I didn't notice this before since I was super busy in 2003 and in 2004 LOL but these letters by Derek are impressive and I joke with Kalani asking Kalani how so-and-so looks because to me Hawaiian men are poetry in motion... like our language. Anyway here are his letters that impress me though it does not matter if he impresses me does it? LOL Anyway here are his letters from 2004 and 2003 respectively:
No aloha in extinction of Hawaiian people
It was initially unclear if George Berish, when writing about a Hawaii with no Hawaiians (Letters, Dec. 12), was referring to the result of ethnic genocide or a discovery of the islands without the aboriginal people. However, it was very easy to interpret his letter as supporting ethnic genocide when he referred to the absence of Hawaiians as a "relief from the massive government and tax expenditures."
Berish fails to recognize that it is the commonalities among Hawaiian, Fijian, Samoan and Tahitian cultures that allow local tourism to implement elements of those cultures here in Hawaii as parts of the collective Polynesian culture. In response to his Kamehameha Schools tax exemption comment, I wonder how much more it would cost the state to educate all students currently enrolled at Kamehameha.
Suggesting that a single ethnic group is a burden to taxpayers and encouraging readers to imagine the absence of that same entire group lacks aloha, the very thing Berish says would remain and claims to value. Ethnic extinction is not aloha, and I hope Star-Bulletin readers know that.
Derek H. Kauanoe
And this one:
Hawaiian solution: national identity
In a well-written July 27 column, "Hawaiian programs need new approach," Jerry Burris poses two great questions: "Should they (OHA) continue to hang their hopes on the increasingly difficult task of getting the Akaka bill passed? Or should they acknowledge reality and begin looking for a different solution?" He closed his column by asking if there were anyone clever enough to come up with a fresh solution.
I personally do not believe we need a fresh solution. "Fresh" connotes something completely new. I believe a solution rests in understanding the true history between the U.S. government and Hawaiians. The Akaka bill continuously fails to pass. How much more effort and money do advocates want to spend on it? The time has come to "acknowledge reality and look for a different solution," as Mr. Burris suggests.
The historical relationship between the U.S. government and Hawaiians during the 19th century was nothing similar to the relationship between the United States and Native American tribes or nations. The United States did, however, have a verifiable historical relationship through treaties and agreements with the government of Hawaiian nationals, the Hawaiian Kingdom. The Akaka bill itself makes mention of these treaties, conventions and agreements.
While Native American tribes or nations are recognized by the federal government as political entities, aboriginal Hawaiians exclusively never had this relationship with the U.S. government prior to 1893. Instead, aboriginal Hawaiians were recognized as members of a multi-ethnic national citizenry referred to as Hawaiian subjects, or Hawaiians for short. Recognition of this national identity allowed Hawaiians the opportunity to travel outside of Hawai'i or engage in international trade and commerce, among other things, while being protected under treaties and agreements entered into with other nation-states, including the United States. This was on the basis of national identity, not ethnic identity.
As we can see, a historical relationship between Hawaiians, through their lawful government, and the United States did exist in the 1800s. The Akaka bill seeks to establish a different relationship that never existed in the 19th century. In attempting to establish a new political relationship between Native Hawaiians (as defined by U.S. federal law) and the U.S. government, Akaka bill advocates and lobbyists have a difficult, if not impossible, task. While pursuing passage for Native Hawaiian federal recognition, they diminish the value of the efforts of Hawaiian national heroes such as Timoteo Ha'alilio (aboriginal) and William Richards (non-aboriginal, but a naturalized Hawaiian subject) who, with the assistance of Sir George Simpson, secured international recognition of the kingdom's independence.
Political leaders in Hawai'i may want to consider the idea of reverting to the actual historical relationship by recognizing Native Hawaiians as "descendants of Hawaiian subjects or nationals." Identifying Native Hawaiians as such not only honors the true national history of Hawaiians, but it clearly distinguishes Hawaiians as a political entity with a historical relationship and less of an ethnic or race-based entity with an unprecedented relationship.
Derek H. Kauanoe