Sovereignty poster
Sovereignty poster

BY KENNETH R. CONKLIN, PH.D. — The U.S. “apology resolution” (USAR) refers to P.L.103-150, a joint resolution passed in Congress and signed by President Clinton in 1993 — a resolution of sentiment commemorating the centennial of the Hawaiian revolution of 1893 and apologizing to Native Hawaiians for the U.S. role in the overthrow of the monarchy. Full text of USAR, and a comparison of it with the full text of the Newlands Resolution of 1898 whereby the U.S. accepted the Treaty of Annexation offered by the Republic of Hawaii, can be found at

In the Hawaii legislature regular session of 2013, the Office of Hawaiian Affairs has submitted a concurrent resolution (companion House and Senate resolutions HCR6 and SCR2) to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the apology resolution. Text of the proposed Hawaii legislature concurrent resolution is at

On February 10, 2013 Ken Conklin submitted testimony opposing HCR 6 to the State of Hawaii House Committee on Ocean, Marine Resources, and Hawaiian Affairs for its hearing scheduled for Wednesday February 13. The testimony is in the form of a new resolution (below) which could be substituted for the original one, along with extensive footnotes.

The best thing about HCR 6 is that it uses the word “commemoration” rather than “celebration.” A commemoration is a remembrance of an event which might be celebrated or deplored, depending on what happened. For example, every year we commemorate the bombing of Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, which President Roosevelt called “A day that shall live in infamy.” When it comes to the USAR, Nov. 23, 1993 is the day that shall live in infamy because that was the date when President Clinton signed it.

The U.S. apology resolution should be repealed, not celebrated. It is filled with falsehoods about history, and it has been used for many bad purposes which Senator Inouye promised his colleagues it would not be used for. It is cited repeatedly in the Akaka bill as the main justification for passing that bill — this alone is a good reason to repeal the apology resolution.


To convey my reasons for opposing this resolution, I am providing below a proposed amendment to HCR6 and SCR2 in the nature of a substitute (a process sometimes called “gut and replace”). Each “whereas” clause contains one or two footnotes providing extensive documentation to prove what is asserted.

Whereas the U.S. apology resolution (USAR) PL 103-150 incorrectly apologizes solely to Native Hawaiians for the U.S. role in overthrowing the monarchy in the Hawaiian revolution of 1893, but any apology (if owed at all) should be directed to all the multiracial population of Hawaii in 1893; and whereas the apology should especially include the large numbers of Caucasians who were native-born or naturalized subjects of the Kingdom, many of whom served as judges, members of the legislature, and were a majority of department heads, teachers and officers of the government; and whereas the racially exclusive apology creates divisiveness because it causes ethnic Hawaiians to believe they are entitled to racially exclusive ownership of Hawaii and racially exclusive government handouts [n#1]; and

Whereas USAR is filled with twisted half-truths and outright falsehoods about the history of Hawaii and especially the Hawaiian revolution of 1893 [n#2]; and

Whereas Senator Inouye assured his colleagues during the floor debate in 1993, that USAR would never be used to justify a demand for secession, [n#3] yet numerous Hawaiian sovereignty groups have been using it that way for 20 years [n#4]; and

Whereas Senator Inouye assured his colleagues during the floor debate in 1993, that USAR would never be used to justify demands for restitution in the form of special race-based government handouts; [n#5] yet USAR has been cited in the “findings” preambles of every major bill introduced by Senators Inouye and Akaka to provide federal recognition to Native Hawaiians as an Indian tribe, and to provide special race-based programs in housing,
healthcare, education, etc. [n#6]; and

Whereas USAR has prompted many ethnic Hawaiians to clog the courts with bogus assertions that the federal and state governments are illegal in Hawaii and hence lack jurisdiction over them to enforce requirements for vehicle registrations and driver licenses [n#7]; and

Whereas activists have used USAR to insist the U.S. flag must not fly over ‘Iolani Palace, to assert ethnic Hawaiian takeovers of the Palace, and to oppose government regulations for use of Palace grounds[n#8]; and

Whereas USAR has been used in two different campaigns a decade apart by a Hawaiian sovereignty activist in collaboration with realtors to perpetrate a scam by asserting that the “illegal overthrow of the monarchy” means that deeds to private property are not valid unless re-certified by the activist acting as an agent of the Hawaiian kingdom, and clients are charged around $2,000 for a bogus title search, and bogus documents are filed with the Bureau of Conveyances placing a cloud on valid deeds, and ignorant clients are persuaded to stop paying mortgages on the theory that the mortgages are not valid, and title insurance companies are sued to pay the clients when mortgages are foreclosed [n#9]; and

Whereas USAR caused local and federal courts to be tied up for a decade in a ceded lands lawsuit filed by OHA and several individual ethnic Hawaiians where the USAR was the primary focus of attention, and a 5-0 decision by the Hawaii Supreme Court was overturned by a 9-0 decision of the U.S. Supreme Court [n#10]; and

Whereas the U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs held two months of hearings in 1894 with testimony under oath and cross-examination regarding the U.S. role in the Hawaiian revolution of 1893 and concluded that U.S. peacekeepers had neither caused nor assisted the revolution; and whereas a joint House/Senate Native Hawaiians Study Commission reached the same conclusion in 1983 following two years of public hearings and extensive commentaries by experts[n#11]; and

Whereas the people of Hawaii are disgusted by the gross abuse of the U.S. apology resolution to attack the sovereignty of the State of Hawaii and to disrupt the unity and equality of our people [n#12];

Now therefore BE IT RESOLVED by the House of Representatives of the Twenty-seventh Legislature of the State of Hawaii, Regular Session of 2013, the Senate concurring, that the Legislature hereby expresses its desire that PL103-150, commonly known as the apology resolution, be rescinded; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that we ask both of Hawaii’s U.S. Senators and all their colleagues, and both of Hawaii’s Members of Congress and all their colleagues, to introduce and actively support appropriate legislation to rescind PL103-150; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that certified copies of this Concurrent Resolution be transmitted to the President of the United States, the Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, the President of the United States Senate, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Hawaii, the Governor of the State of Hawaii, and the Chairperson of the Board of Trustees of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs.

** Author’s note: The footnotes are detailed, lengthy, valuable resources to prove the points made in the “whereas” clauses. See the complete testimony including the footnotes at