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. 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.
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, and we are all fully imbued with the Aloha Spirit. I have a dream that all Hawaii’s people will embrace the fact that we are Americans. 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. 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. 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.
See the complete essay, including detailed footnotes and references, at