The kolea are back. I’ve seen one on each of the past three days, looking lean after their long flight from Alaska, but frisky as they stake out their personal patches of grass. It was just a few months ago that they departed for their summer breeding grounds, and their return, like the shortening days and changing light, marks the shift into fall.
The book ‘Olelo No'eau, a collection of Hawaiian proverbs and poetical sayings, includes a number of references to kolea, and most are a variation on this theme:
’Ai no ke kolea a momona ho'i i Kahiki.
The plover eats until fat, then returns to the land from which it came. Said of a foreigner who comes to Hawaii, makes money and departs to his homeland to enjoy his wealth.
It’s the same sentiment that drives a lot of the opposition to luxury vacation rentals, real estate speculators, transient entrepreneurs and statehood, with today’s 50th anniversary prompting a march and rally in Honolulu. The 50th star was cut from the flag and burned in a graphic symbol of an ongoing quest for independence that has not diminished in the 116 years since the Hawaiian nation was illegally overthrown.
According to a press release issued by the Hawaiian Independence Action Alliance, a consortium of groups that staged the rally:
We believe a nation never dies unless its national consciousness dies. The years of colonization has not killed the Hawaiian nation as long as we retain the life of the nation in our hearts and souls.
We believe there is nothing to celebrate. The theft of Hawaii's independence in 1893 (called "Regime Change" today) and subsequent transition into a "Provisional Government", "Republic of Hawaii", Cessation to the U.S., "Territory of Hawaii", and "State of Hawaii" are merely rhetorical terms for an occupation and colonization of our sovereign independent nation-state. The passage of a long time since the initial theft does not diminish the seriousness of the theft. Instead, it makes the theft even more serious.
The U.S. should begin a course of self-examination and afford the Hawaiian nationals, victims of this theft, a process of self-determination. In that process, we support independence. We do not succumb to the U.S. practice of taking over weaker countries and forcing us as their territories.
It seems that process of self-examination could begin with a closer look at the plebiscite vote that made Hawaii a part of the United States. Statehood Hawaii’s 21-day countdown ended today with a posting of Proclamation 3309, the official document declaring Hawaii a state. Project director Arnie Saiki goes on to note:
I just wanted to quickly point out that of the three propositions on the ballot, only one of them was pertinent to the three options required by the United Nation towards the removal of a territory from the UN list of Non-Self-Governing Territories, as required. “Shall Hawaii be immediately admitted into the Union as a State?” is the only question asked the people in regard to their choice for self-determination.
If anyone has wondered why those other two question, were put on the ballot, they were put there as a technicality, to submit to the international body, that the plebiscite offered three questions.
The plebiscite should have read, Should Hawaii remain a territory, be a state, or be independent?
Those were the three questions required; just Puerto Rico received them in 1953.
That big glitch in the process helps to explain why many consider the plebiscite a fraud that cemented America’s earlier theft of the Islands through the 1893 illegal overthrow and subsequent annexation.
As Saiki further notes:
…the question that begs examination is: why did Dag Hammarskjold, the United Nations Secretary-General in 1959, accept Resolution 1469 (December 1959), the “Cessation of the transmission of information under Article 73 e of the Charter in respect of Alaska and Hawaii?”
An example of a vote held within the guidelines of the United Nations was the U.S. colony, Puerto Rico. Out of a total of 873,085 eligible voters, 640,714 went to the polls in 1953, and the votes were cast and split among options for commonwealth/statehood/independence. More that 3/4 of the eligible population voted, which was in accordance with the Sacred Trust that was mandated with Chapter XI of the Charter. Almost without controversy, Puerto Rico voted for commonwealth (the Puerto Rican controversy lay with the voting on its Constitution). Again, Hawaii had only 1/3 of the eligible voting population voting and that is a sound basis for contestation.
In The Advertiser’s coverage of today’s march, organizer Lynette Cruz is quoted as saying:
"We're trying not to engage in hate speech. That's not it. This is not driven by hate."
What they are trying to do is establish a discussion, a dialogue, she said.
"We have not had the discussion about what is the future — what is the next step."
Another aspect is to get people to understand the facts of the history of the overthrow, Cruz said.
Hawai'i's statehood is predicated on an illegal action, she said.
"It's illegal, it's immoral, and it's not real," she said.
Some may call it tilting at windmills, but it seems America, which prides itself on following the rule of law and demands — often at the point of a gun — that other nations do the same, should be willing to more closely examine the illegal actions that have allowed it to fatten itself on land still owned by others.
As Prof. Francis Boyle observed:
France once annexed Algeria and determined it was a department of France--just like Paris. No one believed them then. And Algeria is a free and independent state today. The same will happen to Hawaii.
Unfortunately, so long as the big mainstream newspapers continue to print articles like the smug, skewed piece on statehood penned by Paul Theroux for The New York Times, it's not likely America's masses will hear the truth any time soon.