By Sanyika Shakur
As i began to emerge from a self-induced trance-like state ofstudy, a necessity for concentration amid the frequentdistractions here (inside prison), i ran across an interestingarticle in the Utne Reader, titled: "Hawaii O-O?: an independencemovement stirs in the 50th state". The title alone drew me intothe article, which was excerpted from the Honolulu Weekly. Thewriter described the organized march of over 10,000 NativeHawaiians in protest of the centennial anniversary of thecolonial conquest of their nation by the imperialist US. QueenLili'uokalani was forced to abdicate by U.S. diplomats backed byUS marines & a gunboat. This was January 7, 1893. Since thattime, "...nearly 140,000 Native Hawaiians, who make up 12% ofHawaii's population, die younger, earn less, go to jail morefrequently, and are more likely to be homeless than any otherethnic group in the islands."
For conscious folks, this repercussion of colonialism issymptomatic of the illness. But what We want to sum up is thestriking parallels between our national oppression (as NewAfrikans) here in North amerika, and that of the Hawaiian people. National oppression is national oppression, though often, smoke-screens are so elaborately constructed that one needs to siftthrough the cosmetics to get at the truth. We have often beenblown off course in our search for such truth by thinking thateach case of national oppression will look exactiy like the oldmodels as such. In our case as New Afrikans, We had to study andstruggle hard to get to the truth and actuality of our nationaloppression ...
No one claims a sovereign Hawaiian nation can coalesce overnight,but as sovereignty discussions continue, two key models for aself-determining Hawaiian nation have emerged: the nation withina nation, and complete independence.
The language of imperialism is very prominent here: nation withina nation or complete independence. First and foremost, amerikaitseif is not a nation. Rather a corporate conglomerate, abusiness fostering nationalistic trappings for ostensiblepurposes only. Once the colonies that keep amerika economicallyafloat recognize their position, amerika will dissolve. Secondly,this nation within a nation language is but a dress rehearsal forneo-colonialism, reminiscent of the "self-governing" bantustansin occupied Azania, or reservations here in North amerika. Therecan be no parity between oppressed and oppressor. This 'nationwithin a nation' is the problem now. Each nation subjugated byUS imperialism must conform to the mores of the oppressor ... atthe expense of their future. To understand this We mustunderstand the "most completely bourgeois nation in worldhistory". ... The author of the article in review himself pointsup the fallacy in the "nation within a nation" concept by saying:
"Under the nation-within-a-nation mode, Hawaiians would berecognized by the federal government as a self-governing entitymuch as Native Americans and Eskimos have been. The Hawaiiannation would have authority over the public lands taken from thekingdom in 1893 and the power to make laws, collect tax, dispensejustice, enter into treaties with other nations and perform avariety of other functions carried out by most sovereign states."
Now i am sure the author of the above had no intention of provingour case for us, but in effect that is what he did. "As anation-within-a-nation," the author writes, "Hawaiians wouId berecognized by the federal government". The oppressor governmenthas "recognized" the nation of Hawaii for over 100 years which iswhy "nearly 140,000 native Hawaiians. ... die younger, earn less,go to jail more frequently and are more likely to be homeless..."There has never been a problem in "recognizing" Hawaii as anation. Which is to say that it is perhaps this recognition thathas egged the beast on. The arrogance of Western man would leadfolks to believe that if they are not "recognized bythe federal government," then they are not a 'nation within anation'. This flies in the face of the historical/socialdevelopment of nations across this planet.
... If the Native Nations and the Eskimos' "self-governingentity" is indicative of the sovereignty model they want toimpose on the nation of Hawaii (and believe me, it is) then theHawaiian nationalists better brush up on their studies regardingthe sordid neo-colonial relationship of these nations to theimperialist West. The point is there is no true "self-governingentity" in existence concerning "Native Americans and Eskimos."
The oppressor government as represented by legions of politicalpigs and oil corporations control the productive forces of Alaskawhere the Eskimos have been reduced to an almost mascot type ofexistence in their own nation. The colonization of Alaska hasproven to be disastrous for the Natives, not to mention theeco-system. This "recognition" as a "self-governing entity" doesnot allow for Alaska or the Native Nations to build a LiberationArmy or trade freely with socialist nations. ...
The Hawaiian nation, much like the New Afrikan nation or thePuerto Rican nation, already have the authority over their ownland... not through murder or robbery ... but theirs because theywere born there and inherited it from their foreparents. Theproblem lies in not being able at this time to exercise theirauthority over their land. But sureiy this will not come as aresult of being "recognized by the federal government". This willonly lead to another neo-coionial pig force funded by the US tomaintain "control" over the "sovereign nation" like the ...Bureau of Indian Affairs. The author of the Utne piece bringsour point a bit more to its apex by stating:
"For Hawaiians to create an independent nation within a nationunder existing federai policy, the federal government mustrecognize that Hawaiians are a Native American population."
This is the language and underlying intent of arrogantimperialism: the author is saying that if you are not "Amerikanindian," "African-American," or "Hawaiian-American" or some otherhyphenated half hue-man/half-oppressor then you cannot berecognized as an "independent nation within a nation." Justforget your respective cultures, philosophies, languages,national territories and colonial circumstances and hyphenateyourselves to join in the rape and plunder of Mother Earth andother already oppressed nations -- it's the amerikan way! ... Nowthis writer who penned the "Hawaii-O-O" article is himself anamerikan settler in Hawaii working as a journatist. He likes hisjob and his standing in occupied Hawaii. ... So by swaying thereaders to believe it's best to accept token independence andside with the oppressor -- the "This land is your land, this landis my land" trip -- he can perhaps maintain his standing, asopposed to being removed by the owners ... To ensure that he isseen as an "objective writer," ... he gives a small paragraph tothe nationalists:
"Those who back complete independence see America as an aggressorwho invaded the islands, thereby committing an act of war, andthey declare the state and federal governments in Hawaii to betemporary and illegal colonial administrations. In essence, theybelieve that since the Hawaiian people never voluntarily gave uptheir sovereignty, they never truly lost it. They encourageHawaiians not to await an act of the occupying government, but toassert their inherent sovereignty now."
The nationalists understand who is who, there is no mistakingthis. And so do We. ...
All Power to the People who don't fear freedom! Power to theRevolutionary Nationalist Movements across this planet!
(excerpted from "Crossroads: A New Afrikan Captured CombatantNewsletter; Summer 1993.
Available from: Spear and Shield Publications, 1340 W. IrvingPark Rd #108, Chicago IL 60613 for $3.)
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