Monday, July 1, 2013

What would the Queen do?

It's fun to see people take something from the 1893 and then apply it to 2013 as if 120 years in between never happened.

Would Queen Liliʻuokalani sign Kanaiʻolowalu if she were still alive today?  This question is too complex to try to answer in a single image.  Below is an image that has made its rounds on the internet.

Did the Queen sign for annexation in 1893 or in 1898?  No. 

Would the Queen today sign her name on a registry that would allow her and her people to receive political recognition that would provide them some degree of self-governance?  Well, that's a completely different story than what happened in 1893.  Let's think about this a little more.

Today, Native Hawaiians are homeless, one-third of Native Hawaiians are living outside their ancestral lands, Native Hawaiians disproportionately represent people in prisons.  Native Hawaiians also "continue to be underrepresented" in colleges and universities" and among those with four years of college or more."  The conditions of Native Hawaiians today are very different than the conditions that Native Hawaiians endured in more than 100 years ago in 1893 and 1898.

The Queen also subsequently lost her crown lands.  If the federal government were willing to give back some or all of the remaining crown lands to a Native Hawaiian governing entity, would the Queen sign?  If those crown lands could be used to improve the conditions of Native Hawaiians, would the Queen sign?

Whether the Queen would support Kanaiolowalu or not is a complicated question.

The Queen was an amazing leader and it's much more likely that she would spend a lot of time thinking about the complexities involved in such a decision.  She was such an amazing leader that I believe she would evaluate the needs and conditions of her people first and determine whether signing on to Kanaʻiolowalu would help her address those needs and conditions. 

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