• The ceremony is omnipresent • Hawaiian sovereignty debate spurs look at history, politics
The ceremony is omnipresent
It was very interesting to follow the exchange of letters written by John Hoff and James Kuroiwa in the Nov. 26 and Nov. 29 TGI. The dispute is about some important events of Hawaiian history, but I leave the analysis to the historians. Mr. Kuroiwa’s letter, however, is a typical example of the practice when victors write the history. And the most interesting is how they write it. Mr. Kuroiwa’s opinion is that the overthrow of the Hawaiian government can be legal or illegal. Interestingly, American President Bill Clinton acknowledged it as illegal in his apology.
The large number of Hawaiians who did not participate in the plebiscite in 1959 were very well informed, and knew that participating means only choosing the color of muzzle they want to wear in the future, because their option was only to remain a U.S. Territory or to become the State of Hawaii. No choice for independence as mandated by the United Nation Resolution 742, to which the United States also was a signatory. Being a signatory means that you accept the conditions set forth in the document and promise to comply with them. While Mr. Kuroiwa is right that the United Nations has no jurisdiction on the State of Hawaii, he failed to mention that the United States violated its obligation to follow UN Resolution 742.
Mr. Kuroiwa stated that the signing of the Apology Resolution (Pl. 103-150) by Bill Clinton was a mere ceremonial act. We have a better word for it: It was a deceitful act. Should we take, then, that signing UN resolutions by the U.S. government is also such “ceremonial” acts? Or perhaps the signing of the U.S. Constitution was another one? Well, it appears so, just like the Pledge of Allegiance that ends with “… with liberty and justice for all,” which is, then, the same deception as the Apology Resolution.
And finally, if Mr. Kuroiwa made a rather bold statement that the Americans are most qualified to manage Hawaii (which includes Kahoolawe too) allow me to refute it by saying that we, Hawaiian citizens and nationals, feel much more qualified to manage our aina and lahui (land and people), and remind him that Hawaii is not America and it never will be.
János Keoni Samu
Hawaiian sovereignty debate spurs look at history, politics
The continuing debate on Hawaiian sovereignty has led me to Lorrin Thurston, the chairman of the Committee of Public Safety (which was responsible for the overthrow of Queen Liliuokalani, which evolved from the Annexation Club, which created the Republic of Hawaii). Thurston was a third-generation descendent of missionaries to Hawaii and so was a citizen (subject) of the Hawaiian Kingdom and a member of the Legislature, and so the actions he took could be (I did not say “should be”) viewed as those of a true patriot trying to do the best he could for his country after the fraud committed by King Kalakaua (concerning opium licenses).
Thurston does not appear to have been a wealthy man until 1898 when he was able to purchase the Pacific Commercial Advertiser which is now part of the Star-Advertiser group owned by Canadian Black Press (who also owns The Garden Island — another interesting story). Thurston was a classmate of Teddy Roosevelt at Columbia. If one were to look for an equivalent personality in today’s political environment, I believe the “Turd Blossom” (Bush’s brain) Karl Rove would roughly fit. Which then begs the question, “Who was Thurston’s Bush?” That would be Sanford Dole who was “appointed” as president of the Hawaiian Republic by Thurston and whose family included James Dole, the founder of Dole Pineapple.
It is a real pain to have to pay attention to politics. But if you don’t, your future will be lost. Just as the Hawaiian Kingdom was lost.