E Pluribus – What?

35
3278
courtesy of www.stoptheakakabill.com

courtesy of www.stoptheakakabill.com

BY JERE HIROSHI KRISHEL – Present on the Great Seal of the United States since 1782, its meaning is both simple and profound – “Out of many, one.”

Originally it may have been but a literal acknowledgement of the Union of the thirteen colonies, but as the years have gone by it has become a philosophical premise which we apply as a standard of morality.

It is today a clarion call for the respect of diversity, an acknowledgement that while we may have our differences, we are one people, under one law. Each citizen of the United States takes for granted that regardless of their racial background, cultural background, or family history, they are endowed by their Creator, the same unalienable rights as all their other fellow citizens.

The startling truth, however, is that we have a lot further to go before our laws and our country are aligned with this noble motto. Just as the institution of slavery stood as a stain against the noble ideals upon which our constitution was based, today we live under a government which has yet to make good on the motto, ‘E Pluribus Unum.’

While our constitution expressly prohibits denying people equal treatment under the law with the fourteenth amendment, our government has often both willfully and woefully ignored this basic guarantee.

The race-based quota system of affirmative action is perhaps the most visible example of this violation of constitutional rights (with a low point in Grutter v. Bollinger, and some progress recently with Ricci v. DeStefano).

The idea of treating people differently because of their racial background is anathema to the concept of civil rights, and the “fighting fire with fire” philosophy of fixing racial discrimination by using more racial discrimination is hypocrisy at its worst.

However, an even more egregious violation of the principle of equal treatment exists in current Indian law, and an even greater danger is presented to us with the Akaka Bill that has been proposed in various forms for the past ten years.

As it stands today, we have three distinct classes of citizenry in the United States – tribal leaders, tribal members, and non-tribal citizens. Tribal leaders stand generally above the law, with no constitutional checks on their power.

The Supreme Court in its Nevada v. Hicks (2001) case stated, “it has been understood for more than a century that the Bill of Rights and the Fourteenth Amendment do not of their own force apply to Indian tribes.”

This exemption from the basic protections afforded to other citizens places tribal members in the most disparaged class of the three, leaving them at the whim of their tribal governments.

While under tribal jurisdiction, non-tribal citizens fare just as poorly, but they at least have the wherewithal to escape from the reservation, while tribal members face the threat of tribal expulsion, confiscation of the lands their family may have lived on for generations, and even loss of custody of their own children.

Today, there are 565 federally recognized tribes which may freely violate the constitutional rights of their members. The Shinnecock Nation, backed by Gateway Casino Resorts, with only 1,292 members, became number 565 on October 1, 2010, after all appeals to their recognition (including objections from other already established casino tribes) were exhausted.

The Shinnecock, and the other 564 federally recognized tribes, are granted exemptions from state and local jurisdictions, creating a special class of citizenry not subject to the rights and laws of their peers.

These federally recognized tribes also have access to lucrative federal assistance programs (regardless of any tribal casino income), funded by non-tribal taxpayers and controlled exclusively by tribal leaders. So instead of ‘E Pluribus Unum,’ the truth is that today we live in a country governed by ‘E Pluribus Pluribus,’ with a constant, yet often overlooked, division of people into different strata of citizenship.

The Akaka Bill serves as yet another continuation of that deplorable trend, promising to “reorganize” everyone with the smallest drop of native Hawaiian blood into an Indian tribe, with all the equal protection problems that come with it.

Specifically constructed to protect current race-based programs targeted at native Hawaiians, the Akaka Bill is a headlong dive into the constitutional loophole provided by Indian Law, and promises to divide the State of Hawaii in the most wrongheaded manner imaginable.

From a purely self-interested point of view, it’s no wonder that future Akaka Tribe leaders want to get in on the Indian Tribe game – between the casino money, and the federal dollars appropriated (regardless of whether or not a tribe is economically self-sufficient), even the most reasonable and rational person might be sorely tempted.

An investigation into recent native Hawaiian grants handed out by the government at http://4hawaiiansonly.com has already identified over 766 grants totaling over $273 million.

While only a drop in the bucket compared to the more than 4 billion spent on Indian tribes every year (the BIA is unable to give any exact number), there is no question that we’re talking a lot of money, and a lot of temptation. It will be a long road for our country, to repair the self-inflicted wounds of ‘E Pluribus Pluribus.’

Ending the second and third class citizenship status of existing Tribal Law, and preventing the enactment of further injustices like the Akaka Bill will not be easy – the forces arrayed against a nation of one people, under one law, have resources common citizens simply cannot match.

But in the end, no matter how long or difficult the struggle, the United States will one day live up to its noble ideals of its founding – E Pluribus Unum.

Advertisements

Comments

comments

35 COMMENTS

  1. “The race issue as framed by Jere above is simply anecdotal (too narrow) because it ignores critical components of the history leading up to Statehood.”

    Are you saying that there are historical reasons why we should not treat people equally under the law? Historical reasons why we should treat people differently according to their race? I’m more than happy to talk about the history leading up to statehood, but the assertion that *any* sort of history could be an excuse for racial discrimination is to miss the point of learning from the mistakes of our past.

    “Statehood was a tacit admission that a great fraud had not only been committed but that it required some kind of remedial program to mitigate the effects etc.”

    How can you possibly make that assertion? Statehood was the culmination of efforts starting as far back as 1854 with Kamehameha III’s original treaty of annexation – it was hitching our wagon to a rising star, as it were. 94% of the electorate voted for statehood, representing an overwhelming sentiment from all corners of the islands. Trying to re-interpret this as some sort of fraud is disingenuous at best.

    “How else would you explain the systematic denial that something was wrong with how statehood was promulgated?”

    How about having a great respect for the principles upon which our nation was founded, as well as a great respect for the arc of history in Hawaii that turned it from a slave-owning theocracy with human sacrifice, to a first world nation unrivaled in the pacific. This isn’t to say that ends justify the means, but any critical examination of the history shows a much more nuanced truth than monarchists would have us believe.

    “If you continue to oppose the Akaka bill, you are only making it more likely that the forthcoming legal challenges to statehood will succeed.”

    Not at all. The legal ground upon which Statehood is founded is firm. Fighting against the Akaka Bill does nothing to undermine that which is already legitimate.

    “Behind this are really a bunch of white property owners trying to secure their possessions against fears of a native government emerging with tax powers etc.”

    Out of one side of your mouth, you try to deny race is an issue, but then you posit two classes of people “white” and “native”. Noa, we are all “native” to this earth, and all just as human as each other. Artificially classifying people based on skin color hearkens back to an era of racism that I’m sure you wouldn’t endorse. The State of Hawaii *is* a “native” government, drawn from the people of Hawaii, of the people, for the people, and by the people.

  2. “Are you saying that there are historical reasons why we should not treat people equally under the law? Historical reasons why we should treat people differently according to their race?”

    You are putting the cart before the horse here as you do with almost every other subject you raise. Racial preference issue are secondary issues not relevant to the legitimacy questions so much, although race comes into play at each level. By venue I mean to highlight the weakness of your arguments about statehood being legal. The correct venue corresponds to the nature of the crime. The question of venue is answered when or after the crime is clearly understood to be either or, especially given the amount of facts we have in our favor. Fact 1). “The 1959 Statehood Act is an internal law of the U.S. passed by Congress and has no effect outside of U.S. territory.” So in addition to the legitimacy question about Congress’ reach of power, which I’ll get to in a moment, there was something called the Lili`uokalani assignment. The Lili`uokalani assignment legally bound President Cleveland and his successors in office, to include President Obama, to administer Hawaiian Kingdom law, not U.S. law, by virtue of a temporary and conditional assignment of Hawaiian executive power by Queen Lili`uokalani made under a threat of war by U.S. forces that illegally landed on Hawaiian territory. This temporary and conditional assignment of Hawaiian executive power remains today in the office of the U.S. President. The State of Hawai`i Keanu argues, “CAN’T EXIST AT THE SAME TIME AS THE HAWIIAN KINGDOM! Since there is a presumption of continuity on the part of the Hawaiian Kingdom, because U.S. President John Tyler afforded recognition as an independent State in 1842, and President Cleveland entered into an agreement with the Hawaiian Kingdom’s Queen in 1893 temporarily assigning executive power to administer Hawaiian Kingdom law, the U.S. Attorney cannot claim that Congress affected the status of the Hawaiian Kingdom by passing an internal law claiming Hawai`i was the 50th State in 1959, which is 66 years after the fact.”

    Have you ever heard of the Foreign Relief Laws of the Unites States 901? This Allows a process that can repeal legislation illegally annexing a foreign Territory. You are implying that I use conjecture to make my points, and that I cannot cite a single venue. Well now I’v given you a glimpse into what is shaping up. I think its really you who do this not me. Keanu Sai isn’t involved in the law suit as a representative or lawyer of the Hawaiian Kingdom at all so while his case could be dismissed (which it probably won’t) it would not preclude a formal tribunal on the facts mentioned above at some point down the road. If he wins his case the courts will simply reward him injunctive relief as he is requesting. Once we re-organize our nation, at that point we expect a state to state negotiation etc. At that point much of the historical data relevant to the legitimacy question will be in play thanks to the work Keanu has done. I’ve given you both the venus and the nature of our complaint. War crimes are supposed to be adjudicated in a military tribunal, not U.S. courts. Some would argue that state and federal courts are problematic and unlawful ways to address crimes of State or high crimes. So if you should want to debate these assertions, from here on out you’ll be debating Keanu not me. By the way. Keanu is not the mentor I was referring to. My mentors are theologians not land rights activists.

    The State of Hawai`i can’t exist at the same time as the Hawaiian Kingdom.

    Since there is a presumption of continuity on the part of the Hawaiian Kingdom, because U.S. President John Tyler afforded recognition as an independent State in 1842, and President Cleveland entered into an agreement with the Hawaiian Kingdom’s Queen in 1893 temporarily assigning executive power to administer Hawaiian Kingdom law, the U.S. Attorney cannot claim that Congress affected the status of the Hawaiian Kingdom by passing an internal law claiming Hawai`i was the 50th State in 1959, which is 66 years after the fact.

    “slave-owning theocracy with human sacrifice”

    Ah you mean like the way the Unites States authorizes abortion on demand? And by slave owning theocracy, do you mean like the way Congress has federalized native rights beginning with Andrew Jackson? Seems you forgotten American slavery altogether but it fits with everything else you done thus far.

    “great respect for the arc of history in Hawaii that turned it from a slave-owning theocracy with human sacrifice, to a first world nation unrivaled in the pacific.”

    Yes I do recall this great providence or arch of history you speak of. I would remind you that Egypt and Babylon both suffered great calamity for its treatment of Gods people, and no court was needed at all to exact judgement. What did precede these judgements was a simple proclamation by the prophets of God, who by the way were marginalized and treated with contempt much the same as you have treated me. One does not need to assigned by councils or certificates to be a mouth piece for God. The disciples were not accepted as such by the religious leaders who we might say were official assigned to such proclamations. So your points on my use of scripture are not valid excuse for ignoring me. I wasn’t quoting from the Book of Noa, I was quoting from the Word of Almighty God!

    So I repeat to you that my framing of the Statehood is not my own, and its nothing to do with race as you seem to be trying to turn this into. This is about nationality and illegal foreign occupation. According to Professor Von Glahn, “the nationality of the inhabitants of occupied areas does not ordinarily change through the mere fact that temporary rule of a foreign government has been instituted, inasmuch as military occupation does not confer de jure sovereignty upon an occupant. Thus under the laws of most countries children born in territory under enemy occupation possess the nationality of their parents.” See Gehard von Glahn, The Occupation of Enemy Territory: A Commentary on the Law and Practice of Belligerent Occupation (University of Minnesota Press 1957), 60. Therefore, individuals born in the Hawaiian Kingdom while under occupation since August 12, 1898 during the Spanish-American War can only acquire the citizenship of their parents (jus sanguinis). Hawaiian subjects today must be a direct descendent of a Hawaiian subject by parentage, irrespective of ethnicity, as of August 12, 1898.

  3. “Fact 1). “The 1959 Statehood Act is an internal law of the U.S. passed by Congress and has no effect outside of U.S. territory.””

    Fact 0). The Newlands Treaty ratified and executed by the sovereign and independent Republic of Hawaii, and the corresponding Newlands Resolution passed by the United States, represented a legally binding and internationally recognized agreement between two independent nations.

    Keanu was reminded of this when he brought his case to arbitration (which was rejected):

    “THE PRESIDENT: International law does not have the same rules of validity as constitutional law: for example, in the context of treaties. The relevant provision of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties draws a distinction between the constitutionality of a treaty and its validity in international law…It might be the case that under international law an annexation is valid even though there has been some constitutional defect.”

    “The Lili`uokalani assignment legally bound President Cleveland and his successors in office, to include President Obama, to administer Hawaiian Kingdom law,
    not U.S. law”

    And by what manner does an internal command of a fallen monarch have any effect outside of the monarch’s territory? Could Liliuokalani legally bind the Queen of England to send ten tons of sugar every year to Waianae?

    “This temporary and conditional assignment of Hawaiian executive power remains today in the office of the U.S. President.”

    Regardless of the contents of Liliuokalani’s surrender, it was presented NOT to the US representative in the islands at the time, it was presented to the Provisional Government. Her lawyer was hoping to create the basis for a reversal later (which Cleveland did attempt with his whitewash Blount investigation), but the facts of the matter is that a queen surrendering to an internal insurrection cannot place a legally binding command on another country.

    “The State of Hawai`i Keanu argues, “CAN’T EXIST AT THE SAME TIME AS THE HAWIIAN KINGDOM!”

    He’s right. But the answer to that dilema is that the Hawaiian Kingdom no longer exists. Taken another way, the Republic of Hawaii can’t exist at the same time as the Hawaiian Kingdom -> but the Republic of Hawaii was legally established and recognized under international law, and existed as a sovereign and independent nation from 1894-1898.

    “Have you ever heard of the Foreign Relief Laws of the Unites States 901?”

    Sure. They were passed in 1980, and as per the concept of no ex post facto laws, they certainly don’t apply to 1893.

    “This Allows a process that can repeal legislation illegally annexing a foreign Territory.”

    “Allowing” does not mean “demanding”. I posit to you that if the Newlands Resolution was repealed, the Senate would convene immediately to remedy the matter by ratifying the Newlands Treaty.

    “You are implying that I use conjecture to make my points, and that I cannot cite a single venue.”

    I’m not implying it, I’m baldly asserting it -> you continue to use conjecture in your points, and the venue you cited (which will end up being the SCOTUS), was a venue you specifically barred in your earlier comment, “1). We are never going to conceded the venue to the Supreme Court!( I’m surprised you don’t know that by now?)”

    “If he wins his case the courts will simply reward him injunctive relief as he is requesting.”

    And if he loses his case, will you accept the adjudication as legal and legitimate, putting finally to rest your theory that the Kingdom of Hawaii still exists?

    “War crimes are supposed to be adjudicated in a military tribunal, not U.S. courts.”

    Whose military tribunal? The US Military? The UK Military?

    “So if you should want to debate these assertions, from here on out you’ll be debating Keanu not me.”

    I don’t have to debate Keanu – the courts will reject his arguments and do that for me.

    “The State of Hawai`i can’t exist at the same time as the Hawaiian Kingdom.”

    Again, that’s correct, but the answer is not that the State of Hawaii does not exist, it is that the Hawaiian Kingdom no longer exists, having been legally and legitimately replaced by the internationally recognized, sovereign and independent Republic of Hawaii in 1894.

    “Since there is a presumption of continuity on the part of the Hawaiian Kingdom”

    There is no such presumption given the international recognition of the Republic of Hawaii by every nation that ever had diplomatic relations with the Kingdom. One could argue that there is a presumption of continuity of the Kauai Kingdom pre-1810, because of relationships they had with the Russians.

    “the U.S. Attorney cannot claim that Congress affected the status of the Hawaiian Kingdom by passing an internal law claiming Hawai`i was the 50th State in 1959, which is 66 years after the fact.”

    The U.S. Attorney *can* claim, however, that the Newlands Resolution was an internationally recognized agreement between the legitimate and sovereign Republic of Hawaii, which was faithfully executed by both parties, making Hawaii internal to the United States.

    “Seems you forgotten American slavery altogether but it fits with everything else you done thus far.”

    Not at all – we should all remember it very well, and refuse any assertion that we must return to some mythical, perfect past. Painting groups of Americans as eternal victims, for whatever historical rationale you wish to come up with, is counter productive and misguided. Returning to a Kingdom of Hawaii is a retrograde movement, just as returning to a Confederate States of America would be a retrograde movement – I oppose both on principle.

    “I would remind you that Egypt and Babylon both suffered great calamity for its treatment of Gods people, and no court was needed at all to exact judgement.”

    So you could just drop all of this, and divine judgement would come…when?

    “What did precede these judgements was a simple proclamation by the prophets of God, who by the way were marginalized and treated with contempt much the same as you have treated me.”

    Noa, if you believe you are a prophet of God, you have made a grave error.

    “I wasn’t quoting from the Book of Noa, I was quoting from the Word of Almighty God!”

    For you to assert that your interpretation of the Bible is the only true one is hubris of the highest degree. I suggest you read some of Bart Ehrman’s books, so that you can properly understand the technical and textual history of the bible.

    “This is about nationality and illegal foreign occupation.”

    The Republic of Hawaii was an independent, sovereign and internationally recognized nation. Tell me, what foreign power occupied it?

    “See Gehard von Glahn, The Occupation of Enemy Territory: A Commentary on the Law and Practice of Belligerent Occupation (University of Minnesota Press 1957), 60.”

    A 1957 reference that should apply to 1893…why?

    “Therefore, individuals born in the Hawaiian Kingdom while under occupation since August 12, 1898 during the Spanish-American War can only acquire the citizenship of their parents (jus sanguinis).”

    Those assertions need to be adjudicated before you can call them facts.

  4. “I look forward to Keanu’s attempt to get the matter adjudicated by the SCOTUS, and hope that when it is once and for all determined as baseless, either by lack of standing or by considered opinion, you’ll change your mind the same way Prince Kuhio, Robert Wilcox, and even Queen Liliuokalani did, and embrace the union of Hawaii and the rest of the United States.”

    “I look forward to any case you finally get to the Supreme Court, and hope that if and when you lose that case (or if you simply are found not to have any legal standing for bringing that case), that you can reconcile yourself to the idea of ‘E Pluribus Unum’ once and for all, and realize

    Jere, I hope you and your fellow Americans will reconcile yourselves to the idea of Obama HC once and for all! Oh and I hope you can embrace your national debt once and for all as well! Yes its your new reality despite E Pluribus unum, which you lost a long time ago! Don’t think you can get this back without first dismantling the De facto State of Hawaii.

  5. Well, not exactly on topic, but people of good character are working to restore liberty by fighting ObamaCare, as well as reducing government spending and lowering the national debt – and I’m sure the de jure State of Hawaii will help be a part of this as well.

    Good luck to you, in all your endeavors, and I hope your quest for more knowledge regarding the history of Hawaii goes well.

Comments are closed.