There are a few other whereases that should be added to Congressman Abercrombie’s H. Res 593, the Hawai’i Statehood Resolution, passed yesterday on July 27, 2009.
Whereas it is certainly true that:
“…August 21, 2009, marks the 50th Anniversary of President Dwight D. Eisenhower’s signing of Proclamation 3309, which admitted Hawaii into the Union in compliance with the Hawai’i Admission Act, enacted by the United States Congress on March 18, 1959;”
it should be noted that there is much controversy surrounding Hawai’i's statehood process.
The first controversy– which to Congressman Abercrombie’s credit is not mentioned in HR.593– is his claim that Hawai’i was a territory. This statement is published in the adjoining Congressional Record where he celebrates the transition from “pre-feudal kingdom” to “territory” as a “shotgun republic.”
Congressman Abercrombie knows the controversy surrounding Hawai’i's statehood. In his bid for Hawai’i's governorship he needs to appeal to the general antipathy towards the current Lingle administration, which for many, has driven home the failures of statehood while promoting the benefits of independence. Even Kippen de Alba Chu, the co-chair of the 50th Anniversary of Hawai’i Statehood Commission is quoted as saying that they have chosen to officially not “celebrate” statehood, but rather, “commemorate” it, as we have maintained as early as 2006.
It is an ongoing myth that Hawai’i was annexed. U.S. Constitutional law establishes that for annexation to occur, there must be a treaty ratified by a 2/3rds majority of the Senate. (U.S. Consitution Article 2, sec.2) The treaty that was ratified between the United States and the Republic of Hawaii (the handful or people that overthrew the queen) was nothing more than a Joint Resolution, and Joint Resolutions cannot mandate treaties of annexation.
This scenario is the equivalent to some rogue Americans instigating a coup in Canada and then having a simple 51% majority of both the House and the Senate vote in favor of annexing Canada and making a treaty with the rogue government. Certainly, an impossible scenario now, but how was it possible then? Oh yes, the Spanish-American War allowed us to claim territories from the loser. Cuba, Philippines, Puerto Rico– they were “won” in the war, but Hawaii was never a part of Spain. This may be new information to many outside of Hawai’i, but Hawai’i really was an internationally recognized sovereign kingdom, a member of the Family of Nations recognized internationally through treaties with most European countries, as well as the U.S. and Japan.
The second ongoing myth is statehood. On the one hand, you could argue that if Hawai’i was never annexed, then Hawai’i could not have become a state. On the other hand you could also argue that Hawai’i was never given the option for independence as was called for by the United Nations at that time, through UN Resolution 742 (1953). More information on this theme can be found here.
Since Abercrombie’s name is attached to H.R. 2499, the Puerto Rico Democracy Act of 2009 (also known as the Puerto Rico Independence Act), he should be intimately familiar with this process.
In a nutshell, if we apply Article 6 of the U.S. Constitution to the United Nations Charter:
Article Six: “This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding.
of which more than 2/3 of the Senate majority voted in favor of ratifying, and we respect the authority by which Hawai’i was placed on the list of Non-Self-Governing Territories, it becomes clear that Hawaii’s removal from this list was not in accordance with UN Resolution 742 and did not receive the option for self-determination as was established in 1953. This violation is evident in the 1959 plebiscite which asked only “Shall Hawaii be immediately admitted into the Union as a State?”
At least the Puerto Rican plebiscite offered the right options, then and now: independence, commonwealth or statehood.
“and Whereas the 44th President of the United States, Barack Obama, was born in Hawaii on August 4, 1961;”
For those anti-birthers who are hell-bent on derailing the legitimacy of Obama’s birth certificate, what they should really focus their attention on, is the illegitimacy of Hawai’i's statehood. If Hawai’i's territorial status was based on fraud, and statehood had occurred through an equally fraudulent process, then perhaps the question should focus on not whether Obama was born in Hawai’i, but whether Obama was born in the United States or in the U.S. occupied Hawaiian Kingdom.
One advantage of Hawai’i's “statehood” however, is that it has given international credibility to the Hawaiian independence movement. Over the last 50 years– really the last 25– a generation of scholars have matured. What is now unravelling is the fabric of lies and fraudulence that was spun under President McKinley’s administration and his handful of policy thugs, an 1898 equivalent of Bush-era, neo-cons.
Two works on the subject of de-occupation and decolonization which I have had permission to disseminate here are: Keanu Sai’s dissertation, “A Slippery Path to Hawaiian Indigeneity,” and Jon Osorio’s Ku’e and Ku’oko’a (Resistance and Independence): History, Law, and Other Faiths.
“Whereas the Hawaii Statehood Commission has held a Joint Session of the Hawaii State Legislature in honor of statehood and will be celebrating this milestone with a public discussion and with the arrival of the USS Hawaii ; and
Whereas for all of these reasons Hawaii is a truly unique State: Now, therefore, be it
That the House of Representatives recognizes and celebrates the 50th Anniversary of the entry of Hawaii into the Union as the 50th State.
In addition to Congressman Abercrombie’s whereas clauses, might we also see:
Whereas the controversy around Hawai’i Statehood has created an international recall for re-examining the status of Hawai’i as a state; and
Whereas an independent Hawai’i seeks to be restored onto the United Nations list of Non-Self-Governing Territories and be given its rightful options for self-determination as mandated by UN Resolution 1514; and…