The Decline Of Aloha

I arrived in Hawaii in 1961 as a young man to work on space projects, including John Glenn’s first orbital flight. I resided on the island of Kauai. I was struck by the beauty and friendliness of the local people. This was what I later learned was Aloha. If you passed someone in a food market and smiled you alway got a smile in return. They were accepting of strangers and tried to make you welcome. A genial and happy people.

To be clear on my perspective, I live in a family with native Hawaiian blood. My wife and, of course, our children and grandchildren have Hawaiian blood. I have enjoyed many hours with my Hawaiian relatives and friends and respect them greatly. Our family has participated in the sport of Hawaiian outrigger canoe racing and I have fond Aloha for all our paddling friends.

Fast forward to today. Unfortunately, there are a number of “local” people, some with Hawaiian blood and some not, who walk around with a perennial scowl, which intensifies in the presence a haole. This phenomenon is somewhat related to geographical location. Outer island and rural areas seem to have a higher occurrence of this social behavior.

These folks have swallowed the Kool Ade produced by so-called Hawaiian activists who have convinced them of their victim status. Anything repeated often enough eventually becomes true to the listener. For example, you have been told that you have been denied something by the actions of government, corporations or a group of individuals and you should be angry. Your land was stolen. The annexation was illegal. The Kingdom still exists. You deserve reparations.

Victimhood is powerful. If a group; racial, political, gender, etc.. buys into the victim message it has several ramifications. Primarily, it removes responsibility for their life situation. Once they can blame another entity for their problems , it removes their motivation to fix them.

Victimhood also instills a guilt complex in those assigned the blame. People who feel guilty because they, or their ancestors, may be the cause of the plight of the victim, often will treat the victim’s cause as a sacred cow, not to be challenged or discussed.

Victimhood is also a great tool for organizers and can result in creating intense enthusiasm for a particular cause. People like Al Sharpton make a living this way. It’s the “us against them” paradigm..

The selling of victimhood to Hawaiians began in the 1970s. The University of Hawaii hired a known radical to head the Department of Hawaiian Studies. Haunani Trask was able to propagandize a generation of Hawaiians and non-Hawaiians by teaching revisionist history and vocalizing her hatred of the United Sates and haoles (white people). Her hateful sermons showed no respect for leaders or anyone else. She was able to convince large numbers of impressionable students that they had things stolen from them by the United States and the haole. As the disciples moved out into the community they began to spread the message of stolen land and culture by the whites. They spoke of the “plight” of Hawaiians.

Their “plight” is no different from any of the residents of Hawaii. Hawaiians have all the advantages and rights of non-Hawaiians. All have the opportunity to succeed or fail. Importantly, Hawaiians have many more benefits and rights not available to non-Hawaiians.

Trask sign

Today, supporters of the movements appear at community meetings ready to do battle. Often in garb they believe is representative of the days before western contact.They do not permit debate and seek to intimidate those who might disagree. They have had success in sinking projects like the Super Ferry and are now working to kill the new Thirty Meter Telescope on Mauna Kea. The media and the legislators treat the movement(s) like a sacred cow and are afraid to admit that it is ultimately destructive to the social and economic fabric of Hawaii.

Many Hawaiians do not support the movement(s). They deplore the anti American rhetoric and the abject racist behavior toward non-Hawaiians, particularly the haole. There are around ten different groups associated with the sovereignty (separatist) movement. Thus, there are large gaps in opinion concerning the methodology to achieve their goals and the desired outcomes.

You can be sure the propaganda will continue. Slick TV ads. Protests with maximum coverage by the media. But I still believe Aloha exists and will one day rise up again. And I think the Hawaiians are the ones that will make it happen.

Hawaiian Sovereignty. Why you should Care.

If you are not of the Hawaiian race and live in Hawaii, you will surely be affected in some way if the Separatists get their way. There are several models being bandied about by the principles of the movement. Below you will find the responses of leaders to just one of the questions.

“What is the status of non-Hawaiians who are not citizens of the Hawaiian nation? Can they reside in Hawai’i, vote, own homes, land or businesses?”

Answers, underlining added.

Cruz sees a total paradigm shift in Hawaiian governance and in the global multi-state system in the near future. She sees the international state system of government falling. An independent Hawai’i will be less of a nation and more of a cultural lifestyle based upon community and cultural awareness. She believes those who do not wish to adapt to this change in lifestyle will not want to live in Hawai’i. Voting assumes democracy, which she does not support. The traditional Hawaiian consensus decision making process called Puwalu, where members of groups all have to agree upon decisions and make compromises for the good of the entire group, is culturally appropriate for indigenous Hawaiians and once more being practiced. Non-Hawaiians can also participate in the process, Cruz said. Non-Hawaiian non-citizens could own homes, land and businesses assuming the current state system of governance remains in place. She believes the concept of private ownership will change to a more communal based system centered on human values, such as sharing and personal responsibility.

Laenui said Hawaiian and non-Hawaiian non-citizens would have the right to live in Hawai’i provided certain qualifications are met: 1) they are not preparing to overthrow the government; and 2) the non-citizen foreign population does not exceed one-third of the total population. Non-citizens could not vote and participate in the political life of Hawai’i. They could own homes but not land, other than their home plots. According to Laenui, non-citizen residents could own businesses which would come under the jurisdiction of the nation. He adds:

Their ownership of homes and land . . . should be only for their actual residence and not for investment purposes. Their transaction of business would be permissible provided they fell within the allowable foreign activities and quotas. Disengaging non-citizens from their investment properties should be over a period of time in which they would be afforded ample notice and opportunity to relinquish such properties to citizens or Hawaii business entities.16
For Blaisdell, non-citizens residing in Hawai’i would be considered foreigners, as in any other country. They could not vote. Non-citizen ownership of homes, land and businesses would depend on the laws of the Kanaka Maoli nation. He added the primary responsibility of the new nation, as with all nations, is to its own citizens, first.
Gomes replied non-citizens residing in Hawai’i would be considered resident aliens. They would need a visa to reside in Hawai’i. Non-citizens could not vote or own homes and land. She cited the Vanuatu model where only citizens are allowed to own land. Non-citizens could establish businesses but would be screened by the government or district councils and have to obtain a special operating license. Taxes would assessed and paid to the government and district councils, Gomes indicated.

Crawford said the Nation of Hawai’i has not completely established standards for non-citizens in an independent nation. She indicated people could probably stay in Hawai’i on visas, but a Hawaiian convention would eventually determine regulations and standards for non-citizens. The bottom line for the Nation of Hawai’i is an inclusive policy for everyone. Crawford said, “We don’t want to say you can’t live here because you are not a citizen.” We need progressive policies in line with other progressive nations, she noted. Non-Hawaiian non-citizens would not own homes and land in fee simple title under the Nation’s present constitution, which calls for communal land tenure. In terms of non-Hawaiian non-citizen ownership of businesses, she replied this decision has not been determined yet. Crawford personally sees non-Hawaiian non-citizens being able to maintain small businesses, abiding by the laws of the nation. But they would probably pay higher taxes. Taxes could depend on whether a business is importing or exporting, with the former paying higher rates.

Dudley indicates:
Non-citizen residents who have lived within the territorial bounds of the new nation before the date of restoration can continue to live in the nation and to own property and businesses until the day they die. They may not vote. Children born to them after restoration may be citizens if they (or their parents for them) relinquish all citizenship elsewhere. A ratio of 20 % non-citizen residents to 80 % citizens will be the goal of the nation, however. Non-citizen residents will not be allowed to reside permanently in the nation until this ratio has been reached by attrition.17
Non-Hawaiian non-citizens would be able to own businesses as “we live in an international economic situation.” But Dudley said part of the reason for having a Hawaiian nation is “to preserve the environment and to try to get control back into local hands. . . . We need to have more control over our destiny, economically, and the only way to do that is to get land control back.”18
For Kauahi, non-Kanaka Maoli non-citizens would not be able to reside in Hawai’i, unless on work or student visas. They could not vote or own homes, land or businesses.

Agard indicated that as before 1893, non-Hawaiian non-citizens would be able to reside in Hawai’i and own homes, land and businesses. They could not vote.

Keppeler said non-Hawaiian non-citizens living within the boundaries of the independent nation would be considered resident aliens. Non-citizens could own homes, land and businesses to the extent allowed by the Hawaiian citizenry. Keppeler stressed some important attributes of gaining independence would be the ability of the citizenry to control immigration into Hawai’i, limit foreign ownership of land, and to keep profits from businesses within the Hawaiian economy, rather than off to the homes offices of multi-national corporations.

Kame’eleihiwa responded non-Hawaiian non-citizens, as well as Hawaiians who do not swear allegiance to the new constitution and are happy with their American citizenship, would be treated as foreigners, taxed accordingly and could not vote. Non-citizens would be able to own homes, land and businesses outside of Ka Lahui Hawai’i’s National Land Trust. She believes indigenous Hawaiians living outside of Hawai’i should always have the right to return home and become citizens.