Tag Archives: indigenous people's day

Happy Indigenous People’s Day!

I’m sure this will surprise noone that at the end of the XX century I was a member of a group that wanted to restore Hawaii to a separate country, on the grounds that occupying soldiers and sailors and their families were allowed to vote in the election that decided if Hawaii was going to be a state, return to being a separate country, or remain a territory. The grounds for that were along the lines of allowing occupying Russian troops to vote for reunifying East Germany with West Germany, or becoming part of Russia. We wouldn’t recognize that election as valid, so why did the soldiers etc. get to vote in whether Hawaii should be restored as a nation?

For those unfamiliar with Hawaiian history, the Dole company basically stole the country with US backing just before the turn of the XX century for growing pineapples and sugarcane, and used the Marines to overthrow the existing monarchy. Given that the winners write the history, the fact that history says the people were generally happy with their form of government prior to the Dole company stealing the country says a lot.

Anywho, IIRC being a baby at the time and living on the mainland, the ballot had 3 choices, become a state, remain a territory, or restore the monarchy and become an independent country again. And Google says that while that was what was SUPPOSED to be on the ballot, in fact the choice to return to an independent country was not on the ballot. We cheated and only allowed the choices to remain a territory with limited rights, or become a state. So, another count against the legality of the “election”.

On a better note, when this same question came up for the Phillipines in the 1930s being a state wasn’t a choice and the residents chose to be an independent country, with strong ties to the US for defense and commerce because of Japan. When Japan invaded the country in WWII the US garrison was technically already at war after the attack on Pearl Harbor.

Anywho, this whole post is because the son of a family friend and fellow UU church member was kicked out of class for refusing to participate with class activities celebrating Columbus day, saying something along the lines of “Columbus didn’t discover America, he was the point man for the invasion.” And since his mother was Native American, he had a point.

Go ahead and celebrate Columbus Day if you wish, just remember all the people who were here to meet him when he “discovered” some Caribbean islands.