Friday, December 18, 2009

On Native Hawaiians: Somebody point out the down side of this

Proponents say the plan would duplicate the legal scenario set up for Native Americans, but the Akaka bill carves out new territory. Unlike Indian tribes made up of tightly knit populations that have lived together continuously, participation in the new group would be available to nearly anyone able to trace their roots back to a Native Hawaiian ancestor, no matter where they now reside.
Yeah... so? And your point is...? I'm having trouble with the WSJ editorial's premise that ethnic Hawaiians aren't indigenous in a way exceedingly similar to Native Americans on the mainland. Why shouldn't they pursue any remedy available? What is this new rule (moving goal post) saying people have to live together continuously in a tightly-knit population to pursue justice?

I'm having trouble with the editorial citing the U.S. Civil Rights Commission in a skewed way, or rather citing Bush-era appointee Gail Heriot in particular as an authority, without balance. Being an editorial and all, the piece doesn't have to be fair or balanced as it frets about the bill's impact on non-Native residents of Hawaii. Let me get out my violin. Maybe WSJ should have considered the unintended consequences of non-Native presence fifty years ago... oh, sorry, if they thought about it the consequences wouldn't be "unintended."

1959: Hawaii statehood
1990: First U.S. senator with Hawaiian ancestry (bill sponsor Akaka)

Thirty-one years to find a qualified local, no doubt. Affirmative action, no doubt. Oooh! ®

DECEMBER 17, 2009
Aloha, Segregation
The Akaka bill would create a race-based state in Hawaii.

President Obama speaks proudly of his childhood in Hawaii, so we wonder what the state's voters think of his support for a bill that would redistribute its wealth based on race. That's what would happen under the Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act, which Congress is trying to sneak through in its final days this year.

Sponsored by Senator Daniel Akaka, the bill would transfer a percentage of public-owned lands to a native Hawaiian government within the state of Hawaii. The legislation would collect some 400,000 ethnic Hawaiians scattered across the country into a newly affiliated tribe, eventually endowed with the powers of a sovereign state, including freedom from state taxes and regulations and separate police power.

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