”’Changes in Latitudes, Changes in Attitudes by Jimmy Buffet”’

Much of the discussion about the impact of the Akaka bill has been the “what ifs” should the bill pass Congress. The emotional rhetoric on both sides of the issue is beginning to disturb me. I want to point out that there are some real life, real time examples that people on both sides of the debate can learn from.

For the last 11 years, I have traveled to Santa Fe, New Mexico, to attend an annual conference. Admittedly, I am no expert on the legal, economic or sociological structure of New Mexican culture. But New Mexico is relevant to the Akaka Bill discussion because it is an example of what the Akaka Bill hopes to accomplish.

New Mexico is similar to Hawaii in many ways. New Mexico is a multi-cultural, multi-lingual society. It has strong, sustained and thriving Native American, Mexican, Spanish and Anglo (Caucasian) cultures. Like Hawaii, New Mexico relies on a growing tourist industry. It even has a fair share of people wearing Aloha shirts (including the Reyn