by Kenneth R. Conklin, Ph.D.

Statehood Day is celebrated on the third Friday of August every year, following Hawaii’s elevation from Territory to the 50th State of the United States in August 1959. We patriots do not celebrate this holiday with parades and fireworks. We celebrate by reminding ourselves of the fundamental beliefs we affirm that inspire our current strivings and guide us toward future achievements.

These four civil rights principles are widely accepted but need stronger application. Good people should stand up publicly to proclaim them, and defend them against radical activists noisily demanding special rights based on race or religion.

The Four Principles stated simply in one sentence apiece

1. Equality before God: All humans are equal in the eyes of God regardless of race.

2. Equality under the law: Government should treat all people equally under the law regardless of race.

3. Unity with America: Hawaii is the 50th State of the USA, whose laws rightfully have jurisdiction here.

4. Unity of Hawaii: The people and lands of Hawaii should remain unified under the single sovereignty of the State of Hawaii, not divided along racial lines.

The Four Principles further described

1. Those who don’t believe in God, or believe in 400,000 gods, have other ways to say it, as in the U.S. Declaration of Independence: “All men [people] are created equal.” Don’t believe in creationism? Natural Law, as espoused by the Founders in the Declaration, gives every human equal worth and self-evident inalienable rights. The U.S. has a long history of struggle to overcome slavery, Jim Crow laws, and more subtle forms of racial discrimination; but we who affirm the principle of equality take pride in the progress we have made and pride in our work toward achieving full equality. Among all 50 States, Hawaii is the most in need of such work, and has the strongest entrenchment of race-supremacist institutions and attitudes.

A beautiful Hawaiian creation legend says the gods mated and gave birth to these islands as living beings. Later the gods mated and gave birth to the first human from whom we all are descended. Thus humans are children of the gods and brothers/sisters to the ‘aina (land, sea, and air). Unfortunately, some activists twist this legend to say only people with Hawaiian blood have this genealogy; therefore ethnic Hawaiians have a god-given right to rule Hawaii and especially to decide land-use policy. Using religion or race as a basis to demand political power in Hawaii is just as unacceptable as jihad in the Middle East, fascism in Europe, or White nationalism in South Carolina. [note#1]

2. Equal treatment under the law means there should be no special rights or government entitlement programs for one race preferentially or exclusively. Hawaii has many hundreds of such programs. They are illegal under the 14th Amendment equal protection clause, and morally repugnant as “institutional racism” comparable to Jim Crow laws in the old South. For each program, either open it so all races have equitable access or shut it down. If Native Hawaiians are truly the most needy, then they will receive most of the help when help is given based on need alone. There is no need for racial set-asides to ensure “diversity, equity, and inclusiveness.”

Article 12 Section 7 of the Hawaii Constitution grants special rights to Native Hawaiians for “traditional and customary practices” interpreted to include trespassing for shoreline access, religious practices, or gathering certain materials. The pono [righteous] way to honor that provision while also honoring equality under the law is to extend the traditional and customary rights of Native Hawaiians to all citizens. In the Constitutions and statute laws of the Kingdom of Hawaii, those rights were for everyone regardless of race (“hoaaina” meant “tenant” not “native tenant”; “kanaka” meant race-neutral “person”).

3. The Hawaiian revolution of 1893 was done entirely by local men while 162 U.S. peacekeepers, present for fear of rioting or arson, were never needed. Hawaii remained an independent nation until 1898. [note#2]

This Republic was given full-fledged international recognition as the rightful successor government through letters of recognition in 11 languages addressed to President Sanford Dole personally signed by emperors, kings, queens, and presidents of at least 19 nations, including Queen Victoria who had strong and lengthy personal relationships with Hawaii’s overthrown royal family. [Victoria was godmother to Hawaii’s presumed future king Prince Albert, named after Victoria’s King consort with their permission; baby Albert was son of King Alexander Liholiho Kamehameha IV and Queen Emma; Victoria sent a christening cup and baby crib to them in 1862; Queen Kapiolani and Princess (later Queen) Lili’uokalani had attended Victoria’s Golden Jubilee in London in 1887. Queen Victoria’s embrace of the Republic as the rightful successor government and of President Dole as rightful head of state was not only required under international law but was also an important moral judgment — repudiation by the world’s most respected and senior reigning monarch against another formerly-reigning monarch with whom she had close personal relations. [note #3 for photos and analyses of the letters]

In 1897, the Republic of Hawaii as the internationally recognized government offered a Treaty of Annexation [note #4] to the U.S., which the U.S. then formally accepted in 1898. Losing Senators complained that ratification by both House and Senate was not correct procedure for a treaty. But neither Hawaiian secessionists nor U.N. has standing to overrule the method chosen by the sovereign U.S. to make its internal decision to ratify what the Republic of Hawaii offered. Yes, we are Americans. [note #5]

4. What Kamehameha hath joined together, let no politicians rip asunder. The people and lands of Hawaii should remain unified under the single sovereignty of the State of Hawaii, not divided along racial lines — no race-based government federally recognized as an Indian tribe.

About the author: Ken Conklin has lived in Kaneohe since 1992. He is a retired professor of Philosophy, Mathematics, and Teacher Education who held full-time positions at Boston University, Emory University, Oakland University [Michigan State], and Norwood High School [Massachusetts]; and part-time at University of Michigan [Ann Arbor], University of Illinois, and University of Hawaii [Windward]. He speaks Hawaiian with moderate fluency. His book “Hawaiian Apartheid: Racial Separatism and Ethnic Nationalism in the Aloha State” has multiple copies in library branches and is also available from his website “Hawaiian Sovereignty: Thinking Carefully About It.”

* Useful references Regarding Principle#3, especially relevant to the celebration of Statehood Day in Hawaii:

[note #1] Webpage: “Hawaiian religious fascism. A twisted version of a beautiful creation legend provides the theological basis for a claim that ethnic Hawaiians are entitled to racial supremacy in the governance and cultural life of the Hawaiian islands”

[note #2] Senate Report 227 of the 53rd Congress, second session, known today as the “Morgan Report”, was dated February 26, 1894. It was an investigation into the events surrounding the Hawaiian Revolution of 1893, and the alleged role of U.S. peacekeepers in the overthrow of Queen Liliuokalani. 808 pages of official transcript of the hearings, plus summaries and commentaries.

[note #3] Photos and analyses of letters of formal diplomatic recognition (de jure) of the Republic of Hawaii, received from August 1894 through January 1895. These letters, addressed to His Excellency Sanford B. Dole, President of the Republic of Hawai, were signed by Emperors, Kings, Queens, Princes, and Presidents of 19 nations who had previously had diplomatic relations with the Kingdom of Hawaii. Therefore the Republic had the right, under “international law”, to speak of behalf of Hawaii to offer a Treaty of Annexation which eventually led to Statehood.

[note #4] Webpage: “Treaty of Annexation between the Republic of Hawaii and the United States of America (1898). Full text of the treaty, and of the resolutions whereby the Republic of Hawaii legislature and the U.S. Congress ratified it. The politics surrounding the treaty, then and now.

[note #5] Webpage: Hawaii Statehood — A Brief History of the Struggle to Achieve Statehood, and Current Challenges

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