Time to Eliminate Racial Entitlement Programs

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** Author’s note: This essay was written September 11, 2011 to honor the brave patriots who gave their lives ten years ago to stop terrorists from using United Airlines Flight 93 as a weapon to destroy the Capitol or White House. The closing paragraph explains why that’s relevant. Also see the extended essay at https://tinyurl.com/3vyecvf



Our government’s fiscal crisis offers a rare opportunity to make deep budget cuts while also eliminating harmful social programs. As Rahm Emanuel famously said: “You don’t ever want a crisis to go to waste; it’s an opportunity to do important things that you would otherwise avoid.”[1] Racial entitlements have wasted billions of dollars. But what’s worse is that they have established powerful bureaucracies devoted to racial separatism, tearing apart our society and even threatening to rip the 50th star off the flag.

In Hawaii the Grassroot Institute has identified nearly 900 federally funded programs restricted to people who have at least one drop of Hawaiian native blood.[2] The U.S. House Republican Study Committee targeted $40 Million of Hawaiian racial entitlements in 2005 to offset other government spending, and President Bush proposed cutting similar racial entitlements from 2006 to 2008.[3]

On September 4, 2011 the Maui News reported the latest boondoggle — the National Science Foundation pledged $20 Million for a ten-year program of race-based scholarships to encourage ethnic Hawaiians to learn about astronomy, as a sort of bribe to soften ethnic Hawaiian “sacred land” opposition to building a new solar telescope atop Haleakala.[4]

Besides all those programs OHA and DHHL have provided about $3 Billion of handouts exclusively to ethnic Hawaiians,[5] and an entire island[6] is pledged to the government envisioned by the Akaka bill. Then there’s Bishop Estate whose trustees fiercely defend Kamehameha Schooll’s racially exclusionary admissions policy not required by Princess Pauahi’s Will.[7]

All racial entitlement programs should be eliminated. Of course they are unconstitutional,[8] but also immoral and socially divisive. They waste money by duplicating services already available for everyone. Abolishing these programs might contribute only a few billion dollars to the trillions needed to save our nation from bankruptcy, but will also contribute a huge amount of social capital to the rebuilding of Hawaii’s Aloha Spirit.[9]

Racial entitlements should not only be eliminated from the budget for future expenditures, there should also be rescissions of existing programs to offset emergency spending for hurricanes, wildfires, earthquakes, and tsunamis.

Lists of racial entitlement programs are provided in the extended essay, along with a link to a lengthy, detailed analysis of one particular bill in the 112th Congress, S.66 “The Native Hawaiian Health Care Improvement Act.” The purpose of S.66 is to reauthorize an entrenched racial separatist bureaucracy going back more than two decades. Most of the assertions in the bill’s preamble, or “findings”, are very similar to other racial entitlement bills; so the analysis of them has widespread applicability.[10]

There’s no justification for having racially segregated programs for healthcare, housing, education, and other social services — except to establish empires under the control of racial separatists. The tycoons of the “Native Hawaiian” grievance industry happily proclaim twisted statistics purporting to show that ethnic Hawaiians are the poorest, most downtrodden group.

The statistics evoke public sympathy and thus political power, in addition to government money to feed the institutional patronage empire.[11] But even pretending the statistics were correct, they would merely prove that if government help is given to needy people based on need alone, then ethnic Hawaiians would receive the lion’s share of the help simply because they are the neediest. It’s time to put an end to racial segregation in government programs.

Some federally recognized Indian tribes have longstanding treaties guaranteeing special kinds of government handouts. Tribes without treaties have a weaker claim to federal resources. In any case Congress should reconsider whether to exercise its plenary power over the tribes to gradually end long-outmoded tribalism, working toward full integration of sovereignty with one set of laws for all Americans.

How did federal racial entitlements for ethnic Hawaiians get created? Hawaii is the only state that has had both of its Senators serving together on the Indian Affairs committee. Inouye was chairman for several years. They’ve been on that committee for decades, even though there are no Indian tribes in Hawaii. Why? Pork! Whenever a bill came through that committee to provide benefits for all the genuine Indian tribes for healthcare, housing, education etc., Akaka and Inouye simply inserted the phrase “and Native Hawaiians.” Even if Congress believes the genuine tribes should have entitlements, Hawaii’s fake tribe should be removed from future legislation and rescinded from programs already in place.

State-recognized tribes which lack federal recognition[12] are really nothing more than private clubs or condominiums, granted special powers by statute. But that does not mean the tribe must have its own government-funded welfare programs separate from the general welfare programs available to all citizens based on need. In any case, state-recognized tribes are not entitled to handouts from the federal government.

There is no federally recognized tribe in Hawaii, although a bill to create one has been pushed in Congress continuously since 2000.[13] A state-recognized tribe is now being created by SB1520, which became Act 195 of 2011.[14] But unlike the well-established tribes in other states, the Act 195 tribe is a completely artificial entity created out of thin air by the state. The Act 195 “tribe” is merely an agency of the state government, completely under the authority of the Governor, legislature, and state courts.[15] It deserves very little deference, not only because it is merely a state agency but especially because membership is restricted by race.

In the entire history of Hawaii since the first canoe arrived, there was never a unified government for all the islands that restricted leadership, membership, or voting rights to ethnic Hawaiians alone. The oldest bones in the Royal Mausoleum, guarded by a pair of sacred kapu sticks, belong to Englishman John Young who led Kamehameha’s troops to victory and was Governor of Hawaii Island.

Throughout the Hawaiian Kingdom most department heads and cabinet ministers, and many legislators (both Nobles and Representatives), were Caucasian. The first sentence of the first Constitution of the Kingdom, i(1840) proclaimed “God hath made of one blood all races of people to dwell upon this Earth in unity and blessedness.”

Over a thousand Chinese immigrants, plus some Japanese, became naturalized subjects of the Kingdom. Kalakaua stripped them of voting rights by his signature on the Constitution of 1887, but voting rights were restored to all local-born Asians, and naturalized Kingdom subjects, when Hawaii became a U.S. territory in 1898.

Just as the federal government’s fiscal crisis offers an opportunity to eliminate racial entitlement programs, so also Hawaii’s fiscal crisis offers the legislature a face-saving way to avoid giving land or money to the Act 195 tribe it created. When the tribe asks, just say no. When its leaders loudly bang their pahu drums in the capitol rotunda, just put in your earplugs.

Ten years ago on September 11, 2001 some very brave and patriotic passengers on United Airlines Flight 93 stormed the cockpit to fight back against terrorists who had hijacked their airplane as a weapon to destroy the Capitol or White House. Today Hawaii citizens, state legislators, and all 535 members of Congress should fight back against those who have hijacked government money as a weapon to push for racial separatism.

In the words of heroic passenger Todd Beamer when rallying his fellow passengers to attack the cockpit: “Are you guys ready? Okay. Let’s roll!”

Send this essay to House and Senate Republicans, members of the Democrat “Blue Dog” caucus, and all members of the special super-committee of 12 responsible for making deep budget cuts. Tell them there are detailed lists of Hawaii’s racial entitlement programs linked through footnotes in the extended essay at





  1. Great Idea-As soon as the Housing Entitlements are dismantled using AGEISM as the primary tool for qualifying for reduced rate housing!!! Many people with social security that are under the REQUIRED AGE for housing in affordable units, but have SSDI due to their disabilities, ARE ON THEIR RETIREMENT EARLY, due to ill health and should be allowed entrance into these affordable units but, are denied due to being UNDER AGE and are faced with living on the streets!!!!

    Nevertheless, this ageist housing sets the housing record for equal ageist housing policies!! I think we should have 18-25 ageist housing
    26-35 housing
    36-50 housing
    51-62 housing
    All affordable and no one out of these age ranges allowed as copied by the elder housing projects based entirely on AGE!!!!!!

  2. Yeah, and good luck with this one, Mr. Conklin. You’ve no doubt already run into the many walter17s. Of course the racial-based programs, including OHA, are unconstitutional (against the law), but it’s a brave person who will stick his neck out and say it. What the walter17s fail to realize is is all the damage these programs do to our society: they perpetuates racial stereo types, keeps the community divided ethnically and racially and, worst of all, it sends a message to the keiki that it’s o.k. to discriminate on the basis of race. That’s the part they just don’t understand. But, hey, Walter, no worries brah! The bureaucracy is established and will never be brought down. Especially by some dumb haole from the mainland.

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