Darkness over Hawaii: The Annexation Myth Is the Greatest Obstacle to Progress

Chang, Williamson B.C.
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Asian-Pacific Law and Policy Journal
To: Delegates to the Hawaiian Convention to Establish a Governing Entity Before moving ahead, Native Hawaiians must study and learn about the various forms of government throughout the world. Others around us know little about our real history. We, too, may not know our full history. We must gather more knowledge before making the momentous decisions which are the ostensible objectives of this convention. Justice Scalia, an extremely educated and esteemed constitutional scholar is an example of how little the world knows about the history of Hawai'i. Recent remarks by Justice Scalia reveal the extent and consequences of the campaign of deception asserting that Hawai'i was acquired by a joint resolution. This claim is not only false. It is impossible. The inability of the Joint Resolution to acquire the territory of the sovereign nation of Hawai'i was emphatically pointed out during the Senate debate on the Joint Resolution in the summer of 1898. Justice Scalia is not the only one deceived. The Hawai'i Supreme Court, in a 2013 ruling on the effects of annexation, blithely ignored the most basic of all state laws-those describing the boundaries of Hawai'i. Truth-telling through re-education of Native Hawaiians-and the rest of the world-is just beginning. One must not underestimate the tremendous need for knowledge that must precede such an enormous task as nation-building. Whether one supports restoration of the Kingdom or Tribal recognition, what Hawaiians need now is more scholarship about the world-particularly as to the world of newly emerging sovereign states and the history of decolonization. We should not let the current United States administration in Washington push us into tribal status. The path we take must be fully informed. Native Hawaiians must fully comprehend all the advantages and disadvantages of Federal Recognition as a Tribe.
16 Asian Pac. L. & Pol’y J. 70, 2015
Native Hawaiians, annexation, Scalia
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