All posts by Richard Rowland

The mission of Grassroot Institute is to advance individual liberty, free enterprise, and responsible government.

Aloha for All, 1840; No Segregation, No Discrimination

On Decemeber 22, 2010, Hawaii’s own Senator Akaka addressed the US Senate to proclaim his continuing support of the so-called Akaka bill which expired without action as the senate closed for the 2010 year.

With all respect to the senator, the Akaka bill should never again see the light of day.  Americans nationwide have objected to the efforts of Hawaii politicians to divide our nation on the basis of race, and it should never have been seriously considered, much less enacted into federal law as Akaka desires.  Our nation’s people should just remain joined and integrated under our governing documents in a society defined by friendship, fellowship, respect for each worthy individual, patriotism and common purpose.  Most particularly, none of the people of the United States or of any of the 50 states should ever live under law that segregates or  discriminates  based on bloodlines.

How terrible is the irony that Akaka supporters try to use racial preferences as the solution to the “wrong” they say was caused by racial discrimination.  Of course, this an unconscionable misrepresentation of history–and unworthy of Hawaii’s tradition as well.  The Kingdom of Hawaii was many things, for better or worse, but one thing it was definitely not was a state based on racial divisions and distinctions.  But those who stand to profit by sewing racial discord in the islands would like to rewrite history and create a culture of division to replace our spirit of Aloha.

That spirit is one recognized the world over as one uniquely Hawaiian:  “Aloha for All – – Hawaii’s gift to the world rooted in the first constitution of the kingdom of Hawaii in the year 1840.”  The preamble to that constitution starts with this sentence “God has made of one blood all races of people to dwell upon this earth in unity and blessedness.”  That is the translation used by the US Commission on Civil Rights (which also opposed the Akaka Bill as unconstitutional and antithetical to the mission of promoting civil rights).  If only we could turn away from the racial politics that have exploded around the Akaka Bill and better reflect the sentiment of that Preamble.

Thank You, National Review

The omnibus spending spending bill died last week for lack of support. Senator Inouye had inserted into it a mandate for a study to figure out how to make a federally recognized Indian tribe out of persons who have native Hawaiian blood.

Commenting on that insert, National Review online editorialized: “ That’s a reference to the notorious Akaka Bill, an odious piece of segregationist legislation that would establish a race-based government on the Hawaiian archipelago”. That is a great description. Thank you National Review. It now appears that the proposed Bill is road kill. Now if we could only get some prudent management of the grant activity revealed on this website. That’s the mission, please help.

Transparency?— Not with the Akaka bill

Yesterday there was much talk in Washington, DC that Senator Inouye was planning to attach the Akaka bill (presumably the latest version after major changes) to the Senate Omnibus Spending bill later in December. That would mean that would mean that it would pass without hearings or any other vetting. Indicating that the possibility was real, four seasoned U. S. Senators released statements deploring the idea. See press release here. At about the same time, Hawaii Reporter reported the story and quoted Peter Boylan, Senator Inouye’s spokesman, as saying Inouye was not planning such a move and reaffirming Inouye’s 2009 statement that attachment to an appropriations bill would be “nonsensical”. See text here.

Next was Robert Costa at NRO who reported Senator Inouye told NRO that he would like to bring the bill forward, but “it depends on if we can work out something with amendments”. He then quoted the Senator “We’ve been working on this for over a decade now….. No one can say we’ve been hiding this”. That remark prompted a response from Steven Duffield here.

If you are not confused, you should be. But here is the bottom line: there is no transparency here. GRIH stands for transparency in government. Hawaii’s people do not know anything substantive about this bill and people in government are keeping them in the dark.k

Before statehood in 1959, Hawaii had a Plebiscite. Approval was 94+%. Now a secret “nonsensical” attachment will skirt that? Walk your talk, Senator Inouye.

How Big is Bigger and Who Stands to Gain?

The CEO of OHA, Clyde Namuo, makes remarks in the Honolulu Advertiser of 4/15/10 addressing David Shapiro’s regular column of 4/12/10 opining that Shapiro made some “good observations” but “overlooks the bigger issue of why federal recognition makes sense for Native Hawaiians and for all in Hawaii, in the first place”. He follows that with mostly platitudes, but specifically mentions land, rights and resources “owed” a new Akaka Tribe.

Shapiro, on the other hand, discusses the secret, closed door method used in DC to make the latest changes before they were sprung on then Representative Abercrombie, the Governor, and virtually everyone else, just before the House vote. His observations then turn even darker. Here are some quotes:

“ The Akaka bill would change life in Hawaii in profound ways and confer enormous power on a relative few, but there has been little clear explaination….” Senators Inouye and Akaka “are basicly saying ‘Trust Us’ which many are unwilling to accept on a matter with such enormous impact on local life and so much opportunity for political mischief”

Here are my questions for readers:

Which person outlines the bigger issue?

Which of these two stands to gain power, money, etc if the Akaka bill becomes law?

The best course of action at this time is to stop all consideration and action at this time in the US Senate until extensive educational hearings are held in Hawaii so our people can evaluate and judge what the federal government is planning to do to us or for us and what we think of it. For those of you who like that idea, call an elected official and propose such.