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Maiden Speech by Senator Schatz Pleads for Akaka Tribe

Senator Brian Schatz (D)

On June 11, 2013 Senate majority leader Harry Reid (D,NV) said, "Mr. President, I would ask the Chair at this time to recognize the Senator from Hawaii, Mr. Schatz, who replaced Senator Inouye. I understand he is going to give his maiden speech in the Senate today."

Senator Schatz waited six months before giving his maiden speech. He then squandered his political capital by choosing a topic which other Senators consider unimportant and would benefit only large, wealthy institutions serving a 21% racial minority of Hawaii's people.

Senator Schatz gave his speech around noontime, leading up to the Tuesday afternoon Republican and Democrat caucus luncheons. The speech was squeezed into a quorum call during a pause in a contentious discussion of a bill to overhaul America's immigration laws. Such scheduling might be expected for a speech in praise of a Little League team that won a championship.

The press release at said "Following his remarks, several of his Senate colleagues voiced their support for his efforts on behalf of Native Hawaiians" and included quotes from Senators Maria Cantwell (D,WA), Lisa Murkowski (R,AK), Mark Begich (D,AK), and Al Franken (D,MN), all of whom serve on the Indian Affairs committee alongside Schatz. The press release uses the phrase "colleagues voiced their support," giving the impression that those other Senators gave speeches of support on the Senate floor, or at least entered their written statements into the record. But Senator Schatz is misleading us. None of those statements by other Senators appear anywhere except in his press releases; see the entire 333 page Congressional Record for June 11 at

The full text of Schatz' speech is in another press release entitled "Schatz Delivers Major Floor Speech On Achieving Fairness for Native Hawaiians" at and is also on pages S4071 to S4073 in the Congressional Record.


The best overall rebuttals to the general concept of creating a federally recognized Akaka tribe are:

Kell'i Akina, Ph.D., the new CEO of the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii and 2012 OHA trustee candidate (37,835 votes), addressed the Conservative Forum for Hawaii at the Naniloa Hotel Crown Room in Hilo Hawaii, on Sunday June 2. Dr. Akina’s topic was “E Hana Kâkou: The Advancement of Native Hawaiians and All Residents of the Aloha State.” It was an extraordinary event, highly inspirational. A video of his speech, a little over an hour, includes a description of his background; a chant he delivered in Hawaiian; his speech filled with patriotism and conservative principles in relation to OHA, DHHL, and Hawaiian sovereignty; and a Q&A period. See the video at

Kenneth R. Conklin, Ph.D. 302-page book "Hawaiian Apartheid: Racial Separatism and Ethnic Nationalism in the Aloha State" A webpage providing the cover, entire Chapter 1, detailed Table of Contents, and how to order the book is at

There have been hundreds of articles published in local and national media opposing the Akaka bill during the years from 2000 to now, including statements from President Bush, several Senators, the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, several public opinion polls, editorials by the Wall Street Journal, etc. See an index in chronological order, with full text in annual subpages, at

Also see "Why all America should oppose the Hawaiian government reorganization bill, also known as the Akaka bill" at


A point-by-point rebuttal to 23 of the most significant, misleading or false statements made by Senator Schatz is provided on a webpage at
Here are a few of them.

Schatz1: June 11th marks a public holiday in the State of Hawaii ... to honor Kamehameha the Great, who unified the Kingdom of Hawaii ...

Rebuttal1: Kamehameha is remembered as "The Great" because his major accomplishment was to unify Hawaii under a single sovereignty. What Kamehameha hath joined together, let not Senator Schatz or Congress rip asunder. and

Schatz3: I want to ... carry forward this fight on behalf of Native Hawaiians ... because it is right to seek justice.

Rebuttal3: Dividing the lands and people of Hawaii along racial lines is NOT justice, it is apartheid. No other state has 21% of its people being Indians, let alone 21% who would be eligible to join a single tribe and sit on both sides of the negotiating table as citizens of both the tribe and the state. No tribe has its lands widely dispersed as separate enclaves scattered in numerous places throughout the state, creating jurisdictional chaos. See a map showing the federal and state government lands which the Akaka tribe is likely to demand. Note that the map does not show the extensive holdings of Hawaii's largest private landowner Bishop Estate (Kamehameha Schools), which are also widely scattered and likely to be reincorporated out of the State and into the tribe:

Schatz6: [F]ederal policies and actions intended to strip Native Americans of their languages, weaken traditional leadership and family structures, divide land bases, prohibit religious and cultural practices, and break communal bonds ... were as harmful and unjust to Native Hawaiians as they were to Alaska Natives and American Indians.

Rebuttal6: In regard to Native Hawaiians, this is a scurrilous accusation unbecoming of a U.S. Senator. The United States never stripped ethnic Hawaiians of their language, and never prohibited their religious and cultural practices. The ancient Hawaiian religion was abolished by Liholiho Kamehameha 2 in 1819, the year before the first American missionaries arrived, and 74 years before the monarchy was overthrown. The U.S. encouraged and fostered Hawaiian culture and a native land base by passing the Hawaiian Homes Commission Act of 1920, and by making hundreds of millions of dollars in grants for Native Hawaiian programs including the Polynesian Voyaging Society, the Native Hawaiian Education Act, Alu Like, Papa Ola Lokahi, and at least 150 other federal programs referred to later in Senator Schatz' statement. The Kingdom government, headed by full-blooded native Kings, established a policy of converting the public schools from Hawaiian to English as the language of instruction, to the point where 95% of all the schools were already using English by 1892 (year before the revolution).

Schatz8: From 1826 until 1893, the United States recognized the independence of the Hawaiian Government as a distinct political entity. We extended full and complete diplomatic recognition ... Native Hawaiians were considered a separate and distinct nation more than a century after contact.

Rebuttal8: The Kingdom of Hawaii was NOT defined by race. It is a falsehood when Senator Schatz says "Native Hawaiians were considered a separate and distinct nation." Throughout its history, a majority of the cabinet ministers and judges, nearly all the department heads, and 1/4 - 1/3 of the members of the legislature (both appointed and elected, both Nobles and Representatives) were Caucasians. During the Kingdom's final years, most of the population were ethnic Japanese and Chinese invited by the Kings to work on the sugar plantations or to become businessmen. Thousands of Caucasians, Japanese, and Chinese were subjects of the Kingdom either by being native-born in Hawaii or by being naturalized. Caucasians and Asians were full partners in the Kingdom.

Schatz9: But, on January 17, 1893, the legitimate government of the Native Hawaiian people was removed forcibly, by agents and armed forces of the United States.

Rebuttal9: This is a scurrilous lie. The 162 U.S. peacekeepers who came ashore in January 1893 did not take over any buildings, did not invade the Palace grounds, did not arrest the Queen, did not give any supplies or assistance to the armed militia of local men who carried out the revolution. The largest nationality of origin in the Annexation Club were Portuguese. A majority of the leadership group of the revolution (Committee of Safety) were native-born or naturalized subjects of the Kingdom, and the others were long-time residents and business owners disgusted with the corrupt monarchy.

Schatz10: The illegality of this action has been acknowledged in contemporary as well as modern times by both the Executive and Legislative branches of our federal government.

Rebuttal10: Congress has conducted major inquiries on two occasions, taking testimony under oath in a Senate committee during a two month period (Morgan Report 1894) and conducting hearings with expert testimony and public comment during a two year period (Native Hawaiians Study Commission 1983); and both times, after careful deliberation, reached the conclusion that the U.S. was not responsible for the revolution and does not owe any reparations to Native Hawaiians. See a summary of the conclusions and links to the full text of both reports at

Schatz18: In 1993, the Congress passed, and President Clinton signed, legislation known as the Apology Resolution

Rebuttal18: See a detailed critique of the apology resolution and the bad effects it has had, at
Bruce Fein, an attorney specializing in Constitutional law, wrote a booklet published June 1, 2005 which included a point by point refutation of the apology resolution; that portion is featured at

Schatz20: Native Hawaiians experience disproportionately high rates of unemployment and incarceration; and, Native Hawaiian children are over represented in the juvenile justice system. Hawaiian families rank last in the nation in average annual pay and face the highest rates of homelessness.

Rebuttal20: There are two main processes whereby genuine data are skewed to portray ethnic Hawaiians as victims. (a) Anyone with a single drop of Hawaiian native blood is counted as Native Hawaiian; and at the same time they are NOT counted as any of their other ethnic or racial heritages. Thus it looks like Native Hawaiians are disproportionately represented in nearly all bad economic, social, and medical problems. (b) According to Census 2010, ethnic Hawaiians have a median age of only 26, while everyone else in Hawaii has a median age of 41. Of course young people have lower incomes, and greater rates of crime (especially accompanied by violence) than middle-aged people. That's why ethnic Hawaiians SEEM TO BE overrepresented in the criminal justice system and low income groups -- not because they are bad people and not because they are discriminated against, but simply because they are youthful as a group and experiencing the problems of youth regardless of race.
In any case, it's unclear why a sovereign Akaka tribe would improve the allegedly bad statistics. Indians on the mainland fare worse when they live on sovereign tribal reservations than when they live in racially integrated towns under state and county jurisdiction.

Schatz23: This landmark effort is widely supported by the State of Hawaii, our Congressional delegation and our citizens.

Rebuttal23: Racial separatism in general, and the Akaka bill in particular, are NOT supported by a majority of Hawaii's people. See this webpage created in 2006: "Akaka Bill -- Roundup of Evidence Showing Most Hawaii People and Most Ethnic Hawaiians Oppose It"
See a survey in 2005 which called every household in Hawaii that had a published landline telephone number and found that 67% of respondents opposed the Akaka bill:
Nearly the same result was obtained in 2006:
See also the Zogby poll in December 2009:
In 2012-2013 only 9300 ethnic Hawaiians signed up for the racial registry Kana'iolowalu during the first year, out of the 527,000 identified in Census 2010.
But even if Hawaii's people wanted the Akaka bill to pass, the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights has repeatedly called it racist in official statements published on letterhead in 2006 and again in 2009 and again in 2010