Statehood Day – Downward Spiral Hits New Low on Maui

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Thanks to Malia Zimmerman for her ”’Hawaii Reporter”’
editorial of Aug. 18: “Happy Birthday, Hawaii – Some of Us Still Remember.”

In 1959, when President Eisenhower proclaimed
that all conditions had been met and Hawaii was now
the 50th state, there was dancing in the streets. Ninety-four percent
of Hawaii’s voters (and therefore a clear majority of
every ethnic group) had said “yes” to statehood.


But lately the only people actually celebrating
are state and county workers who get the day off with
pay. Where are the parades, floats, and marching
bands? Where are the politicians proclaiming pride in
statehood? They dare not speak for fear of offending
Hawaiian sovereignty activists.

Ben Cayetano issued a formal Governor’s Message
on Aug. 16, 2002, his final Statehood Day in office. It was a stirring, uplifing message, much needed
after the terrorist attack of Sept. 11. Among
other inspirational sentences Governor Cayetano wrote:
“The people of Hawaii enjoy a diversity unlike any
state in the nation. We are committed to ensuring
unity and equality for all of our residents. While we
celebrate the differences that define and enrich our
island culture, we also treasure our identity as
Americans and affirm our shared commitment to a
happier and more prosperous future for all.” Full
text on official stationery with the state seal can be
seen at:

By contrast, Gov. Linda Lingle on her first Statehood
Day in office quietly published a low-key message as a
letter-to-editor in only one newspaper, consisting
mostly of quotes from British Prime Minister Tony
Blair’s speech to Congress. Lingle’s message of 2003
can be seen at

In 2004 and 2005, Gov. Lingle totally ignored
the Statehood holiday. Instead, barely a week before
the 2005 holiday, she wore the red shirt, marched, and
gave a speech at a rally in support of an illegal
school admissions policy which federal judges have
called “racially exclusionary” — a rally where many
blatantly anti-American signs were prominently
displayed. For photos see:

It is commonly said that “the bad drives out the
good.” On Maui the bad is getting even worse.

The ”’Maui News”’ of Aug. 19, 2005, ran an
editorial including these disparaging comments: “On
this Admission Day, there may be more Hawaiians
wondering just what it means to them, with a U.S.
court ruling that they are not entitled to any
privileges as would-be citizens of a formerly
sovereign nation that was overthrown … cultural
genocide, disdaining, if not banning, the language,
religion and cultural practices of the Hawaiians …
they are reviving a sense of nationhood, not just
nationality. … There are no Hawaiian-Americans.
There are those for whom the definition of Hawaiian is
race based. But a definition of the Hawaiian must
address historical and political events and
precedents. …” For full text see:

That editorial was timed to coincide with a
pathetic little anti-statehood rally by Maui’s
perennial buffoon, the unordained “reverend” who has
never had a congregation, the Al Sharpton of Hawaii
— Charlie Maxwell. On Wednesday the newspaper had
announced “The Hawaii Statehood Celebration on Friday
will honor Maui County servicemen and women and
feature Native Hawaiian cultural specialist Charles
Kauluwehi Maxwell Sr. as keynote speaker.”

Maxwell as keynote speaker at a Statehood Day
patriotic celebration? How about Osama bin Laden as
keynote speaker on the 4th of July? This is the same
Charlie Maxwell who repeatedly threatens the people of
Hawaii that we had better give ethnic Hawaiians
whatever they demand, because “Hawaiians are a warrior
people.” See: The time
has long since come for Maxwell to hang his spear on
the wall of a museum and wear the lei hala (along with
the goat-dung lei he once hung around the neck of a
member of Congress).

Here are some of the things Maxwell wrote in an
1,800-word anti-statehood essay in the Honolulu
Advertiser of Aug. 11, 2002. Surely the organizers
of the Maui event knew about his views before
annointing him as keynote speaker?

“I can remember vividly when Hawaii became the
50th state in 1959. My father, who was a veteran of
the Navy and a devout American, wept and said, ‘This
is the last straw. Hawaii as we know it is pau
(finished).’ … lifestyle is westernized and
influenced by foreign ‘invaders’ … One only must
look at what was done to Hawaii from statehood to now
and see what we lost as Native Hawaiians of this land.
… Hawaiians cannot go to the mountains to gather
their medicinal herbs and ferns from the forest
because it is now private property. Access to the
ocean and ancient trails is blocked by luxury homes
with high fences. Our culture is being used by
everyone in the world, and words that are sacred to us
such as kahuna and aloha are so badly misused by
everyone. … And now we have those who threaten
Hawaiians with lawsuits … This is a time for us as
native people of this land to stand up and ku’e
(resist) the shameful onslaught of using the laws of
America to make it harder for us to live in the land
that was given to our ancestors thousands of years
ago.” Full text at:

On Saturday the “Maui News” reported on the
Statehood Day “celebration” of Friday. The news
report said there was a “sparse crowd” and “Oddly
enough, no elected officials, either from the county
or state, were on hand.” Considering Maxwell’s known
record as an anti-statehood independence activist, is
it any wonder elected officials didn’t want to get
caught attending? Even the anti-statehood state
Sen. Kalani English didn’t show up, apparently
preferring to fly below the public’s radar on this
issue. “With the Hawaiian flag flying upside down in
a show of distress as the rains fell, the so-called
‘celebration’ of 46 years of statehood for the islands
on Friday was more of a somber gray than red, white
and blue. … There almost seemed to be more voices
singing ‘Hawaii Ponoi,’ the national anthem for the
Hawaiian kingdom before its overthrow in 1893, than
for ‘The Star Spangled Banner.’ [gosh, really?] …
Maxwell said the United States needs to not only
acknowledge the overthrow of the Hawaiian kingdom, but
to make restitution and recognize a sovereign Hawaiian
nation. … Outside the complex, as heavy rains fell,
both flags