(Personally, I think everyone that claims Hawaiian descent should be given a free parking pass…that would solve all of these problems…cd)
Hawaii Reporter: Hawaii Reporter
A Court Strikes Down a Race-based Policy in Hawaii, While Congress Considers Enshrining One
By John Fund, 8/10/2005 8:42:44 PM
For the seven million people who vacation in Hawaii every year, it is a magical island destination. For its 1.2 million residents, the 50th state is, in the words of its senior senator, Daniel Inouye, “one of the greatest examples of a multiethnic society living in relative peace.”
But that peace is fraying as tensions rise over a bill the U.S. Senate will vote on next month that would create an independent, race-based government for Native Hawaiians. What some see as redress for past injustices, others see as the creation of a racial spoils system that could treat neighbors differently depending on whether or not they have a drop of native blood.
A Saturday rally of several thousand people here brought the state’s divisions to the surface in raw terms. The protestors were angry at a decision last week by the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals striking down the Hawaiians-only admissions policy of the exclusive private Kamehameha Schools. The court ruled that the policy violated federal civil rights laws by imposing “an absolute bar to admission of those of the non-preferred race.” Supporters of the racial preference policy say any change will reduce the chances of Native Hawaiians, many of whom are from poor backgrounds, getting a good education.
Amid a sea of upside-down state flags and signs challenging the legitimacy of the U.S. government in Hawaii, school trustee Nainoa Thompson told the crowd that the Kamehameha schools are “the last hope of the Hawaiian people.” Donna Downey, one of those attending the rally, told me that the court decision was only the latest example of “greedy” people trying to “take all the privileges” now accorded to Native Hawaiians.