Hawaiians Unite

"A ia hoi, nani ka maika'i a me ka oluolu, O ka noho lokahi pu ana o na hoahanau!" "Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!" Psalm 133:1

Monday, May 28, 2007

Response To Threat Of New Litigation Against Princess Pauahi's Trust

Aloha kakou,

I've remained silent thus far, not wanting to give attorney David Rosen any more "air time" than he's already generated with his May 15 e-mail solicitation. However, I received his original e-mail seeking John and Jane Doe's for new litigation (forwarded by William Burgess of Aloha For All, and Richard Rowland of Grassroots Institute of Hawai'i) from over 20 sources in a single day a week ago. While Mr. Rosen may defend his unethical actions by arguing that he simply sent an e-mail to "a couple of supporters," he had to have known that those two individuals would generate significant publicity for his campaign. In the age of the internet, he should have fully expected his e-mail to be forwarded to thousands in a matter of days.

While I'm not surprised that new litigation is "in the works," it nonetheless hurt in my na’au (gut) to see how casually and unabashedly Mr. Rosen spoke of hurting Native Hawaiians (past, present and future). It was particularly disturbing to read his words, “There will be absolutely no cost to the Plaintiffs.” There will be plenty of cost to Native Hawaiians and our keiki, though, as valuable resources continue to be drawn away from their education and spent instead in defense of our Princess' trust.

Mr. Rosen now becomes one player in a long history of individuals who reside in the islands with no appreciation for their native hosts, only to take what isn’t theirs to begin with. The Kamehameha Schools (for all of its controversy) is a true gem to our people. It is the visionary makana (gift) of our last beloved Princess to her children, given even before our Queen was imprisoned and our nationhood robbed. While it is true that her gift was not given to all residents of what would eventually become the state of Hawai'i, Princess Pauahi's intent was not to exclude anyone but rather to ensure the inclusion of Native Hawaiians who had been pushed to the margins of society. She saw the rapid decline of our people (from well over 400,000 at the time of western contact, to fewer than 40,000 when she established her trust), and she felt a burden to assure our survival. In his recent Star Bulletin editorial, Mr. Rosen tried to analogize his actions to the fight for civil rights in U.S. history. But if Mr. Rosen honestly took the time to understand Hawaiian history, especially our unique history as the oppressed, indigenous people of Hawai'i, he would understand the vital role Kamehameha Schools plays in the restoration of na kanaka maoli in our homeland.

So while Mr. Rosen may state that he simply sent an innocent e-mail "to a couple of supporters," in actuality with the casual hit of his computer’s “send” button he hit Native Hawaiians on a wound that has never been allowed to fully heal. Along with my fellow Native Hawaiians, and our extended 'ohana of supporters, I ask Mr. Rosen and his colleagues: "When will the hitting stop?" Enough already.

And I urge all of us to add attorney David Rosen to the list of those we need to forgive before sundown today (Ephesians 4:26). As we know from the last "round" with the original John Doe and his attorneys, anger only hurts us.

Keeping our people in prayer,

Monday, May 14, 2007

Doe v. Kamehameha Lawsuit Settled

Aloha kakou,

Kamehameha Schools and John Doe's attorneys have reached an agreement whereby John Doe has withdrawn his petition for certiorari to the Supreme Court. This means:
(1) First and foremost, Princess Pauahi's intended beneficiaries will continue to be blessed by her visionary gift of education.
(2) The majority opinion of the Ninth Circuit Court ruling of December 5, 2006 will be the last legal word on the Kamehameha Schools' admissions policy. That is, it can be cited as strong precedent for support of Kamehameha Schools' unique mission to serve the indigenous people of Hawai'i, with the blessing of Congress and the ongoing support of the U.S. courts.
[To clarify, John Doe will not be admitted to the Kamehameha Schools, because he already graduated from high school in 2006].
The Kamehameha Schools admissions preference has unfortunately been caught up in a larger political movement seeking to strip aboriginal peoples of the few resources remaining after colonization. The current political climate is not favorable to Native American Indians, Native Alaskans or Native Hawaiians. Therefore, I support the Kamehameha Schools' decision to avoid any further risk associated with fighting this particular lawsuit.
It has been my highest pleasure to serve our community by keeping us united in prayer during these 21 months since the original Ninth Circuit Court ruling. From marching alongside thousands in the heart of San Francisco, to our many prayer vigils (from the islands to different locations on the continent to Iraq), I have been blessed beyond measure to see our people unite at the foot of the cross of Jesus Christ.

As I shared at the San Francisco march and rally, we were at a crossroads as a people. I believe we chose wisely. We put aside our own differences, worked hard to forgive as we've been forgiven, and turned to Ke Akua alone in our distress. I believe He has heard the prayers of His people, and answered by giving us this opportunity to put this matter behind us....starting today.

I pray His blessings on each one of you I've met (in person, or via the web), until we meet again.

Imua Kamehameha! Imua Hawai'i!

Me ke aloha pumehana o 'Iesu Kristo,
Noelani (Loo) Jai, KS '83

Friday, May 04, 2007

No word expected from the Court until at least Monday May 14, 2007

The Supreme Court justices are not meeting today to discuss pending cases. Therefore, the earliest they will meet would be next week - so the earliest a decision on John Doe's petition would be released is Monday, May 14.

Many have asked if this ongoing delay bodes against Kamehameha Schools. One can't really tell, as these meetings are completely private. Personally, I want them to take all the time that they need. My firm belief is that a long, hard look at the case would enable a Supreme Court justice to see his or her way past the plaintiff's rhetoric to the truth - that this is an entirely private trust serving an indigenous people group, with the prior blessing of Congress, and therefore should be left alone; that Native Hawaiians are not a racial classification, but a political classification, given our unique (disturbing) history with the United States government, and therefore deserving of protection (not disruption) by that same government.

Let's continue to pray that our nation's highest judges will have that opportunity...and that clear vision.

Me ke aloha,