Akaka must learn from own history

Posted on Oct 29 1999

It never seizes to surprise this scribe how a liberal social democrat who champions the cause of labor unions would insist that it is perfectly within common decency that the these isles be forced to supplant self-government in favor of ill-conceived federal policies made in absentia and often without the considered sentiment of the governance. This is what Hawaii Senator Daniel Akaka espouses in his twilight years in the US Senate.

He consistently bashes these islands for prostitution and slavery. What’s interesting though was his audacity to brave the “glass house” syndrome taking the indigenous people as incapable of using their cranium. Eh, you think you smart, we smart too, braddah! And in no way would we give you the grand opportunity to ruin the very essence of self-government. Like every Kanaka you represent in the Aloha State, this apparent inferior group of Kanakas deserve nothing less than being allowed to earn our stripes in the strengthening our democratic institutions.

The only way that I would surrender, sir, is when there’s in fact a Manual of American Democracy where we follow instructions to the letter. But like parenting, there’s no such manual of instructions on how to run a democracy. Furthermore, the very definition of government is people or collectively known as the governance. To annihilate the people equation as demonstrated in your call for a federal takeover is to deny the indigenous people their right to self-government. It’s the wrong prescription at the wrong time and for all the wrong reasons.

If prostitution is one of the reasons that you feel strongly in favor of compromising local self-government, I need not remind you, pake, that it thrives grandly between Waikiki and hotel street in downtown Honolulu. The Viagara junket trip from Tokyo confirms that the flesh trade in your side of paradise flourishes in ways you refuse to accept. Yet, you have the courage to sensationalize an issue your state is guilty of for more than four decades now. Have you taken steps to stop the flesh trade business in Honolulu? If so, what’s your success rate, sir?

Accusation of indentured slaves goes to illustrate your intransigence to acknowledge our efforts to rectify this concern. If anything, the NMI has never had a history of slavery in much the same way that sugar cane plantations imported Chinese, Japanese and other Asians to work the fields from dawn to dusk. This specific episode in Hawaiian history warrants serious reconciliation, including compensation for the very violation of human rights.

If the issue focuses on universally accepted American Values, I will be the first to rally behind your call for major reform. But it’s pure economics and I can understand your position as one who hails from the most unionized state in the country. In fact, you seem to have conveniently buried your head in the sand by failing to acknowledge that it was union demands in the Aloha State for higher wages that finally drove out such traditional industries as Dole and Tuna manufacturing. They have moved elsewhere while Hawaii is stuck with more than its share of unemployment. “How sad the tide our sails are torn!”

If you wish to do the people of these one better, then the most logical approach is to introduce legislation for equal representation in the US Congress. If you decide to do otherwise, it’s perfectly fine too in the sense that some of us relish the trophy of a displaced group of US Citizens who often must endure the wraths of those who view us as objects to dispose of any which way they see fit. How sad that this century would end leaving behind a legacy of the only group of US Citizens who frolic in the sand of injustice and bully pulpits by those who think that we do not know better. Time would tell when justice and freedom would ring “…from sea to shining sea”. Mahalo!

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