This is not a joke. Democrats and a few Republicans in the House of Representatives passed a bill that would recognize a new race, the native Hawaiian race, and give its members special rights and privileges not given to any other Americans except for native Americans who are members of federal government recognized tribes. On February 23, 2010, the Unites States House of Representatives approved H.R. 2314, the Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act of 2010 by a vote of 245 (239 Democrats) to 164 (159 Republicans).
The following summary of H.R. 2314 was written by the Congressional Research Service, an arm of the Library of Congress:
Establishes the U.S. Office for Native Hawaiian Relations within the Office of the Secretary of the Interior. Establishes the Native Hawaiian Interagency Coordinating Group. Recognizes the right of the Native Hawaiian people to reorganize the single Native Hawaiian governing entity to provide for their common welfare and to adopt appropriate organic governing documents. Establishes a Commission to: (1) prepare and maintain a roll of the adult members of the Native Hawaiian community who elect to participate in such reorganization; and (2) certify that the adult members of the Native Hawaiian community proposed for inclusion on the roll meet the definition of Native Hawaiian. Outlines the process for the reorganization, which includes forming a Native Hawaiian Interim Governing Council. Reaffirms the special political and legal relationship between the United States and the Native Hawaiian governing entity upon certification required by the Secretary regarding the organic governing documents and the election of the entity’s officers. Extends federal recognition to the governing entity as the representative governing body of the Native Hawaiian people. Authorizes the United States, upon the reaffirmation of such political and legal relationship, together with the state of Hawaii, to enter into negotiations with the governing entity to lead to an agreement addressing specified matters, including the transfer of lands, natural resources, and other assets, and the protection of existing rights related to such lands or resources.
This bill would create a new race of people recognized as separate and distinct from the rest of the American people. The Act begins “Congress finds that . . . the Constitution vests Congress with the authority to address the conditions of the indigenous, native people of the United States . . . .” Excuse me, but that is a lie. No where in the Constitution does it say such a thing. The words “indigenous” and “native” are not contained in the Constitution. Rather than ignoring race as required by the United States Constitution and ignoring the Declaration of Independence that says “all men are created equal,” this bill gives favored treatment to a new class/race annointed by the federal government.
Martin Luther King, Jr., spoke to the nation on August 28, 1963, from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial during the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. It was during this speech that Reverend King said:
I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: “We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal.” . . . I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.
If the NHGRA becomes law, the United States will be moving backwards, and the United States government will officially kill Reverend King’s dream that race will one day not matter in America.
The U.S. Civil Rights Commission asked Congress to reject a previous version of the bill and “any other legislation that would discriminate on the basis of race or national origin and further subdivide the American People into discrete subgroups accorded varying degrees of privilege.” Six of the eight members of the Civil Rights Commission signed an August 28, 2009, letter in which they said they opposed the NHGRA and stated:
“We do not believe Congress has the constitutional authority to ‘reorganize’ racial or ethnic groups into dependent sovereign nations unless those groups have a long and continuous history of separate self-governance. Moreover, quite apart from the issue of constitutional authority, creating such an entity sets a harmful precedent. Ethnic Hawaiians will surely not be the only group to demand such treatment. On what ground will Congress tell these other would-be tribes no?”
Once again our tyrannical elected elites are picking and choosing winners (see General Motors, Chrysler, AIG, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and unions) and losers (people who lost their GM and Chrysler dealerships, Toyota and poor children in the Washington, D.C., school system who can no longer get vouchers to go to private schools and escape the failed DC school system). The latest winners of the federal government lottery to get on the government gravy train will be the new members of the Hawaiian native tribe. If only our elected officials in Washington could do what is best for our country rather than using taxpayers’ money to buy votes from favored constituents.
Section 4(a)(4) of the bill seems to say that the new Hawaiian race would be a country within the United States. This Section says that the new native Hawaiian tribe has:
(A) an inherent right to autonomy in their internal affairs;
(B) an inherent right of self-determination and self-governance;
(C) the right to reorganize a Native Hawaiian governing entity; and
(D) the right to become economically self-sufficient.
Translation: The new tribe will be able to lease the sacred tribal lands to white men to operate casinos.
A special commission created under the Act will initially determine the members of the newly recognized race who are called a “qualified Native Hawaiian constituent” (QNHC). How will we pronounce QNHC, “que na hick” or “kwen heh ca” or some other way? Once the members of the QNHC are selected by the commission, the members of the tribe will thereafter determine, in their sole discretion, the criteria for membership and who to admit onto the tribe’s membership roster. The new tribe will have the authority under the Act to determine membership ” without regard to whether any person was or was not deemed to be a qualified Native Hawaiian constituent under this Act.” The initial criteria for membership in the tribe per Section 3(1) are people who meet the following criteria:
- (i) an individual who is 1 of the indigenous, native people of Hawaii and who is a direct lineal descendant of the aboriginal, indigenous, native people who– (I) resided in the islands that now comprise the State of Hawaii on or before January 1, 1893; and (II) occupied and exercised sovereignty in the Hawaiian archipelago, including the area that now constitutes the State of Hawaii; or (ii) an individual who is 1 of the indigenous, native people of Hawaii and who was eligible in 1921 for the programs authorized by the Hawaiian Homes Commission Act, 1920 (42 Stat. 108, chapter 42), or a direct lineal descendant of that individual;
- wishes to participate in the reorganization of the Native Hawaiian governing entity;
- is 18 years of age or older;
- is a citizen of the United States; and
- maintains a significant cultural, social, or civic connection to the Native Hawaiian community, as evidenced by satisfying 2 or more of the following 10 criteria (see Section 3(1)(E) of the bill, which is very lengthy and complex):
Section 9(c)(1) of the bill states, “the United States and the State of Hawaii may enter into negotiations with the Native Hawaiian governing entity designed to lead to an agreement or agreements addressing such matters as–
(A) the transfer of State of Hawaii lands and surplus Federal lands, natural resources, and other assets, and the protection of existing rights related to such lands or resources;
(B) the exercise of governmental authority over any transferred lands, natural resources, and other assets, including land use;
(C) the exercise of civil and criminal jurisdiction;
(D) the exercise of the authority to tax and other powers and authorities that are recognized by the United States as powers and authorities typically exercised by governments representing indigenous, native people of the United States;
(E) any residual responsibilities of the United States and the State of Hawaii; and
(F) grievances regarding assertions of historical wrongs committed against Native Hawaiians by the United States or by the State of Hawaii.”
If the NHGRA becomes law, it will be a sad day for race relations in this country, but there will be two segments of Americans who will be celebrating:
- the members of the new Hawaiian race (because of their new privileges and benefits not given to the rest of Americans) and
- trial lawyers who will make mega millions of dollars off the massive number of lengthy lawsuits that will surely result from taking as much as 38 percent of the State of Hawaii and redistributing it.
Here are some other stories on this proposed bill:
- Ilya Somin, Associate Professor of Law, George Mason University, comments on this issue and on a related op-ed in the February 28, 2010, Wall St. Journal called “Congress Tries to Break Hawaii in Two – A racial spoils precedent that could lead to new ‘tribal’ demands across the U.S.“
- See the related story in the Las Vegas Sun called “House gives boost to Native Hawaiian government,” which says “critics say the measure is unconstitutional because it establishes a government whose membership is based on race.”
- See also stories in the Wall St. Journal called “Aloha, Segregation – The Akaka bill would create a race-based state in Hawaii” which says the bill “would redistribute its wealth based on race.”
- Another story on this topic in the Wall St. Journal is “Hawaiian Secession – Dividing up the islands based on race” contains this quote from Hawaii’s Governor Linda Lingle, “This structure will, in my opinion, promote divisiveness and litigation, rather than negotiation and resolution.”
- From the National Review, “Trouble in Paradise – Why the Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act deserves to fail.” This article contains this quote from Slade Gorton (R-WA) warning that the bill “divides the citizens of the state of Hawaii — who are of course citizens of the United States — into two distinct groups: Native Hawaiians and all other citizens.”