“Rhinos 2 Centered”

“Rhinos 4 Centered”

One of the defining characteristics of the species RINO* (Republican In Name Only) is its obsequious brown-nosing of their alleged political opponents in the Democratic Party, particularly those at the left-wing of that Party. Another trait common to the RINO is the vicious attacks it makes upon those to the right of them in the Republican Party, i.e. most of the rank-and-file.

No better example of these nasty attributes of the RINO can be found than that of state Attorney General Mark Bennett’s statement at the recent debate on the Akaka Bill. Malia Zimmerman, at ”’Hawaii Reporter,”’ has posted audio clips from the debate and a transcript of Bennett’s rant. [See: “Audio Highlights of Heated Debate Over the Akaka Bill”]

In Bennett’s world all who disagree with his pseudo-history and the resulting dubious interpretation of Hawaiian history are … drum roll please … Holocaust Deniers:

I am Jewish and there are a lot of people in this world who are Holocaust deniers. They go around talking about the fact that the Holocaust didn’t happen. That 6 million of my relatives were not burned in the ovens in Nazi Germany and the surrounding countries. And I get terribly offended when I hear people say things like that. There is just no question that historically, whatever the legal significance of it is, that the United States participated and supported the overthrow, whatever the significance of that is. There is no question that historically there was suffering as a result of the overthrow. The Department of Justice itself said, and I quote, As a result of the overthrow, laws suppressing Hawaiian culture and language and displacement from the land, the native Hawaiian people suffered mortality, disease, economic deprivations, social distress and population decline. We can have here a rational discussion about whether or not this bill is legal, whether or not this bill is good or bad, but it is ridiculous when people try to rewrite history in an offensive way and that’s what happening here tonight.

Bennett being Jewish is totally irrelevant to the discussion at hand. He mentions it only to establish his Victim bona fides. He should also be aware that there are some of us who don’t get our history from OHA talking points, Department of Justice lawyers, or the agenda driven Department of Hawaiian Studies at UH Manoa.

Bennett is surely aware that the hardships suffered by Hawaiians that he lists pre-date, by decades, the Overthrow. The rapid population decline of the Hawaiian people was a issue of deep concern no later than the reign of Kamehameha III. Does Bennett consider Ralph Kuykendall a Holocaust Denier? Perhaps so, since he also would have disagreed with Bennett’s revisionist drivel:

The great chiefs of Hawaii may not have had actual ownership of Hawaii’s land — the aina — but they were in charge of it. And no one was going to tell them what to do with the broad fertile valleys and productive fishponds they controlled. By the time of Kamehameha III in the 1830s, however, the commoners were facing a difficult time as foreign diseases and foreign lifestyle brought across the ocean decimated the population. As historian Ralph Kuykendall noted, the Hawaiian race in the 19th century was rapidly declining and extinction was openly predicted. Who, then, would occupy the land? “The connection between this and land question is perfectly obvious,” Kuykendall wrote. “Foreigners having a prospective future interest in the land were anxious to convert it into a real and present one.” At the same time, the chiefs were concerned that without a plan to meet the powerful foreign interests, Hawaii and its people would be obliterated. Chiefs had land but little cash — and with commoners moving to the populated port areas, leaving the productive countryside, the chiefs had no source of revenue. So the great land revolution came.

Bruce Fein, arguing against the Akaka Bill, would not be intimidated by the likes of Bennett calling him a Nazi:

A commission was created in 1980 to study whether or not there was any reparations due to native Hawaiians because of the overthrow of Queen Liliuokalani and whether or not there was any special recognition made by the United States towards native Hawaiians. The commission voted 6 to 3 against any affirmative findings in either of those cases