The pros and cons of the Akaka Bill, now pending a vote before the U.S. Senate, were debated last week at a forum co-sponsored by the League of Women Voters and Hawaii Institute of Public Affairs at the Japanese Cultural Center of Hawaii.
Two of the participants — Attorney General Mark Bennett and Office of Hawaiian Affairs Attorney Robert Klein — were in favor of the bill. Opposing the bill were Bruce Fein, a constitutional law expert from Washington D.C. and Anne Keala Kelly, a writer and film producer specializing in Hawaii Sovereignty issues.
Here is the opening statement by Judge Michael Broderick, who explains the different reasons behind support and opposition for the bill.
“Akaka Bill: How Could One Bill Create Such Varied Emotions, and Conjure Up Such Conflicting Futures?” See: http://tinyurl.com/9gzql
There also are clips below in MP3 format of the event, highlighting some of the comments made by the participants. Olelo Public Television also continues to rerun the debate.
”Writer Anne Keala Kelly” has the position that native Hawaiians don’t want to be treated as Native Americans, and in fact no longer want to be part of America. The majority of native Hawaiians do not support the bill, she says. Kelly believes the Hawaiian Kingdom was illegally seized and should be returned to the native Hawaiians. She also commented on the militarization of Hawaii and the dangers that poses, and that the Akaka Bill will only further the military’s power. Hear her own words below.
Anne Keala Kelly — “Kelly 1 file” — “Kelly 2 file” — “Kelly 3 file”
”’Here is the transcript of Kelly’s remarks:”’
”’I believe from the beginning of American impositions of laws in Hawaii to the present, our experience with the U.S. has been dehumanizing.”’
”’Hawaiians are called citizens of the U.S., but that was done without consent. I have found that Hawaiians who oppose this bill have nothing in common with anyone involved with legal attacks on Hawaiian trusts or state agencies that serve Hawaiians. Those groups and individuals compare Hawaiian empowerment with apartheid. That analogy is offensive to all people of color, especially those who have suffered at the hands of white supremacists the world over.”’
”’I would like people to understand that there