Archive for August, 2013

“I have a dream” — for Hawaii, 50 years later

by Kenneth R. Conklin, Ph.D.

On August 28, 1963 Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his “I Have a Dream” speech from the steps of the Lincoln memorial.[1] It was undoubtedly the most powerful civil rights speech of the 20th Century. How sad it is to see Dr. King’s dream for race relations in America mocked by the nightmare developing in Hawaii.[2]

I certainly cannot begin to match Dr. King’s eloquence. But on the 50th anniversary of his greatest speech, I offer my own dream for Hawaii’s future as a tribute to Dr. King and a ho’okupu (offering) to my hanai (adopted) homeland.

My dream is summarized in a single paragraph. Each element of the dream has a footnote providing detailed explanations and references. Readers might be surprised that I find it necessary to say these things. That’s why the footnotes are very important, even if lengthy and emotionally difficult.

My dream for Hawaii

I have a dream that someday all Hawaii’s people will embrace the concept that we are all equal in the eyes of God,[3] and we are all fully imbued with the Aloha Spirit.[4] I have a dream that all Hawaii’s people will embrace the fact that we are Americans.[5] I have a dream that all Hawaii’s people will embrace the fact that we have a right to be treated equally under the law by our federal and state governments; and will therefore put aside and repudiate racial entitlement programs.[6] I have a dream that all Hawaii’s people will put aside and repudiate efforts to create a race-based government and to divide the lands and people of Hawaii along racial lines.[7] I have a dream that someday Caucasian boys and girls who are born and raised in Hawaii will be treated as locals, keiki o ka ‘aina, kama’aina; and that malihini and kama’aina Caucasians will no longer be subjected to racial epithets and racial hate crimes.[8]

See the complete essay, including detailed footnotes and references, at

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Akaka tribe jurisdictional conflicts shown by mainland examples

by Kenneth R. Conklin, Ph.D.

Congress is on vacation for the month of August. Thus one-third of the 113th Congress (8 of its 24 months) has expired, and the perennial Akaka bill has still not been introduced. What’s going on? If a state-recognized Akaka tribe gets federal recognition, what kinds of jurisdictional conflicts would we see in Hawaii as shown by real conflicts now happening with Indian tribes on the mainland?

OHA is building its newest racial registry, Kana’iolowalu. Embarrassed that after a year only 9300 ethnic Hawaiians had signed up, OHA is now dragging more than 100,000 names onto the list, pulling from previous racial registries such as Kau Inoa, Project Ohana, Kamehameha Schools, etc. OHA is doing this without asking those people for permission. But Census 2010 counted more than 527,000 people claiming to be “Native Hawaiian”, so even if Kana’iolowalu gets 260,000 names (extremely unlikely) it would still be a minority of those eligible by race and a far smaller minority of Hawaii’s people.

In December 2011 I pulled together 13 news reports from the final 13 weeks of that year from various places on the mainland, concerning conflicts between Indian tribes and local communities that would clearly happen in Hawaii if an Akaka tribe gets federal recognition. For each situation I described the facts and cited a link to the full news report. This year I decided that instead of looking at a wide range of topics from a three month period, I would select news reports about a single topic from a single week. So at the end of July I put the following phrase into Google, including the quote marks: “tribal jurisdiction”; and I narrowed the search to the most recent week.

For details see

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