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Tuesday, February 29, 2000


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Kingdom didn't ask to be overthrown

I highly doubt that the U.S. Supreme Court ruling was a victory for the aloha spirit, as Ken Conklin wrote in his Feb. 25 letter. It seems that Conklin and the plaintiff's attorney, John Goemans, are cut from the same cloth.

Hawaiians did not ask for the monarchy's overthrow. Where was the vote to get rid of our native government and to sanction the provisional government?

Hawaii's land takeover was engineered by monied sugar and pineapple interests. It left the Hawaiians with nothing but plenty of aloha spirit. Thanks for nothing.

I am glad that this ruling was handed down. It should galvanize the Hawaiians like never before. How many times must we turn the other cheek?

Alfred C. Akana

Hawaiians deserve special rights

What's getting lost in the OHA controversy are the historical roots of this issue. Why should Hawaiians have special rights, different than the rest of us? Because they never asked to be part of the United States.

Queen Liliuokalani was railroaded into signing over the kingdom because she wanted to avoid shedding the blood of her people.

The U.S. took sovereignty away from a legitimate nation, and Hawaiians have been trying to get their country back ever since.

James Floto
Kihei, Maui

All should participate in Hawaii's future

I do not agree that only Hawaiians should get to vote for Office of Hawaiian Affairs trustees. If the Hawaiian people believe that an all-Hawaiian vote will remedy the Hawaiian cause, we need to go back to our history books.

We need to allow all those who are citizens of the state to assist the Hawaiian cause. I have always been under the impression that voices en masse will change the hearts and minds of congressional members.

We need to look to the future.

Sid Kahoonei
Washington, D.C.

Factions must unite against court ruling

The U.S. Supreme Court justices' 7-2 ruling is a travesty. I wonder how they would vote on the constitutionality of the systematic cultural genocide of Hawaiians for the last 200 years. What about our civil rights?

I urge other Hawaiians to ask themselves what the United States has done to us and continues to do to us. We must ask ourselves what price we must pay in order to receive our human rights.

Hopefully, we will finally unite in light of this ruling. For our children's sake, I urge all Hawaiians to take action and to quit criticizing other Hawaiians. Proactively take measures to fight for what is rightfully ours -- our survival.

Lana U. Robbins
Kamehameha Schools, Class of 1985
Seven Springs, Fla.

Bullet U.S. Public Law 103-150
Bullet OHA Ceded Lands Ruling
Bullet Rice vs. Cayetano
Bullet Feb. 23, 2000: The U.S. Supreme Court strikes down law allowing only native Hawaiians to vote in OHA elections.

Office of Hawaiian Affairs

Precedent has been set for recognition

The Supreme Court decision in Rice vs. Cayetano should send a clear message that disunity on the sovereignty issue is a luxury that native Hawaiians can no longer afford.

Although the justices ruled narrowly in invalidating OHA's elections, their explanation of the decision suggests that native Hawaiian benefits are resting on a house of cards. These benefits are almost surely to be challenged in court as racially based entitlements.

The only sure way for native Hawaiians to preserve and control special benefit programs is to unify behind a single self-governance entity, and then convince Congress and the president to recognize it as sovereign.

This "recognition" process is a well-established avenue for native groups to secure special entitlements on the basis of sovereign status rather than race.

Excuses that Washington won't listen because of budget problems or Republican influence don't fly. There's a multibillion-dollar federal surplus, plus past Republican administrations have agreed to recognize other Native American groups (the Pequots of Connecticut by Reagan, the Wampanoags of Massachusetts by Bush).

However, Washington has never granted sovereignty to a native group that didn't present a unified front. Decrying the high court decision is a waste of energy that should be invested in reaching consensus on a sovereignty model.

If no consensus can be reached, retire the special benefits in favor of one government for all, and move ahead together as one multi-racial, multi-cultural people.

Mark Taylor

Cayetano is merely upholding the law

A great many people in the world try to become citizens of the United States, because we are a country of laws, with a Constitution that protects all of the people.

It is unfortunate that there are those among us who look upon tyranny as a better alternative.

We could all do well to count our blessings as citizens of the great State of Hawaii, under the leadership of Governor Cayetano, as he upholds the decision of the U.S. Supreme Court.

Cec Heftel
Former U.S. Congressman from Hawaii

Elected trustees aren't fit to serve

The reason the very existence of OHA is being challenged now is because, in January 1997, the trustees were so arrogant as to threaten to confiscate or appropriate about $1 billion or one-third of the state fiscal budget for their control. That is one-third of the tax revenues of Hawaii residents under the control of nine people whom no non-Hawaiian taxpayer had a voice in electing!

This move shook the state at its very foundation. It alienated the governor and others who would have been sympathetic to the cause.

The OHA board's dysfunction requires, no, DEMANDS, that the elected trustees vacate their positions.

Bruce Wong



"(I need to) make room for
new leadership. My role will be
probably more educational."

Nainoa Thompson

At the end of an eight-month voyage from Hawaii
to Rapa Nui and back, culminating
25 years of Polynesian voyaging


"Farmers are like gamblers.
You fight the natural elements.
You feel you have control,
even if you don't."

David Morrell

On the nature of truck farmers throughout
Hawaii, resulting in a boom in entrepreneurs
and a greater variety of fruits and
vegetables for local consumers

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