Posts Tagged Native Hawaiians

Comments on Linda Zhang, “Re-Building a Native Hawaiian Nation.”

Letter to editor by Kenneth R. Conklin, Ph.D. in response to
Linda Zhang, “Re-Building a Native Hawaiian Nation: Base Rolls, Membership, and Land in an Effective Self-Determination Movement,” Asian Pacific American Law Journal, Vol 22, No. 1, 2017, pp. 69-93.

I would like to set the record straight regarding a few errors of fact and interpretation in Linda Zhang’s essay “Re-Building a Native Hawaiian Nation.”

1. Alleged invasion of Iolani Palace by U.S. troops during the Hawaiian revolution of 1893

At the bottom of page 70 Ms. Zhang states the following falsehood: “Then, in 1893, American troops seized I’olani Palace, the home of Queen Lili’uokalani and the center of the Hawaiian monarchy …” Her only citation for that assertion is an internet link from 2005 which is now dead, where the underlying blogsite continues to publish only highly one-sided propaganda pushing the concept of Hawaiian independence.

The truth is that on January 16, 1893 there were 162 U.S. sailors who landed in Honolulu as a peacekeeping force because of anticipated violence between an armed militia of local men seeking to overthrow the government, and the government’s forces. Their orders were to protect American lives and property and to prevent rioting and arson. 808 pages of sworn testimony before the U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs in February 1894, in open session and under severe cross-examination, shows that the peacekeepers never invaded the Palace grounds and, indeed, did not take over any buildings nor in any way provide help to the rebels. See the Morgan Report at
Even the Blount Report, much ballyhooed by Hawaiian sovereignty activists, makes no claim of any invasion of Palace grounds by U.S. troops.

Unfortunately the 2009 movie “Princess Kaiulani” (originally titled “The Barbarian Princess”) falsely shows such a scene. The webpage for a future film “The Islands” by Tim Chey indicates that there will be a similar scene. Both films, of course, are produced with story lines intended to sell lots of tickets by spectacularly distorting historical fact in ways that will appeal to current sentiments. Portraying U.S. troops invading the Palace is pure propaganda which only serves to incite racial strife and anti-Americanism.

2. Alleged statistical evidence of Native Hawaiian victimhood in poverty, incarceration, and health

Page 71, near the top, says “Since then, studies have shown that Kanaka Maoli, or Native Hawaiians, continue to have some of the highest rates of poverty, incarceration, school drop-out rates, and display several negative indicators of health.”

This assertion has been repeated so many times, both in the popular media and in academic “studies”, that people now believe it. This victimhood claim is cited by tycoons of the Hawaiian grievance industry who benefit from hundreds of millions of dollars in government and philanthropic grants; and also cited by politicians seeking to arouse public sympathy for efforts to create a Hawaiian tribe. The assertion arises from statistical malpractice, whose perpetrators must surely be aware that they are engaging in a scam. Two of the main points debunking the assertion are as follows:

(a) According to Census 2010 the median age of ethnic Hawaiians in Hawaii is 26 while the median age of everyone else in Hawaii is 42. That 16 year age gap explains why incomes of Native Hawaiians are significantly lower than incomes of other ethnic groups. It also explains why Native Hawaiians have higher rates of incarceration and longer sentences than other ethnicities — not because of their ethnicity but because of the huge age gap. Drug abuse, spouse abuse, and crime — especially violent crime — are the sins of young people far more than middle-age people.

(b) Virtually all so-called Native Hawaiians have mixed ancestry. Perhaps 3/4 of them each have at least 3/4 of their heritage being Asian or Caucasian rather than Hawaiian. But when someone is a victim of poverty, incarceration, disease, etc. and is asked “What are you?” they are classified as “Native Hawaiian” AND ONLY AS NATIVE HAWAIIAN even if their native blood quantum is only a small fraction of their ancestry. Someone who is mostly Caucasian or Asian should have his victimhood attributed to one of those racial groups rather than to Native Hawaiian. The most accurate way to award victimhood tally marks to ethnic groups would be to give a fraction of a tally mark to each ethnicity in a victim’s heritage equal to the fraction of that ethnicity in his genealogy. But social scientists apparently consider it politically incorrect to ask victims for ethnic percentages; and tycoons of the Hawaiian grievance industry do not want to be robbed of the victimhood claims they use in grant applications; and researchers excuse their malpractice by saying that if they award victimhood tally marks to the highest percentage in a victim’s heritage then there would be too few Native Hawaiians to be statistically significant.

For a detailed analysis and examples of both points (a) and (b) see “Native Hawaiian victimhood — malpractice in the gathering and statistical analysis of data allegedly showing disproportionate Native Hawaiian victimhood for disease and social dysfunction.” at

3. The proposed Native Hawaiian constitution is both racist and fascist

Linda Zhang’s article tries to portray the Hawaiian sovereignty movement as benign. For example, she says on page 77 “Part A(i) of the membership criteria is based on the lineage model. The criterion is broad enough to include ‘non-Hawaiians who were citizens of the Hawaiian Kingdom and therefore have a rightful place in the citizenry,’ thereby avoiding a potential constitutional challenge under Rice v. Cayetano.” But the actual wording of Part A(i) says “An individual who is a descendant of the aboriginal peoples who, prior to 1778, occupied and exercised sovereignty in the Hawaiian Islands” — which clearly would NOT include people with no native blood who were subjects (citizens) of the Kingdom; and thus it is clearly a racial requirement and cannot avoid running afoul of Rice v. Cayetano.

A claim to racial supremacy is displayed in the proposed constitution for a future federally recognized Hawaiian tribe adopted on February 26, 2016. That constitution also demands race-based ownership and control of all the lands and waters of Hawaii, as though nobody else has rights. Up front the preamble says “we join together to affirm a government of, by, and for Native Hawaiian people” [i.e., of the race, by the race, and for the race], and “affirm our ancestral [i.e., race-based] rights and Kuleana to all lands, waters, and resources of our islands and surrounding seas.” So what will become of the 80% of Hawaii’s people who have no native ancestry? The constitution asserts the same sort of “blood and land” concept as found in other fascist governments — Native Hawaiians are descendants of the gods and brothers to the land in a way nobody else can ever be who lacks a drop of Hawaiian native blood.
See “Hawaiian religious fascism” at
The proposed tribal constitution passed by the Na’i Aupuni convention on February 26, 2016 is available at


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Native Hawaiians Study Commission majority report 1983

The Native Hawaiians Study Commission was created by the Congress of the United States on December 22, 1980 (Title III of Public Law 96-565). The purpose of the Commission was to “conduct a study of the culture, needs and concerns of the Native Hawaiians.” The Commission released to the public a Draft Report of Findings on September 23, 1982. Following a 120-day period of public comment, a final report was written and submitted on June 23, 1983 to the U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources and to the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Interior and Insular Affairs.

The 747-page majority report of the NHSC begins with an executive summary and list of conclusions and recommendations, followed by 14 major chapters written by experts, focused on Hawaii’s ancient and modern history, demographics, culture, religion, and reports about responses to the unique needs of Native Hawaiians by federal and state governments, and private institutions. At the end are glossaries explaining Hawaiian-language words, a list of references, and an appendix. For each of the 747 pages of the majority report a photo of the page (click to magnify for easy readability) is next to a simple text version of its contents that is digitized and searchable. See the entire 747-page report, beautifully formatted, at

Ken Conklin’s webpage about the report describes how it was created, how political differences resulted in majority report vs. minority report, and how the majority report found a home on the internet. The webpage also summarizes the conclusions reached by the Commission, and explains the importance of the NHSC report in current controversies regarding Hawaiian sovereignty and racial entitlement programs. Conklin’s webpage about the report is at

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For Hawaiians Only

A valuable webpage providing information about 856 government funded racial entitlement programs for the exclusive benefit of “Native Hawaiians” was disrupted but has now been partially restored. Several other webpages on the same topic are also available.

All these programs, valued into the Billions of dollars, are paid for by tax dollars from the governments of the United States and the State of Hawaii. It is likely that these programs are unconstitutional. Some have been challenged in state and federal courts. Thus far the lawsuits to dismantle them have been dismissed on technical procedural issues including “standing” and the “political question” doctrine. However, those dismissals never reached the merits of these cases. Thus all these programs remain available as targets for future civil rights lawsuits based on the 14th Amendment equal protection clause and other arguments.

Keep in mind that this compilation pertains only to government programs funded by taxpayers, and does not include enormous privately funded programs such as Kamehameha Schools (Bishop Estate) which alone is worth $10-15 Billion, Lili’uokalani Childrens Trust, and many others.

The collection of webpages listing and describing Hawaiian racial entitlement programs is at

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