Dr. Keanu Sai, a professor at University of Hawaii, Windward Community College, will be on Molokai next Wednesday, Aug. 20, to offer a talk titled “Hawaii: An American state or a state under American occupation?”
The presentation will take place at the Lanikeha Center in Ho’olehua from 5-9 p.m.
Dr. Sai provides a counter-narrative to the mainstream view about Hawaii and offers compelling evidence that Hawaii is not an American state, but rather continues, since the Spanish-American War, to be under an illegal and prolonged occupation.
This issue of Hawaiian sovereignty has gained interest lately with the efforts of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs to move forward with federal recognition using the Kana’iolowalu — the Native Hawaiian Roll Commission — which closed its registration on May 1 with the signatures of 125,631 Native Hawaiians. When Dr. Kamana‘opono Crabbe, OHA’s CEO, wrote a letter to U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry requesting a legal opinion on the status of the Hawaiian Kingdom under international law, the discussion suddenly became more heated and focused among Native Hawaiians.
When he comes to Molokai, Dr. Sai will offer an overview of the political and legal history of the Hawaiian islands. In the 19th Century, the Hawaiian Kingdom, as a recognized independent and sovereign state, maintained over 90 embassies and consulates throughout the world, including a Hawaiian embassy in Washington, D.C., and consulates in New York City, San Francisco, Philadelphia, San Diego, Boston Portland, Port Townsend and Seattle. It was during the Spanish-American War that the United States unilaterally annexed the Hawaiian Island and, in 1959, the U.S. Congress admitted the State of Hawaii into the federal union.