John Goemans, with the use of the laws of America (The Maui News,
June 22), is trying to add the list of na hewa (crimes) against the
kanaka maoli, beginning when Capt. James Cook "stumbled" on these
Hawaiian Islands 224 years ago.
Cook brought in all of the diseases known to modern man and decimated
the Hawaiian race which had no immunity to these diseases. After the
Hawaiian population had dwindled by one-third, enter the missionaries
who completely overturned the culture and lifestyle of the kanaka
maoli while establishing the Christian religion in Hawaii.
Because of the kindness of their hearts, the confusion of land tenure
and the deceitfulness of some missionaries, their children and
grandchildren, the kanaka maoli became alienated from Hawaiian lands.
Prince Kuhio and others, who saw how the Hawaiian race was slowly
diminishing, created the Hawaiian Homes Act of 1920 to actually put
the Hawaiian people back on the land. From the start, this act was
meant to fail because one of the requirements of the act was that
lands to be used would not be fit for agricultural purposes and would
not contain water rights. It also was not funded.
William Hyde Rice, the great-grandfather of Freddie Rice, was elected
a commissioner to set aside the land for the Hawaiian Homes Act. His
son, Harold W. Rice, leased Hawaiian Homes Land in Waiohuli for 50
years at 25 cents an acre for the Rice Ranch. Efforts were made by
the Hawaiian people to prevent a new lease of these lands, and today
Hawaiian people are building on this land as lessees under the
Hawaiian Homes Act.
The Hawaiian people suffer from the long list of social ills of
Hawaii as a direct result of being colonized, and having their land,
culture and identity taken away. Now the Goemans, Rices and others
driving to take away all the entitlements of the Hawaiian people is
the "straw that breaks the camels back."
As a kahu who has been involved in forefront of the Hawaiian movement
for the last 30-plus years, I find it frightening to imagine what
could happen. I cannot understand why business leaders are not up in
arms against these people who want to create havoc for the tourist
industry and all of the economy that depends on tourism.
These court actions attack the Hawaiian Homes Lands, Kamehameha
Schools, Alu Like, Hawaiian language immersion programs, University
of Hawaii, and many other institutions trying to help Hawaiians be
self-sufficient. It is traumatic to us as native people of this land.
We all must remember that once we were warriors and as native people
we cannot be continually attacked, culturally, socially and
economically, without responding in a desperate manner
Just to show everyone in Hawaii and around the world that we mean
business, every Hawaiian in these United States should conduct a
one-day "brown out" by staying home and not going to work. Every
Hawaiian in the islands and on the Mainland should stay at home for
one day to show commitment to the cause of the Hawaiian people and
how we are being attacked by the Goemans, Rices and all others who
are trying to say that we are in violation of the Civil Rights Act.
What about everything that was done to us as Hawaiian people? Where
were the American laws then? Are the laws of America only applied to
people of color, and that if you're a lawyer who has influence with
the Bush administration, you can stick it to the Hawaiian?
If this trend continues and Hawaiians are removed from their
entitlements, I predict that the Hawaiian people will rebel and take
to the streets, causing Hawaii's economy to drop like a lead weight.
This is not a threat, it's reality. We can be pushed only so far.
Ku'e, kapo'e o Hawaii.
Charles Kauluwehi Maxwell Sr. is a consultant on Hawaiian culture. He
lives in Pukalani.