Opinion: Attack on Hawaiians directed at tribes
"On Jan. 17, Sen. Daniel Akaka, D-Hawaii, introduced S. 310, the Native Hawaiian Government Recognition Act, commonly known as the 'Akaka Bill.' On the same day, statements opposing the bill were filed by Sens. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., and Jon Kyl, R-Ariz. The next day, Peter Kirsanow, a member of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, National Labor Relations Board attorney and chair of the Center for New Black Leadership, published an attack, 'Disunited States: Multiculturalism run amok,' at National Review Online.

As I recently pointed out in remarks to the more than 200 tribal delegates attending [January's] Tribal Leaders Forum in San Diego, the highly orchestrated political campaign attacking the Native Hawaiian bill is clearly aimed at U.S. tribes. The Akaka Bill is a proxy for an attack by the neoconservative movement on the right of tribal sovereignty and it is clear that their line of attack would be the same if a tribal sovereignty issue were up for a vote in the Congress. For this reason I believe that it is absolutely necessary for all tribal leaders to actively engage in this fight and to make sure that this anti-Native Hawaiian/anti-tribal sovereignty attack is defeated. If not, they will be emboldened to attack the weakest link that they can find in the armor of tribal rights with all the resources at their disposal.

Students of the political tactics and strategies of the neo-conservative movement will recognize the elements of their campaign. They focus upon several buzzwords that are known to evoke a particular negative response in the American public and then just keep repeating their arguments on as many levels of media as possible. It is irrelevant that their arguments are false or distortions of the truth (as they certainly are in this case) because they are not appealing to logic, but prejudice. These tactics have been well-documented and were effectively analyzed in George Lakoff's book, 'Don't Think of an Elephant!' As Lakoff points out, you cannot win a public debate on their chosen terms."

Get the Story:
Alan Parker: Overcoming neocon campaign against Akaka Bill key for tribal rights (Indian Country Today 2/16)

Relevant Links:
Office of Hawaiian Affairs - http://www.oha.org

Related Stories:
Opinion: Native Hawaiian a quirk in federal law? (2/14)
9th Circuit rejects Native Hawaiian funding case (2/12)
Divided court upholds Native school admissions policy (12/06)
Editorial: Another shot for Native Hawaiians (11/14)
Column: Native Hawaiian advocates weigh Plan B (07/11)
9th Circuit to hear Native Hawaiian school case (06/20)
Opinion: Native Hawaiian debate far from over (6/16)
Republicans traded votes for Native Hawaiian bill (6/14)
Some hope for Native Hawaiians in court case (6/13)
John Fund: Defeat for Sen. Akaka on Hawaiians (6/12)
Native Hawaiian debate ends in Senate (6/8)
Opinion: Native Hawaiian recognition 'racist' (6/7)
Opinion: Native Hawaiians have it better than Indians (6/6)
Commentary: GOP death wish on Native Hawaiians (6/6)
Bob Novak: GOPs lobby for Hawaiian Indians (6/5)
John Fund: A Native race-based government (6/5)
WSJ: Native Hawaiian recognition an ugly act (6/2)
Editorial: Unconstitutional Native Hawaiian bill (6/1)
Opinion: GOP traitors on Hawaiian recognition (5/31)
Sen. McCain voted against Hawaiian apology (5/29)
Editorial: Oppose Native Hawaiian recognition (5/24)
Hawaii governor lobbies for Native recognition (5/18)
Native Hawaiian recognition bill heads for debate (5/17)
Appeals court to rehear Native Hawaiian school case (02/23)
Miers cited Native Hawaiian work before withdrawing (10/28)
Bush questions legality of Native Hawaiian bill (09/28)
Opinion: 'Racist' Hawaiian recognition bill (9/22)
Roberts mentions Indian law work on final day (9/19)
Hawaii governor lobbies Senate on Hawaiian recognition (9/8)
Native Hawaiian work an issue for Roberts (9/7)
Linda Chavez: GOP panders on Native Hawaiian bill (9/1)
Native Hawaiian bill set for debate in Senate (8/29)
Opinion: GOP policy rejects Native Hawaiians (08/26)
Amendments in the works for Native Hawaiian bill (8/25)
Slade Gorton: Don't recognize Native Hawaiians (08/19)
Letter: Native Hawaiians are indigenous too (08/08)
Editorial: Native Hawaiians never had a government (8/4)
Appeals court blocks Native Hawaiian school policy (08/03)
Editorial: Native Hawaiian bill is un-American (07/21)
Debate on Native Hawaiian bill delayed in Senate (7/20)
Bush names John G. Roberts to U.S. Supreme Court (07/20)
House, Senate hearings on housing, land dispute (7/18)
Native Hawaiian bill set for vote on Senate floor (7/18)
Opinion: Native Hawaiian bill sets bad precedent (7/18)
Commentary: Bill creates 'race-based' government (07/07)
Novak: Native Hawaiian bill creates new 'Indians' (7/5)
Column: Bill creates 'tribe' of Native Hawaiians (6/23)
High court won't take on Native Hawaiian recognition (06/14)
Panel approves Native Hawaiian, NAGPRA changes (03/10)
Native Hawaiian recognition bill gets another shot (02/22)
Native Hawaiian recognition bill introduced again (01/27)
McCain won't block Hawaiian recognition bill (01/14)
McCain opposes Native Hawaiian recognition bill (1/6)
Appeals court leaves Hawaiian recognition to Congress (11/02)
Bush investigating Native Hawaiian scholarships (03/17)
Hawaii senators consider deal on recognition bill (2/25)
Norton continues to question Native Hawaiian bill (2/23)
Native Hawaiian programs survive big court test (01/16)
Norton worried about 'pitfalls' for Native Hawaiians (01/13)
Alaska-Hawaii ties stir controversy among Natives (12/01)
Judge strikes down one Native Hawaiian lawsuit (11/21)
Lawsuits challenging Native Hawaiians benefits resume (11/12)
Legal threats galvanize Native Hawaiian community (09/15)
Native Hawaiians in limbo as courts open up programs (09/04)
Native Hawaiian recognition stalled in Congress (09/01)
Judge to rule in Native Hawaiian school case (08/20)
Native Hawaiians fight for federal recognition (07/21)
Student denied entry into Hawaiian school sues (06/30)
DOJ objected to Native Hawaiian legislation (06/06)
Native Hawaiians denied party status in suit (04/01)
Native Hawaiian office established in D.C. (02/27)
Opinion: Oppose Native Hawaiian bill (2/21)
Court affirms Native Hawaiian ruling (01/06)
Native Hawaiians press sovereignty (10/14)
U.S. dismissed from Native Hawaiian case (09/04)
Inouye: Native Hawaiian bill won't pass (8/8)
Native Hawaiian bill supported (7/16)
Native Hawaiians intervene in lawsuit (7/12)
Judge won't halt Hawaiian funding (3/14)
Native Hawaiian trust challenged (3/6)
Native Hawaiian bill on Senate agenda (7/20)
Federal judge blocks Army training (7/19)
Native Hawaiian lawsuit dismissed (7/13)
Shift in Senate means changes for Indian Country (5/25)
Senate confirms Olson as Solicitor General (5/25)
Native Hawaiian lands threatened (5/24)
A first for Native Hawaiians (4/5)
Indian Law and the Supreme Court (12/11)
OHA survives elections (11/14)
Final Hawaiian report released (10/24)
Native Hawaiian bill passes House (9/27)
Hawaiian affairs still controversial (9/13)
US recommends Hawaiian sovereignty (8/24)
Non-Natives win battle in suit (8/17)
Where are the Dems on tribes? (8/16)
March raises sovereignty awareness (8/14)
The GOP 2000 Platform on Native Americans (8/1)
Group challenges Hawaii (7/7)
Hawaiians march for sovereignty (7/5)