Welcome – Welcome to Hawaiian Perspectives

Poka Laenui
January 5

This is a facebook entry on Jan. 3, 2019 in a different person’s account. However, it seems the subject is important enough that I thought I should share it on my own facebook account. A person named Vernal writes: My argument stands firm, Fed Wreck is of no benefit to Hawaiians as it is presented, it is in my opinion a surrender of all Hawaiian Rights to an empire bent on establishing total colonization since failing to properly annex Hawaii as prescribed by international law. I see they’re maneuvering as an attempt to convince Hawaii to disregard the illegalities used to possess the Hawaiian Islands and forget the history of failure and just all out aggression, oppression, and belligerent military occupation of lands they do not pay for. America is not a picture of perfection, they lie to their people with propaganda about having to go to war to protect American Freedom when there is no threat of any kind. We need not be an American Colony, so why are we?

Here is my reply: Mahalo for your well stated position on Federal Recognition and the implied juxtaposition for Hawaiian Independence. I believe your statement is very valid. I understand it very well.
I also believe that there are other Hawaiian nationals who have reason for their own to support Federal Recognition as a pathway to pono. Here are some of the arguments on the other side of the question:
1) Federal Recognition is not equivalent to Extinguishment of our International Rights of Hawaii and her citizens/nationals. If you review the earlier expressions of Federal Recognition under the various proposed statutes introduced by Akaka and Inouye, those versions were also clear that the statute would not constitute an extinguishment of the international rights of the people. I kept my eyes on this point while the Akaka bill winded its way through the legislative process. If you see any words of such extinguishment, please point them out to me. Let me also note that the DOI final rules do not limit membership in that Hawaiian nation they speak of NEED NOT BE U.S. CITIZENS! Did you know that?

2) The concept that a colonizer is free to extinguish human rights and fundamental freedoms, as well as international humanitarian and decolonization rights simply by a domestic law or declaration of that colonizer is contrary to the whole principle of international law. That does not stop such colonizers as the United States of America from trying to do so, but it also demands that we remain eleu and step into the fray whenever that attempt is made. (See the International Call for the UN to review the action taken to remove Hawaii from the list of places to be decolonized, as well as the UN General Assembly Resolution we are submitting to specifically achieve that – found at www.hawaiianperspectives.org under United Nations Tab)

3) If you review the document which came out of the Na`i Aupuni congregation in March 2016, you may be interested to note that the Preambular statement was very clear regarding our rights in the international community. It read in part: We reaffirm the National Sovereignty of the Nation. We reserve all rights to Sovereignty and Self-determination, including the pursuit of independence. (See paragraph 2 of Preamble, Constitution of the Native Hawaiian Nation)

It repeats itself in stating: Article 4 – National Right to Self-Determination

The Nation has the right to self-determination, including but not limited to, the right to determine the political status of the Nation and freely pursue economic, social, cultural, and other endeavors.

You can find the proposed Constitution of the Native Hawaiian Nation at www.hawaiianpersepctives.org under documents tab, Hawaiian Sovereignty

4) I agree with your statement, America is not a picture of perfection. Even most who support Federal Recognition agree with that statement. Your declaration that “they lie to their people with propaganda about having to go to war to protect American Freedom where there is no threat of any kind” is merely the beginning of the imperfection of the U.S. government! That list could continue much longer.

5) However, that does not mean that for some people who are so steeped in colonization, will have no temporary or permanent benefit under Federal Recognition. Here are some reasons why others may say they can find some merit in Federal Recognition:

a) This would be greater assurance that the Hawaiian Homestead program will be more firmly protected as opposed to the precarious position it has today as a racially discriminatory program; We can have the protective umbrella of our homesteads while we continue to fight for our independence!
b) The protection over the Ali`i Trusts will be insured by Federal Recognition such that Kamehameha Schools would be able to continue with its policy of native Hawaiian preferences rather than having to go to court and pay off litigants before a final decision is made by the U.S. Supreme Court against the School’s tax status;
c) Other trust such as Lili`uokalani Trust will be protected even more firmly as a not-for-profit organization even though it has a generally preferential treatment to native Hawaiian orphans, half orphans, and Hawaiian communities,
d) Special legislation regarding Native Hawaiian Health and Native Hawaiian Education will be protected if Federal Recognition of the Hawaiian people is passed,
e) Protection of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, and perhaps limiting the people who can seek the office of Trusteeship as well as those who can vote limited to only the po`e Hawaii instead of anyone else in Hawaii, including the opportunity to design a place among native Hawaiians who are not living in Hawaii and those who may declare themselves Hawaiian nationals rather than limited to only U.S. Citizens, as is the present requirement;
f) Establishment and extension of a Native Hawaiian school system without having to face the suits against discrimination;
g) Establishment of a Native Hawaiian national banking system across all of the Hawaiian islands;
h) Development of a Pacific Island consortium of trade, sports, cultural exchange which is limited to Hawaii and other Pacific Islanders to the exclusion of the U.S. government, somewhat of a similar kind as the Kuna people of Panama.
i) Many other possibilities can be achieved under Federal Recognition, limited only to our imagination and willingness to pursue.

6) Federal Recognition need not be an end. It can be a stepping stone to greater international recognition. Study the decolonization path of Vanuatu, previously the New Hebrides, colonized by two colonizers, England and France in what was called a Condominium arrangement. Because of the competing colonial laws which both ruled over the local people, everyone agreed to create a third entity, an internal colonial structure over which the local people could develop their own government over their own affairs, a sort of Colonial (Federal) Recognition. The people went along with that arrangement, formed their government, and subsequently took a vote, one for decolonization. That vote outcome began the process of this colony, New Hebrides to emerge into that beautiful nation of Vanuatu, independent and free.

7) Once a “nation” is recognized by the Feds, whatever colonial limitation is placed over that “nation”, it is more than just a legal structure created by Federal Law. It becomes a political personality whose growth and expansion, when managed properly, can eventually become the next Vanuatu of the Pacific. It can have a political presence in the Pacific Islands Forum, a status in one of the United Nations special categories with standing at its various committees, at the U.N. General Assembly, as a transitional authority or as a liberation organization. Such a political entity need not be limited by Federal Recognition laws but can grow and expand far beyond such limitations. That is the story of empowerment!

I have tried to present another perspective to Federal Recognition. But more important than being posed as a choice between this OR Independence, I suggest the Hawaiian nation and our quest for Pono is broad enough not to be limited by that limiting word of exclusion, “OR’. Hawaiian nationhood is broad enough to be inclusive.

We can move forward, and we should move forward in a broad expression of our human rights and fundamental freedoms. We should move forward under an INCLUSIVE banner of “AND”. We should not be dividing ourselves as one or another side but recognize that we are all struggling for the same goal, Pono in our Hawaiian nation.

Against I recite Abraham Lincoln’s caution: “A Nation Divided Against itself cannot long Stand.” As well as Jonah Kuhiō waring, “Stop acting like the alamihi crab, pulling one another down as we try to get out of the bucket!” Inclusion is the path toward Pono.

A hui hou,

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