The Garden Island (Kaua`i's newspaper) published an article about the ceded (stolen) land issue in the January 24th issue. The entire appeal process is a disgrace, but what can we expect from Lingle.
I just responded, and hopefully they will publish it:
History has its traps too
In the January 24th issue of TGI the editorial ”History helps to illuminate Hawaiian ceded land case” Mr. Walter Lewis gives a few historical facts in legalese that the average Hawaiian would have difficulty understanding. On the surface it may look fine as a historical overview, but if we scratch the surface we may unearth a few disturbing facts.
Mr. Lewis mentioned that ”Amicus curiae briefs were filed in support of the petition by the State by more than 30 states or state entities and by a number of private organizations.” Well, for the average reader amicus curiae brief means nothing, but if translated into everyday-English, it means a statement submitted in form of a letter to the court by an entity or individual as ”the friend of the court” in support of one of the parties involved in the case. My first reaction was that the State of Hawai`i must have felt that their case was quite weak if they went through the efforts of requesting (and probably paying) 30 some states or state entities to write those lengthy briefs in their support. Why in the world would get other states involved in the affairs of the State of Hawai`i, when they do have their own problems, unless they are the home of or connected to those mainland developers who can hardly wait to get their hands on parts of the ceded lands to ”develop” them, that is to convert them to their own taste? I decided to read a few of these briefs.
All of them concluded that the Apology resolution has no legal force or effect whatsoever, in other words, that it was only symbolic. But, pardon me, if it were so, why don’t they ask former U.S. president, Bill Clinton, to make a public statement saying that his apology to the Hawaiian nation was only symbolic. He should be the one who knows best what he meant. Afraid that he wouldn’t do it?
The 35-page amicus curiae brief No. 037-17232 (http://www.aloha4all.org/documents/81211_GRIH_SLF_AmicusBrfsupptPtn...
) submitted jointly by the Grassroot Institute of Hawai`i and Southeastern Legal Foundation, Inc. of Atlanta, GA contains some troubling statements. For example in chapter 5. Victimhood claims unjustified. U.S. a success story for Hawaiians. Surprisingly this chapter does not list statistical figures of Hawaiians living in Hawai`i, but of those living in California. Perhaps the ”success story” here would be less convincing to the court. Furthermore, to tilt the emotional scale, on page 33 the brief states ”Over 1 million American citizens in Hawaii are under siege by what can fairly be called an evil empire dedicated to Native Hawaiian Supremacy.” Is it not interesting that we don’t read, hear or see complaints here about this evil empire?
To further stress their arguments and to confuse the public the supporters of the State in the brief describe the ”cruel” kapu system of Hawaiians even if there is no normal Hawaiian today who would be inclined to restore it or any of the outdated traditions. Isn’t it ironic to mention the old kapu system as a deterrent or condemnable fact, when in the USA between 1890 and 1960 nearly 5000 black Americans were lynched (out of those 458 in Georgia, the state of the co-authors of the brief), and American women were not allowed to vote till 1920? The use of these tactics must be a sign of utmost desperation to find faults in the other party’s actions.
Perhaps it is time to look at the case differently and sit down with the Hawaiians to discuss and settle the ceded land and other issues amicably to the benefit of all. Perhaps this would even be less financial burden on the Hawaiian taxpayers than the expected legal fees in the Supreme Court appeal case.
János (Keoni) Samu