October 28, 2003


Hawaiians march for an independent state (SFGate, 10/19/2003)

Supporters of Hawaiian independence wearing bright, floral shirts marched through town Sunday, shouting "Aloha," and distributing flyers to passers-by, hoping to gather support for their cause....

Kaiopua Fyfe, an organizer who lives on the island of Kauai, said many Hawaiians consider the United States' governance of Hawaii to be an illegal occupation of a country, similar to the British Empire's colonization of India and the current situation in Iraq.

"They should allow us to participate in our own self-determination," he said.

The Hawaiian islands have been part of the United States since the U.S. military overthrew the last monarch, Queen Liliuokalani, in 1959....

"Everything we have has to be imported in," said Imaikakoloaenui Nauha, who lives in Modesto, but was born and raised in Honolulu. "Hawaii is one of the richest states, yet it's the poorest because of the state that America has left us in."

He said Hawaiian were able to support themselves long before becoming part of the United States and they have no need for the economic benefits the United States offers.

A few thoughts on this story:
  • Given the relatively free press in Hawaii, Reporters Without Borders should move us ahead of the Palestinian authority.
  • If Nauha has no need for the economic benefits the United States offers, why is he living in Modesto?
  • Maybe if the Hawaii public schools would explain that the U.S. takeover was in the 19th century, these young Hawaiians would not be so militant.
  • If we let them have self-determination, will they allow us to hunt the roosters?

    Posted by Paul Jaminet at October 28, 2003 7:42 AM
  • Comments

    Lot of folks around these parts think Texas should be independent. They don't move to California to say it, though.

    Maybe we should spin off Hawaii to the highest bidder. Would the Japanese be interested?

    Posted by: Casey Abell at October 28, 2003 9:56 AM

    I just wanted to say thank you for the review of The Giver. I am trying to use it in a paper, but the book is at home and my mom keeps forgetting to send it, so I was wondering if you could do me a huge favor. If you have the book, or if you can do it offhand - do you remember what Jonas' father's response was when he asked his parents if they loved him? It was something like "love is so obsolete a word it is meaningless" but I forget exactly what the wording is. If you happen to know and could tell me that would be great.

    Posted by: Laura in DC at October 28, 2003 10:08 AM

    96%(?) voted FOR statehood. He should take it up w/his parents.

    Posted by: Sandy P. at October 28, 2003 10:47 AM


    I think they already own all the best bits.

    Posted by: M Ali Choudhury at October 28, 2003 10:49 AM

    Maybe Nauha should agitate for confederation with Aztlan.

    Posted by: Raoul Ortega at October 28, 2003 11:01 AM

    I still think we could get a bidding war going. The Aussies would probably be interested.

    Posted by: Casey Abell at October 28, 2003 11:38 AM

    Laura - Orrin is on vacation right now, but if you send him an email he may be able to help you when he gets back.

    Posted by: pj at October 28, 2003 12:46 PM

    Actually, the Japanese purchases of Hawaii real estate at inflated prices in the late 1980s have mostly been liquidated now. They left us some mighty shiny hotels, though.

    The proportion of Hawaiians agitating for independence is small. In the neighborhood of 1%, or about the same as the proportion of people who want to separate upper peninsula of Michigan from Baja Michigan.

    There is overwhelming desire for status akin to Indian tribes -- the "Akaka Bill," now pending in Congress. By both Hawaiians and non-Hawaiians, though I am (surprise!) in the minority.

    Posted by: Harry Eagar at October 28, 2003 12:49 PM

    You may think that they are kidding. But check this out:

    United States Public Law 103-150:

    The Congress--

    (1) on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the illegal overthrow of the Kingdom of Hawaii on January 17, 1893, acknowledges the historical significance of this event which resulted in the suppression of the inherent sovereignty of the Native Hawaiian people;

    (2) recognizes and commends efforts of reconciliation initiated by the State of Hawaii and the United Church of Christ with Native Hawaiians;

    (3) apologizes to Native Hawaiians on behalf of the people of the United States for the overthrow of the Kingdom of Hawaii on January 17, 1893 with the participation of agents and citizens of the United States, and the deprivation of the rights of Native Hawaiians to self-determination;

    (4) expresses its commitment to acknowledge the ramifications of the overthrow of the Kingdom of Hawaii, in order to provide a proper foundation for reconciliation between the United States and the Native Hawaiian people; and

    (5) urges the President of the United States to also acknowledge the ramifications of the overthrow of the Kingdom of Hawaii and to support reconciliation efforts between the United States and the Native Hawaiian people.

    The text of Public Laws can be found at:


    Want to know more:


    There is of course no end to this sort of stuff. I think that the Israelis should adopt a similar tactic and emphasize how the romans over threw their monarchy.

    Posted by: Robert Schwartz at October 28, 2003 1:33 PM

    Had the US not annexed Hawaii it's safe to assume that some other nation eventually would have, most likely Japan or even Germany, which had a Pacific empire prior to World War I. Presumably the resulting occupation wouldn't have been nearly as benign as that "imposed" over the last 110 years.

    Posted by: George at October 28, 2003 3:15 PM

    Random thoughts:

    Do take this somewhat seriously, it is BS but it is the typical crap that can be seized upon by international Tranzis to be a pain in our ass.

    That “apology” nonsense helps to foster this kind of foolishness. Thanks lefty nitwits.

    If it ever did come to pass and I think it never will, one smart comprimse would be that the US would simply keep Oahu as the state of Hawaii, where most of the population, and most of the non-Hawaiian population is anyway, not to mention Pearl Harbor. If it DID come to that, Hawaiians would be insane not to grab that deal with both hands and run with it.

    Finally, just what “self-determination” does this dunce (in Modesto!) refer to? What “rights” will he have that he does not have today in Hawaii’s state legislature, not to mention rights he has to federal representation that he would lose? Frankly, we all know what “rights” he refers to…. the right to special, ‘superior” status based entirely on race. Whites are not only more numerous than Hawaiians, but ASIANS are more numerous than WHITES in Hawaii. (not to mention blacks, Hispanics, etc.) How do THEY fit in, I would ask this fellow. I would further ask him that if his social vision of Hawaii is a proper one, is such a vision also appropriate for, say, Teutons (Aryans) in Germany? If not, why not?

    I think all of us know the answer.

    Posted by: Andrew X at October 28, 2003 4:33 PM

    On reflection, Casey's idea has some merit. How about a deal with the Kim Jong Il and Rafsanjani regime elites, in which they get Hawaii in exchange for Iran and North Korea? We would liberate the axis of evil, postponing the threat of nuclear terrorism by a decade, and lop off 2 filibustering Democratic Senators in the process.

    Posted by: pj at October 28, 2003 5:05 PM

    The Hawaians had better behave themselves it they don'd want us cutting off their SPAM supply.

    Posted by: Jason Johnson at October 28, 2003 6:56 PM

    Well, one right Hwaaiians would have if they were an independent nation again would be to control immigration from the U.S.

    Yes, it's funny/sad, and yes, people who hate the idea of America use the apology to gloat.

    But it's a sideshow. Few people who live here take it seriously. I personally know four people who claim to be the king or queen of Hawaii, and thee are scads more I haven't met.

    The overthrow in 1893 is nowhere near as clearcut as all sides want to make it. Nobody behaved in a way he'd want his grandchildren to know about.

    As for taking Hawaii over, before the U.S. got to it, it had been taken over by the Russians, the British and the French.

    They all gave it back, with ill grace, except the Brits, who did the thing handsomely. That's why a square in Honolulu is named after the admiral who hauled down the Union flag, and why the Union flag is part of the state flag.

    Posted by: Harry Eagar at October 28, 2003 8:40 PM

    Whatever the Aussies offer, we'll double. We've been trying to take over Florida for years, but the Cuban-American birthrate keeps beating us back (Orrin should note that the birthrate among Canadian septugenarians is alarmingly low). C'mon, guys, it's bloody cold up here and we need a break!

    Posted by: Peter B at October 29, 2003 6:01 AM

    Harry -- Is that the source of the somewhat odd British subculture on the Islands?

    Posted by: David Cohen at October 29, 2003 8:02 AM

    My dark horse in the Hawaii spinoff would be New Zealand. You know, those two little islands somewhere near Australia that aren't known for anything except the sport which fathered American football.

    What a great way for the Kiwis to get above the fold on the front page. NZ BUYS HAWAII! New Zealanders would probably rather have the Rugby World Cup, but they would take these fifteen minutes.

    Posted by: Casey Abell at October 29, 2003 10:10 AM

    Casey - Then New Zealand could (almost) be the world's easternmost and westernmost country. It would be the only country in the Eastern, Western, Northern, and Southern Hemispheres. It could also be the country with the most national holidays.

    Posted by: pj at October 29, 2003 10:34 AM

    That's it, David. The Hawaiian monarchy modeled itself on the British, right down to having jowly queens.

    Adopting R.L. Stevenson as a royal pet didn't hurt, either.

    Casey, N.Z. already bought almost a whole Hawaiian island: Molokai, the so-called Friendly Isle.

    It wasn't too friendly for them and they bailed after losing a bunch of money.

    Posted by: Harry Eagar at October 29, 2003 3:16 PM

    Molokai?? Jeez, didn't they realize where the tourism is? Oh well, let's give the Kiwis one more chance.

    Posted by: Casey Abell at October 29, 2003 4:55 PM

    Better hurry. The median price of a single-family house in my part of paradise is up to $486,000.

    Posted by: Harry Eagar at October 29, 2003 8:27 PM

    No wonder the natives are moving to Modesto.

    Posted by: pj at October 29, 2003 9:35 PM

    My wife and I spent a great week on Molokai about fifteen years ago. Nobody else was there and we had a three mile long beach all to ourselves.

    Posted by: David Cohen at October 30, 2003 9:30 AM