The Fact of Statehood is quite clear, and evidenced by an electorate which votes, pays taxes, obeys laws, and has organized and lived by this system of government for nearly 50 years now. Calling it a “myth” is wishful thinking at best, and cynical manipulation of the gullible at worst.
We could have the same detailed, legalistic discussion of the unification of the Hawaiian Islands in 1810. We could call it the “Myth of Kingdomhood.” We could analyze the various illegalities (as we claimed them, not adjudicated by anyone but ourselves), point out the poor treatment of the maka’ainana, and the imported slave labor from China, Japan, Portugal and the Philippines. We could delve into the corruption of Kalakaua and Liliuokalani, and rail against the injustice of it all. But then what?
My question to these panelists, and to anyone who truly believes that statehood is a myth, is what next? Do we ethnically cleanse Hawaii so that we can have a direct democracy that gives these people the voting results we want? It’s obvious that if a Statehood plebiscite was given today, it would be overwhelmingly in favor – but die-hard racial sovereignty activists will dispute the rights of suffrage to anyone who would not vote “properly.”
Hawaii is governed by the consent of the people, for the people, regardless of race, creed, color, or political history view of 1893. Unless someone can suggest a better form of government than being a highly influential part of the last remaining superpower on earth with a constitution that has lasted over 200 years, there really isn’t much substance to the argument.
My fear is that this kind of legalese is used to pursue political power on the basis of identity politics, and the poisonous politics of racial categorization. Hawaii is a place, not a race, and anyone who is telling you that on the basis of bloodline, you should have special privileges, is doing grave harm.
He Hawaii au; he mau Hawaii kakou a pau. I am Hawaiian. We are all Hawaiians.