Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Hawaiian Independence and Other Topics of Interest

 
I recently came across a new blog, the World History Blog. Since I am a history addict, it caught my eye, with numerous posts on any historical topic you can imagine. It is maintained by Miland Brown, but beyond that I have no information, since his profile is not available, and he does not allow comments.

Today’s post is on Hawaiian independence. Apparently there are groups that think the statehood of Hawaii is bogus, and do not believe that the United States has legal claim to the state. After discussing the details of the issue, Miland says:
     All the rest of the stuff that comes from these Hawaiian Independence sites is based on the flawed logic that Hawaii is currently undergoing occupation by the USA and that the Kingdom of Hawaii still legally exists! This logic then leads these sites to argue that Hawaii should be allowed to secede from the USA (or in their words restored) without a vote of the people of Hawaii. Further, any one without the correct DNA (the majority of Hawaiians!) would be denied a vote as only Hawaiians with ancestors who were citizens under the Hawaiian Kingdom would be allowed to vote in the new government. That is a cause that is assured to go nowhere. Can you really see world opinion swinging in favor of the disenfranchisement of the majority of Hawaiian citizens? Grandfather clauses are so post-Civil War American South...
The US Congress apologized for any past injustice in Hawaii in 1993. This was a political move to shore up support amongst Democratic voters. It may have helped in Hawaii but the Democrats lost control of both houses of Congress in the 2004 election anyway. This resolution has no legal force of law and is merely a PR act equivalent to the state of New Jersey declaring April 4th State Cherry Pie Day. Yet, the separatists always point to it as some great proof that Hawaii is not American...
The final argument is this. If the USA does not legally own Hawaii, why haven't the majority of people heard of this before? If the Hawaiian vote of 1958 was interpreted illegally by the UN, why didn't the Soviet Union veto it? They were pretty good at doing their best at making the USA look bad. Why haven't current American antagonist made an issue of this? China hasn't even when they are critiqued about Tibet. Cuba, Iran, North Korea are silent on this point. If Hawaii is not American and there was any legal case internationally to be made of this, don't you think the UN, the World Court, and the international media would be all over this? The deafening silence you hear tells you exactly what the world community believes about Hawaii and the USA.
This issue will probably go away in another century or so. Nature being what it is most Hawaiians will eventually have DNA from both the original Hawaiians and the “occupiers” by then. It would be pretty dead now if it were not for the Internet and the ability of every fringe group to have their message heard on the Web. As it is, it will probably provide another generation or two of radicals the opportunity to confuse the public and be paid speakers on the university anti-American circuit.
An interesting topic in an interesting blog. History buffs should drop by the World History Blog.

11 comments:

Always On Watch said...

Ah, Hawaii! My favorite vacation spot. I just wish that I could afford it more often.

The World History Blog is a gem! I'm sending a link to my students who are also history buffs. Thank you!

El Jefe Maximo said...

WHB's a great blog.

On Hawaii, I'm an attorney, and have noticed these past several years that most reported cases from the Hawaiian Courts render Hawaii thusly: "Hawai'i."

The independence movement, I think, has been around awhile, and as I recall from my own very casual reading, it is not Statehood which is objected to so much as the dethronement of the last queen in 1893 in a coup engineered in part by American landowners, and the subsequent annexation by the USA in 1898.

I guess you can argue that this was illegal, but all countries were constructed in part by situations of this nature.

Hawaii, (er, excuse me), Hawai'i Secession ? I'm one of those lawyers who would argue that although mostly theoretical, this is a legal remedy, despite the rather bad precedent of the Civil War. I can't imagine Hawaiians actually invoking it -- they benefit too disproportionately from the US economic tie.

Wally Ballou said...

I just returned from Hawai'i (I don't have a problem with the apostrophe - both "i"s are pronounced separately with a little gap in between.

I believe (from the little tourist's perspective I got there reading local papers, bumper stickers and such) that most HI residents who think about such things think the Queen got a really raw deal from a bunch of rascally adventurers - I happen to agree. However, I don't think almost anyone out there is foolish enough to believe that HI could be independent. And as far as ethnic purity - forget it - they are way outnumbered by the mainlanders and Nipponese. There are always going to be some empty barrels and grievance peddlers trying to whip up secessionist talk, but it won't happen unless conditions alter almost unimaginably.

It's worth noting that the first king of the islands (now honored on every highway) was a vicious, violent and treacherous fellow, rather in the Saddam Hussein mold, and that when western civ came calling, the common folk in Hawai'ian society, especially the women, couldn't run away from their traditional mores (that treated them like dirt) fast enough.

Baron Bodissey said...

Well, what I think is interesting is the way "racial purity" and other similar bloodline issues are now common currency in various subsets of the Left.

"One drop", anyone? And maybe the word "octaroon" will regain its former propriety...

hank_F_M said...

During WW II my father was assigned to the 298th Infantry Hawaii National Guard (native Hawaiian soldiers). Since he always referred to it as the Royal Hawaiian National Guard I assume that was the usual way they referred to themselves. I doubt this is new, just getting more play because of the NET.

Miland said...

Thanks for noticing my blog! My traffic has doubled in the last day due to your kind post.

I think the key point that I am making here is that premise of the Hawaii Indepenence groups is that Hawaii is illegally occupied is wrong.

And I think I nail it. Why is the Republic of Hawaii government not recognized as being legit? Other revolutions have produced "illegal" governments which have been recognized internationally. Can we think of Cuba or even Panama after Teddy Roosevelt contrived Panamanian independence from Columbia?

If the Republic of Hawaii was internationally recognized, the addition of Hawaii to the USA is legal under international law. And the UN and the whole world seems to agree. The rest of the Hawaiian independence arguments die with this one fact.

I also have problems with the genetics arguments of the Hawaiian naysayers. How can we be in the 21st Century and seriously discusing denying the majority of the Hawaiian population the right to vote based on who there great-great grandparents were? It is just unreal...

Racism is alive and well in the Hawaiian islands.

Thanks again Gates of Vienna!

Baron Bodissey said...

Miland, good to hear from you! I respectfully suggest that you open your blog to comments, so that people can go over there and argue. You'll find it a bracing experience, and if our blog is any indication, you'll learn something from them. Via the "distributed intelligence" of your readers, you'll be bound to come across some little quirky historical facts that you never heard before.

Miland said...

"I respectfully suggest that you open your blog to comments, so that people can go over there and argue."

I would love to do this! I used to have comments open but shortly after WHB went to the #1 position on Google and Yahoo for the term history blog my comment forms started getting spammed. I was removing 20-30 viagra posts a day. I finally just turned the comments off...

How do you keep the spam off of the Gates of Vienna comments?

Baron Bodissey said...

Miland -- that never happens to us; I'm not sure why. I wonder if the comments mechanism changed after Google took over blogger -- we didn't start our blog until after that happened.

Wretchard at Belmont Club (the blogspot version) has one of the major blogs, and he's got comments. I'll ask him if he knows why he doesn't get spammed.

Also, here's another possibility: we require commenters to be registered users with Blogger. Maybe that keeps spambots from getting in.

Miland said...

"Also, here's another possibility: we require commenters to be registered users with Blogger. Maybe that keeps spambots from getting in."

OK, I have turned comments on with the stipulation that comments must be from users with a Blogger account. I welcome feedback and hope I get some.

The spambots seriously damaged my desire to blog last year. If this remains a problem, I will turn the comments back off. I am going to be positive though. Thanks for your helpful advice.

-Citizen- said...

Quote: It would be pretty dead now if it were not for the Internet and the ability of every fringe group to have their message heard on the Web.

How can you bemoan this access to the tools of group organization, information and co-ordination when it is the same mechanism that allows you to share your insular, one-sided rhetoric with one another (and the world at large)? I agree with you that proposing ethnic exclusion of non-natives in Hawaii and the argument that the Hawaiin kingdom is somehow more legitimate than the current democratic incarnation is bogus and outlandishly p.c. However, the article and the Gates of Vienna blog in general are ferociously biased and self-serving. Nonetheless, I'm grateful that the Internet provides me a window into your world and permits me to engage in dialogue with you, the representatives of a culture and ideology which would otherwise remain profoundly alien to me. To me, and many of my ilk who "believe in America" while simultaneously believing that it has been hijacked from the original intent of its founders by a rogue band of evangelizing, propagandizing bigots, you are a fringe group. Just as my classmates at a liberal university are a fringe group to you. Anyone with alien views is a fringe group to some other group.

Regardless, I celebrate the Internet as a forum to allow us to engage one another.