”’This testimony was presented in Washington DC last week to the U.S. Commission On Civil Rights regarding the proposed Akaka Bill now up for a vote in the U.S. Senate.”’
I was Deputy Attorney General of the Territory Of Hawaii from 1953 to 1959. During that time, I was the attorney for the Hawaiian Homes Commission, an agency that managed and supervised the use of lands allocated to native Hawaiians for residential and agricultural uses. The agency survives as the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands of the State of Hawaii. I was elected to the first Hawaii State Legislature, serving as a Representative from 1959 to 1962. In addition, I served as the United States Attorney for the State of Hawaii from 1969 to 1973, and was in the United States Army in World War II working as a Japanese Language interpreter and translator.
So I believe I have sufficient legal experience and personal understanding of the issues to submit these statements as testimony regarding S 147, otherwise known as the Akaka Bill, which is intended to create a race-based Hawaiian nation within the State of Hawaii.
This Akaka Bill proposes to create a government whose citizens would be restricted to persons whose ancestry includes any amount, however small, of blood quantum of natives who lived in the Hawaiian Islands before the discovery of the Islands by English explorer Captain James Cook in 1778. This is beyond any serious debate an attempt to create a race-based nation and government.
An appropriate analogy would be an attempt to create a foreign nation within California, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas whose citizens would be limited to descendants of persons of Hispanic blood who lived there before they became American Territories and States, because the lands belonged to Mexico before they were stolen by America.
This is similar to the argument being used by the proponents of S 147 to create a new Hawaiian nation.
The initial argument against the Akaka Bill is one of simple historical fact. From the time of its discovery, the Hawaiian Kingdom allowed the free immigration of people of all races and all nations of the world, initially from Europe and America, and later from Asia.
Hawaii is the most racially integrated State in America, and its population includes descendants of people who came from England, France, Germany, Russia, Scotland, Ireland, Spain, Portugal, Australia, New Zealand, China, Japan, Korea, the Philippines, Puerto Rico, other Pacific islands, and the progeny of mixed marriages of all of these racial and ethnic groups.
The Hawaiians may be the most racially mixed group in Hawaii because they have been here the longest with the most opportunities to marry people of other races. The number of persons of pure Hawaiian ancestry is now less than one percent of the population. Throughout the history of the Hawaiian Kingdom, there was never any constitutional or Legislative restriction of Hawaiian citizenship to persons of Hawaiian descent.
This is a historical fact, which the backers of S 147 do not publicly acknowledge, but cannot truthfully deny. To create a new Hawaiian nation whose citizenship is based on race, where no racial restriction existed in the preceding Hawaiian Kingdom is simply a political attempt to disregard history and create an unacceptable racial discrimination and segregation in an American State, where the U.S. Constitution and laws against racial discrimination must remain paramount.
This bill will result in severe and permanent damage to existing race relations in Hawaii. A true example would be my own extended family. We have lived in Hawaii continuously for five generations and 120 years.
My grandparents and many thousands of other immigrants of all races came here to work on the sugar plantations at the invitation of the Hawaiian King Kalakaua. They were invited because there were not enough native Hawaiians who were able or willing to do the work to assist the economy of the Hawaiian Kingdom. The immigration of the Japanese followed a formal treaty between the King and the Japanese Emperor Meiji in 1885. My father and his three sisters were born in Hawaii. My mother was also Japanese, so I am pure Japanese in ancestry. However, one of my aunts married a man who was one-half native Hawaiian and therefore my cousin was one-fourth Hawaiian.
If the Akaka Bill becomes law, my cousin’s children and descendants will be entitled to all the economic and legal benefits that will be given to Hawaiians while my children and descendants will get nothing, simply because of an accident of birth. This is precisely why the Constitution and laws of the United States prohibit discrimination on the basis of race or color.
Nobody in my family had anything to do with the overthrow of the Hawaiian Monarchy. Both my cousin and I were born long after Hawaii became an American Territory, yet the Akaka Bill will reward my cousin’s children and descendants for “injuries” they never suffered, while my children and descendants will be punished by denying them the same benefits for “crimes” they never committed.
It is ironic that one of the supporters of this Bill is Senator Daniel Inouye who fought with great valor and distinction in World War II against foreign enemies and against racial discrimination and segregation in America. However, this Bill will affect not only Japanese Americans, but people of all races living in Hawaii.
Because of the inter-marriage of the races, there is no racial majority in the population of Hawaii. This Bill is not about a white supremacy over a colored minority. It is an attempt to legalize racial segregation and create special privileges and benefits for one racial minority over all other minorities. It is also an attempt to secede from the United States by a partition of a State and the creation of a foreign nation.
In addition to the arguments against this Bill of historical precedent and racial discrimination, there are other equally important Constitutional and legal questions which must be considered and resolved before this Bill should be brought to the floor of Congress:
*1) Does the Congress have any power to create a foreign nation within a State and cede Federal and State lands and make appropriations to that nation;
*2) How to foresee, prevent or resolve the multitude of problems which will arise from dual citizenship, conflicts of laws and privileges and immunities which will be inescapable if two nations occupy and exist in the same land, sea and airspace;
*3) The right of the Hawaiian nation to secede from the United States Of America;
*4) The power or right of the Hawaiian nation to become a member of the United Nations, with all attendant powers, privileges and authority. It is imperative that all these questions be brought to light and to the attention of the Congress before any vote should be taken on this Bill.
The underlying purpose of this Bill, in addition to the secession goal, is to circumvent and frustrate judicial scrutiny of existing and future Federal and State programs, which are designated by race only for Hawaiians.
By creating a new Hawaiian nation and a pseudo-diplomatic relationship with the United States, the promoters of S 147 would secure continued grants of Federal and State lands and money for the exclusive use and benefit of one race of people to the exclusion of all other people living in Hawaii. Presumably, the exclusive benefits would be considered as a form of “foreign aid”.
If it is the purpose of the Congress to make amends for the annexation of Hawaii, then the appropriate action would be to kill this Bill and enact a reparations Bill with programs and benefits for descendants of all the people who were living in Hawaii at the time of annexation. This would benefit all Hawaiians as well as all other races who were affected by the annexation, and achieve the goal of assisting the Hawaiians without violating the proscription against racial discrimination. If, as many Hawaiians claim, they are on the bottom of the economic ladder, and the benefits are allocated on the basis of financial need, then assuredly most, if not all the program benefits will go to Hawaiians, and there would be no reason to create a Hawaiian nation with al the attendant constitutional and legal problems.
Despite large amounts of inspired hyperbole the supporters of this Bill, the Hawaiians are not an oppressed race. Since the time of the Hawaiian Kingdom and Territory and State, Hawaiians have thrived and succeeded professionally, politically and economically. The sponsor of S 147 is U.S. Senator Akaka, a Hawaiian. There have been thousands of Hawaiian doctors, lawyers, politicians, judges, professors, teachers, Olympic medallists, NFL football players, grand champion sumo wrestlers, singers, dancers, and other professionals. A former Territorial Governor and State Governor, a former Chief Justice and several Associate Justices of the Appellate and Supreme Courts of the Hawaii have been Hawaiians. The present Lieutenant Governor of Hawaii is a Hawaiian. There are pockets of poverty and cultural challenges in various areas of Hawaii, but these are problems that affect every race, and not just Hawaiians. The Hawaiian language, history and culture are thriving and being taught in public and private schools and the University Of Hawaii, and not in any danger of being lost or extinguished.
Americans did not steal the property of Hawaiians. In fact many Americans helped the Hawaiians. One of the best examples is the Bishop Estate, a private charitable trust, which owns thousands of acres of prime land in Hawaii. The assets of this trust are estimated to value more than eight billion dollars, with an annual income of several hundred million dollars, which is entirely dedicated to the education of Hawaiian children. The founders of this Trust were Bernice Pauahi, a member of the Hawaiian royal family, and her husband who was a white American who donated his own personal fortune to the trust, and took no benefits in return.
If the Akaka Bill succeeds in creating a race-based nation with segregation and discrimination where none existed before, it will be a social and political disaster for Hawaii and the United States. It will officially create and support a form of Apartheid in America, while we continue to publicly denounce racism. It will also approve the partition of a State and the creation of a foreign nation within the borders of the United States in violation of the Constitutional plan of a single nation composed of sovereign States.
The design and purposes of the Akaka Bill are in direct conflict with the Constitution and laws of the United States and must be defeated in the Congress.
”’Robert K. Fukuda was Deputy Attorney General of the Territory Of Hawaii from 1953 to 1959, and the attorney for the Hawaiian Homes Commission, an agency that managed and supervised the use of lands allocated to native Hawaiians for residential and agricultural uses. He was elected to the first Hawaii State Legislature, serving as a Representative from 1959 to 1962, served as the United States Attorney for the State of Hawaii from 1969 to 1973, and was in the United States Army in World War II working as a Japanese Language interpreter and translator.”’
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