The Statehood Plebiscite

May 12, 2009
By

The story through which Hawaii became a state in 1959 usually mythologizes a heroic effort by the Statehood Commission and the lobbying efforts of Territorial representative John Burns, and highlights the hurdles that Congress confronted before eventually voting for Hawaii’s statehood. These hurdles mainly involve racist bigotry and communist allegations along with various facets of organized labor, particularly the I.L.W.U. However, the retelling of the statehood process has left out those who didn’t, for whatever reason, participate in the plebiscite vote, the process adhering to the democratic ideals the United States was at that time trying to convey as its foreign policy strategy. Also, the mythology of Hawaii’s statehood story fails to adequately discuss the colonial/territorial history from the perspective of the United State’s obligation to educate and generally provide the necessary care mandated by the United Nations Charter of which the U.S. ratified in 1946.

One of the many obligations as stated in U.N. Resolution 742 in 1953 declares that one of the “factors indicative of the attainment of independence or of other separate systems of self-government,” is “freedom of choosing on the basis of the right of self-determination of peoples between several possibilities including independence.”

There is nothing to suggest that Hawaii’s plebiscite, offering only “statehood” or “to remain a territory,” fulfills that mandated choice. Also, there is little to suggest that residents of Hawaii were properly educated on the process or understood the importance of the plebiscite and what rights were available to the population. It is as much to claim that 94% of the voters voted for statehood, as it is to suggest that only 35% of the eligible voters voted for statehood.

On March 18, 1959, the day Congress passed the Admission Act, Joseph F. Smith, Professor of Speech and an advocate of statehood at the University of Hawaii, sent a letter to Governor Quinn describing a recent study he conducted. He wrote, “I venture to predict that one of the most surprising features of our forthcoming election will be the number of votes opposing statehood, plus the number of ballots which will carry neither yes or no votes.” Further he observed, “only three of the students were actively in favor of statehood, and the remainder were either apathetic, saying, ‘it will make no difference,’ or definitely opposed. I think, unquestionably, these youngsters reflect the attitude of their parents.”

If the idea of Hawaii failing to attain statehood in 1959 seems implausible, one should also consider the viewpoints of Kamokila Campbell where she felt that Statehood would turn Hawaii into a Japanese dominated “menace” controlled by the Big Five; or ILWU union leader Jack Hall, when in 1953, he challenged the race-baiting perspective while coming out in favor of Hawaii becoming a commonwealth rather than a state, or when he introduced the rank-and-file to options of Independence via the U.N. Charter– “Kamehamehaism” he called it– during the 1951 I.L.W.U., Local 142 proceedings.

The 15 years between the end of WWII and Statehood was a dynamic time, and challenges to international law, international labor, and the beginning of the United State’s dominance in the world set the backdrop to a long and vigorous debate on the issue of colonialism. That this debate should, on July 27th 1959, culminate into a ten-word question to be followed by a “yes” or “no” is not without controversy.

On June 27th, 1959, Hawaii held a plebiscite to determine whether the overall population of the Territory of Hawaii sought Statehood. The final tallied vote, as was signed by Edward E. Johnston, the Secretary of State on July 2nd, 1959 declared the cumulative votes cast on all the islands was 132,773 in favor of statehood, while 7,971 opposed it. What these numbers indicate is that a total of 140,744 people voted either “yes” or “no” for Proposition 1 which read, “Shall Hawaii immediately be granted into the Union as a State?” (Figure 1)

Figure 1. (Click to expand image)

According to the State of Hawaii Data Book, Voter Turnout for the 1959 General Election was 171, 383, which reported that 30,639 or 18% of those who voted abstained, voting neither “yes” nor “no” on the plebiscite and simply voted for their representative in the General Election to which the plebiscite had been attached. So by including all who voted in the general election, only 77% really voted for statehood. (Figure 2)

Figure 2.

The total population of Hawaii from the nearest 1960 Census data reports a population of 632,772, with the median age being 38. Surprisingly, only sixty percent of the population were of voting age and 381,859 were eligible to vote. (Figure 3)

Figure 3.

Examining the assertion that 94% of Hawaii’s citizens voted for statehood, actual numbers reveal a much smaller percentage and the numbers suggest that only 35% of eligible voters actively sought statehood. (figure 4)

Figure 4

When you take into account Tables 5 and 6 below, what further arguments can be constructed regarding residency and race that might reframe the plebiscite narrative?

Relevant factors on Residency and Race

The following chart shows that 23% of the population were born out-of-state at the time the 1960 census was taken, which at the time of the plebiscite, and taking into account age discrepancy, still suggests a substantial sampling of non-native born residents potentially participating in the plebiscite vote.

Figure 5.


In Figure 6, considering Hawaii’s ethnic population at that time, Kamokila Campbell’s assertion that the Japanese vote would swing statehood was way off the mark considering that the majority of Japanese did not vote in the plebiscite. The same can also be noted for the Caucasian vote (which includes the Portuguese).

Figure 6


Although one could assert that those who voted in the plebiscite, voted along these residential or racial lines, further examination on the plebiscite data reveals that except for the votes tallied from the island of Ni’ihau which was entirely native Hawaiian (there were 70 “no” votes and 18 “yes”), the large percentage of votes cast district by district reveals that an overwhelming majority of those who did vote in the plebiscite voted in favor of immediate Statehood. There were however, certain district particularities for example, the district that registered the most “no” votes came from the more affluent and caucasian dominated Diamond Head/Kahala district, but there is little to suggest that there was any one determinate race or class that voted “Yes” or “No” in the plebiscite.

Looking at these charts and statistics, 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?”

The U.N. General Assembly, particularly the Fourth Committee (the committee responsible for Non-Self-Governing Territories under Chapter XI), as well as the specialized agencies like UNESCO, WHO, and the ILO that studied the information transmitted under Article 73e, were entrusted to study this data and challenge the blatant aberrations to the process outlined by the United Nations regarding the removal of territories from the list of Non-Self-Governing Territories.

Comparing the relatively low voter turnout and the peculiarities with race and residency in Hawaii’s demographics reveal a contradiction to the process used by the United Nations to remove territories from the list. In the fifteen years prior to statehood, the General Assembly debated the removal of many of the Non-Self-Governing Territories, especially when there are inconsistencies with the voting mechanism– specifically over voter turnout and indigenous peoples.

In South Africa for example, when the U.K. first tried to remove South Africa in 1949, the U.K. administering power submitted a vote that revealed wide support in favor of annexation. However, the voting record showed that the majority of Africaans did not vote and the application was thus rejected. But in 1961, by a whites-only referendum, South Africa left the British commonwealth to become a Republic. The harsh language of the 1961 U.N. resolution 1598 “Affirms that the racial policies being pursued by the Government of the Union of South Africa are a flagrant violation of the Charter of the United Nations and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and are inconsistent with the obligations of a Member State”

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.

Arnie Saiki
Project Director

__________

Sources

State Department Records. Foreign Relations, 1952-1954, Volume III pp. 1211-38.

United Nations Charter and Resolutions 66, 142, 742, 1469, 1598.

United Nations General Assembly Yearbook, 1948. p 209.

“Statement by Departmental Representaitve Before the Subcommittee on Territories and Insular Affairs of the the House Committee on Interior and Insular Affairs on the Question of Admisssion of Alaska as a State of the Union” (Including Replies) March 12, 1957. Department of State Records

1960 Census Report. Hawaii State Archives.

“State of Hawaii Data Book” Legislative Reference Bureau.

Plebiscite Record: Hawaiian Collection, U.H. Library.

Information from Non-Self-Governing Territories: Summary and Analysis of Information Transmitted Under Article 73 e of the Charter. Report of the Secretary General May 6, 1958. A/3815 U.N. Records

Information from Non-Self-Governing Territories: Summary and Analysis of Information Transmitted Under Article 73 e of the Charter. Report of the Secretary General: Pacific TerritoriesL Hawaii. March 6, 1959. A/4088 U.N. Records

“Communication from the Government of the United States of America concerning Alaska and Hawaii” A/C.4/L.632. U.N. Records

“Draft Guidance Paper on Puerto Rico for Tenth Session of Organization of American States” December 1, 1953. Department of State.

“Kamokila Opposes Island Statehood,” Honolulu Star-Bulletin. January 17, 1946.

“Statehood for the Territory of Hawaii: A Statement in behalf of the I.L.W.U., CIO. ” Regional Director for Hawaii, Jack Hall. March 1947.

“Commonwealth Status for Islands Backed by I.L.W.U International” Honolulu Star-Bulletin. July 11, 1956

Correspondance between Joseph F. Smith and Governor Quinn, Hawaii State Archives. March 18, 1959

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21 Responses to The Statehood Plebiscite

  1. [...] Arnie Saiki, who has been researching the Hawai’i statehood issue has posted some analysis of the demographics of the 1959 statehood plebiscite at http://statehoodhawaii.org/wp/index.php/2009/05/12/the-statehood-plebiscite/ [...]

  2. KenConklin on May 17, 2009 at 11:46 am

    Arnie Saiki’s analysis of the Statehood vote of 1959 is really quite amazing. His sophistry does the best possible job of trashing the most impressive and lopsided political victory in the history of Hawaii. I believe that no candidate for a contested political office in Hawaii, and no other referendum question, has ever won 94% of the vote. Yet Arnie uses dubious statistical and policy analysis to trash the significance of the outcome. I’m reminded of the old warning: There’s lies, there’s damn lies, and then there’s statistics.

    First of all, here’s a little reductio ad absurdum. Of course it’s true that only perhaps half of the population would be able to vote, because of age and residency requirements. Then a smaller subset of those who would be able to vote actually take the time to register and thus become eligible to vote. Then only about half of those eligible to vote actually do go out and vote. Then it turns out that some people who do vote on a ballot ignore some parts of the ballot, so that the number of votes actually cast on a particular issue is substantially less than the number of ballots cast as a whole. Whatever. Now apply exactly the same analysis to any election ever held in Hawaii and you will quickly discover that only a small percentage of the population actually voted in favor of the winning candidate or voted on the winning side of a referendum. So what? If Arnie’s statistical analysis of the Statehood vote were applied to any election in the history of Hawaii, that election would turn out to be less impressive and less “weighty” that the Statehood vote.

    Here’s one small issue raised by Arnie: there were a lot of people who voted in the election where Statehood was on the ballot, but who did not vote on the Statehood issue itself. No problem. For example, if you look at the most recent 2008 Hawaii general election, and compare the total number of votes cast for President against the total number of votes case for all the candidates for OHA, or all the candidates for Board of Education, you’ll see that a huge percentage of voters simply ignored the OHA and Board of Education parts of the ballot. Was that some sort of protest? No. Does that invalidate the OHA or Board of Education outcomes? Of course not.

    Is Arnie claiming that ethnic Hawaiians stayed away from the Statehood ballot question in larger numbers than they stayed away from voting at all? He never tried to deal with that question. Of course it’s a hard one to analyze. It would require a lot of time and statistical expertise. And it’s made additionally difficult by the fact that ballots do not indicate the race of the voter. But there are ways such an analysis could be done. For example, choose any particular voting precinct; use Census data to identify the percentage of ethnic Hawaiians living in that precinct; look at voting data for that precinct to see how many ballots were actually cast and how many people voted on the Statehood question; and how many voted “Yes” on Statehood. Now you have the data to compare precincts with high ethnic Hawaiian population against the overall results, and to see whether ethnic Hawaiians actually boycotted the Statehood issue by comparison with other racial groups, or voted against Statehood more strongly than other racial groups. I suggest Arnie check the results for Moloka’i. In any case, various ethnic groups do often vote differently than other ethnic groups on particular candidates or issues. In the latest Presidential election, for example, Blacks voted overwhelmingly for Obama whereas non-Blacks voted only about 50% for Obama. But ethnic groups cannot veto an election result. Obama is President of us all, whether we like it or not.

    Now, for a further illustration of Arnie’s statistical sophistry, let me cite the results on a different topic: the anti-annexation petition of 1897. Of course it was only a petition, not an election. But Arnie’s sort of analysis could be applied to it. So let’s go ahead and trash the anti-annexation petition of 1897, because it represents only 18% of those who could have signed it.

    The major lie is that “Ninety-five percent of the native population signed the petition”. That lie has been repeated many times in all the media, and even by Senators and Representatives who should know better.

    The petition against annexation had 21,269 signatures. Not the 40,000 we sometimes hear? Not the more understandable (but still false) 38,000 What’s going on?

    A databook on the OHA webpage, containing population figures provided by State of Hawai’i statistician Robert Schmitt, showed that in 1890 the Kingdom Census counted 40,622 pure or part Hawaiians representing 45% of the population; in 1896 the Republic Census counted 39,504 for 36% of the population; and in 1900 the U.S. Census counted 39,656 representing 26% of the population (there was substantial immigration from Japan, China, and the U.S., causing the percentage of Hawaiians to drop dramatically because the number of them remained about the same). Here is the databook:
    http://oha.org/databook/go-chap1.98.html

    Straight-line interpolation yields 39,542 as the number of full or part Hawaiians in 1897, the year of the anti-annexation petition. Thus, the 21,269 signatures on the petition represented 54% of ethnic Hawaiian population. Tremendous effort was invested in the ethnic Hawaiian community to get those signatures, and great pressure must have been placed on people whose community leaders were coming around in person demanding that they support their queen and sign the petition, so it is notable that half the kanaka maoli population did not sign the petition against annexation. The fact that only about half of ethnic Hawaiians in 1897 signed the petition can be verified in the experience of those oh-so-proud descendants who went to the public exhibition of the petitions in 1998 to find their ancestors’ names on the petition, and found that half of their ancestors (on average) were missing.

    But wait! The population included babies and small children, who presumably could not have made a signature even if they had wanted to.

    But wait! Every signature was accompanied by the signer’s age, and some were in their early teens.

    But wait! A protest document filed by Lorrin A. Thurston says some of the ages were changed afterward to make them look older. And furthermore, Thurston says there were hundreds of forged signatures, and people who signed their own name several times; and entire signature pages were gathered without any petition language for the people to know what they were signing (the language was added after the pages were collected). Thurston’s protest can be found at
    http://tinyurl.com/oyqyrp

    But wait! Everyone says there were non-natives among the 21,269 people who signed the petition, although we cannot be sure how many.

    Well, if there were non-natives signing, then shouldn’t the percentage of signers be calculated using the whole number of people in the entire population? Apparently non-natives were welcome to sign the petition, but the overwhelming majority refused. The whole population in 1896 was 109,020; in 1900 it was 154,001; so interpolation yields 120,265 as the population in 1897, which means the 21,269 signatures represent only 18% of the population.

    Furthermore, at that time only men could vote, and there were other important voter eligibility restrictions; so there is no relationship between petition signatures and eligible voters.

    But there’s more to the story. In addition to the anti-annexation petition with 21,269 signatures, there was allegedly another petition containing over 17,000 signatures collected by a different organization. The trouble is, that second petition had a different purpose — it called for Lili’uokalani to be restored to the throne! Hawaiian sovereignty activists like to add the numbers on the two petitions, for a total of around 38,000 to 39,000 signatures, which would represent virtually every native and part-native man, woman, and baby. But of course that’s silly. The two petitions are on different topics. And probably everyone who signed the smaller petition (restore the queen) would have also signed the larger petition (stop annexation). Indeed, the gap of 4,000 signatures could be interpreted to mean that there were 4,000 natives who opposed annexation but also opposed restoring the monarchy and wanted the Republic of Hawai’i to continue as an independent nation under the coalition of white and Hawaiian oligarchs!

  3. arnie on May 17, 2009 at 5:34 pm

    Although I can’t prevent further misunderstanding of what the statistical information in the “Statehood Plebiscite” presents, please note that I’ve tried to steer away from examining ethnic or economic variables and inconsistencies in too great a detail. Rather, the question I posed and 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?”

    The United Nations process for removing territories from the list of Non-Self-Governing Territories is expressed in both UNGAR 222 (III) “Cessation of the Transmission of Information Under the Article 73 e of the Charter,” (1948); and UNGAR 742 (VIII) “Factors which should be taken into account in deciding whether a Territory is or is not a territory whose people have not yet attained a full measure of Self-Government.” (1953)

  4. KenConklin on May 18, 2009 at 1:43 am

    Arnie says ““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?””

    Well, you’ll have to ask him (LOL). Or go to the archives of the U.N. and read his diaries and notes. But I’m sure he did not make such a decision all by himself. He probably consulted with his experts on “international law” and relied on their advice. One think I’m quite sure of is that the Secretary General and his advisors were far more knowledgeable about international law than Arnie Saiki or Hayden Burgess. So you go right ahead and enjoy your conspiracy theory. Who knows — maybe the Illuminati made him do it (going to go to the theater and see “Angels and Demons” someday soon).

    Speaking of conspiracy theories, did you know that following the revolution of January 1893 Liliuokalani was conspiring with a group of several hundred Japanese plantation workers who had served in the japanese army before coming to Hawaii? They offered to help her fight the provisional Government if she would agree to give them voting rights on the same basis as Europeans, Americans, and Hawaiians. You can read about it in the Morgan Report.

    So many conspiracy theories. So little time.

  5. arnie on May 18, 2009 at 3:31 am

    To say that the Secretary General had better access to international law than Arnie Saiki and Hayden Burgess is analogous to saying that President Bush had better access to constitutional lawyers who were more knowledgable than those who were critical of his policy. Does that mean then that the Bush administration neither lied nor broke any laws?

    Regarding the UN archives, there is actually reasonably good correspondence as to why the Secretary-General accepted UNGAR 1469 (Cessation of the transmission of information under Article 73e if the Charter in respect of Hawaii and Alaska) without debate and it goes back to the creation of the UN in San Francisco and Dumbarton Oaks. Simply, the United States listed Hawaii and Alaska as “incorporated territories,” rather than “unincorporated territories.”

    The problem though is that the United Nations does not formally recognize a difference between the two, and so legally speaking, Hawaii should have gone through the same oversight and process as the other territories.

    There is much speculative evidence from Senator Vandenberg and others who were present during the discussions, that Hawaii and Alaska were put on the list so to avoid criticism and to set an example to the other member nations who were also submitting their territories on the list of Non-Self-Governing Territories. Although Hawaii and Alaska were listed alongside 74 other territories listed for decolonization, it was understood that the United States had a special relationship with the two territories.

    This special relationship however, does not preclude the legal obligations that United States signed on to when the U.S. Congress ratified the Charter in accordance with Article 6 of the United States Constitution (not to be confused with a Resolution like the Newlands Resolution, which asserted without Constitutional authority, to “annex” Hawaii in 1898). This was a legitimate Congressional ratification of a treaty signed and bound without controversy or speculation to a binding Article of the U.S. Constitution.

    The ratification of the U.N. Charter was now the law of the land, and of course, many lawyers despised this new law, including Frank E. Holman, the past-President of the American Bar Association. As one of the drafters of the 1952 Bricker Amendment, Holman sought to amend the Article Six “treaty law” so as to prevent the Charter from subordinating the Bill of Rights and States’ Rights. Year after year, it failed in Congress.

    There soon began a concerted effort led by Senator Knowland (also a proponent of the Bricker Amendment) and supported by Senator Bricker, to remove Hawaii from the list of Non-Self-Governing Territories. It was the Secretary of State John Foster Dulles who informed Congress of the steps Congress needed to take in order to remove Hawaii from this list.

    In a future article, I will discuss the correspondence published in the Congressional Record in July 1956 between Dulles and Knowland and look at how that relationship may have added to or subtracted from the John Burns story of statehood, or the somewhat conflicting Tennessee Plan. Is this a conspiracy theory motivated by the Illuminatus? Or is this simply a part of Hawaii’s statehood history told from the wider perspective of the international legal and political arena.

    The real conspiracy theory that you refer to, if there is one, really resides with the Bricker Amendment and not with the “oversight” by the Secretary-General. This will be further discussed in a lengthy article soon.

    AS

  6. KenConklin on May 18, 2009 at 12:32 pm

    Arnie seems to believe Secretary General Dag Hammarskjold made the wrong decision. I believe he made the right decision. De gustibus non est disputandum.

    But more significantly, Arnie seems to be accusing Dag Hammarskjold of engaging in a conspiracy with the U.S. to do something which he knew was in violation of international law. That is a very serious accusation.

    I have read Dag Hammarskjold’s book “Markings” and was deeply moved by its spirituality. I have visited the United Nations in New York, and I visited the meditation room which he had ordered to be built there so that diplomats could be quiet and listen to the voice of God within, in the midst of the noise and chaos and heavy pressures weighing them down. He was a man of great personal integrity, and a peacemaker who gave his life on a mission seeking peace in Congo.

    I will believe Arnie is guilty of a conspiracy to twist history in service to an agenda of ethnic nationalism, before I would imagine Dag Hammarskjold being guilty of a conspiracy to violate international law or to violate the trust placed in him by all the nations of the world.

  7. arnie on May 18, 2009 at 4:51 pm

    Yes, if one were engaging in Rush Limbaugh political rhetorical, I would be accusing Dag Hammarskjold of being guilty of conspiracy, however, history being more complicated than bully-points, I think Mr. Conklin does a great service by opening this door.

    In 1944, two years before Trygvie Lie was elected the first Secretary-General in February of 1946 (Dag Hammarskjold became the second Sec. Gen from 1953-61), the U.S. Secretary of State, Edward Reilly Stettinius chaired the Dumbarton Oaks conference.

    Stettinius replaced Cordell Hull who was having health issues and was FDR’s last appointment before he died. Both Hull and Stettinius testified before Congress on the importance of creating an international mechanism through which international peace can be pursued, hence, the United Nations. Congress naturally, wanted to be kept abreast of all negotiations.

    Senator Vandenberg, of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and Senator Connally observed and reported back to Congress, matters relating to Dumbarton Oaks as well as the San Francisco Conference (except those kept confidential which were discussed privately with some of the other senators).

    During those years, several senators accused both Secretaries of State as being “Communists,” and if it wasn’t for the respect that Senator Vandenberg from Michigan had, there is a possibility that the U.N. Charter would not have been ratified. Unlikely you ask? Consider that Congress did not ratify the League of Nations, which arguably contributed to its failure.

    Anyway, were both Secretaries of State guilty of conspiring with the Russians to create the machinery for international peace? Yes!

    Were either Hull of Stettinius guilty of defining Hawaii and Alaska as Non-Self-Governing Territories? Yes!

    Had the process by which territories could stop sending information (UNGAR 222) to the UN been developed? Had the Charter been written and ratified? Had the Fourth Committee, the committee responsible for the Non-Self-Governing Territories listed under Chapter XI, been formed yet? No, no, no!

    The story about Hawaii and Alaska’s inclusion on the list– according to John Foster Dulles, the Secretary of State in 1946– was that Hawaii and Alaska had already been listed as territories in the early discussions leading up to the formation of the U.N., and as stated in a posting above, were listed as “Incorporated” Territories.

    I thank Mr. Conklin for pointing out that I had been accusing Dag Hammarskjold of being guilty of conspiracy. Rather, I’d suggest that he were guilty of complacency, guilty of maintaining whatever deal had been previously worked out under the “communists” Hull and Stettinius.

  8. Plebiscite Summarized – on May 21, 2009 at 11:56 am

    [...] my reading of the Hawaii’s statehood plebiscite, I asserted that rather than the traditional story of how 94% of the voters voted for statehood, an [...]

  9. Hawaii Statehood Vote | Li Hing Lemon on May 23, 2009 at 8:52 am

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  10. Jere Krischel on May 25, 2009 at 11:08 pm

    I wonder what Hitler had for lunch on January 20th, 1939. Was it cooked by a college graduate, or did that person only have trade skills? What price was paid for that lunch? Was it a fair price? What if some person of German ancestry wanted a refund for that lunch? What if the Statehood vote of 1959 was rigged and the UN was conned into taking Hawaii off the list of non-self-governing territories?

    These are all interesting questions, but they really don’t lead to any answers.

    It is patently evident that Hawaii is a self-governing State. We have our own judiciary, legislative and executive branches. The citizens of the State of Hawaii have universal suffrage for all people 18 and over, regardless of race, creed or color. Even when it comes to federal law, we have three congress critters, and now, the President himself. One might have made the case that the Territory of Hawaii was not self-governing, since the executive was appointed, and although we had a congressional representative they were non-voting. But upon Statehood? Clearly, we were a self-governing territory and no longer belonged on any UN list of non-self-governing territories.

    The question as to whether or not the UN correctly removed Hawaii from the list of non-self-governing territories has a clear answer -> they correctly removed Hawaii, since it was in 1959, and has been ever since, self-governed. Nobody could plausibly make the claim that elections in Hawaii are rigged by mainland interests, or that somehow Hawaii does not have a voice in the federal government.

    It may be that in 1959 someone had a drink with someone, and gave them a nudge in one direction or another. But any rational examination of the situation would have led to the proper conclusion that the people of Hawaii were determining their own destiny, and they chose to become a State of the Union. Statehood was a dream of even the most die-hard ex-royalists – Prince Kuhio, a member of the royal family of the Kingdom of Hawaii, and a warrior in the 1895 counter-revolution that failed against the Republic of Hawaii, was our second congressional representative of the Territory of Hawaii, and fought for Statehood during his entire tenure.

    I suspect that this analysis has some end in mind, some unspoken consequence of the legal ambiguity they seek to impose upon a clear cut situation. I suspect that perhaps their answer to the question of relevance probably doesn’t involve a new referendum to clear the air, but some sort of “undo” that would place power into the hands of race-based sovereignty activists.

    I also suspect that if a person of German ancestry tried to get a refund for an overcharged salad eaten by Hitler on January 20th, 1939, they’d find little satisfaction.

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  12. lawealilo on June 14, 2009 at 4:23 am

    Ken Conklin is amazing. He does his best to stick his nose in everything possible. He begins by patronizing Mr. Saiki and then resorts to character assassination as a method of drawing his own conclusions. However, unlike Ken, Mr. Saiki never used the phrases “I believe,” “but I’m sure,” “he probably…,” and the gem of them all (drumroll please) coming from the person who holds a Ph.D. in who the hell cares is “One think I’m quite sure of…” (sic). Certainly, perhaps, I’m quite sure of one thing, this is probably scholarly analysis detective work indeed!

    I don’t even bother to read K.C.’s commentary in detail on this site, his site, the Advertiser, or where ever, for the very reason above. He is mere blatherskite spewing out gobbledygook. Frankly he’s taking up too much cyberspace. It is in this type of forum that the steering committee should simply step up and ban him from participation altogher rather than give him a soap box upon which to crow in delight and be acknowledged.

  13. Jere Krischel on June 14, 2009 at 10:24 am

    lawealilo, it seems obvious you haven’t read Conklin’s commentary in detail -> your comments belie an ignorance of the details of the points he is making. If it seems to be gobbledygook based on not reading it, perhaps it would make more sense if you actually did read it. Your knee-jerk character assassination seems to echo your own hypocritical accusations -> maybe, if you actually had a point, you could respond to Ken’s assertions rather than your impression of his personality.

    You are right about one thing though, Ken Conklin is amazing -> he was indoctrinated into the radical racial sovereignty movement, but his quest for truth led him out of the morass of the false victimhood narrative. Not too many people have the courage to seek the truth when faced with the vitriol spewed by people like you.

  14. Jere Krischel on July 8, 2009 at 12:51 am

    How about we leave it at this – less than 6% of the population voted against statehood. Maybe glass-half-empty works better than glass-half-full in this case.

    Would you object to that characterization, that during the Statehood vote, only a tiny fraction of the population, less than 6% of the representative electorate, and certainly less than 2% of the total population, voted against statehood?

    Now that I think about it, I like that…according to your analysis, only 7971 people voted against statehood. For a voting population of 381,859, that means only 2.09% of the people voted against statehood. For a total population of 632,772, that means only 1.26% actually voted no.

    So maybe, actually 98.74% of the population were for statehood, since so few people actually voted no!

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    [...] upon the Puerto Rican referendum. It is uncanny that the numbers should similarly reflect Hawaii’s plebiscite despite the difference in population size to Puerto Rico, and the fact that Puerto Rico had [...]

  16. [...] posting follows an earlier series of posting critical of the [...]

  17. [...] vote to leave the Union but if they did, they should have that right.  (Hawai’i did vote twice on the issue but independence was not a given option) We stole their nation from them.  It may be [...]

  18. [...] an interesting perspective on the 1959 Hawaiʻi Statehood Plebiscite. Here's a link… The Statehood Plebiscite | Imi Pono Projects Even more interesting is an article about the "anti-Statehood" movement and the legacy [...]

  19. [...] counted at 91,597, for a total of 102, 097, a strong comeback from 40,000 a few decades before. The Statehood Plebiscite | Statehood Hawaii [...]

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