By: Trustee Rowena M.N. Akana
Source: Ka Wai Ola o OHA
Mr. Rice’s attorneys are riding high on the hog vis a vis their 15th amendment win in Rice vs. Cayetano. However, what the media has not reported is that Mr. Rice was the pawn used by the white, racist, and elitist group Campaign for A ColorBlind America (CCBA) to further its agenda to reverse any affirmative action initiatives and laws regarding the protection of native peoples’ rights.
The CCBA has written briefs that helped to overturn at least 10 Supreme Court cases about minorities and Native Americans. With the Rice case under his belt, CCBA executive Marc Levin announced that the organization would now pursue the elimination of other Hawaiian trusts and entitlements. CCBA is motivated by their belief that by the year 2020, minorities will control all of America, and whites will no longer be the controlling class. For this racist group, being a member of a minority group and being oppressed is unfathomable.
Echoing Mr. Levin’s sentiments is former attorney John Goemans, who plans to continue his fight to infiltrate the 50th state with overt racism and white supremacy. Although he is no longer licensed to practice law in Hawaii, Mr. Goemans has publicly stated that he intends to use the Rice victory as ammunition against programs that the Hawaiian people hold dear. Mr. Goemans says he is planning these attacks because “…all government programs, state and federal, for native Hawaiians are race based, presumptively unconstitutional, and up for challenge.”
With that said, it should not come as a surprise that CCBA is aiding Mr. Goemans in his quest to strip our people of what is historically due to us. According to the CCBA’s website (http://www.equalrights.com), it “assisted Goemans with his appeal to the Ninth Circuit Court and filed an amicus brief at the Supreme Court.”
Mr. Goemans, along with others who challenge Hawaiian entitlements, should refer to the U.S. brief filed in the Supreme Court on behalf of OHA and the state that declares that Hawaiians are equal to Native Americans and Native Alaskan peoples. Therefore, any entitlements that Hawaiians enjoy cannot be considered race-based, but rather, political status entitlements as the native people of this land.
The Rice ruling underscores the need to build consensus on the issue of self-determination so that OHA can move forward as an agency that is “quasi- sovereign” rather than an arm of the state. One of the methods by which self-determination can be accomplished for our people is through federal legislation that would afford native Hawaiians the same special status as Native Americans now enjoy. We Hawaiians are at a juncture where we are able to restructure a nation that takes into consideration what is best suited for us. We have progressed insofar as to possess the ability to hold jurisdiction and control over our resources and lands. We do not need the state to decide these things for us.
Our Hawaiian voices need to be heard at the state legislature, and in the U.S. Congress. We must get involved in the legislative process, or risk having this process decided for us. To have others decide for us, strips Hawaiians of autonomy and the ability to decide for ourselves what is best for us.
This ruling should be a wake-up call for not just Hawaiians, but for the entire state. As a state, we need to stomp out any hint of racism. And as a Hawaiian community we need to tell our story and get the message out so that history will not be repeated for our future generations.