By Will Falk
In the first essay of my Protecting Mauna Kea series, I made a mistake. I wrongfully described the ongoing, illegal American occupation of Hawai’i as an “annexation.”
Hawaiian friends of mine pointed this out to me and gave me a thorough history lesson. I was referred to documents, books, and websites that tell the truth. For the last several days, I’ve been reading everything I can on the subject.
The more I read, the more convinced I become not only that the Thirty Meter Telescope project lacks any legal right to build on Mauna Kea, but that international law, indeed American law itself, demands that the United States end it’s occupation of Hawai’i.
I have two hopes for this piece. First, I want to give a history lesson for haoles. “Haole” is the Hawaiian word for white person. I am specifically directing this lesson at white settlers – at haoles – because the first thing haoles can do is understand the history of violence we benefit from.
This history lesson will demonstrate that the current regime controlling Hawai’i is illegitimate and as such has no authority to enforce the construction of the TMT on Mauna Kea.
Second, I want to relieve Hawaiians from the responsibility of educating haoles. Hawaiians have no responsibility to educate us. As a white settler hoping to stand in true solidarity with Hawaiians, I am upset with myself for the mistake. I have seen how frustrating it can be for a movement when valuable time must be spent coaching well-meaning settlers along.
I want to be clear: I am not advocating for a “call-out” culture on the front lines of resistance where resisters perpetually attack each other for their choice of words. Many of us must go through our personal experiences unlearning the lies we are taught and this takes time. The dominant culture, of course, does an excellent job lying. That’s why it’s the dominant culture.
But, I am saying that settlers need to take responsibility for educating other settlers. Leaving education to oppressed classes, forcing them to do the work of spreading consciousness, is a form of oppression in itself.
Before I begin, it is necessary to explain that this essay represents my opinions and my personal perspective of Hawaiian history stemming from the research I’ve done and been directed to. I am not a spokesperson for the Hawaiian people, neither am I spokesperson for the Mauna Kea protectors. I understand that there is no One True History, but I refuse to abide by the relativism I see perpetuating around me.
The complexity of a situation does not signify a lack of meaning. Rather, the complexity of a situation – especially ones with real, physical consequences – demands that we grapple with information to take a stand. As the world disintegrates before our eyes, I see too many people mired in the neutrality their belief in the relative nature of reality produces.
Make no mistake, if the construction of the TMT project results in the spill of hazardous chemicals in the largest freshwater aquifer on the Island of Hawai’i – a very real possibility – there will be very real consequences for life on the Island.
Milan Kundera famously stated the “struggle against oppression is the struggle of memory against forgetting.” I have found this to be shockingly true learning the history of Hawai’i. It is my belief that haoles have forgotten – or never knew – the history of Hawai’i. If we did not forget, there would be more of us supporting the Mauna Kea protectors and supporting true Hawaiian sovereignty.
What have we forgotten?
It starts centuries ago when Hawaiians first arrived in Hawai’i. Over the centuries, Hawaiians developed a culture based on ecological balance that included communal land tenure. I am very self-conscious that my attempts to explain a complex culture that existed for centuries before the arrival of Europeans would amount to so much generalization. I cannot possibly do the Hawaiian culture justice in a short essay, but so many discussions of Hawaiian history begin with the arrival of Captain Cook in 1778 erasing Hawaiian history pre-European contact.
There are always those that will accuse me of romanticizing Hawaiian culture, who will say “all human cultures are inherently destructive.” I do not mean to romanticize Hawaiian culture and it simply is not true that all human cultures are inherently destructive. We know the Hawaiian culture before 1778 had it’s own problems, but wide-scale ecological collapse was not one of them. In this era of total environmental destruction, we would do well to empower cultures who lived in balance with theirland base.
From 1826 until 1893, the United States government recognized the independent Kingdom of Hawai’i including full, complete diplomatic relations with the Hawaiian government. For all intents and purposes, the United States viewed Hawai’i as a nation just like Mexico, Canada, or Great Britain. In fact, the United States entered into treaties involving navigation and commerce with Hawai’i in 1826, 1842, 1849, 1875, and 1887.
Then, in January, 1893, John L. Stevens, an American agent in Hawaii (his official title was United States Minister), conspired with non-Hawaiians and members of the U.S. Navy to overthrow the Hawaiian government. On January 16, 1893, Stevens and armed US naval personnel invaded Hawai’i and positioned themselves next to Hawaiian governmental buildings including Iolani Palace to intimidate Queen Liliuokalani. Queen Liliuokalani, under threats of bloodshed, yielded her authority to the government of the United States – NOT Stevens’ provisional government – until the time the United States would undo the actions of its representatives in Hawai’i.
Grover Cleveland was the president in 1893 and he initiated an investigation into the actions of Stevens and his cronies while calling for the restoration of the Hawaiian monarchy. The investigation concluded that Stevens and other US officials in Hawaii had abused their authority and had engaged in “an act of war.”
Still, the provisional government sought annexation in Congress, but was unable to rally the support of 2/3 of the Senate needed for annexation. So, on July 4, 1894, the provisional government that had forcibly invaded and overthrown the Kingdom of Hawai’i, declared itself the Republic of Hawai’i.
In 1896, William McKinley replaced Grover Cleveland as president. Using the excuse of the Spanish-American war and the need for a naval base in the Pacific, McKinley and the Senate began to entertain the notion of annexing Hawai’i, again.
In 1897, the Hawaiian people delivered a massive petition where nearly 90% of Hawaiians alive at the time declared their desire not to become part of the United States of America. Unable to secure a treaty of annexation, Congress passed a joint resolution titled “the Newlands Resolution” on July 7, 1898.
The illegality of this joint resolution is one of the most important things to understand about Hawaiian history. This resolution had no legal basis, had no validity, and was possible simply because of the armed might of the United States.
The resolution has no legitimate basis because laws passed by Congress have no authority internationally. Congress can only pass laws that apply within the United States.
Hawaiian legal scholar Dr. Keanu Sai explains it better than I can in his blog-article “International Law Prevents Construction of the Thirty Meter Telescope” when he writes, “The underlying problem that Congressmen at the time knew was that no law of Congress can have any force and effect beyond the borders of the United States. In other words, the United States could no more annex the Hawaiian Islands by passing a domestic law, than it could annex Canada today by passing a law.”
As part of the Newlands Resolution, the Republic of Hawai’i passed 1,800,000 acres of what had been crown, government, and public lands of the Kingdom of Hawai’i to the control of the United States. Included in this land is Mauna Kea. Through the acquisition of Mauna Kea in this way, the State of Hawai’i has leased land on Mauna Kea for the TMT’s construction. But, an illegal state giving land acquired illegally can only give – you guessed it – an illegal lease.
Of course, you don’t have to take my word for this history, because all of these facts were already admitted and apologized for by Congress on November 23, 1993. You can read their apology here.
So, can you see why we cannot call the occupation of Hawai’i an annexation? No treaty of annexation was ever signed. “Annexation” implies consent on the part of those annexed and clearly the Hawaiian people never consented.
To take this even deeper, the term “annexation” hides the truth, softens the reality that Hawai’i was invaded while the invaders still seek to assert dominance over Hawai’i. To use the term “annexation” is to forget and forgetting clears the wayfor oppression.
There’s something, though, that bothers me about all this. How can the American government and the American people after learning this history, after admitting the wrongs done to Hawai’i still allow something like the TMT project to happen? I think the answer is that learning the history is only the first small step. Knowing the history, we must act.
One of the intentions behind my writing is to try to understand how so many people can recognize problems in the world and then fail to act to solve those problems. I am a haole, so I can only speak as a haole, and I believe too many haoles settle for pointing out their privilege while the more important work involves undermining the forces that grants them that privilege over others in the first place. The history is clear. Hawaiians are being wronged. Now, we need to act.
To be honest, growing up in Southern California my whole life and knowing a fair # of people transplanted from Hawaii I knew what the term haloe meant pretty much all my life and at least had vague understanding white man’s occupation and take over of what is now the U.S. state of Hawaii. All this being said, I had no idea this wasn’t common knowledge until I reached my 30s. Also being a life long surfer and a surfing history buff that probably taught me a lot as well. Starting from the time Capt. Cook first reached there (referring to it as The Sandwich Islands) to European occupancy which nearly wiped out the whole Hawaiian population due to disease and the act of surfing itself basically being outlawed. I’m not sure how much care about surfing or it’s history but a really good book I recommend for you to check out is Fierce Heart by Stuart Holmes Coleman. Even though surfing is the focus, specially the leeward side of Ohau and there is much history mentioned in the book and very much in line with everything in your article here. http://www.amazon.com/Fierce-Heart-Makaha-Hawaiian-Surfing/dp/B00A1A077A I know this is an aside from the point of your article I still think you find this a good read.
Debra Kekaualua says
Read Kinzer ʻOverthrow” 100 years regime changes Hawaii through Iraq.
Read J. Kauanui “Hawaiian Blood”, identifying the ʻracist cardʻ and how we got there.
Education for all of these issues is nicely idʻd in the Hawaiian Kingdom blog and SPREADING all that you have learned with others WORLDWIDE is key to the unlocking of this very huge and heavy KOA DOOR.
Will Falk says
thanks for the reading recs, Debra.
John Zwiebel says
I first want to say that I am not adamantly opposed to Hawaiian Independence. However, I feel the Sovereignty Movement is on a self-defeating path.
This is an article in support of Hawaiian Annexation.
I’ve spent a fair amount of time on the question and, for me, the most compelling argument for the claim of annexation being illegal was the failure of the Senate to approve the Annexation treaty of 1897. But this is a very shallow claim.
When Hawaiians voted for statehood, out of 155,000 voters, 140,000 voted and only 8000 votes were against. In my opinion, even if the 1890’s Annexation Process was completely illegal (a point I do not concede), the statehood vote totally overrides that consideration.
The group that overthrew the monarchy were Hawaiian Citizens even though they were white. The Monarchy granted that Citizenship which the Sovereignty Movement does not acknowledge. I also find that the Sovereignty Movement ignores the corruption of the Hawaiian Monarchy. The example of the sale of the same opium license to two different individuals is one example of the dire economic straits the kingdom was in. (I make no judgement on the use of opium in the 1890’s. It was wide spread.)
I acknowledge that the majority of Hawaiians signed a petition against annexation, but then remind everyone of how useless petitions are even in the USA democracy.
The Myth of Hawaii’s illegal Annexation
Having said all this, I am not necessarily opposed to Hawaiian Independence. My main objection to it is the threats from many (perhaps it is only a couple who are just very loud) in the Sovereignty Movement and the racist claims that all who aren’t Native Hawaiians will have to leave.
For those interested in further consideration of this debate, you’ll find Kenneth Conklin has spent a considerable amount of time on it.
On Kauai, Judge Bill Fernandez, a native Hawaiian, has given a number of presentations on the history of Hawaii and written some books (not all of which deal with the Annexation question). It is my understanding, the judge does not believe the Sovereignty Movement will be successful in the end and that a failure to reach a compromise will be detrimental to the Hawaiian People.
I also have to say that I am disappointed with the Office of Hawaiian Affairs and the Department of Hawaiian Homelands. Large tracts of Hawaiian Land has been set aside for Hawaiian Families, but for reasons I don’t understand, have not been distributed.
Brah, haole means foreigner not “white people”. Aloha.
Come on man. Even if that’s the original definition, you know damn well that’s not how it’s comminly used. I really doubt very many Hawaian (those with actual Hawaiian ancestory) refer to the multitudes of Japanese tourists as haoles.
Debra Kekaualua says
FYI Haole means ʻWithout Haʻ, the lifegiving breath we share. It also means foreigner and the racist card white people as determined by american role in this occupation. In line with the Native Indian, the Word “Hawaiian” is the tag america gave us; add tag native Hawaiian, those that america determined 50% or less, then Native Hawaiian determined 50% or more. If you read J Kauanui ʻHawaiian Bloodʻ you will observe how america placed the racist card in bright and living color. Today, WE ARE MAUNA KEA and we will stand as Kanaka O Hawaii in peace and solidarity, While america goes off to another warring part of the planet to secure more lands that they have NO business near. or where they must begin to address cop killings, peoples of color, homelessness, civil uprisings et al. Taking care of amerimen instead of ISIS followers. We did just fine before the arrival of dasturdly greedy amerimen or all the others that are strategically aligned with occupation of the military kind. Onipaʻa Kuʻe!!
It means ” no breath”!
Thank you I’m white and I know what it means though in context of when it was said when captain cook arrived it could very well mean souless cause to be breathless would to be that with no soul
No it means soul less keo keo means white.
Wow, that’s good to know. “Keo keo,” huh? Haole never felt like a nice word to me, perhaps it is in part because of the context I have often heard it. I was born on Oahu and consider my true ancestors, my Spiritual ancestors, Hawaiian first, even if I am biologically european. I think a lot of the ancient souls of that place and what was possibly there before that place, are coming back in all sorts of different bodies; Korean, European, Hawaiian, etc.
Really informative article though. However, I must say that as important as history is, there is also a part that we should never have to rely on memory for. That is the part of wherever humans find themselves, we need to take care of the natural world and the sacred places that the Creator put us to be responsible for. Mauna Kea is obviously included in this. If there is previous violence imprinted in the land and people, it should be healed. Offensive projects like this are just people being exploited by… well, let’s just say their greed, desire for power, money, misdirected fulfillment and the insatiable need to understand. What is needed is education, regardless of from who to who, good intent and the recovery of the soul.
Blessings to all.
Also I read this book
I actually saw her at a speaking engagement at UCSD back in the mid 90’s.
Will Falk says
Haunani Kay-Trask is brilliant! Thanks for the recs, Goatskull.
No problem. One more book I will recommend is: http://www.amazon.com/Waves-Resistance-Surfing-History-Twentieth-Century/dp/0824835476
I actually haven’t read this yet but it’s in my que and I’ve heard many good things about it. Again it’s emphasis is on surfing but with good dose of Hawaiian history and the struggles of Hawaiians.
Amy Marsh says
Bravo, Will! I completely agree with your intentions and conclusions. Thank you so much for adding this historical perspective and for pointing out the work that needs to be done by settler-colonists in educating themselves and others. This article is much needed. I’ve been frustrated living in the SF Bay Area where “Free Tibet” bumperstickers abound, while even the “progressives” ignore Hawai’i, perhaps the longest occupation in modern history. Thank you for adding your voice and actions to the struggle to free the Kingdom, and the Mauna.
Here are some powerful statements from Kanaka Maoli:
Luana Neff testifying at UH Board of Regents 4/26/15. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AoLiQ7ajcGo
Oct. 17, 2014 – Lanakila Managauil and others (including Keala Kelly) stopping the hewa of the so-called “blessing” of TMT groundbreaking.
And everyone can watch this beautiful film, the entire earlier documentary, Mauna Kea Temple Under Siege, by Joan Lander and Puhipau of Na Maka o Ka ‘Aina. This documentary documents an earlier telescope fight and contains the words of some kupuna who are no longer with us. http://oiwi.tv/oiwitv/mauna-kea-temple-under-siege/
Thanks for all you do.
Will Falk says
Thank you very much for the kind words, support, and extremely helpful links, Amy.
Kendall Kanoa Hawley says
Great article, mahalo! Another incredibly eye-opening book is Aloha Betrayed: Native Hawaiian Resistance to American Colonialism.
Amy Stephens says
This is an excellent if brief history lesson about the illegal overthrow of the Kingdom of Hawai’i. However haole does not mean white person. Haole means without the breath of life. When Hawaiians meet they embrace and breathe in each other’s breath as a way of greeting. White people did not understand this custom and were Haole or without the breath. Only later did the negative connotations come to the term. When you enter a gathering of Hawaiians notice that everyone hugs everyone. This is the tradition. One final word explanation. The Ha in Hawaii refers to this same breath of life. Ha (breath of life) Wai (the waters that give us life) and ‘I (the great spirit that gives life).
Only a small group of native Hawaiians is against the TMT, who want to go back to the middle ages. They would have been punished severely by King Kamehameha.
Many others support the TMT:
First of all, there are 63?? signatures on that petition compares to 53,000 that were presented to the Gov IGE. Second is the fact that the history can’t be fully digested unless you want it. Bottom line is that it doesn’t matter how many people want it or don’t want it. It belongs to” Wakea “. Papahanaoumoku…. Kingdom land!
Bill Boyd says
That’s a move on/Internet sort of petition. The opposition is really small, and has been capable of mobilizing what the press called “dozens” maybe a few hundred, maybe a thousand. The key point here is they are raising a religious objection to a scientific enterprise. And hawaii accommodates religious views but does not allow them to preclude other activity. That’s why it was one of the first 3 states to legalize abortion. Leaving aside the paternalism and condescension in the article everyone here knows about the overthrow. Then following that there was a rapprochement between Hawaiians and the oligarchy where the were the primary base of the Republican Party. This was overthrown by a labor insurgency, led by Reds who took over the legislature in the Territory in 1954. The central sovereignty force behind this is The Kingdom of Hawaii who wants a return to the Monarchy. So what do we call a progressive who wants Monarchy. A “progressive anachronist.”? Check out Hawaii Pono for a social history of Hawaii that includes more than 2 dates.
Andre Perez says
Only a racist and supremest haole would make the determination FOR US that we want to go back to the middle ages. Attitudes like yours are the primary problem in Hawai’i.
Iolani Palace had electricity, running water, flushing toilets and telephones before the white house or Buckingham Palace. The label and disinformation stereotype that we are anti technology and want to return to the stone ages is nothing more than continued haole attempts to dominate Hawaiians and avoid and ignore the real issue of no consent, no annexation, no jurisdiction, no authority. ILLEGAL! The only thing that will ensure that the TMT is built will be white supremacy.
Haole… formerly applied to anything foreign. (or non Polynesian)
Not so complex once you know the history. My favorite analogy – Neighbor steals your car, car is in his driveway… you call the cops & they say, sorry, nothing we can do. You have to watch the neighbor drive away in your car every day…. :(
Haole does not mean “white settler” nor is it “foreigner”,;it means ‘No Breath’. When we Hawaiians greet each other we take in one another’s mana (strength, power) via breath. The white man came and greeted with a hand shake.
If you do a Google search on the origins of the world “haole” you will get countless different answers. One I found said the word literally means “no blood” and that is supposedly what went though the minds of Hawaiians the first time they saw causations as a way to describe their lack of color. Maybe I’m wrong but I think the true origins of the word got lost in history and at this point no one really knows.
Actually there is no loss of translation…broken down Ha means breath and ole means no or lack of in a literal translation and today it pretty much is used as a slang to describe white people.
While I am made up of German, Cherokee and many other “non-white” origins…it has been used to describe me because I am a resident of Hawaii that was not born here but raised American on the mainland. It is used to describe me in almost every article, post or comment I read in my attempt to become further educated and connected in my support of Mauna Kea. It is used to judge me as I stood in a field in Hilo about to begin a Mauna Kea support walk in the Merrie Monarch parade, chanting to anyone that would listen in hopes they would begin to ask questions on the validity of this project themselves. It was shouted at me from passing cars, while I stood on the corner of an intersection with my signs I spent hours making. Signs I would continue to hold for several more hours in support of our people coming together, to hold the people elected for our best interest, accountable. It is blatantly referred to me by people in my daily living in the place I call home, even though I have spent the past decade of my life focused on a calling from my heart and soul that reminded me of a time way before this simple journey I am on now. A time that our breath was more than a way for us to simply stay alive. I know and understand the deeper meaning of ha, waiola, piko, and unfortunately haole, better than many that were honored to be born and raised here. And I have dedicated my life to reminding others of this truth.
Until the labeling and segregation stops…we will do nothing but create more separation. While we fight each other, the few in charge that created this mess continue making choices for us and taking more of our power that we are eagerly handing over to them.
This is not kapu aloha! This is not the spirit of aloha! This is not effective nor anything other than perpetuating the one thing we are all trying to break free of in this movement. While you judge me a haole…which I am not!…while I am doing nothing but trying to support and educate, there are people born and raised with Hawaiian blood making the very decisions that have allowed this to happen. Is it really helping? We should all align with people of the same purpose, heart and vibration…regardless of where they were born or your skin color. If you know true Hawaiian tradition…you would know that we live more than once and what we come in as in a later life won’t always be the same as before. Who knows who we were in our previous earth walk…you could have been one of the very people that created this mess and your karma is to help fix it. We are the ones we have been waiting for.
In heart and aloha…Mishi…a human who loves the aina and spirit of aloha with every cell of my being.
John Lawrence says
There are so many examples in history of weaker peoples being overtaken by stronger ones. Then their takeovers are justified somehow so that kiddies can learn in their history books that it was all good. At now, thanks to you, Will, and Howard Zinn’s “Peoples History of the US,” we are learning alternative histories from the points of view of those who have been trodded upon. Very few American Presidents have led by moral example. Instead they have exercised power by use of force to expand American interests and get their own way.
Will Falk says
Thank you for naming pure force as the problem, John. I think the sooner we recognize that the United States is just another imperial power in a world dying from imperialism, the sooner we’ll be on an effective road to ending the destructive.
justin hahn says
Mr. Falk: Your engagement with a place that few Americans seriously consider is very heartening. However, the conclusions you have drawn are, unfortunately, very wrong. Not surprising, since you appear to have found your premises from Hawaiians, and only Hawaiians.
If you’d approached the issue with an open mind and open eyes, you’d have found something totally different.
The annexation of Hawaii was legal and internally-consistent with America’s standard practices of the time. There is an authoritative source from 1896 that lists the legally-allowable ways to add territory called “The Law of Annexed Territory.” Look it up and read it, because apparently Dr. Sai hasn’t and probably won’t since his mind is already made up. (I should add that Mr. Sai’s doctorate is not in judicial studies.)
You might ask: hey, so what about any contemporary tests of this issue? There have been none because this issue is settled and a joke. I can assure you, if the US felt it did not act lawfully according to domestic and international law, it would have acted in retrospect to address it. Hasn’t happened, and won’t happen. That’s because America annexed Hawaii lawfully.
No one pays attention to this because no one seriously cares. These are silly arguments silly people make instead of addressing actual problems which are, to be fair, very very hard.
Nana Manuel says
You cannot annex a state by a joint resolution….Check your facts! Maybe no one pays attention or no one cares; still not lawful; still not pono! And, if annexation was lawful, what is the Apology Bill about?
Bill Boyd says
That’s a big hole in the legal argument. Texas was an independent republic annexed by the United States by a joint resolution. Just like Hawaii. The problem here is something can be unjust but legal. This is merely one perspective on sovereignty that would like somehow to have independence, a return to the monarchy, but no vote on it because they would be an extreme minority. And no national liberation struggle either. In general there was a process by which territories which were by definition not part of the United States cam in.
Kendall Kanoa Hawley says
“I can assure you, if the US felt it did not act lawfully according to domestic and international law, it would have acted in retrospect to address it.”
Charmaine B says
as a native Hawaiian I truly appreciate the support! Mahalo Nui Will! Regardless of what haole’ means, I think that the real point of this article is to ACT now by telling your congressman to STOP committing WAR CRIMES by conducting itself with government powers with the backing of its military on the Kingdom of Hawaii with its occupation. And subsequently STOP TMT from being built on a land based not owned by the US which is being opposed by the majority of the native peoples worldwide. Elections are coming. If you truly believe this article, make history and do something about it with your civil powers. Mahalo nui for your time to read this. Aloha.
Will Falk says
Thank you very much, Charmaine.
Pauline Pilialoha Yap says
I cannot thank you enough for investigating for yourself the truth and more so for doing your part in spreading the word of truth. Each individual willing to do the smallest thing in speaking the truth – Hawaiʻi is occupied not annexed – will eventually become a chorus of voices that can no longer be ignored. Mahalo nui iā ʻoe.
Evan Ravitz says
It helps to understand the Queen’s strategic surrender that Britain a few years previous also annexed Hawaii but then gave it back! So the Queen hoped the US would also see the light.
Amy Marsh says
It’s also good to remember that the Kingdom of Hawai’i was a declared neutral nation and a member of the Family of Nations (a precursor to the UN). There were/are rules about how such nations act in times of conflict. The Kingdom of Hawai’i did everything it could to act in accordance with international law, and trusted to other countries to do the same. It had treaty relationships with about 50 countries, partly or wholly in thanks to King Kalakaua’s circumnavigation of the globe (first monarch of anywhere to do so).
Evan refers to the “Paulet Incident” of 1843 when a over-zealous and disrespectful British naval officer, Captain Paulet, arrived in Hawai’i in a huff and decided to take the whole place over in order to protect a British citizen in a land dispute (I’m simplifying). Six months later, Admiral Thomas arrived and restored Hawai’is sovereignty. (I hope Paulet got one heck of a spanking afterward, but that’s just me.) Ka La Ho’iho’i Ea (Restoration Day), July 31, celebrates the raising of the Kingdom of Hawai’i flag in what is now called Thomas Square.
I also feel that the Queen must have referenced this earlier history with Britain: an obnoxious underling (even if he was a “Lord George”) oversteps with acts of agression, but is put in his place by his superiors, and the rights of the Kingdom of Hawai’i are restored by the ruler(s) of a honorable nation. Unfortunately, the U.S. was much less honorable, and the American Minister, John L. Stevens, seems to have been far more conniving. In fact, Uncle Buzzy (Louis) Agard claims he’s seen and decoded a telegram that indicates the Kingdom’s take-over was actually a long-planned strategy on the part of some people in the U.S. (Keala Kelly’s interview with Uncle Buzzy is here – .
Though the legality of the “U.S. State of Hawai’i” is quite questionable – I want to mention that there is a State of Hawai’i law against desecration. Please notice (below) the emphasis on “outrage” as part of the definition of desecration. Mr. Clarence Kukauakahi Ching, a long-time Mauna Kea activist and plaintiff in the case against TMT, is the person who told me about this law.
The following text is copied from http://law.justia.com/codes/hawaii/2011/division5/title37/chapter711/711-1107:
2011 Hawaii Code
DIVISION 5. CRIMES AND CRIMINAL PROCEEDINGS
TITLE 37. HAWAII PENAL CODE
711. Offenses Against Public Order
Universal Citation: HI Rev Stat § 711-1107 (2011 through Reg Sess)
§711-1107 Desecration. (1) A person commits the offense of desecration if the person intentionally desecrates:
(a) Any public monument or structure; or
(b) A place of worship or burial; or
(c) In a public place the national flag or any other object of veneration by a substantial segment of the public.
(2) “Desecrate” means defacing, damaging, polluting, or otherwise physically mistreating in a way that the defendant knows will outrage the sensibilities of persons likely to observe or discover the defendant’s action.
(3) Any person convicted of committing the offense of desecration shall be sentenced to a term of imprisonment of not more than one year, a fine of not more than $10,000, or both. [L 1972, c 9, pt of §1; gen ch 1993; am L 2002, c 198, §1]
COMMENTARY ON §711-1107
Previous Hawaii law prohibited certain types of desecration. For example, desecration of the United States flag was prohibited. Section 711-1107 deals more generally with all acts of desecration; i.e., acts of physical damage to or mistreatment of venerated places and objects under circumstances which the defendant knows are likely to outrage the sensibilities of persons who observe or discover the defendant’s actions. Thus, any desecration of a public monument or structure; or a place of worship or burial (public or private); or, in a public place, the national flag, or any other object (such as certain religious objects) revered by a substantial segment of the public, will constitute an offense. Damage by desecration is treated separately from other types of property damage because the sense of outrage produced by such acts is out of proportion to the monetary value of the damage. Thus, desecration is a misdemeanor, although many such cases might otherwise be petty misdemeanors under §708-823 because the object desecrated is worth less than $50.
SUPPLEMENTAL COMMENTARY ON §711-1107
Act 198, Session Laws 2002, amended this section by changing the penalty for desecration from a misdemeanor to one year imprisonment, a fine of $10,000, or both. The legislature found that recent vandalism at cemeteries denoted that the current financial penalties of a misdemeanor offense for desecration were an insufficient deterrent. The $10,000 fine was consistent with the penalty in §6E-11(c), relating to destruction of historic property. The legislature believed that a burial place or grave deserved no less a penalty for damage than did a historical monument. Senate Standing Committee Report No. 2957, House Standing Committee Report No. 416-02.
1. H.R.S. §733-6; another example is §734-3 which prohibits desecration of a grave.
So, whether we debate about Hawai’i Kingdom Law and Kanaka Maoli cultural traditions or refer strictly to Hawai’i “state” law, it does seem clear that Mauna Kea is desecrated by telescope construction.
And we should remember that self-determination of Kanaka Maoli is the most important part of this complicated issue.
Ha'ole John says
Their is a crucial flaw in history of Hawaii as told by the writer of this article.
The Hawaiian monarchy was NOT overthrown by the United States of America, but
Actually was overthrown by subjects of the Kingdom of Hawaii. These natural citizens
Of the Kingdom were mostly comprised of non native blood subjects of the merchant class and missionary settler origins. Some of the names include Dole, Cooke and Thruston. It’s very important to understand that the overthrow was carried out by subjects of the kingdom. While it is true that that the subjects who overthrew the kingdom sought and received aid from a U.S. Marine ship, it must be understood that the overthrow was not an American action.
The U.S. Marines went back on their ship an left. There was no occupation by the United
States of America.The subjects of the Hawaiian kingdom who overthrew the queen set up
A provisional government and eventually declared their independent nation a Republic.
It was until after these events that the Republic of Hawaii requested to be annexed by the
United States. To argue that the U.S. Invaded Hawaii and have been illegally occupying
ever since is just not correct historically.
The overthrow of the Hawaiian Monarchy was from within not without.
Apologists would actually call it a rebellion by disenfranchised subjects but actually the
subjects were the more well to do non native subjects who wanted more control of the
islands and the politics for the benefit of their interests. Once they took over power they
saw an advantage of their interests to become a territory of the United States so they petitioned the U. S. Government for annexation and eventually got it.
So for those who value an accurate account of Hawaii history, Hawaii was still an independent nation after the overthrow of the Hawaiian Kingdom, however it became a Republic form of government created by the former subjects of the Hawaiian Kingdom who overthrew the queen. So the Hawaiian Kingdom does not still exist. In order for the kingdom to have continued the subjects of the Republic of Hawaii would have to had successfully overthrown the Republic of Hawaii government and reform the Kingdom of Hawaii but that never happened. People arguing that the treaty of annexation was illegal
fail to acknowledge the fact that an independent nation called the Republic of Hawaii negotiated successfully to become an territory of the U. S.
Yes it’s true that native Hawaiians were probably not properly represented by the leaders of the Republic of Hawaii but that is an issue of the internal disputes within the Republic of Hawaii and not the doings of the U.S.
Unfortunately the natives of Hawaii can’t successfully argue for independence from the U.S. on false grounds. They can only seek independence by way of overthrow which probably won’t happen in Hawaii again especially if it’s to re-establish a monarchy in Hawaii. No sane individual would want to give up their freedoms to become a subject to a monarch. Pau already, no more Kingdom of Hawaii.
Kendall Kanoa Hawley says
Beginning with the assertion that the overthrow is something ignored by those standing up for sovereignty is totally wrong. Watch Dr. Saiʻs presentation here- he addresses that. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pxx3hHlA-Xw
And no, they did not campaign “successfully to become a territory of the US”. If they had done that there would be a treaty. No treaty, no annexation. Regardless of your opinion on Hawaiian sovereignty there is just no arguing with international law and the illegal occupation of Hawaiʻi.
Mandy. Barre says
Then there is that pesky issue of statehood…
Amy Marsh says
Correction to Haole John’s comment: Yes, a small portion of naturalized Hawaiian Kingdom citizens (sons of missionaries and businessmen) were behind the overthrow of the Kingdom, colluding with the American Minister, John. L. Stevens, and the help of a U.S. Navy ship and force. Remember, the Kingdom of Hawai’i was a “declared neutral nation” and there are international laws that govern how a neutral nation should be treated. The role of the U.S. in this matter was considerable, as the military force backed up the treason of Sanford Dole, et. al. If American involvement hadn’t been pivotal, President Cleveland would have had no need to order a commission about the matter – and he found that Stevens and friends were greatly in the wrong!
And if the Kingdom of Hawai’i wasn’t still in legal existence, the findings of Larsen vs. The Kingdom of Hawai’i at the World Court of Arbitration at the Hague would have been very different and the Hague would NOT have flown the Kingdom flag.
For Mandy: that “pesky issue of statehood” was founded partially on voter fraud. Only citizens of the (actually not annexed) “territory of Hawai’i” should have been able to vote, but the U.S. allowed military personnel and other U.S. citizens to vote in that election. And there are other aspects to the statehood vote that were questionable and unethical.
The overthrow and continued occupation of the Kingdom of Hawai’i, and our complicity in continuing it as U.S. citizens, may not be an easy or comfortable thing for continental U.S. people to contemplate – and it does cause much cognitive dissonance to replace our image of “America’s paradise” with a truer concept of something closer to occupied Tibet – but honestly, the deeper one goes into these matters, the more compelling the emerging truth. I’ve been pouring over these matters for over 10 years, trying to learn as much as I can. The more I learn, the more I am convinced that the case for the restoration of the Kingdom is strong. Kanaka Maoli and descendents of Hawaiian nationals (yes, “native Hawaiians” were not the only ones who had their country stolen!) are living through the longest running illegal occupation in modern history. And the international laws that govern occupation aren’t even being followed! And we the people of the U.S. don’t even care to understand our complicity in allowing this matter to continue.
Thanks to U.S. occupation, the islands of Hawai’i are the most militarized lands on earth; they have the most acreage of GMO crops in the world; the countryside is strewn with unexploded ordnance (and DU in some places); the Kanaka Maoli are the most imprisioned, impoverished, houseless, and least privileged citizens on the islands; and many elements of the precious ecosystems, flora, and fauna, are in jeopardy. Meanwhile, as long as we (continental U.S. settler-colonists) can imagine palm trees, beaches, hula skirts, and ukuleles, we are content to let the wrongs – the “hewa” – continue. I believe there is an element of unconscious (or conscious) racism in how we, the privileged colonizers, refuse to acknowledge or mend the situation there.
I applaud Will Falk and others who are beginning to open their minds, educate themselves, and take action as allies in the many struggles of Hawai’i. Mauna Kea is a paramount issue, but other issues also need our help: proliferation of GMOs, high rates of incarceration, housing, burial desecration, water rights, and so on.
Amy Marsh says
The Clinton Administration 1993 Apology Resolution can be found here
UNITED STATES PUBLIC LAW 103-150
103d Congress Joint Resolution 19
Nov. 23, 1993
“Whereas, the indigenous Hawaiian people never directly relinquished their claims to their inherent sovereignty as a people or over their national lands to the United States, either through their monarchy or through a plebiscite or referendum…”
Ku’e anti-annexation petitions article:
Hawai’i “Fake State” Facts:
Ha'ole John says
It may to be hard to believe that I truly wish for Native Hawaiians to gain a real form of self determination and self governance, but to think there is any reality of the re-formation of the former Kingdom of Hawaii is a complete and utter delusion on the part of anyone advocating it as an option. It won’t happen through any U.S. Legal or legislative action nor by any proposed international governing body action. The traditional native Hawaiian governing structure of individual Alii rule per island was overthrown by Kamehameha to eventually adopt a Western form of monarchy form of rule which eventually got overthrown to become a Republic form of government to eventually become a State under the United States. Any point during any change in the history of Hawaii there were victors and losers, those who held power and those who didn’t. To be overthrown can be illegal in international terms but it was done from time immemorial and happens in today’s world as well. The losers are naturally unhappy and seek justice but without the might and the masses they are never going to get their way. Those activists who are currently on the “Hawaiian Kingdom is still viable and applicable ” are wasting their efforts on an academic exercise of utter futility because no matter how illegal they may view the actions leading from the last days of the Hawaiian Kingdom up to present day governance of Hawaii, they will never be in the position of power with both mass of popular support and having the might in order to successfully OVERTHROW the present form of government in Hawaii. Especially under the control of USA because as history has shown in the American Civil War, ceding from the Union is not an option. The only reasonable option for some form of self determination for native Hawaiians is the nation within a nation model. The only way independence could be achieved is by way of civil war on the islands, but the activists would first need to convince a large portion of the population that independence is the preferred way to go and further convince a large portion of this population that a restored Kingdom form of government is the preferred way an independent Hawaii should go forward as is next to impossible that this scenario would ever play out here. It never ever will happen so let’s get realistic with possibilities for the future of the Hawaiian sovereignty movement rather then support a pipe dream fantasy Kingdom movement.
Amy Marsh says
Haole John, ultimately the fate of Mauna Kea and the restoration of the Hawaiian kingdom is something that you and I don’t get to determine – unless you’re a descendent of a naturalized citizen of the kingdom prior to the overthrow.
Your opinion is sadly fatalistic. If you apply similar thinking to other situations, should we then just give up on Tibetans and Palestinians because opposing what’s being done to them is “utter futility?” I suppose Mahatma Gandhi should have just given up trying to dislodge the British colonial rule because there will “always be victors and losers” and the “losers are naturally unhappy?” Should we give up on trying to change rape culture or systemic racism in the U.S. because to do so is “utter futility?” Should we resign ourselves to a growing number of impoverished families and hungry children because poor people “are never going to get their way” (or their fair share of food)?
As for recommending the Kanaka Maoli adopt the “nation within a nation” model – gosh, the U.S. and the Bureau of Indian Affairs have always been so reliable and honest in honoring treaties and agreements and managing Indians and their resources… (not!) Plus, the claims of descendents of Hawaiian nationals are not addressed in that scenario.
Sorry, Haole John, you have some information and little hope, but your logic has holes and your recommendations most likely come from a place of privilege based on your status as a settler/colonist. I prefer the option of gaining more education on matters which are complex and acting as if hope could move industrial strength astronomy off the mountains.
Will Falk says
Thanks again, Amy, for your excellent, articulate analysis.
Ha'ole John says
So far I haven’t mentioned Mauna Kea in my posts only the ideas of the Hawaiian Kingdom and the independence movement in Hawaii.
I view Mauna Kea as sacred as a non native cultural practitioner who was taught by a native Hawaiian cultural practitioner and warrior of aloha aina and malama pono. I’ve worshipped on the summit and lake Waiau. I am in full support of the protectors of Mauna Kea. I wish for all the telescopes to be removed from the summit and the respect and reverence of the mauna be restored but I will not call what’s happening a “war crime” under laws of occupation because Hawaii is not a colony of the United States. It is a State whether or not those believe it is a “fake State” it doesn’t matter and will never matter.
The future of Hawaii will be determined by all citizens of this State, not just a few descendants of former subjects of the Hawaiian monarchy. Remember under a monarchy their is only one sovereign. While USA is essentially an oligarchy and individual freedoms are continually being eroded, there is still a semblance of individual freedom as a citizen. Who in their right mind would fight to re-establish a monarchy to become a subject under a monarch. That was life before the overthrow regardless of how benevolent the queen may have been it was a lesser status for the individual subject under the rule of a monarch. No way will the descendants of the former Kingdom get a chance to decide the future for majority of the current citizens of the State of Hawaii. They would be squashed so fast they wouldn’t know what hit them. Even if there were 100, even if there were 1,000, even if there were 100,000 descendants who bought the idea of the restoration of the former kingdom, they wouldn’t stand a chance against who you call the “settlers””colonists” citizens of the State who even after a re education of so-called illegal occupation would fight for their right to their property and the fact that they settled here for many generations giving them as much inherent right to be in Hawaii as you do or any descendants of the former kingdom does.
You mentioned Tibet and Palestinian
Oppression and occupation. Those are good examples of countries being occupied. The continental U.S. is a good example of occupied land too. Tibet’s independence won’t be restored by you or I. The Tibetians have to fight as do the Palestinians are against settlers and State aggression. Will they win their freedom? Even with outside support around the world their nations may or may not survive despite it. On the case of U.S. Occupation of the continent over native nations, there will never be a decolonization of the U.S. From there or Alaska or Hawaii.
The citizens of the U.S. are no longer settlers or occupiers in the lands they conquered and consumed. I say consumed because Hawaii wasn’t conquered but rather accepted into the fold by the hands of opportunistic former subjects of the Hawaiian Kingdom who overthrew the queen and put Hawaii in a neat little package for the taking.
So no there will never be a restoration of the Hawaiian Kingdom.
If only the kingdom had invested heavily in its national defense this comment section would not need to argue the absurdity of the notion of restoring the former kingdom, but it didn’t and its leaders are to be blamed for that. The monarchy loved the notion of royalty and all the privilege and riches they enjoyed at the expense of the lowly subjects.
Only the few contemporary people today will romanticize the monarchy as being a better time to be an individual person subject to the rule of a sovereign. Even before the overthrow missionary mindset was rampant and the Hawaiian culture was not being protected under the monarchy. The Monarchs were too in love with western civilization hence forming a western monarchal form of rule which suited the powerful few over the people and it came back to bite them in the ass. Guess why the people didn’t rise up against the overthrowers. Even if at the point of a gun no one was willing to die for a monarch. The Great Mahele happened under Kingdom rule adopting the western form of private property ownership that ultimately displaced many natives. The kapu system of land management abolished under Kingdom rule. Foreigners becoming legal subjects under the kingdom further eroding native control of land and politics all done under kingdom rule. As I said before the kingdom was overthrown from within and there is no revision of history that’s going to paint it any different.
I do read up and keep up with the history here and keep up with kingdom information from various sources including Dr Sai’s work and Williamson Chang and even following some cases including the Molokai fishermen getting the judge to admit he had no jurisdiction. And while it seems like progress for the kingdom movement I know there is a major flaw overlooked that when push comes to shove the whole kingdom house of cards falls apart and that is the overthrow happened from within by kingdom subjects and being aided and abetted by some Americans doesn’t make it an American action. The independent Republic of Hawaii existed and there is never going to be a way to get past that. It even had treaties with other countries before it came under U.S. rule.
And even if the legal arguments prevail, no one with roots in Hawaii who don’t fall under the category of “descendants of Hawaii nationals” are not going to pack their bags and leave their property in Hawaii because their title to the land is erroneous due to kingdom law and they can be prosecuted under war crimes law of an occupier. Get real.
Try to enforce that and see how much support a claim for the continuation of the Hawaiian Kingdom gets.
Bill Boyd says
On The use of the term Haoles. Hawaii just doesn’t have the level of racism that the mainlan does. Yet Haole is a raciacial epithet. As in Fucking Haole, or as a descriptive term. Generally people in Hawaii don’t refer to Hawaiians by a specific term. This is because of that lack of racism deal. People in Hawaii have been happily intermarrying for more than 200 yeArs. It was state policy under the Monarchy because the nobility and monarchy believed it conferred immunity from disease. The people who did the overthrow were both Ministers in her makes ties government and were either children of parents who had intermRried or had married into hawaiian families. As a result there are hardly any “pure” Hawaiians left. MYbe 200 on Nihau. The 225,000 out of 1.3 million listed on the census self identify as Hawaiian. Like people on the mainland claiming they are Irish, people mentioned the Hawaiian Kingdom blog that is an organization that advocates for monarchy and as part of its program would not allow anyone who can’t prove lineal descent from some resident on the island in 1903s in 1902 a vote in the independent Hawaii they invasion. What makes the title offensive is the idea that someone who knows what Haole means would be ignorant of the overthrow. Progressive’s I thought would have a dim view of the monarchy and overturning our system of universal healthcare, gay marriage, abortion, and commititment to civil rights. Inor would a progressive have a positive view of stopping science because of religion. This is why this particular movement has run into opposition. From the left. What makes this unique is the title sort of takes on a progressive “white mans burden tone”
Mahalo4sharing your thoughts. Looking forward to more of your series.
You remind me of Tom Coffman. He wrote a whole book on Hawaii’s Annexation and a Nation within a Nation only to rewrite another book Hawaii an Occupied state after having found more up dated information.
Comment section was a more brutal then as it is now. People seem a bit more informed now.
Again mahalo for educating people around the world about our country the Hawaiian Kingdom.
Me I’m a little bit ha’ole but my heart is pure Aloha.
Aloha ke Akua
Amy Marsh says
Yesterday two articles helped me “connect the dots” through a historical perspective of astronomy’s role as a mechanism of colonialism – including a history of disparaging and racist remarks made by astronomers in Hawai’i about Kanaka Maoli: (1) the two-part article by David Maile in The Red Nation . and (2) a link in Kristin Momoa’s op ed piece in Civil Beat, “TMT Misinforms with Assumptions.” .
Kristin Momoa posted a link to Michael Chauvin’s “Astronomy in the Sandwich Islands – The 1874 Transit of Venus.” In Chauvin’s historical examination, page 200 shows a picture of the telescope that King Kalakaua allowed in Honolulu for a transit of Venus. And here’s an interesting quote: “This unabashed association of astronomy with the practice of land surveying has a significance that should not be lost: the land- grabbing precipitated by the Great Mahele had already resulted in many a muddled property line as the islands were being sur- veyed, measured, and divided up. The confusion and discord consequent upon the parceling of Hawai’i’s tiny amount of real estate was to continue into the 1870s and beyond” (p. 204, with a footnote labelled 49 for Gavin Daws, Shoal of Time, pg. 124-128). And then on pg. 212, the telescope builder and astronomer George Lyon Tupman “who had already come to scorn visitors as “an intolerable nuisance,” was prompted by the November 15th visit of the king [Kalakaua] and his entourage of noblewomen to slur them all as “savages” (footnote 65, Tupman journal 53).
David Maile’s article references this intriguing work, The Transit of Empire, by Chickasaw scholar Jodi Byrd, and he says her work “critiques the ways in which astronomical inquiry about the transits of Venus produced and abetted conquest and colonial ideologies also known as colonialism.” I definitely want to read Byrd’s book!
In other words, astronomy is not – and has never been – a merely benign scientific inquiry in either Hawai’i, the rest of the Pacific, or the “New World.” There’s a lot here that astronomers have to unpack and confront, while the rest of us do our best to resist further hewa.
Amy Marsh says
Part two of David Maile’s excellent essay is here, in Red Nation: http://bit.ly/1Sdu725
Hoku Kamaaina says
Will, your arguments show that you have clearly only listened to one side of a multi-faceted argument.
We can start with the Kū‘ē Petitions. There are numerous forgeries on those documents, if you actually take the time to look at them. In addition, there are many, many instances of people who signed twice. So to accept at face value that 38,000 out of 39,000 native-Hawaiians or those with NH blood signed it is absurd. Just consider the modes of transportation and the extremely rural nature of most of the islands outside of Oahu at the time.
Others have spoken about the events of the overthrow, I won’t repeat that here. What I will say is that 19 other countries (including Russia, China, Japan, etc…the UK took a little longer but eventually recognized the Republic as well) formally recognized the new Republic of Hawaii the day after the overthrow. Why would that be? Because they knew Hawaii was a mess. The current monarch had lost touch with the people and the country was still basically bankrupt from the days of King David.
As for the annexation and whether a joint resolution can ratify it. It can. Re: Texas.
As far as the vote for statehood, again, if you actually do some research instead of just listening to what the vocal minority tells you, you will find that even precincts that were predominantly Hawaiian (Kona for example) voted overwhelmingly for statehood. Overall, there was a huge voter turn out (I can’t recall the exact number) and 93% were in favor.
Finally, I’d like to ask you to truly educate yourself on the TMT. Again, you have taken the words of the protesters, verbatim, in your own argument without actually questioning it. The 5,000 gallon waste storage is just that…storage. The TMT is a zero waste facility meaning all liquid and other waste is taken down off the mountain in proper containment vessels. The waste storage containers at the TMT site are even double hulled, just in case a drop decides to get out.
But, for sake of argument, let’s say all 5,000 gallons of human waste leaked out of a container. This is minuscule compared to the rest of the waste stored on the mauna much closer to an aquifer. Do you know how many houses with cesspools and leach fields sit above the aquifer on the flanks of Maunakea? At least 15,000 dwellings. Combined, these cesspools store in the neighborhood of 15 MILLION GALLONS of waste that is MUCH more likely to seep into the ground. But there’s more. The summit of Maunakea at nearly 14,000 feet is a desert environment with very little precipitation to wash any potential contaminants down into the aquifer. Nearly all of the precipitation that falls on the mountain is below the inversion layer and tree line at around 8,000 feet. Again, if you would do more study of the hydrology of the island instead of just listening to others, you would discover this.
There’s more, but I’ll stop here and let this digest…if your mind is open to it.
Aloha no! I want to mahalo you for this post. I just want to point out that “haole” means ANY foreigner, anyone not ethnically Hawaiian.
D Fitzsimmons says
Mahalo Will. I enjoy reading your thoughts and heart for Hawaii…please know you are appreciated and that you are doing a good thing.
What is dis-heartening to me here is all the comments about the word “haole”. It is another tragedy of what has happened to our nation. When I was a kid…everyone called and teased and angered all races with slang names. It was all in jest and always filled with aloha and understood in an unspoken manner in the end. Now, to use any of the endearing words is considered racist. How sad is that? We have to put borders on sense of humor just so we won’t insult anyone. This is tragic to the easy going, fun-loving kanaka. It is so heart-breaking at times to see our youth loosing the easy going ways….because of the borders put upon their lands, culture and now hearts. (If you want to call yourself haole go ahead…you are good-hearted and that is all that really matters.) aloha aina
for the record, ‘Haole’ doesn’t mean white person, it means ‘foreigner’. Hawaiins had Haole Gods! It’s not an insult although now it is used usual as a derogatory reference to the white conquistadors.
Mahalo for the info!
While both sides of the annexation argument can be made, it simply doesn’t matter anymore. What’s done is done. All that matters is what will we do now about it.
I have lived on Maui for many years, and I can tell you without hesitation that the Hawaiian people are not ready to self govern, and they never will be. There are currently dozens of different Reinstatement groups, all claiming to be the rightful heir of the throne. They argue and bicker, and nothing has ever been agreed upon or settled. If, actually given the option to organize a new government, they will never agree on anything. All are simply greedy and want the power for themselves.
Realistically, what would happen if tomorrow, the entire US military and official presence were to leave Hawaii? The Hawaiians have no police force, no way to enforce any rule of law. Anarchy would break out, at least until the Chinese navy came sailing over the horizon and thousands of Chinese soldiers land and occupy every square inch of land. Do the Hawaiian people seriously think the rest of the world will honor their plight, take pity on them and help them? Do the Hawaiian people seriously want to live under Chinese occupation, vs. American? I don’t think so.
And all of the telescope protesters would be immediately jailed by David Kalakua, who was a noted astronomy enthusiast and stated quite eloquently, “It will afford me unfeigned satisfaction if my kingdom can add its quota toward the successful accomplishment of the most important astronomical observation of the present century and assist, however humbly, the enlightened nations of the earth in these costly enterprises…”
Amy Marsh says
I’m speechless at the racism and entitlement of your post, for example, your statement: “the Hawaiian people are not ready to self govern, and they never will be.” This is the epitomy of paternalistic, manifest destiny thinking that has decimated native peoples and native lands on the continent, in Hawai’i, and elsewhere in the Pacific. And so what if there are “dozens” (please list them all, I know of “a few”) of reinstatement groups? And so what if they bicker? It’s called “democracy.” The U.S. government and people are also notable for quite lot of “bickering” too.
As for greed, I don’t see Kanaka Maoli invading other countries and pushing out the inhabitants.
As for quoting King Kalakaua, as so many TMT supporters do – in a wrongful and woeful cultural misappropriation – the telescope he supported, built in Honolulu, was a fraction of the size of modern telescopes on Mauna Kea’s sacred summit. How dare you second guess what his reactions would have been to astronomical desecration on Mauna Kea?
But if you want to play the game of second guessing Kanaka Maoli rulers, remember that Queen Liliu’okalani was the last ruler of the Kingdom of Hawai’i. Her feelings may have been quite different from her brother’s. And, to use an immediate example: one of the highest ranking modern ali’i, Princess Abigail, just donated $25,000 to one of the funds for Mauna Kea protectors. So…
Finally, the Kingdom was a declared neutral nation under international law, with treaties with over 50 nations. I am willing to bet that other countries are and will take an interest, once they understand the history and legal status of Hawai’i nei.
Take off those rose colored glasses, Amy. Stop parading your self-righteousness around like it qualifies you to have an enlightened opinion.
What you perceive as racism and entitlement is simply my realistic assessment of the situation. If you don’t agree with me, that’s your right.
Things are very different today than they were 120 years ago. The world is a cruel and violent place, and the simple truth is that the Hawaiian people ought to be grateful that the US military is here to stop every other nation on Earth with a navy from coming here and occupying the islands. Is that being racist, or the plain and simple truth – coming from someone who has spent years directly observing the situation?
What do you think would happen to you under an Iranian occupation?
Mauiboy62…you know very well the US military occupies Hawaii for its own strategic interest.Pearl Harbor is so polluted with nuclear and other wastes, you would not want to even put your pinky in it. The military occupies most of the pristine lands on these islands. They should pay fair market rents on those pieces. Remember Harbor 1941? The Japanese bombed the US Navy, not Hawaii. Why should China be interested in Hawaii when they OWN the United States? Most of the worlds’ nations have decolonized most of their protectorates, if you haven’t noticed. Bottom line…if you dislike the Hawaiians so much, best you return home.
John Zwiebel says
“Why should China be interested in Hawaii when they OWN the United States?”
You might want to ask Fiji that question. Or consider why China is building islands in the ocean.
There may be some similarities between the Fijians and the Hawaiians. In Fiji, the Indians are the industrious group. In some cases, the Indians will rent land from the Fijians, grow a crop, and make a profit. The Fijians get jealous of that profit and kick the Indians off. The result is no one makes any money.
The Chinese are making a tremendous effort to turn Fiji into an ally. Unfortunately for them, they are just as “ugly” as the Americans are and the Fijians don’t like them either.
The cultural differences between the Fijians, the Indians, the Chinese, and the Americans who live there appear to me to be insurmountable.
Those who believe Hawaii will be left alone are mistaken.
John Z..,,I see you are familiar with the goings on in Fiji. Your categorizing Oceanic Islanders is typically western in logic and thought. We share basic language patterns and genes…but each island group is culturally unique. Captain Cook thought Hawaiians would react the same way that Tahitians reacted when he took their king hostage…and he was killed as a result of his misjudgement.
China and India are huge investors in the TMT. Fact is they got their $ from America.
Amy Marsh says
120 years ago, the world was a “cruel and violent” place for many native peoples, thanks to European and U.S. notions of manifest destiny and entitlement.
Haole John says
People who believe Hawaii is a colony of the US are just factually wrong, but let’s entertain it for the point of debate.
First and foremost the United States of America would never give up control of Hawaii even if it were recognized as eligible for decolonization under United Nations charter. The US is the most ruthless imperialist power in the history of the world. The US empire would first have to fall before any idea of decolonization for Hawaii could be entertained because the US military might would squash any attempt towards independence for any land it currently controls.
OK that hypothetical scenario above was only considering the false premise that Hawaii is merely a colony of the US and the only interest the US has in Hawaii is for maintaining its imperial control of the Pacific basin region.
While the military presence in Hawaii does in fact maintain the US imperial control of this region, Hawaii is much more to the US because it is in fact a State within the union of the US and most importantly the inhabitants are citizens of the US.
These US citizens residing in the State of Hawaii are mainly migrants from other countries comprising of many ethnicities that have been in Hawaii for many generations. These immigrants make up the majority of the population and even over the generations many had intermarriage with the smaller native Hawaiian population. Mixed race families are very common in Hawaii. Caucasians (Haoles) while a sizable segment of Hawaii’s population are still a minority in Hawaii. The largest ethnicities in Hawaii are Japanese, Filipino and Chinese but many other races are represented as well.
All these various peoples made roots in Hawaii for many many years and now have many generations living here and running the local economy with many business interests and owning property throughout the State which comprises seven islands. All these people bring the State of Hawaii population to just under a million residents not including military or tourists. It’s a very sizable population.
So the question is; what happens to all these residents of Hawaii if the hypothetical scenario of decolonization were to happen? The answer is simple these people are going nowhere and would control the outcome of what Hawaii would be without a US presence. The native Hawaiian minority would never control the process of what Hawaii would look like independent of US.
And that’s only the hypothetical scenario and even that wouldn’t play in the native Hawaiians favor with or without US presence. That’s the truth. There is no getting around the reality of situation.
The further reality is that all these people residing in Hawaii as citizens of the US would not give up their US citizenship except for a very very small group. And as already explained, even if on the extreme scenario that every citizen of the US residing in Hawaii decided to give up their US citizenship in order to live in an independent Hawaii nation, the vast majority would be non Hawaiian by ethnicity and would control the outcome.
And if you think US decolonization is the most extreme scenario there is one even most extreme scenario and that would be a re-instatement of the former Hawaiian Kingdom. The vast majority of non ethnic Hawaii residents would never agree to a monarchy government controlling the affairs of Hawaii whether independent or not. Some forms of democracy would be established even in the extreme scenario so thus finally native Hawaiians will never control the outcome.
Those who argue for the Hawaiian kingdom on this thread always react to the opposition as US continent transplants and 100% Caucasian, but the reality is far from that reverse racist sentiment. The truth is the vast majority of their opponents are long time local residents of multiple ethnicities.
AND when these kingdom proponents say, “if you don’t like it then go home”, guess what we already are home in Hawaii and we’re not going anywhere so you better it used to it. AND THAT’S THE TRUTH RUTH ! :)
Haole John…Hawaii was a constitutional monarchy, patterned much from the British parliament etc. What an independent Hawaiian nation would look like is very far from your view. At the time of the overthrow, under the Republic of Hawaii, many citizens of Hawaii were not “qualified” to vote…most of whom were Asian and Hawaiian. However, foreigners were allowed to vote in Hawaii.(another of the wrongs done by the Committee of Safety). During many of Oceania’s decolonization process, the colonizer segwayed and still are slowing moving from complete control of the island states. Economic, trade, and military agreements and treaties are still being processed. So, John…one can not judge or draw conclusions or be fearful of the movement toward independence without knowing Hawaii’s past or what is going on in the rest of Oceania, especially if you consider yourself a Hawaiian citizen. In doing so, perhaps you will be able to draw conclusions that are not based on fear…but with a foundation out of aloha for Hawaii…that is if you consider yourself a true blue Hawaiian citizen.
Amy Marsh says
HaoleJohn, the Kingdom of Hawai’i was already a multi-ethnic nation when the Queen was forced off her throne. Of course these modern complexities of mingled family ties, residence, business interests, etc. would have to be addressed, and probably will be, with more common sense and compassion than not. Puanani5 makes a good point that decolonization has happened in other places, and similiar issues have been addressed elsewhere.
ha’ole, I thought it ment breathless or out of breath. slang of it is foreigners. anyways, I didn’t read the whole thing. however you talk about a possibility of chemicals spilling in fresh water. you should have mentioned the history of agent orange being sprayed on the island of hawa’ii. the water should still be polluted from that. anyways, I’ll finish up the rest.
Seeking Fair Justice says
Officials Lie About Military Involvements in the World’s Most Advanced “Purely Scientific” Telescope; the TMT Fraud Amounts to Treason on Mauna Kea for Giving China Control Over Capabilities Risking America’s National Security and Nuclear Advantage – See more here.