Pacific American-News Journal
Kepakemapa - September 1996 Volume 2 Issue 9
I Was Sick And Tired Of Being Sick And
By W.B. Laronal , Jr.
Michael P. Kahikina Hawai`i State Representative for
the 43rd District, is currently the only elected State
Representative born, raised, and residing on Hawaiian Homelands.
The Representative has a homestead in Nanakuli Ahupua`a. This
interview with Representative Kahikina is refreshing,
controversial, and heartfelt.
It took place at the Nanakuli Community Ho'olaule`a
(celebration) at Nanakuli Park. This Ho'olaule`a had all the
food, crafts, and community service booths on the perimeter of
the park. A large Banyan tree sits in the middle of the lawn
fronting the community center.
On the makai (ocean) side of the park is a baseball field, we
sat in the dugout next to the ocean. I adjusted my tape recorder
and asked the first question with oluolu (pleasant) Hawaiian
music coming from the stage area with the salt breeze air blowing
from the sea.
WBL- Why did you get into politics?
MPK- I was sick and tired of being sick and tired of
our community getting less for basic human services and
educational opportunities from our government. We are losing too
many of our Native Hawaiian kids in Hawai`i's public school
system. In 1979, I implemented an alternative high school program
at Queen Lili`uokalani Children's Center in Nanakuli, called
Nanakuli Youth Agricultural Project to deal with Native Hawaiian
drop-outs and defacto drop-out students. Our community
historically have 65% of our teachers with less than 3 years of
experience. We are the training grounds for these teachers, once
their trained and get tenured, they leave. Also, historically 50%
of our 6th graders will not graduate from high school! We have
the highest teenage pregnancy, the highest alcohol, substance,
physical abuse, and welfare recipients. Now, I'm not downing our
community. This is the baseline data that is used to target our
area as the most poverty stricken. I got sick and tired of being
sick and tired of hearing people say our kids were only going to
be criminals. (The distant sounds of laughter from some keiki
[children] swimming at the beach fill the dugout.) I'm afraid of
the way our men think its macho to screw as many women as
possible . I'm afraid of these social norms. We need
leadership calling out for righteousness and responsibility!
WBL- How did you campaign?
MPK- During my campaigning I actually had people
complaining that I talk too much about Jesus. Jesus this, Jesus
that! But those same people don't complain about people who say,
F this and F that. On top of that, these
individuals are always complaining about all the violence they
see in the community. We all can start to do this one thing to
help stop the violence. Stop cussing, stop swearing, and don't
use the F word. There's a story I tell people about
my first year in office. I got a phone call from a guy calling me
a crook cause I'm a politician, and my colleague in the House of
Representative stopping me in the hallway and asked, so
what Bradda Mike, you think you're holier than thou? I was
about to apologize, but the Holy Spirit quickened me, and I asked
him, do you have the Holy Ghost in you? He said no he
didn't. So I replied, then I am holier than thou!
But ask me if I'm perfect? And I will tell you no because I serve
a God that said in His Word ( Bible) that if you confess
your sins, He is faithful and just to forgive you and cleanse you
from all unrighteousness. And there is none that is perfect
on earth. I don't know what standards you lead in your life. But
Bradda Mike's standard is the B-I-B-L-E ( Basic Instructions
Before Leaving Earth).
WBL- So what about the process of government?
MPK- There is no perfect government on this earth, but
with all it's weaknesses, God bless America! Democracy is a
process that only works with participation, if it don't work,
it's because of lack of participation! You can protest against
our system of government and not fear reprisals. As it stands, we
are in a unique part of history as Native Hawaiians in seeking
our inheritance right to self determination. In 1993, President
Clinton signed into law a federal act called Public Law 103-150,
which people refer to as the Apology Bill. It
acknowledges the participation of the United States in the
illegal overthrow of the Republic of the Hawaiian Kingdom. In
this federal act, the federal government is asking the Native
Hawaiians, what do you want to do?
WBL- So what do you propose?
MPK- As a beneficiary (Homesteader) of the federally
created Hawaiian Homes Commission Act of 1921, I believe we have
the vehicle to start reparations. The United States illegally
overthrew the Republic of the Hawaiian Kingdom in 1893 and
amended the Republic of Hawai'i constitution under Queen
Lili'uokalani in 1898, that eventually created the Hawaiian Home
Commission Act of 1921. This act that the federal government gave
authority for trusteeship to the State of Hawaii in
1959, to rehabilitate the beneficiaries - Native
Hawaiians. This Act violated the Native Hawaiians civil rights by
creating two classes of Native Hawaiians with a Blood
Quantum, qualifying and quantifying the Native Hawaiians
needing at least 50% or more Native Hawaiian blood, traced
through genealogy prior to contact with Captain James Cook, to
qualify as a beneficiary of this program. The original intent by
the author of this act, Prince Kuhio, was 1/32 blood quantum, but
it was heavily lobbied by the sugar plantation operators and
others to have the 50% blood quantum. It is my belief that
this action was intended to divide and conquer the Native
Hawaiians and to control the lands. And guess what? Its
WBL- What do you mean its working?
MPK- My analysis of the Native Hawaiian situation is
the lesser than 50% blood quantum is yelling out loud, What
about me? I'm Hawaiian too! and the qualified Native
Hawaiians yelling also, I'm tired of waiting on the waiting
list! These two classes of Hawaiians are in disagreement
about how to resolve the situation. I believe this is where
reparations (ho'oponopono) can begin.
WBL- What do you mean by reparations?
MPK- To begin the healing process for Native Hawaiians,
we use the federal act of 1921, the Hawaiian Homes Commission
Act, along with Public Law 103-150, by turning the Hawaiian Home
Commission Act into a democratic process allowing Native
Hawaiians for the first time in history to elect their
commissioners. Currently these commissioners are appointed by the
governor, responsible to the governor, and not the beneficiaries.
This does not serve the best interest of the Native Hawaiian. And
further more, it is substantiated by the fact that 16,000+ people
are waiting on the waiting list, yet to receive benefits from
WBL- Is there something you want to close this
MPK- Ae (yes), I am not afraid of sovereignty and their
are many trails to get there. My mana`o (thoughts) are just one
of the many trails our goals of sovereignty. When the Lord called
me out of the wilderness and said to me, Open thy mouth,
judge righteously, and plea the cause of the poor and needy
Proverbs 31:9. He also revealed to me that a government without
Him (God) in it is vanity. In 2 Chronicles 7:14 it says, If
my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves
and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then
will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal
their land. This is my prayer and hope that our Native
Hawaiian people will truly stand for the righteousness of Akua
(God) and to live the ways of our kupuna (elders), Aloha
kekahi kekahi Love one another.
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Last modified: February 28, 1998
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