Would it be good to round up all 40 million African-Americans, defined by the one-drop rule, and declare that they are a tribe with the power to create a racially exclusionary government and negotiate for money, land and legal jurisdiction? Would that be consistent with the dream of Martin Luther King? Or does it sound more like a nightmare?
There is a bill in Congress whose racial divisiveness would be 50 percent worse for Hawaii than creation of an African-American tribe would be for all of America: the Hawaiian Government Reorganization bill, S.381 and H.R.862. The percentage of Hawaii’s people who are ethnic Hawaiian (20 percent) is 50 percent larger than the percentage of the U.S. population who are African-American (13 percent), all according to the same one-drop rule used in the Hawaiian bill.
President Obama said during his campaign that he supports the Hawaiian bill. For details about what’s wrong with the bill, please see an open letter to President Obama asking him to oppose it, at http://tinyurl.com/bl9rvv.
KENNETH R. CONKLIN