Watson part 13 -- The Difference Between Privilege and Redress. Trisha Watson tries to say that Hawaii's plethora of race-based programs exclusively for ethnic Hawaiians is not racial privilege, but rather it is justifiable redress for a history of injustices committed against them. Ken Conklin responds that redress is for individuals who were actually injured, not for their great-grandchildren; and the definition of privilege given by Watson exactly describes the racial entitlement programs in Hawaii. Later, the discussion turns to whether the people coming to Hawaii from Micronesia should be entitled to free healthcare (as redress for the damage to Micronesian islands and people caused by U.S. nuclear testing).


Note: This is part 13 of a larger webpage. The larger webpage is entitled "Dialogs with a racist -- Bringing to public awareness the explicit, enthusiastic, and unapologetic racism of Trisha Kehaulani Watson, a featured blogger on the public website of the largest circulation newspaper in Hawaii." To see that larger webpage, go to
http://www.angelfire.com/big09a/DialogsRacistWatson.html

Additional note: Trisha Watson probably wrote her essay on Privilege vs. Redress as an outgrowth of a previous essay "White privilege in Hawaii" where she had asserted that the Southern Poverty Law Center article on anti-Caucasian hate crime in Hawaii was an example of white privilege, since SPLC selected that topic instead of other topics that would focus on problems of dark-skinned people that Watson thought were more worthy of attention. Conklin had replied to that essay by saying that Hawaii is a bastion of ethnic Hawaiian racial privilege, and citing numerous racial entitlement programs. So now Watson is saying those programs are not about privilege, but redress for historical grievances. See part 12 of these dialogs at
http://www.angelfire.com/big09a/DialogWatsonPt12.html

13. The Difference Between Privilege and Redress
Trisha Kehaulani Watson dialog started September 15, 2009
Honolulu Advertiser featured blog He Hawai'i Au
http://hehawaiiau.honadvblogs.com/2009/09/15/the-difference-between-privilege-and-redress/

Original essay by Trisha Kehaulani Watson

The Difference Between Privilege and Redress

Two scenarios:

First - I'm walking down a completely empty street and find $20. Assume there's no one else around and it doesn't belong to anyone. Yippee for me - $20!

Second - I'm at a UH football game carrying a tray of Kal-Bi ribs. Some drunken fan (clearly from the other team) stumbles into me and causes me to drop my ribs on the floor. He gives me $20 to replace my ribs. $20, but there's no real "yippee" involved, because I am using that money to replace what was taken from me in the first place. I don't actually make out - I may break even. And I still have the inconvenience of having to go get another tray of Kal-Bi ribs.

This is the difference between privilege and redress.

Privilege is getting something for basically nothing. The benefit you receive is completely arbitrary. There is nothing that justifies it. You have not actually earned the benefit you are receiving.

Redress is righting a wrong. While I may be given something (in the scenario above, $20), in the bigger picture, I'm not actually gaining anything. I am simply attempting to get back to where I was before the drunk guy caused me to drop my ribs.

Hawaiians are asking for redress, not privilege.

And redress is complicated. Handing over $20 just doesn't do it, because then I have $20 but no Kal-Bi ribs. What if those were the last ribs? Is mochiko chicken an adequate substitute?

I'm trying to make light of this because it's hard, and I appreciate that these are hard conversations for everyone. And I love when people comment (although I would like all of you to be nicer to each other). The point is to realize that we are all in this together. That figuring out how to get along and make Hawai`i better isn't about us and our mighty egos, but about our children and making Hawai`i safe and just for all of them.

People need to understand that Hawaiians are not asking for something for nothing. There were very real injustices committed. And we bang this drum over and over not because we're interested in assigning blame, but because we are very interested in finding a resolution.

===============

Rebuttal by Ken Conklin:

Trisha says: "This is the difference between privilege and redress. Privilege is getting something for basically nothing. The benefit you receive is completely arbitrary. There is nothing that justifies it. You have not actually earned the benefit you are receiving. Redress is righting a wrong. While I may be given something (in the scenario above, $20), in the bigger picture, I'm not actually gaining anything. I am simply attempting to get back to where I was before the drunk guy caused me to drop my ribs. Hawaiians are asking for redress, not privilege."

Let me focus on this portion: "Privilege is getting something for basically nothing. The benefit you receive is completely arbitrary. There is nothing that justifies it. You have not actually earned the benefit you are receiving."

I agree completely. Imagine that! Yes, I agree completely. Trisha will now be hoist by her own petard (a phrase lawyers love to use. Look up "petard" if you don't know what it is).

The "redress" Trisha is talking about is supposed to be given to ethnic Hawaiians living today, on account of alleged colonialism or oppression which occurred more than a century ago when nobody now living was alive back then. So, as Makaulike says, when will we stop visiting the sins of the (great-grand)fathers upon the (great-grand)sons?

The ethnic cleansing in Bosnia (Yugoslavia) a decade ago took place with Serbs, Croats, and Muslims killing their next-door neighbors over ethnic grievances from 500 years before. Jews and Muslims are still killing each other over "stolen lands" and "crusades" from thousands of years ago. Shall we follow that path in Hawaii? Whatever grievances Hawaiians think they have are trivial compared to the ones I just mentioned. It's time to get over it and move on. But there's big money and political power to be gotten from milking grievances and demanding redress. How much is enough redress? It's a bottomless pit. A debt that can never be paid and will always be the basis for gimme, gimme, gimme.

Thousands of American citizens of Japanese ancestry were sent to internment camps during WW2. Decades later, the U.S. apologized to them and gave each one of them "redress" of $20,000. But please note: the redress was given only to the actual individuals against whom the wrong had been committed; not to their sons and daughters, grandsons and granddaughters, etc.

Today's living people who have even one drop of Hawaiian native blood are demanding freebies for themselves which they have not earned. Their demands fit perfectly with Trisha's own definition of privilege: "... something for basically nothing. The benefit you receive is completely arbitrary. There is nothing that justifies it. You have not actually earned the benefit you are receiving." So Trisha is hoist by her own petard.

In fact, the most vocal Hawaiian activists seem to be the ones who have low native blood quantum, and whose Caucasian blood quantum is frequently higher than their native blood quantum. They are in the very weird position of saying that their Caucasian great-grandfather did something horrible to their native great-grandmother (overthrowing an evil monarchy and replacing it with a republic was horrible?), and therefore all Caucasians alive today owe "redress" to anyone with a drop of the magic blood. Trisha and her ilk are saying that her haole right hand has a moral right to reach into my pocket and pull out my money to give to her native left hand (except that the left hand for many of those demanding redress might have only one fingernail which is native). That's ridiculous! As Trisha says: "... something for basically nothing. The benefit you receive is completely arbitrary. There is nothing that justifies it. You have not actually earned the benefit you are receiving."

Many of the ethnic Hawaiians demanding redress are tycoons of the Hawaiian grievance industry -- they are wealthy people working for powerful race-based organizations like OHA and Kamehameha Schools -- just look at the OHA trustees, the Kamehameha trustees, the leaders of Papa Ola Lokahi, Alu Like, etc. all shedding crocodile tears about the poor downtrodden Hawaiians while they themselves rake in huge gobs of money from racially exclusionary programs they run, moaning about poor Hawaiians living on the beach in Wai'anae while they themselves live in mansions in Manoa, Kahala, etc. They are far wealthier than nearly all haoles, but they want to take what we have, and would call that "social justice" or "redress." Baloney!

Today it's all about Hawaiian privilege. And Trisha is a great big pusher of Hawaiian privilege. So let me repeat what I said in a different thread about Hawaiian racial privilege.

Hawaiians are the only ethnic group in Hawaii that owns three branches of the state government (OHA, DHHL, and KIRC -- Kahoolawe Island Reserve Commission). Hawaiians are the only group that has over 160 federally funded programs racially exclusive just for them, plus a $9 Billion tax exempt school that ruthlessly discriminates against children with no native blood. Hawaiians are the only ethnic group whose leaders are demanding to create a racially exclusionary government (Akaka bill) and then carve up the lands of Hawaii along racial lines.

So I say that the problem in Hawaii is the already-established Hawaiian racial privilege, with powerful institutions working to grab a whole new magnitude of such privilege through the Akaka bill or through establishment of an independent nation where ethnic Hawaiians would have first-class citizenship and everyone else would have only second-class citizenship.

Hear the eloquent words of Justice Antonin Scalia in the 1995 Supreme Court decision in Adarand vs. Pena:

"[U]nder our Constitution there can be no such thing as either a creditor or a debtor race. That concept is alien to the Constitution's focus upon the individual ... To pursue the concept of racial entitlement -- even for the most admirable and benign of purposes -- is to reinforce and preserve for future mischief the way of thinking that produced race slavery, race privilege and race hatred. In the eyes of government, we are just one race here. It is American."

Hear the eloquent words of King Kauikeaouli Kamehameha III in the first sentence of the first Constitution of the Kingdom (1840):

"Ua hana mai ke Akua i na lahuikanaka a pau i ke koko hookahi, e noho like lakou ma ka honua nei me ke kuikahi, a me ka pomaikai." In modern English, it says: "God has made of one blood all races of people to dwell upon this Earth in unity and blessedness." Let's heed those beautiful words.

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Comment by Scott:

Makaulike, I was thinking the same question during my morning swim this morning. I wonder what Dr. Watson thinks about reparations to black people? I know that issue has been put to rest years ago in D.C., but people still have their opinions on the matter. Of course, with a black president, this would be the most inopportune time to rehash the fight for reparations...

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Response by Trisha Kehaulani Watson:

As for "reparations to black people" - yes, I support reparations to slave descendants or other black people who have been vicitms of injustice. Same with Pacific Islanders who had nuclear weapons tested on them. American Indians who were displaced or otherwise oppressed. And so on and so forth...

This is the big difference between the US and everywhere else... Rome acknowledged conquering everyone to build its empire. The US claims freedom and democracy - that we all became part of this "union" willingly. Not so. For many groups, its been a shotgun marriage. If the US is going to sell its on equality, liberty and justice, then they should give it to everyone, especially those in its backyard.

We need to start being honest... but all the bad parts as well as the good. No one and nothing is perfect.

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Comment by hipoli:

Ken, Makau, and Scott -- answer us this:

Are the following, in gross summary, your feelings:

1) 'You bullying Hawaiians are just big, fat, undereducated, jealous losers who havent made anything with your life - even after being given everything for free - and are societal leeches who want more and more taxpayer handouts;

2) 'You live in America now, you have all the privileges and protections of being an American, and yet you shit on and treat Americans like crap, specifically whites'; and

3) 'Theres absolutely NO DIFFERENCE between my white skin and my life, my values, and my culture and your dark skin and your life, your values, and your culture'. You all are just whiners who are using your race and a history that didnt even happen to you because you are all mixed race by now anyways!

Good enough summary -without the endless dissertations? Its what Im hearing/reading - over and over and over from you all.

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Reply by Ken Conklin:

hipoli asked "Are the following, in gross summary, your feelings"? and then gave a very nasty list of beliefs which he somehow imagines to have found in my writings. But, as I did once before when someone asked a bunch of rhetorical questions, I'll take the opportunity to answer even though the asker is not really interested in hearing the answer.

Now pay attention! Regarding the issues discussed in this blog, here are my fundamental beliefs; and since I think most of my friends and allies would join me in these beliefs, I use "we" when describing them.

7 basic principles:

1. A UNITED STATE OF HAWAI'I
We favor keeping Hawai'i as a single, unified political entity as one of the States of the United States of America. We oppose partitioning the State of Hawai'i along racial or hereditary lines. We oppose creating any political subdivisions where members of any racial or ethnic group would have legally recognized supremacy of voting rights or property rights. We oppose seceding from the United States to create an independent nation of Hawai'i, or asking the United States to withdraw from Hawai'i.

2. ALL PERSONS ARE INHERENTLY EQUAL.
We believe that all persons are inherently equal. We oppose giving special economic rights or political status to any group based on genetics.

3. KANAKA MAOLI ARE CULTURALLY FIRST AMONG EQUALS.
We acknowledge that the kanaka maoli (Native Hawaiian people) came to Hawai'i centuries before people of other races and ethnicities came here. They established a complex culture with many beautiful aspects that continue to inspire people of all races who choose to learn about them. All persons living in Hawai'i are free to pursue whatever cultural or spiritual practices they wish, so long as they do not infringe the rights of others. Because of the special affection the people of Hawai'i feel toward the kanaka maoli and their culture, we freely support and encourage the preservation and thriving of that culture as first among equals -- not because it has any legal or political entitlement to supremacy, but because it was historically first and continues to inspire us all.

4. ALL RACES WERE HISTORICALLY FULL PARTNERS IN THE KINGDOM OF HAWAI'I, AND REMAIN FULL PARTNERS TODAY.
We note with pride that people of all races were welcomed into Hawai'i from the time of first contact in 1778 until now. Europeans, Americans of all races, and Asians became full partners who helped Kamehameha the Great unify the Kingdom of Hawai'i, who brought written language and the rule of law, who helped Hawai'i become a thriving Kingdom, prosperous territory, and proud state. Beginning with King Kauikeaouli Kamehameha III, all citizens of Hawai'i regardless of race had equal voting rights under the Constitution of 1840, and equal property rights under the Mahele of 1848. Kanaka maoli exercised their right to self-determination by making full partners of the settlers, whose expertise and investment helped Hawai'i grow and prosper. By the time of the overthrow and annexation, kanaka maoli were a minority, as demonstrated by the Census of 1900 showing that only 26% of the population had any kanaka maoli genetic heritage. Thus, the nation whose monarchy was overthrown was not primarily Native Hawaiian. If the United States owes anything to Hawai'i for its role in overthrowing the monarchy, it is owed to all the people of Hawai'i, and not to just one race. People without kanaka maoli ancestry are full partners in Hawai'i, and not mere guests.

5. GOVERNMENT ASSISTANCE SHOULD BE BASED ON NEED WITHOUT REGARD TO RACE.
We believe that if federal, state, or local governments wish to give help to needy people, such help should be given on the basis of who needs it and not on the basis of their race. We oppose any government assistance programs that give racial or hereditary preferences. If kanaka maoli or any other ethnic group are more in need of government assistance than other groups, then they will automatically receive more help than other groups when help is based on need alone.

6. THERE ARE NO SPECIAL LAND RIGHTS BASED ON RACE.
The government lands of the Kingdom of Hawai'i were held by government on behalf of all the people. The crown lands of the Kingdom were held by government to support the office of head of state; and when the monarchy was overthrown, the crown lands became the same as government lands. Neither the government lands nor the crown lands were the property of kanaka maoli as a race; and the income from these lands was used for the benefit of all the people. Neither kanaka maoli as a race, nor kanaka maoli as individuals (except for the head of state), had any right to income from these lands. At the time of annexation, the government and crown lands were ceded to the United States subject to the requirement that all these ceded lands were to be held in trust for the benefit of all the people of Hawai'i. At statehood, the ceded lands were returned to the new State of Hawai'i (except for military bases and national parks) to be held for the benefit of all the residents of Hawai'i. Some aspects of land ownership and usage in Hawai'i may be different from other states in the United States, because of the unique history of the Kingdom. For example, there may be limitations on the usual right of a property-owner to exclude other people from his property, because there may be customary rights to shoreline access, and customary rights to gather certain items of food, flowers, and materials. But such rights pertain to all residents or "tenants" regardless of race.

7. KANAKA MAOLI ARE NOT COMPARABLE TO AN INDIAN TRIBE. THEY ARE AN ETHNIC GROUP, NOT A POLITICAL ENTITY.
Kanaka maoli eagerly welcomed newcomers since the moment of first contact in 1778. They freely intermarried and produced succeeding generations with lower and lower quanta of native blood. Today, 3/4 of all persons who have any native ancestry have less than 1/4 blood quantum; and many have very small portions of native ancestry. Virtually all persons with native ancestry are fully assimilated, speak English as their primary language; believe in Christianity, Buddhism, or other mainline religions; live side-by-side with non-natives in Western-style houses in fully integrated neighborhoods; hold the same kinds of jobs as non-natives; and participate fully in the social, economic, and political life of the multiracial community. Unlike recognized Indian tribes, people of kanaka maoli ancestry are not a separate and distinct people, and do not have a tribal government which exercises any significant influence or authority over them. Attempts to gain recognition as an indigenous political entity are motivated primarily by a desire for special welfare benefits, tax exemptions, and regulatory exemptions that might be appropriate for isolated groups of indigenous tribesmen on the continent or in Alaska but are wholly inappropriate for the fully assimilated and intermarried American citizens of Hawaiian ancestry. We oppose any governmental recognition of political status for people with kanaka maoli ancestry because it is unnecessary, historically inappropriate, racially divisive, and destructive to the Aloha Spirit. We oppose partitioning the State of Hawai'i along racial lines, or creating any political subdivisions where members of any racial or ethnic group would have legally recognized supremacy.

-----

Opponents of Aloha For All like to characterize members as racist, hostile to Hawaiian culture, against Native Hawaiians, etc. Nothing could be further from the truth. We do often find ourselves opposing legislation or institutions, because advocates of racial supremacy and entitlement programs for ethnic Hawaiians are well-entrenched in the power structure of Hawai'i and have billions of dollars available to support their racially exclusionary programs and institutions such as Office of Hawaiian Affairs, Bishop Estate/Kamehameha Schools, Department of Hawaiian Homelands, etc. But we oppose these things because of the principles we stand FOR, as described above. We find ourselves in the same situation that minority groups and civil rights organizations have often faced, where we are struggling with small resources against powerful institutions and individuals. Like civil rights organizations have traditionally done, we speak truth to power, express our views in whatever public forums are available, and use the courts when necessary.

We are PRO-EQUALITY, PRO-UNITY, PRO-ALOHA, and PRO-HAWAIIAN-CULTURE.

PRO EQUALITY includes two basic concepts: (a) all persons, regardless of race or geneology, are inherently equal (some might say equal in the eyes of God) and (b) all persons regardless of race or geneology should be equal under the law.

PRO UNITY includes two basic concepts: (a) all who have a long-term commitment to Hawai'i are unified in the Spirit of Aloha; and (b) we believe it is wise to preserve a single, unified State of Hawai'i under the sovereignty of the United States, with one unified set of laws governing us all.

REGARDING PRO-EQUALITY: our opponents disagree with us on both aspects mentioned above. Those favoring race-based sovereignty who "come from a spiritual perspective" believe that racially-defined Hawaiians are descended from the gods (but the rest of us are not); that ali'i are a hereditary elite distinguished from maka'ainana by geneology; that different geneological lines have different kuleana (areas of privilege and responsibility) regarding spiritual, political, and land issues. Our opponents have a wide variety of different and conflicting "models" of sovereignty, but all have one thing in common: people who have at least one drop of native blood are entitled to superior voting rights and property rights by virtue of race and/or geneology alone.

According to some models, ethnic Hawaiians are entitled to exclusive control of a portion of the Hawaiian islands, possibly including 1.8 million acres of ceded lands, plus the right to participate as citizens of the (greatly reduced) State of Hawai'i. The model of Yugoslavia comes to mind, where Serbs, Croats, and Muslims have separated themselves into ethnic enclaves (balkanization).

According to some models, Hawai'i should be a nation, independent from the U.S., in which the entire archipelago remains unified but with ethnic Hawaiians having voting rights and property rights superior to non-Hawaiians (otherwise things would be just as they are at present, with Hawaiians outnumbered and outvoted 4-to-1). The models of Rwanda, Zimbabwe, and especially Fiji come to mind, where one ethnic group (claiming to be indigenous to the homeland) asserts supremacy over other ethnic groups.

REGARDING PRO-UNITY: our opponents disagree with us on both aspects mentioned above. They are racial separatists, seeking a separate political entity based on race alone. In some ways they resemble the now-discredited Black separatist movement in the continental U.S. 30 years ago, claiming that their status as victims entitles them to a separate political identity. They say that because ethnic Hawaiians are the "indigenous, aboriginal, native" people of these islands (buzzwords which are factually challengeable), therefore they are entitled to special status and special aloha. They see themselves as the hosts, and the rest of us are merely guests (even including ethnic Japanese, Chinese, and Euro-American families who have lived in Hawai'i for eight generations). They say this is their homeland and they have nowhere else to go -- implying that those multigeneration families could "go back" to their "homelands" which they and their parents and grandparents have never seen (sort of like telling an African-American that he should, or could, go back to Africa).

REGARDING PRO-ALOHA: We in Aloha For All believe that equality under the law allows us all to remain unified in the Aloha Spirit while pursuing our distinct cultures. We do not seek a grey uniformity; on the contrary, we value the strong cultural and spiritual differences which make the kaleidoscope of Hawai'i so vibrantly beautiful. Colorblind law does not mean colorless culture. As the U.S. Supreme Court said in the Rice v. Cayetano decision: "it demeans the dignity and worth of a person to be judged by ancestry instead of by his or her own merit and essential qualities. An inquiry into ancestral lines is not consistent with respect based on the unique personality each of us possesses, a respect the Constitution itself secures in its concern for persons and citizens." The Supreme Court also explained the relationship between equality under law and aloha-for-all this way: "...... the use of racial classifications is corruptive of the whole legal order ... The law itself may not become the instrument for generating the prejudice and hostility all too often directed against persons whose particular ancestry is disclosed by their ethnic characteristics and cultural traditions. 'Distinctions between citizens solely because of their ancestry are by their very nature odious to a free people whose institutions are founded upon the doctrine of equality.' " The people of Hawai'i spontaneously treat each other with aloha, except when some people seek special power or privilege.

REGARDING PRO-HAWAIIAN-CULTURE: Hawai'i is one of the most physically beautiful places in the world; but what makes Hawai'i absolutely unique is Hawaiian culture and language, and the Aloha Spirit. Many people came from elsewhere to live in Hawai'i, and are committed to remaining permanently, precisely because of Hawaiian culture, language, and spirituality. Some of these first-generation immigrants have shown their love of Hawaiian culture and language by learning more about Hawaiian culture and language than most lifelong residents or most ethnic Hawaiians. The preservation and re-invigoration of Hawaiian culture and language are helped by a legal system which provides equal rights for all people to pursue their cultural interests within a stable, unified, multicultural society.

Political unification is the history of both Hawai'i and the United States. The United States was formed by the unification of separate states and territories, and was preserved by a bloody civil war. Hawai'i was unified by Kamehameha the Great through bloody warfare with opposing chiefs on his own island and other islands. Following the annexation of Hawai'i, in the first Territorial legislature in 1901, 70% of the representatives, freely elected by the people of Hawai'i, were ethnic Hawaiian; and they voted unanimously to seek statehood. Likewise, the statehood vote of 1959 was overwhelmingly positive, including a majority of ethnic Hawaiians. Put to a vote again today, the result would almost certainly be the same.

We cannot have a successful unified democratic society in which there is a racial or hereditary elite, or a division of political sovereignty along racial lines. "A house divided against itself cannot stand." We are an island community. Our people are inextricably intertwined through intermarriage, religion, occupations, place of residence, etc. Whatever one group does affects us all. Fundamental decisions about political sovereignty are for all the people of Hawai'i to decide.

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Comment by Ryan:

Again, just my 2 cents but the "all" part really needs to be defined. If that's true, everything needs to go! We need to become a gender, economic, social, and racially "blind" society where anyone regarding of their background is treated equally. We don't have that yet. I don't see anyone standing up for the fair treatment of the Micornesian population. Define the "all" part that I'll take some of these comments seriously. If this true, then I expect to see to Aloha for All marching in the next MLK or LGBT parades.

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Response to Ryan by Scott:

Ryan, for the most part, Micronesians are living for free in the most beautiful state in the country. I know that many of them are working, but many of them are just milking their newfound opportunity. They've replaced haoles as the most despised racial group on Oahu, for many reasons deserved, and some reasons not deserved. It's a new chapter in Hawaii's history evolving infront of us. They make up an incredible percentage of homeless shelter residents, whereas many recently opened homeless shelters originally targeted Hawaiians. There is a lot of anger on the leeward coast towards Micronesians.

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Response to Ryan and Scott by Ken Conklin:

There are some reasons why needy Micronesians in Hawaii should be given free healthcare, and many reasons why they should not.

First, it's important to look at each individual and not at the group. Some Micronesians are wealthy business owners who don't need government handouts. There should never be government programs based on ethnicity; only based on need.

Some people think it's a moral obligation that anyone who is needy should be given help. People who feel that way usually don't personally bankrupt themselves to give such help; rather, they want government to give the help. Let's say that differently: people who think government should give free help to anyone who needs it are basically saying that they (those who favor giving help) have a right to reach into the pockets of everyone else and pull out money to give away to those who need help. They think it's OK to bankrupt everyone else, even though they're not willing to bankrupt themselves to give the help. I think that's immoral hypocrisy.

Some Micronesians are in a special situation because U.S. nuclear testing 50 years ago caused major health problems for some of them. Not all of them, only some of them. So those individuals who have medical problems caused by the U.S. are clearly owed redress by the U.S. However, they are not owed redress by the government of Hawaii or the people of Hawaii. The redress should come from the U.S. government (out of the pockets of all the U.S. people, including the people of Hawaii but also the people of all other states).

Whether it is fair or not, there is a "compact of free association" between the U.S. and several of the Micronesian islands. The people of those islands freely chose to enter into those treaties, and those treaties specify what the U.S. is obligated to do.

THOSE TREATIES SAY THE CITIZENS OF THOSE ISLANDS HAVE THE RIGHT TO ENTER AND LIVE AND WORK ANYWHERE IN THE U.S.; BUT THOSE TREATIES DO NOT SAY THOSE PEOPLE ARE ENTITLED TO FREE MEDICAL CARE.

Those Micronesians demanding free healthcare in Hawaii are foreigners whose home nation has a treaty allowing them to be here but not giving them free healthcare; and even if the treaty did give them free healthcare it would be at the expense of the U.S. government, not the government of Hawaii.

Should a foreigner have the right to drop out of the sky, or get off a boat, and demand that you pay for his housing and medical care? Of course not. Anyone who thinks so is free to give your own money; but you are not free to take mine.

So long as Hawaii chooses to give free housing and medical care to newly arrived Micronesians, more and more of them will come here to get the freebies. The treaty gives them the right to come. But we are not obligated to give the freebies. And if we do give the freebies to the Micronesians, then there will be less money available to give the freebies to the needy citizens of Hawaii (including ethnic Hawaiians! 'Auwe!).

So, the only way to solve the problem is to be hard-hearted and stop giving help to the recently-arrived Micronesians. It's the same concept as those signs posted various places around town -- do not feed the birds. If you feed the birds then more and more of them will come, and they will become dependent on handouts forever. A few will have to starve; a few will have to wither and die on the streets, so that the word will go out to people back in Micronesia who are thinking of coming here, that coming here is a bad idea.

Following is a news report published in the "Pacific Island Report" of the East-West Center on September 16:

News Release

United States Embassy
Majuro, Marshall Islands
Sept. 3, 2009

U.S. CLARIFIES COMPACT: NO MEDICAL BENEFITS

Under the Compacts of Free Association between the United States and the Freely Associated States (FAS), citizens of the Republic of the Marshall Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, and the Republic of Palau may generally be admitted to the United States, its territories, and possessions to lawfully engage in occupations and establish residence as non-immigrants without visas.

There are no commitments in the Compacts to provide medical care for FAS citizens who take advantage of this Compact benefit.

Availability of medical care for nonimmigrant residents in the United States depends on federal and state laws and regulations. Each of the U.S. states, territories, and possessions has its own system for determining availability of those services.

Recent news coverage of the State of Hawaii's decision to restrict certain advanced healthcare services to citizens of the FAS has included misstatements about Compact obligations to provide such care.

We urge the FAS governments to inform their citizens that, though their citizens may decide to take advantage of Compact rights to enter the United States, the availability of health services is not guaranteed and will depend on federal, state, and local law.

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Response by Scott:

I agree with you there, Ken.

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Response by Ryan to Scott:

Scott, I agree with the part about Micronesians, tough situation.

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Response by Ryan to Ken:

Ken, we agree on something "look at the individual and not the group". I like that statement.

Response by Makaulike:

Ditto!


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