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October 14, 1996

The Religious Extremists Opt For ConCon

Carol Gabbard (some relation of Mike Gabbard of Alliance for Traditional Marriage, Stop Promoting Homosexuality Now, etc.) had a letter to editor in the Star-Bulletin. She called for a "yes" vote on ConCon so that the will of the people can be enacted into the Constitution -- making gays and lesbians permanent second-class citizens.

Carol has great historical precedent. Hitler began in just this way to put a special fence around Jews; they weren't real people and had to be classified separately.

In our own history, black Americans were counted as 3/5 of a person for the census (until after the Civil War?). The 3/5 was a compromise between Northerners (who didn't want to count slaves at all) and Southern slave owners (who wanted to count them, and obtain the corresponding seats in Congress, but of course only whites could vote to fill those seats).

These two Gabbards fit a long historical tradition: separation, "special" treatment, and hate.

Voting against ConCon is just plain a vote for preserving your own status as a full-fledged citizen of the Republic.

The Gabbards aren't unique in our own time. Ask any Korean who has ancestors who came to Japan three generations ago. Still not "there"!

In Indonesia, social security cards begin with a 1 if you are male, 2 if you are female, and 3 if you are Chinese. When Sukarno was overthrown in the late 60's, somewhere between 1 million and 3 million Chinese were murdered in Indonesia.

The League of Women Voters does incredibly careful, deliberate, thoughtful, SLOW research on issues. And they have come out against ConCon. They estimate that it will cost $10,000,000 which the state can't afford right now. And a ConCon is premature for the evolving Hawaiian sovereignty movement. With over 40 groups in the sovereignty movement, and almost no discussion of basic things like social security payments for elderly and disabled Hawaiians, there is some distance to go before the movement can coalesce on its own terms for what sovereignty will be.

Dan Foley, attorney for h.e.r.m.p, believes that a "yes" vote on ConCon will delay calling the sovereignty convention together. Since the state can't afford both of them, but a ConCon "yes" vote mandates a general convention (not just of Hawaiians, and on any topic), a "yes" vote on ConCon will preclude any convention of Hawaiians on sovereignty.

In the present enflamed climate, with emotional issues such as same-gender marriage stirring up the religious extremists, many observers feel that a ConCon now will create a new path for turning back progress on many fronts: the right to collective bargaining, civil rights, environmental protection, native Hawaiian rights, ..... anything that might stand in the way of turning Hawaii into a Disneyland-like theme park.
 

                        Aloha!

                        Tom Ramsey
                        Co-coordinator, h.e.r.m.p
 

P. S. Here are some links for further information.
 

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