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Places - Hawaii

Author: Edward L Winston
Added: February 3rd, 2010

Analysis of various myths and misconceptions about Hawaii, especially its status as a US State

Table of Contents

  1. State Status
    1. Hawaii is not officially a US State
    2. President Grover Cleveland opposed Annexation
    3. So, what's the big kahuna then?
  2. Hawaiian Culture
    1. The Hawaiian language is widely spoken
  3. Miscellaneous
    1. Molokai Island, we're not just for lepers anymore
    2. You need a passport to travel to Hawaii
    3. There are no fast-food places in Hawaii

State Status

Is Hawaii a State? Well most people would say "of course!" There are, however, people who claim it isn't:

Hawaii is not officially a US State

There are those who maintain that because Hawaii was an internationally recognized country and the government was overthrown by the United States, then therefore it cannot be a State. I'm not sure if those who would argue this point would also point out that much of the American south west was once owned by Mexico, and was taken away with force[1].

Would they say that California, Nevada, and Utah are not states then[2]? Or perhaps even Colorado, Arizona, New Mexico, and Wyoming because parts of those states were once parts of Mexico[2]?

And then there was Texas.

The history of Texas and Hawaii in regards to Statehood aren't that much different[3][4]:

  1. Both were internationally recognized independent states.
  2. Both were originally home to native peoples, but were invaded by Europeans (mostly of the American nationality).
  3. In both cases the European-Americans sought to help annex the independent states into the United States.
  4. There are people who claim that both Texas and Hawaii should be free from American rule.

So perhaps the Hawaiian Sovereignty movement should ally itself with the Texan Sovereignty movement.

President Grover Cleveland opposed Annexation

Cleveland was actually against the original overthrowing of the Kingdom of Hawaii[5], and had demanded provisional president Standard Dole reinstate the Queen[6], but he refused and 6 months later established the Republic of Hawaii[7].

So, what's the big kahuna then?

The information above seems pretty damning, but it simply doesn't change the status. Is that fair? Probably not, but will that change anything in the foreseeable future? Definitely not. As, which is fighting for Hawaiian Independence put it[12]:

Obviously America claims that Hawaii is part of their country, and most people, in Hawaii, on the 'mainland' and around the world, have tended to accept that as so.

They admit, more or less, that popular consensus makes it so, and it's been over 50 years since Hawaii became a State, and it's going to stay that way as long as the United States exists. It's not as though people do not realize Hawaii was overthrown, Public Law 103-150 officially apologizes for the overthrow of the Kingdom of Hawaii, in hopes to begin reconciliation between Native Hawaiians and the United States[8].

It's easy to find all kinds of evidence that the majority of the United States was stolen from some native peoples in the Americas, Hawaiian Islands, Caribbean, or sub-arctic, but to will that change the world's recognition of these locations as the domain of the United States? Will that change the history of these places? Will the United States give them up? No, no, and no.

If you want to fight for freedom from the United States: understand most people won't ever agree with you, most people won't care, and most unfortunate of all, you're not likely to ever get your wish so long as the United States is around.

Military force is the primary way territory is expanded, be it Texas, Hawaii, or even the original American Colonies, to ignore that fact and say that it's not legal is silly, because while it is cruel, it's the way it is for now.

Hawaiian Culture

This section resolves around Hawaiian culture and misconceptions many people have about it.

The Hawaiian language is widely spoken

Unfortunately, about 0.1% of the State's population speaks Hawaiian[9], most people, except for really old people speak American-English. :-(


This section contains things that didn't fit elsewhere.

Molokai Island, we're not just for lepers anymore

At one time a fairly isolated peninsula was devoted to a leper colony on Molokai Island, but the vast majority of the Island was not inhabited by them[10].

You need a passport to travel to Hawaii

This misconception is disturbingly far more common within the United States than you'd want to believe. The fact is as a part of the United States, you can travel there without a passport, so long as you're coming from the US.

There are no fast-food places in Hawaii

There are plenty, pretty much everything that's available on the mainland, especially McDonald's[11]