Does the U.S. owe reparations to Native Hawaiians for the overthrow of the Hawaiian monarchy in 1893? Does the U.S. owe Native Hawaiians special treatment, group rights, or political sovereignty on account of anything that happened in the past, or on account of current economic or social afflictions?

The simple answer is "No." There are many reasons for that answer.

Some of those reasons are found in major reports that were commissioned by Congress specifically for the purpose of studying what, if anything, the U.S. owes to Native Hawaiians. One report was published in 1894. Another was published in 1983.

Both reports were swept under the rug by Hawaiian activists determined to extract land, money and power from the U.S. government to the maximum extent possible. The resolution of sentiment passed by Congress in 1993 apologizing for the overthrow of the monarchy would never have been passed if Senators and Congressmen had been familiar with reports their predecessors had commissioned. The Akaka bill will not pass if Senators and Congressmen can be made aware of what's in those reports.

Fortunately those reports are now easily available on the Internet, after years of being hidden away in dusty archives. Following are brief descriptions of what's in those two reports, how anyone in the world can now easily read them, and what bearing they have on the Akaka bill.

THE MORGAN REPORT (U.S. Senate, 1894)

A revolution in 1887 by 1,500 armed local men had forced King Kalakaua to agree to a new Constitution giving up most of his powers but retaining his figurehead status as King. The U.S. played no part in that event. On January 17, 1893, the same local revolutionaries took the final step and dethroned Queen Liliuokalani.

Because of serious threats of violence and arson as the revolution moved from rumor to reality from January14-17, the U.S. representative in Hawaii sent about 160 sailors and marines ashore to protect American lives and property and to prevent rioting -- the same sort of peacekeeping mission done in modern times in Granada, Haiti, and, quite recently, in Liberia. U.S. forces remained scrupulously neutral; did not conspire beforehand with the revolutionaries; did not provide assistance during the revolution; did not fire a shot or take over any buildings; and spent the night inside a building behind where the Post Office is now located and out of sight of the Palace and the Government Building (Aliiolani Hale). The mere presence of U.S. troops in Honolulu might have encouraged the revolutionaries and discouraged the Queen's forces; although there is also evidence that some royalists thought the U.S. troops would support the Queen.

U.S. President Grover Cleveland came into office a few weeks after the revolution. He was a friend of Queen Liliuokalani, and an isolationist opposed to U.S. expansion. He immediately withdrew from the Senate a treaty of annexation proposed by the revolutionary government that had been approved by outgoing President Harrison. Cleveland sent a new representative James Blount to Hawaii with secret orders to destabilize the Provisional Government of President Sanford B. Dole and to restore the Queen. Blount tried to stir up trouble; and he sabotaged negotiations whereby Liliuokalani was offering to abandon any efforts at restoration in return for a lifetime pension. Blount assured Liliuokalani that President Cleveland would get her back on the throne; and she passed along that message to her supporters. Later, in December, Blount's replacement as Cleveland's representative wrote a letter to President Dole on behalf of the U.S. government ordering Dole to step down and restore the Queen. When all Cleveland's efforts failed because of the strength and determination of the revolutionary government, he referred the matter to the Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs to investigate the U.S. role in the overthrow and to recommend what should be done (he was hoping Congress might approve the use of force to overthrow Dole).

In early 1894, after two months of hearing sworn testimony under cross examination in open session, the Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs, chaired by James Morgan, published an 808-page report concluding that the U.S. had not conspired with the Hawaii revolutionaries beforehand and had not assisted them during the revolution. The Morgan report repudiated a previous report by Cleveland's hatchet-man Blount. It included evidence that Blount had listened to the royalists and excluded the revolutionaries, and had falsified or misrepresented some statements made to him. As a result of the Morgan report the Senate passed a resolution that there should be no further U.S. interference in Hawai'i, thus destroying Cleveland's hope for approval of U.S. intervention to restore the Queen. Also as a result of the Morgan report, President Cleveland gave up any further efforts on the Queen's behalf; he extended formal diplomatic recognition de jure (rather than merely de facto) to the Dole government, and he engaged in diplomatic negotiations regarding further implementation of treaties. The Dole government held power for more than 5 years, including all 4 years of an initially hostile President Cleveland, and in the face of an attempted armed counter-revolution in which several men were killed and many were imprisoned. The Dole government was not democratic, and probably did not enjoy the support of the majority of Hawaii's people. But it was given diplomatic recognition by all the nations who had previously recognized the monarchy; just as other oligarchies around the world.

The Morgan report, and President Cleveland's turnabout, should have settled once and for all that the U.S. did not overthrow the Hawaiian monarchy, and does not owe any reparations to Native Hawaiians. Indeed, the U.S. during the first year of Grover Cleveland's administration provided the best possible kind of reparations by trying aggressively to undo the Hawaiian revolution forthwith. But when the apology resolution came up in the Senate 99 years later, even the strongest opponents of that resolution had forgotten all about the Morgan report and meekly said they had no quarrel with the history contained in the "whereas" clauses of the apology resolution -- a historical narrative filled with errors and distortions that the Morgan report would have easily corrected.

See the end-notes for internet access to the Morgan report and to two point-by-point rebuttals to the faulty history of the apology resolution.


The Native Hawaiians Study Commission was created by the Congress of the United States on December 22, 1980 (Title III of Public Law 96-565). The purpose of the Commission was to "conduct a study of the culture, needs and concerns of the Native Hawaiians." The Commission released to the public a Draft Report of Findings on Sept. 23, 1982. Following a 120-day period of public comment, a final report was written and submitted on June 23, 1983, to the U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources and to the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Interior and Insular Affairs.

The NHSC examined the history of Hawaii and the current conditions (1980) of Native Hawaiians. One purpose of the commission was to explore whether Native Hawaiians have special needs, and what those needs might be. Another purpose of the commission was to explore whether the United States has any historical, legal, or moral obligation to meet the special needs of Native Hawaiians by providing them with political sovereignty or race-specific group rights.

The commission found that Native Hawaiians have higher rates than other ethnic groups for indicators of dysfunction in health, education, income, etc. The commission concluded that the U.S. has no obligation to remedy those problems in any way other than the usual assistance given by government to all people afflicted with difficulties.

Portions of the "Conclusions and Recommendations" section of the NHSC final report focus on topics of special interest regarding the Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization bill, S.147 and H.R.309 in the 109th Congress. Two conclusions relevant to the Akaka bill might be described as follows:

* 1. There is no historical, legal, or moral obligation for the U.S. government to provide race-based reparations, assistance, or group rights for Native Hawaiians.

* 2. Affirmative outreach is appropriate to ensure Native Hawaiians are given the assistance they need; but race-based or racially exclusionary programs are not recommended. Native Hawaiians may be disproportionately afflicted by some specific medical or social problems. Native Hawaiians should receive affirmative outreach to ensure they are aware of and receive help from existing programs open to all needy people. When considering what new programs government should sponsor, care should be taken to target some of those new programs to areas of concern which disproportionately afflict Native Hawaiians. However, the NHSC carefully worded its recommendations to avoid proposing race-based or racially exclusionary programs or group rights.

Following are some quotes from the "Conclusions and Recommendations" section of the NHSC report. These particular quotes are highlighted because of their relevance to the Akaka bill. The full set of conclusions can be found on pp. 23-32 of the report. The conclusions regarding lack of a federal trust relationship with Native Hawaiians, and lack of any obligation to pay reparations, are more fully explored in the NHSC section entitled "Existing Law, Native Hawaiians, and Compensation" found on pp. 333-370 including 198 footnotes citing both Kingdom of Hawaii and U.S. government actions and legal decisions.


"To summarize the Commission's findings with regard to the overthrow of the Hawaiian monarchy: Based upon the information available to it, the Commission concluded that Minister John L. Stevens and certain other individuals occupying positions with the U.S. Government participated in activities contributing to the overthrow of the Hawaiian monarchy on January 17, 1893. The Commission was unable to conclude that these activities were sanctioned by the President or the Congress. In fact, official government records lend strong support to the conclusion that Minister Stevens' actions were not sanctioned." (page 29)

"Besides the findings summarized above, the Commission concludes that, as an ethical or moral matter, Congress should not provide for native Hawaiians to receive compensation either for loss of land or of sovereignty. Reviewing the situation generally, including the historical changes in Hawaii's land laws and constitution before 1893, the Hawaiian political climate that led to the overthrow, the lack of authorized involvement by the United States, and the apparent limited role of United States forces in the overthrow, the Commission found that on an ethical or moral basis, native Hawaiians should not receive reparations." (page 29)

"The relations between the United States and Hawaii up to the time of annexation were relations between two separate, sovereign nations, not between a sovereign and those subject to its sovereignty." (page 25)

"Generally, the most likely possible theories for the award of compensation to native groups for loss of land were aboriginal title or recognized title doctrines." (page 25)

"The law has developed specific tests for establishing aboriginal title: the group must be a single land-owning entity; there must be actual and exclusive use and occupancy of the lands; the use and occupancy must be of a defined area; the land must have been used and occupied for a long time before aboriginal title was extinguished. Additionally, title must have been extinguished by the government of the United States, not by another body, such as the government of Hawaii before the United States annexed Hawaii. Finally, some law must give the native group, here the native Hawaiians, a right to compensation for loss of aboriginal title. The Commission finds that the facts do not meet the tests for showing the existence of aboriginal title." (pp. 25-26)

"Even if the tests had been met, the Commission finds that such title was extinguished by actions of the Hawaiian government before 1893, and certainly before annexation, which was the first assumption of sovereignty by the United States." (page 26)

"Finally, even if these tests had been met, neither the Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution nor current statutes provide authority for payment of compensation to native Hawaiians for loss of aboriginal title." (page 26)

"The law also has developed specific legal requirements for compensation of loss of lands by recognized title. The Commission examined the question of whether treaties and statutes, the Joint Resolution of Annexation, or the Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution provide a basis for payment under the theory of recognized title, and concluded that no basis exists." (page 26)

"The Commission examined whether a trust or fiduciary relationship exists between the United States and native Hawaiians and concluded that no statutes or treaties give rise to such a relationship because the United States did not exercise sovereignty over the Hawaiian Islands prior to annexation, and the Joint Resolution of Annexation, No. 55 (July 7, 1898) did not create a special relationship for native Hawaiians." (page 26)

"The Commission considered whether native Hawaiians are entitled to compensation for loss of sovereignty, and found no present legal entitlement to compensation for any loss of sovereignty." (page 26)


The commission recommended that government programs be targeted to deal with problems that disproportionately affect Native Hawaiians, to ensure that they receive the help they especially need. But notably the commission did not recommend singling out a specific racial group for benefits that would exclude other groups. Benefits are to be given to all individuals afflicted with a particular problem, regardless of race; and if Native Hawaiians are disproportionately afflicted then they will receive a disproportionate share of the benefits of such programs without any need for programs limited by race.

The "Conclusions and Recommendations" section of the NHSC report makes clear that there should be special outreach to Native Hawaiians to ensure that they are made aware of government programs from which they could get assistance, and to ensure that new and existing programs be focused on problems that disproportionately affect Native Hawaiians. But the Commission's recommendations never propose to create race-based programs exclusively for Native Hawaiians. Here are some quotes illustrating the careful wording of recommendations for affirmative outreach but avoiding race-based or racially exclusionary programs:

"[C]onsideration should be given to a wide variety of Federal programs that are already available or that could be made available to help address specific needs. Private, local, and State officials in Hawaii should take the initiative to become aware of available programs, secure and disseminate information on them, and ensure that native Hawaiians have equal access to those programs." (page 28)

"The Commission recommends: ... Making sure that Federal programs for vocational training funded through block grants are targeted to groups most in need, including native Hawaiians. ... Initiating efforts to ensure that information on specific Federal programs (for example, supplemental food program for women, infants, and children) is disseminated through native Hawaiian organizations, and recruit eligible native Hawaiians to participate in these programs. Ensuring that a fair share of Federal block grant monies are directed toward alleviating specific health problems, including those of concern to native Hawaiians, such as infant mortality and child and maternal care. Giving higher priority to native Hawaiian sites in considering nominations for the National Register of Historic Places; activating the State Historic reservation Plan and revising, in consultation with native Hawaiians, the plan in an effort to ensure protection of ancient Hawaiian artifacts and sites." (page 29)

"The Commission also recommends that the heads of all Federal departments and agencies act to ensure that the needs and concerns of native Hawaiians, to the extent identified and defined in the Commission's Report, be brought to the attention of their program administrators; that these administrators consult officials in Hawaii for further guidance on specific programs; and, once this guidance is received, consider actions that could be taken to ensure full and equal access by native Hawaiians to various assistance programs." (page 30)

Conclusion: The United States owes to Native Hawaiians the same things it owes to all citizens -- things like protection of life, liberty, property, and the rule of law; and assistance to individuals who are unable to help themselves. The United States owes nothing less to Native Hawaiians. And nothing more.


The Morgan Report (1894)

Constitutional law scholar Bruce Fein provided a point-by-point criticism of the Hawaiian apology resolution on pp. 5-18 of his monograph "Hawaii Divided Against Itself Cannot Stand." That entire monograph in pdf format is available at:

Thurston Twigg-Smith's family now has seven generations of people born and raised in Hawai'i, descended from one of the early New England missionaries. Mr. Twigg-Smith's grandfather, a native-born subject of the Kingdom, was one of the leaders of both Hawaiian revolutions in 1887 and 1893. Mr. Twigg-Smith published a book about the history of Hawai'i entitled "Hawaiian Sovereignty: Do The Facts Matter?" Chapter 10 of that book analyzes the apology resolution. The entire book, as well as the individual Chapter 10, can be downloaded in pdf form free of charge from

HAWAIIAN REPARATIONS: NOTHING LOST, NOTHING OWED by Patrick W. Hanifin, esq.; Hawaii Bar Journal, XVII, 2 (1982). Mr. Hanifin's lengthy, heavily footnoted article can be downloaded in pdf format. An informal summary of it published in a newspaper is also available. A tribute to Mr. Hanifin with biographical information and some of his other publications is also available. To find all this material in one place, go to:

Native Hawaiians Study Commission report (1983) This report has only recently been made available on the internet. Many pages have been edited to make them easy to read, copy, or search as text documents. Some pages still need editing although the content is there for those who have patience to read material with no paragraph breaks and with tables whose columns have not been lined up. Photographs of every individual page are provided, as taken from an original hardcopy of the 1983 book. Please visit:

Native Hawaiian Victimhood Claims -- What Are They? Why Are They Being Asserted? How Can the Bad Statistics Be Explained?


Kenneth R. Conklin, Ph.D., is an independent scholar in Kaneohe, Hawaii. His Web site on Hawaiian Sovereignty is at: He can be contacted at:


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