BY KENNETH R. CONKLIN, PH.D. — Data focused on Native Hawaiians from Census 2010 have important political implications for Hawaii and all of America. The implications concern the Akaka bill and/or Act 195 state-recognized tribe; and victimhood claims asserted by the Hawaiian grievance industry as a way of demanding sympathy, money, and political power.
WHY SINGLE OUT NATIVE HAWAIIANS FOR SCRUTINY?
There is no other ethnic group in Hawaii that has some of its leaders pursuing racial separatism, demanding to create a race-based government empowered with land, money, and jurisdictional authority. The major vehicles for doing that are the proposed federally recognized tribe under the Akaka bill, http://tinyurl.com/ypops and the state-recognized tribe put in motion under Hawaii Act 195 of 2011. http://tinyurl.com/3rzjdrf
That’s why it’s important to analyze demographic data focused on Native Hawaiians. There are already severe conflicts of interest when state government officials who are themselves Native Hawaiian make decisions about transferring land and other state assets to race-based institutions that will provide benefits exclusively to their own racial group (as in the recent transfer of $200 Million ocean-front land in Kaka’ako to OHA). A compilation of information about more than 850 race-based government grants to benefit Native Hawaiians exclusively, totaling more than $322 Million, is at http://4hawaiiansonly.com
See analysis of the problem of race-based conflict of interest at http://tinyurl.com/24ohwpw
Following is a very brief summary of major Native Hawaiian data from Census 2010. For detailed analysis and numerous internet links to Census data, see
80,337 “PURE HAWAIIANS” IN HAWAII, AND 156,146 NATIONWIDE. REALLY?
That’s how many people checked ONLY the race box for “Native Hawaiian” even though the instructions were clear that people could check multiple boxes reflecting multiple ancestries. In reality there are probably fewer than 5,000 people with 100% Hawaiian native blood. That means 75,000 people in Hawaii and 151,000 people nationwide are so zealous about Hawaiian activism that they chose to ignore and disrespect their non-native ancestors, even when those non-natives comprise most of their heritage. Anecdotal evidence is clear that OHA, Kamehameha Schools, and other Hawaiian institutions often encouraged their beneficiaries to report only their Native Hawaiian ancestry, in hopes of increasing government handouts and strengthening public perception of Hawaiians as “a people” who are unique, distinct, and separate, and therefore eligible for federal recognition.
527,077 “NATIVE HAWAIIANS” NATIONWIDE INCLUDING 289,970 IN HAWAII
That’s how many people checked the race box for “Native Hawaiian” with or without also checking additional race boxes. In Hawaii that’s an increase of 21% above year 2000, while nationwide it’s an increase of 31%. Clearly Hawaiians are flourishing, even more on the continent than in Hawaii. The number might well explode as hundreds of thousands more suddenly remember their smidgen of Hawaiian blood if a Native Hawaiian government begins distributing land and annual payments. There’s a chart in the Hawaii state databook showing the number of ethnic Hawaiians (both “pure” and total) in the top 18 states. California continues to lead the pack with 74,932, an increase of 24.8% since 2000.
If the Akaka bill passes, then the California branch of the Akaka tribe would be the largest federally recognized tribe in California. The fake Hawaiian tribe of 527,077 would be far larger than any of the genuine tribes in America. The largest tribe is Navajo, with 332,129. There are 819,105 Cherokees, but they are divided among several different tribal governments. Both the Akaka bill and Act 195 specify that there shall be only one Native Hawaiian tribe. Although the Akaka bill says the Hawaiian tribe cannot have gambling casinos and cannot benefit automatically from government handouts given to all tribes, those restrictions might be ruled unconstitutional, or can easily be changed by future legislation. The genuine tribes should be very afraid that a Hawaiian tribe would overwhelm all of them in competing for a shrinking pot of federal handouts and for casino customers in every state.
Shortly after Barack Obama became President, a letter was sent to him raising racial and demographic issues in relation to the Akaka bill, and appealing to the civil rights experience of African-Americans who chose the integrationist dream of Dr. Martin Luther King rather than the racial separatist nightmare of (the early) Malcolm X and Louis Farrakhan. The letter pointed out that (in Census 2000) 240,000 ethnic Hawaiians comprised 20% of Hawaii’s population, while 40 million blacks comprised 13% of America’s population. Just imagine how divisive and racially incendiary it would be to gather all America’s black people and create a race-based government for them, authorized to negotiate for huge areas of land and jurisdictional authority. The impact of the Akaka bill [or Act 195] on Hawaii would be 50% more severe than that, because the percentage of ethnic Hawaiians in Hawaii’s population was half again larger than the percentage of blacks in America’s population. [Likewise, in Census 2010, 50 million Hispanics comprise 16% of America’s population while Native Hawaiians are 21% of Hawaii’s population, so the Akaka bill would be 30% more traumatic for Hawaii than creating a “Nation of Aztlan” would be for all of America.] See the Obama letter at http://tinyurl.com/bl9rvv
SHOULD HAWAII TAXPAYERS GIVE BENEFITS TO A QUARTER MILLION OUTSIDERS?
There are more than 237,000 “Native Hawaiians” living outside Hawaii among the other 49 states, which is about 45% of the entire racial group. A major policy decision for the Hawaii legislature will be whether to transfer State of Hawaii land and money to the control of a future federally recognized Akaka tribe, or to the Act 195 tribe which the legislature is in the process of creating.
Both Act 195 and the Akaka bill make it clear that Hawaii residence is not a requirement for tribal membership. The only requirements for membership are to have at least one drop of the magic blood and to have some sort of easy-to-obtain affiliation with some sort of Hawaiian cultural group (perhaps a hula halau, canoe club, or civic club).
Thus state government land, money and jurisdictional authority, which now belong to all the people of Hawaii, will be transferred to a tribe which has nearly half its people who are not citizens of Hawaii. Those outsiders will receive benefits from the tribe (given to the tribe by Hawaii citizens), and those outsiders will also participate as equals in making decisions about the allocation of tribal resources.
IN 2010 THE MEDIAN AGE OF NATIVE HAWAIIANS IN HAWAII WAS ONLY 26, COMPARED TO A MEDIAN AGE OF 42 FOR THE REST OF HAWAII’S PEOPLE
The age gap of 16 years has huge consequences for interpreting data portraying Native Hawaiians as having lower income, greater drug abuse, and higher incarceration rates than the rest of Hawaii’s population. Someone who is only 26 years old is obviously just getting started in a career and therefore not earning as much as someone well-established at age 42. Young people get drunk, do drugs, and commit crimes much more than middle-aged people(especially violent crimes meriting harsher penalties). The victimhood statistics touted by the Hawaiian grievance industry are attributable to youth, not to race.
FAILURE TO CONSIDER BLOOD QUANTUM CAUSES HUGE DISTORTIONS WHEN INTERPRETING DATA
How blood quantum is counted (or not counted) is another major factor in explaining the Hawaiian victimhood claims. The Census does not ask “What percentage of your ancestry is Native Hawaiian?” Neither do any of the hundreds of “studies” comparing Native Hawaiian victimhood against the victimhood of other races.
Who gets counted as “Native Hawaiian” seems to be everyone with a drop of Hawaiian native blood, even if he has 31/32 of his ancestry being Caucasian or Filipino or Japanese. But someone with only one drop of Caucasian blood would never be counted as Caucasian. So if low quantum Hawaiians are counted as Hawaiian while low-quantum Caucasians or Filipinos are not counted as Caucasians or Filipinos, then of course the grievance industry can scream that “Native Hawaiians have the worst statistics for drug abuse” or “Native Hawaiians are disproportionately impacted by incarceration and severity of sentencing.”
Michelle Obama has 1/32 Caucasian ancestry (her great-great-great grandfather was a white slave-owner). Judging by her appearance and cultural background she could never “pass for white.” But she would be counted as entirely Caucasian if the statistical techniques used by the Hawaiian grievance industry were applied to all racial groups.
The best way to allocate social or medical outcomes to racial groups would be to award fractional tally marks to each race according to the fraction that race has in someone’s ancestry. Thus if someone incarcerated has 1/32 Hawaiian blood, 3/32 Chinese, 3/8 Caucasian, and 1/2 Filipino, those would be the fractional tally marks allocated to each of those races when studying allegations of disproportionate incarceration. Such fractional tallies would also allow us to see whether being “more Hawaiian” correlates with having worse social and medical outcomes.
But the tycoons of the Hawaiian grievance industry will never analyze data that way, nor will they take account of the age gap, because then their victimhood claims would vanish like morning mist during sunrise.