Friday, June 09, 2006

Race-Based Government in Hawaii Defeated

Senator Bill Frist blogged It is a core moral and constitutional principle of the United States that equal protection of our laws and equal participation in our government should never again be denied to Americans because of race or ethnicity. And it is a clear provision of our Constitution that American states be guaranteed a “Republican Form of Government.” Both would be endangered by Senator Akaka’s Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act, which was just defeated on the Senate floor moments ago.

Good job. My only regret is that it had to go down by a filibuster, and that it was not defeated on its own.
Senator Akaka’s legislation would have created a new, independent government within our country – a government defined by and composed of a specific racial group. Worse still, Senator Akaka recently made clear that this race-based government would have been under no obligation to remain within the United States or to adhere to the most basic of our political principles: “[T]he governing entity will make a decision as to what happens to independence or returning to the monarchy.”
If Hawaii wants to vote to succeed that is fine with me, but we should not give a minority of its residents special rights.
I am amazed and saddened that some would undo the great success story of Hawaiian assimilation into our country that we’ve seen since the people of Hawaii voted overwhelming to become America’s 50th state in 1959.

Vital issues of the greatest consequence face our Nation. If this to be another American Century, we must affirm and strengthen those principles and values that unite our people and oppose the fragmentation of our government and our society along racial and ethnic lines. That’s why I am proud to have voted to defeat Senator Akaka’s proposal and proud that the United States Senate has shown the common-sense to reject this divisive legislation once and for all.

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