— ADVERTISEMENT —
Thursday, August 4, 2005
Other rallies and prayers services will be held on Maui, the Big Island, Kauai and Molokai. All the events are open to native Hawaiians and non-Hawaiians, organizers said.
"We invite anyone interested in supporting native Hawaiians," said Kekoa Paulsen, a Kamehameha spokesman. "We are unifying around the theme of strengthening the well-being of native Hawaiians."
On Tuesday a 9th Circuit Court of Appeals panel ruled that the admission policy was unconstitutional and failed to meet the tests of federal affirmative-action laws. Kamehameha is appealing the decision.
The decision sparked anger and dismay in the native Hawaiian community, where many see the school as perhaps the proudest symbol of programs aimed at improving the condition of native Hawaiians.
"Nothing is more dear to Hawaiians than Kamehameha Schools," said Alan Murakami, of the Native Hawaiian Legal Corp. "So I think this will be a big wake-up call that they need to understand these deliberate legal attacks on programs designed for them."
Murakami said native Hawaiians should have gotten the first "wake-up call" five years ago with the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Rice v. Cayetano. In that decision, Big Island rancher Harold "Freddy" Rice successfully challenged the Office of Hawaiian Affairs' Hawaiians-only voting policy as unconstitutional.
Emboldened by that ruling, several suits, involving some of the same players as plaintiffs, have been filed challenging programs for native Hawaiians.
"We need to show strong support for Hawaiian causes at these rallies," said Lilikala Kame'eleihiwa, a professor at the Center for Hawaiian Studies at the University of Hawaii-Manoa who is involved in the rally.
"We need to show the white races who use white law against us that that this community of Hawaiians and non-Hawaiians will not stand for their bad behavior calling us racists."
She said: "It's time for people to show their true colors. It's time for Hawaiians and non-Hawaiians who support us to turn out and wear their red shirts and carry signs like 'Haoles for Hawaiians' or 'Japanese for Hawaiians' so that Congress can see who we are."
Kame'eleihiwa added: "We have been here 100 generations and will be here another 100 generations. Some white men against us say they have been here seven generations. Big deal. We won't assimilate and we won't go away, so sooner or later, America will have to deal with us."