Rooted in Reason: Nurturing the Seeds of Liberty

Political Pedicure: All-nail, Half-nail, Toe-nail and No-nail by grassroothawaii
February 11, 2010, 10:14 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Written by: A native Hawaiian; Hanging on by a Toe-nail

The term “native Hawaiian” is inaccurate and misleading. The Supreme Court in the Rice versus Caetano decision characterized it as a proxy for racism. It is easy to understand why. Prior to the 1778 constitutional convention, there were two definitions for native Hawaiians: Hawaiians, who were individuals with 100% Hawaiian blood, and half Hawaiians, who had 50% Hawaiian blood and 50% non-Hawaiian blood. These individuals qualified in their respective collective categories because their majority blood quantum was Hawaiian.

The convention delegates were persuaded by Hawaiian activists to come up with a new definition, native Hawaiian, which qualified individuals for state and federal benefits based on their minority blood quantum. This was done by the simple expedient of defining native Hawaiians as anyone whose ancestors were residents of the Hawaiian Islands prior to 1891, when all the residents of the islands were 100% Hawaiians. This assured that individuals, whose minority blood quantum was overwhelmingly non-Hawaiian, would also qualify for federal and state benefits in perpetuity, no matter how diluted their Hawaiian blood. A more accurate definition for these individuals would have been “non-Hawaiian Hawaiians,” or, the more descriptive euphemism used by the Hawaiians themselves, “toenail Hawaiians.”

It is difficult to defend the native Hawaiian definition as a vehicle for making Hawaiians perpetual wards of the federal and state governments. But, now that native Hawaiians are lobbying Congress for sovereignty and the rights to state lands previously controlled by the Hawaiian monarchy, it is inexcusable.   What is really incomprehensible is that it is being done at the expense of the non-Hawaiian citizens of the state of Hawaii, who will have approximately half of the state confiscated by individuals who are predominantly non-Hawaiians, with a little tinge of Hawaiian blood.

The high-handed manner in which these lands are being expropriated, and the fact that the seizure most likely will be declared unconstitutional, is sure to create hostility and ill will among people formally known for their aloha spirit and congeniality. It also represents a perversion of our constitutional principles of equality by creating two tribes, separate but unequal — non-Hawaiians and non-Hawaiian Hawaiians! The glass of equal rights for non-Hawaiians will be half-full, but the glass for the non-Hawaiian Hawaiians will be filled to overflowing.


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Political Pedicure exposes the folly and injustice of creating a faux Hawaiian tribe and turning its members into perpetual wards of the federal government at the expense of non-Hawaiians in the 50th state. The apology resolution makes it very clear that the United States, which was responsible for the overthrow of the Hawaiian monarchy, should pay for the cost for billions of dollars in reparations, rather than the state’s innocent, non-Hawaiian citizens.

Comment by grassroothawaii

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