Hawaii Belongs in the Union

Among the measures used by the Left to attack the sovereignty of modern nations are legislative bills which carve out vast land areas for native and indigenous governments and homelands.

One of three such bills sponsored this year by Sen. Daniel Akaka (D-HI) is already well advanced in the U.S. Congress. This renewed effort to pass a Native Hawaiian sovereignty bill (S. 1011, as amended) was approved by the Committee on Indian Affairs on December 17, 2009 and is now ready to be attached to “must-pass” legislation. On December 16, a related bill, H.R. 2314, was approved by the House Committee on Natural Resources.1

While styled as a Native American rights bill, Americans should clearly discern this misguided bill for what it is: a grave threat to the cohesiveness and unity of the nation. The common good of all requires that the bill be opposed and defeated.

As stated by Robert K. Fukuda in testimony presented to the U.S. Commission of Civil Rights, approval of a Native Hawaiian sovereignty bill “will be a social and political disaster for Hawaii and the United States.”2 A recent Zogby International poll sponsored by the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii suggests that a majority of Hawaiians agree with this assessment.3

America’s present trials and security problems provide added gravity to what is a pernicious evil in itself: Congressional flirting with legislative proposals that establish an Indigenist government in Hawaii

Indeed, it is difficult to reconcile the referendum held in Hawaii, on June 27, 1959—in which Hawaiians, in an election in which voter turnout was among the largest ever, voted 17 to 1 in favor of joining the United States as the fiftieth state of the Union—with S. 1011’s stated purpose “to provide a process for the reorganization of the single Native Hawaiian governing entity and the reaffirmation of the special political and legal relationship between the United Sates and that Native Hawaiian governing entity for purposes of continuing a government-to-government relationship.”4

The bill establishes procedures for:

(a)registering “qualified Native Hawaiian constituents”;

(b)the creation of an interim Council which will draft “appropriate organic governing documents”;

(c)the organizing of a referendum on these governing documents; and,

(d)the holding of elections to choose a Native Hawaiian governing entity.

S.1011 also opens the door for the eventual transfer to such Native Hawaiian governing entity of “State of Hawaii lands and surplus Federal lands, natural resources and other assets.” While the Act does not state clearly what public lands and resources could be conveyed, several analysts believe this may amount to the full 1,800,000 acres known as the “Ceded Lands,” in other words, approximately 44% of the entire landmass of the archipelago.

If S.1011 becomes law no further legislative measures will be necessary for the creation of a Native Hawaiian sovereign state as Section 9(b)(3) provides: “The Native Hawaiian governing entity shall be vested with the inherent powers and privileges of self-government of a native government under existing law, except as set forth in section 10(a) [a prohibition on setting up Indian gambling activities].”5

Public opposition to the Akaka bill from Hawaiian secessionist organizations seems to be a political ploy to persuade Hawaiians that the bill is not a radical initiative. However, references throughout S. 1011 that the United States recognizes Native Hawaiians’ “inherent right to autonomy,” “inherent right of self-determination and self-governance,” “right to reorganize a Native Hawaiian governing entity,” and the “right to become economically self-sufficient,” can only strengthen the drive for secession and independence.

This legislative effort to create a Native Hawaiian nation appears wrongheaded and contrived. Native Hawaiians are vastly assimilated into the American people. Structuring them into a political unity today is an artificial, bureaucratic construct. It is not the natural unfolding of an existing sociological reality.

From a global geo-political perspective, the effort to set up a Native Hawaiian government weakens America. It signals to the world that America’s centripetal, cohesive forces are growing weak. It will encourage similar artificial constructs based on claims by radical independence movements from Puerto Rico to Alaska. It will stimulate the growing discontent simmering in broad sectors of the general population, understandably upset over illicit and socialist federal encroachments, but who foolishly discuss secession as if it were a legitimate option, when it is a strategic blunder of the highest magnitude, as secession would splinter into fragments that Union, which today is the only meaningful bulwark left to what remains of Western Christian civilization.

The Akaka and any similar bills that would weaken our nation’s cohesion should be categorically rejected.

All Hawaiians, and every last acre of Hawaii belong in the Union.

(This article, written on Dec. 17, 2009, was updated on Dec. 22, 2009)


  1. Cf. Kenneth R. Conklin, “The Akaka Bill Passed Both its Committees in Mid-December 2009, by Means of Stealth Maneuvers,” in Hawaii Reporter, Dec. 21, 2009, at http://www.hawaiireporter.com/story.aspx?c033fc76-ca2f-4890-863c-6f3f98fc07e3
  2. Robert K. Fukuda, “The Akaka Bill Would Legalize Racial Segregation,” Hawaii Reporter, Jan. 27, 2006, at http://www.hawaiireporter.com/story.aspx?05e2dee4-377f-4ebf-a5dc-1fc8547eba96
  3. Cf. Akaka Bill Poll Findings Released—Hawaii voters opposed to the Akaka bill—Zogby International poll confirms majority opposition to race-based government, Dec. 15, 2009, at http://www.grassrootinstitute.org/native-issues/2009_akaka_poll
  4. S. 1011, as approved by the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs on Dec. 17, 2009, at http://big09a.angelfire.com/AkakaAmendedSIAC121709.pdf  (My emphasis.)
  5. Ibid. (My emphasis.)

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