(c) Copyright 2007 Kenneth R. Conklin, Ph.D. All rights reserved
Sometimes the bully comes right up to you on the playground, pokes you in the nose, and demands your lunch money.
Sometimes the bully is a member of the Chicago Mafia. He speaks politely, but tagging along next to him is a nasty-looking low-life character with a big scar on his face and a bulge in his pocket.
The pair of them go to the fancy new restaurant to have a little chat with the owner. Mr. Niceguy says "This is a dangerous neighborhood, but if you give me $500 per month I can protect you" That's an implied threat, of course -- "If you don't pay me the money then my goons will burn your restaurant to the ground." And maybe Scarface puts an exclamation point on Mr. Niceguy's pretty speech by "accidentally" dropping the $200 bottle of fine wine whose label he was admiring.
Then there's Senator Dan Akaka (D, HI). He's a loveable old fellow who looks like the grandfather everyone remembers. He sometimes stumbles over words, but he always smiles and we know what he means. And heck, he's Hawaiian, filled with the aloha spirit. We love him, and we just re-elected him to another 6 year term by a big margin.
Here's part of what he said on the floor of the U.S. Senate on Wednesday January 17, 2007 while introducing the Akaka bill (for the seventh consecutive year).
"January 17, 2007, commemorates the 114th anniversary of Hawai'i's beloved Queen Liliuokalani being deposed. Although this event may seem like a distant memory, it is a poignant event that expedited the decline of a proud and self-governing people. The overthrow facilitated Native Hawaiians being disenfranchised from not only their culture and land, but from their way of life. Native Hawaiians had to endure the forced imprisonment of their Queen and witness the deterioration and near eradication of their culture and tradition in their own homeland at the hands of foreigners committed exclusively to propagating Western values and conventions. ... With an influx of foreigners into Hawai'i, Native Hawaiian populations plummeted due to the lack of immunity to common Western diseases. Those that survived witnessed foreign interest and involvement in their government grow until Queen Liliuokalani was forced by American citizens to abdicate her right to the throne. This devastated the Native Hawaiian people, forever tainting the waters of their identity and tattering the very fabric of their society. For some this injustice, this wound has never healed, manifesting itself in a sense of inferiority and hopelessness leaving many Native Hawaiians at the lowest levels of achievement by all social and economic measures."
"Frustration has led to anger and festered in the hearts of Hawaii's younger generations, with each child that is taught about this period of Hawaiian history, a loss is relived. It is a burden that Native Hawaiians since the overthrow continue to carry, to know that they were violated in their own homeland and their governance was ripped away unjustly. Despite the perceived harmony, it is the generation of my grandchildren that is growing impatient and frustrated with the lack of progress being made. Influenced by a deep sadness and growing intolerance, an active minority within this generation seeks independence from the United States. It is for this generation that I work to enact this bill so that there is the structured process to deal with these emotional issues. It is important that discussions are held and that there is a framework to guide appropriate action. For Hawaii is the homeland of the Native Hawaiian people."
"Mr. President, a lack of action by the U.S. will incite and will only fuel us down a path to a DIVIDED Hawai'i. A Hawai'i where lines and boundaries will be drawn and unity severed. However, the legislation I introduce today seeks to build upon the foundation of reconciliation. It provides a structured process to bring together the people of Hawai'i, along a path of healing to a Hawaii where its indigenous people are respected and culture is embraced."
Summing it up:
My people have been royally screwed. We've been telling the story to our young hot-heads the way we want them to hear it, grossly exaggerated 50 times worse than what really happened. We've been stirring them up for years, and now they're "mad as hell and not gonna take it anymore." If you guys don't give us what we want, all hell's gonna break loose. Give us sovereignty on a silver platter, or else we're gonna take it anyway. We've warned you, and we won't be responsible for the consequences. You can put your hand on the knife and we'll carve up Hawaii together, or else we'll do it without you.
Similar warnings in recent years:
"Uncle" Charlie Maxwell uses the title "Reverend" even though he was never ordained and never had a church congregation. He is/was the Chairman of the Hawaii Advisory Committee to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights. He also chaired the "reconciliation" hearings in 1999 when officials of the Clinton administration Department of Interior and Department of Justice came to Hawaii allegedly to listen to what ethnic Hawaiians want the U.S. to do to promote "reconciliation" (actually they came on a false mission, to make it look like the best solution would be the Akaka bill). Here's how this "reverend" and protector of "civil rights" threatened us in 2000 and 2002:
April 5, 2000 Honolulu Advertiser reported a speech Maxwell gave at the Rotary Club in Waikiki. "... he pledged allegiance to the flag at the luncheon but refused to sing 'God Bless America' because he considered what America had done to Hawaii — from the overthrow of the monarchy
through annexation and statehood — to be 'despicable.' He received 10 seconds of polite applause and one question after his 23-minute talk at the Royal Hawaiian Hotel. Did he really think Hawaiians would be justified in becoming warriors again 'if there is no redress?' 'I tell you what,' Maxwell said, 'I will be in the front of the line... I'm trying my damnedest not to go there. But if I am alive when the time comes, I will be on the front of the line.' ... Maxwell urged his audience to 'get involved in getting people down here to take care of us. ... Always remember this: At one time our people were warriors. We do not want to go back to the days of being warriors.'"
The Maui News of June 26, 2002 published a commentary written by Maxwell. Here are excerpts of what he said: "Cook brought in all of the diseases known to modern man and decimated
the Hawaiian race ... the missionaries who completely overturned the culture and lifestyle of the kanaka maoli ... The Hawaiian people suffer from the long list of social ills of Hawaii as a direct result of being colonized, and having their land, culture and identity taken away. Now the Goemans, Rices and others driving to take away all the entitlements of the Hawaiian people is
the 'straw that breaks the camels back.' ... As a kahu [reverend] who has been involved in forefront of the Hawaiian movement for the last 30-plus years, I find it frightening to imagine what could happen. ... These court actions attack the Hawaiian Homes Lands, Kamehameha Schools, ... It is traumatic to us as native people of this land. We all must remember that once we were warriors and as native people we cannot be continually attacked, culturally, socially and economically, without responding in a desperate manner ... Are the laws of America only applied to people of color, and that if you're a lawyer who has influence with the Bush administration, you can stick it to the Hawaiian? If this trend continues and Hawaiians are removed from their entitlements, I predict that the Hawaiian people will rebel and take to the streets, causing Hawaii's economy to drop like a lead weight. This is not a threat, it's reality. We can be pushed only so far."
Rod Ferreira published a letter to editor, in West Hawaii Today (Kona), Monday, September 19, 2005. Ferreira was Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement, the umbrella organization of powerful racially exclusionary institutions seeking passage of the Akaka bill to protect their organizations against 14th Amendment equal protection lawsuits. He was a contributor of columns and news reports in "Ka Wai Ola O OHA", the monthly newspaper of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs. He was also President of the I Mua Group of Kamehameha Schools Alumni Associations. Here's what this well-connected Akaka-bill pusher had to say. Take a deep breath.
"There is now an insidious and committed effort by a group of right wing supremacists here in Hawaii and in Congress who have determined that allowing Hawaiians self-determination would present an additional roadblock in their attempts to create new case law that would begin to undermine the concessions won by Native Americans and Americans of color over the last 50 years. This is what the continuous blockage of the Akaka Bill is about. ... Should the Akaka Bill ultimately fail, this large mainstream of Hawaiians will have no alternative but to support the reclamation of their inalienable, sovereign rights by supporting complete severance and independence from the United States. This is certainly an ominous sign that future conflict, potentially physical, will erupt like it did with the famous Massie case years ago, only multiplied a thousand fold -- white against brown, citizen against citizen, friend against friend, a mini civil war, forever shattering the ideal of American justice -- all this resulting in the continuing and further loss of credibility by the United States throughout the world. The prospect of Americans fighting Americans is frightening indeed ...."
Let's review one more example of intimidation. August 18, 2006 was the official state holiday celebrating the 47th anniversary of Hawaii's admission as the 50th state. The celebration was scheduled for the very place where statehood was proclaimed, the capitol of the Territory of Hawaii and then the State of Hawaii, where the U.S. flag flew proudly for 70 years (1898 to 1968) until the new Capitol building was completed. The Kalani High School marching band was seated, instruments in hand, waiting for the festivities to begin. But a group of radical wannabe terrorists played loud music from a boombox, and used a megaphone to shout threats. That's because the former Capitol of the Territory and State of Hawaii was also 'Iolani Palace where the Hawaiian revolution overthrew the monarchy in 1893. 'Iolani palace is now a period-piece museum of the Kalakaua/Lili'uokalani period. But the Hawaiian sovereignty zealots imagine the Palace to be their Capitol of a still-living sovereign independent Nation of Hawaii. And so the wannabe terrorists shouted threats through their megaphone, and walked right up to the high school children to intimidate them. The megaphone blared out "You must leave now. Bad things are going to happen, and unless you leave there's nothing we can do to protect you." Exactly like the Chicago Mafia boss extorting protection money from the restaurant owner. And so the parents did indeed remove the students for their own safety. What would have happened if the band had stayed and played their patriotic music? Then the goon-squad turned attention to the adult participants in the celebration, standing nose-to-nose while yelling loudly and continuously; cursing, spitting, coming between celebrants, and surrounding individuals while telling them to leave and to take their American flags with them because this is not America. For a large collection of news reports and commentaries see "Hawaii Statehood Day 2006 -- Celebration at Old Territorial Capitol Building (Iolani Palace) Disrupted by Hawaiian Ethnic Nationalist Wannabe-Terrorists" at:
OK then. So what now? Do we give the bully our lunch money today, and every day from now on? Do we pay protection money to Mr. Niceguy so Scarface will leave us alone? Or shall we stand strong and refuse? Fight like hell. Imua indeed! "Imua e na poki'i, a inu i ka wai 'awa'awa. 'A'ohe hope e ho'i mai ai." The words of Kamehameha The Great: "Go forward people and drink the bitter waters. There is no turning back" That was his rallying cry at the bloody Battle of Iao Valley, also known as "Kepaniwai" because the bodies of dead warriors were so thick that they "dammed the flow of the stream." Let's hope it doesn't come to that in Hawaii.
In a book entitled "The Gathering Storm" Winston Churchill described the rise of Nazi influence in Germany in the 1920s and 1930s. During the early years of the Nazi movement most Germans didn't realize how dangerous it was, and few outsiders knew or cared about it. When Hitler threatened to take over Czechoslovakia by military invasion, British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain tried to appease Hitler by giving him part of it. Arriving home after a September 30, 1938 meeting with Hitler, Chamberlain stepped off the plane, waved a document in the air, and loudly proclaimed "Peace in our time!"
Hawaii's gathering storm has been building strength for several decades. Most people don't recognize the danger. Some Hawaii politicians and community leaders who do recognize the danger prefer to ignore it, or to appease a growing Evil Empire by giving it money, land, and political power. Sometimes there's talk of a "global settlement" for "peace in our time." Most U.S. Senators were unaware of the issue until June of 2006. That's when the Senate spent several hours discussing the "Akaka bill." Every Democrat and several Republicans voted in favor of bringing to a vote an outrageous bill to authorize an apartheid regime for Hawaii.
Senator Akaka waving his apartheid bill portrays himself to be like Neville Chamberlain, offering "peace in our time." But in reality he's the Mafia Mr. Niceguy, pointing to Scarface. Freedom is not free. It's time to stand tall.
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(c) Copyright 2007 Kenneth R. Conklin, Ph.D. All rights reserved