Opinion: Native Hawaiian bill creates race-based entity
"Hawaii, the 50th state will become the 49.6th state if U. S.1011, a bill creating the Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act, passes the Senate. Sen. Daniel Akaka (D-HI) has introduced it in one form or another regularly since 2000. This time it was passed by the House, after its terms were negotiated behind closed doors, the preferred method of operation of Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

If the Akaka Bill passes, it would recognize and authorize the creation of a sovereign Native Hawaiian governing entity. In effect, it would be an Indian tribe. To be eligible to be part of this group, an individual would have to show proof of Hawaiian blood in his/her ancestry. Hawaiians are a distinct racial group, just as Indians are; however, Sen. Akaka and the other supporters of this bill do not want to run afoul of anti-discrimination laws as they grant special privileges to Native Hawaiians. Hence, the designation as a "tribe." By law, Congress cannot discriminate in favor of one race over others.

Congress cannot create Indian tribes, it can only recognize ones that exist, provided they can prove their history. Furthermore, a large percentage of tribal members live on reservations, whereas Native Hawaiians are scattered throughout the Hawaiian Islands and some live on the mainland. Approximately 20 percent of Hawaii's residents would become part of this "governing entity," and it would have jurisdiction over members residing in other states. The bill would give them racially exclusive rights, thus discriminating against their fellow citizens of other races.

The constitutionality of this measure will almost certainly be called into question if it passes."

Get the Story:
Peter Hannaford: Aloha Oy Vey! (The American Spectator 3/15)

Also Today:
Native Hawaiian government may become reality (AP 3/13)

Native Hawaiian Bill:
H.R.862 | S.381

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