Hawaii was the last state to join the union. But it was first in something important.
Way back, long before statehood, when a guy named King Kamehameha was in charge, Hawaii established equal rights without regard to race. Its first written constitution declared all men to be â€œof one blood.â€
That was before our Civil War.
So, it is more than a little sad to see, after all the suffering racism has caused â€” and after the slow progress weâ€™ve made â€” the first . . . er, fiftieth state, slide backwards.
A bill introduced into the U.S. Senate by Senator Daniel Akaka would create a new Native Hawaiian government, basing citizenship on racial identity. A person with one drop of pre-1778 native Hawaiian blood would be held separate from all others who live their lives in Hawaii.
Before the Hawaii Advisory Committee to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, Jere Krischel testified against the racial classification in the Akaka Bill:
My family has been in Hawaii for over 100 years. My extended family has been in Hawaii since before 1778. And all of my family deserves to be treated equally. Civil rights do not discriminate.
But race-obsessed politicians like Senator Akaka do discriminate. What would King Kamehameha say?
This is Common Sense. Iâ€™m not King Kamehemeha, Iâ€™m Paul Jacob.