Human Rights differs from Equal Rights

by Alakupaa Kim

In his letter to the editor that appeared on Friday, 21 January, 2005 Mr. David Rosen demonstrates the misunderstanding many Americans have with the Hawaiian movement. They view what Hawaiians are seeking as a race based special treatment. Hawaiians are not seeking any such thing. What the Hawaiian people seek is Human rights. What people like Mr. Rosen fail to understand is that Human rights is different from Equal rights, of which Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. sought.

Mr. Rosen very eloquently and accurately stated for what Dr. King worked but erroneously makes the supposition of what the Hawaiian people seek. In 1893, the United States illegally and immorally invaded the peaceful and very democratic constitutional monarchy of the Kingdom of Hawai`i. With their diplomatic corp, Marines and Naval forces along with a handful of American civilians, they seized the tiny kingdom. Queen Lili`uokalani surrendered under protest to the United States until such time as America could undo the wrong committed by their armed forces, diplomatic corp and the handful of their citizens in the kingdom. In 1894, the US not only did not undo the wrong it committed against the Hawaiian Nation and its people, it supported the founding of the puppet "Republic of Hawai`i" and recognised it as the government of the Hawaiian islands. The Hawaiian people who were loyal to the queen, which was nearly 100% of the Hawaiians, were not allowed to vote for members in the so-called constitutional convention which eventually led to the self proclamation of the existence of the Republic of Hawai`i. There was no election of the Hawaiian people to vote on whether they wanted the Republic or not, because America and the Americans who organised the Republic knew the Hawaiian people would reject this government. In 1898, after two failed attempts of the US Senate to ratify the treaty of Annexation as set forth by their puppet and illegal Republic of Hawai`i, ended up annexing Hawai`i by a resolution. Resolutions in the US Constitution are only binding domestically in the US. Any treaty, including a treaty of annexation is an international treaty and must be ratified by 2/3 of the US Senate. Hawai`i was never legally annexed and the US failed to resolve the Surrender under protest of the Queen. the illegal puppet government of the Republic of Hawai`i handed over the sovereignty and lands of Hawai`i to the United States, both of which were not their to give. People accuse Hawaiians of "revisionist history" and yet the best account of the American invasion of Hawai`i is the Blount Report. This is the official report done by the United States into its actions in the invasion and removal of the Hawaiian Government. It is this document that caused President Grover Cleveland to tell Congress that the United States invaded a "... friendly nation..." and that they needed to right the wrong committed by the United States, its military and its Minister Plenipotentiary, Mr. Stevens or "...forever be dishonoured."

The United States then continued ethnocidal and genocidal acts that were begun by the Republic against the Hawaiian people. They closed Hawaiian language schools and forced Hawaiian children to lose their language; the US made it impossible to do commerce in the Hawaiian language; they began evicting Hawaiians from lands that were "Ceded" to the US, lands that were stolen and therefore never belonged to neither the Republic nor the US. In 1959, even though the US held a plebiscite even though Hawai`i was technically an occupied country and not a territory, The US also failed in that plebiscite to educate the people of Hawai`i on Free Association and Full Independence which was considered a "Sacred Trust" of the United States to do by their agreement with the United Nations. Also, in the so-called Statehood plebiscite, 132,000 out of 650,000 people voted. Those deemed eligible to vote in that plebiscite were any American Citizen who lived in Hawai`i for one year or more of which nearly 20% were US Armed forces. If someone claimed to be a citizen of the Hawaiian Kingdom, they were not eligible. Of those voting, about 90% voted in favour of Statehood, and 10% voted against. In essence, Hawai`i became a state of the US with the consent of only 15% of the population and all those who voted were American.

Hawaiians have suffered tremendously from these HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS. Hawaiians seek not to have separate racial treatment, Hawaiians are not seeking to have separate but equal anything. What Hawaiians seek is the ending of the occupation of their country, redress for over a century of genocide and the restoration of their sovereignty. This should not be too hard for Americans to understand, after all they invade Iraq after Iraq illegally occupied Kuwait.

Even though many Americans seem to have forgotten the terrible human rights violations their country committed against the Hawaiian people and the stealing of the Kingdom of Hawai`i, many Hawaiians have not and we still patiently seek the righting of the wrong committed by the United States over 100 years ago. We are not seeking special treatment or race based biased favouritism, we just want the US to restore what they took from us, our land, our country, our language and our culture.

A. Kim
1325 Ulupi`i St.
Kailua, O`ahu, Hawai`i 96734

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