Respect the past but move forward with racial equality

Robert E. Lee led a secessionist Confederacy. He lost the Civil War, but proud Southerners built statues of him celebrating their heritage while defiantly saying “The South shall rise again.” Today we deplore those sentiments, calling them race-nationalist.

A revolution overthrew the Hawaiian monarchy. But proud Hawaiians today keep building new statues of their kings and queens, decorating old statues with leis; creating hulas, plays and films celebrating them. The cult of Lili’uokalani venerates her as though she is still queen, asserting that an independent nation shall rise again.

In February 2016 a monthlong meeting paid for by our state government agency OHA adopted a race-nationalist proposed constitution which says only ethnic Hawaiians can be citizens, and they collectively own all the lands and waters of Hawaii. Asians and Caucasians would be ruled under Jim Crow laws, just like in the Southern states after reconstruction.

Activists say they love the queen because she was the last head of state. Wrong! Sanford Dole presided over a continuing internationally recognized independent nation of Hawaii for three times as long as she did. But he was Caucasian; therefore, cannot be venerated.

Let’s respect the past, but move forward with racial equality, an undivided state government unified with the USA and aloha for all.

Kenneth R. Conklin

Kaneohe, Oahu