Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Dis Me Getting All Huhu

The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has just reversed a 1993 Federal Court ruling which upheld the right of Kamehameha Schools to admit only ethnic Hawaiian students. According to the 9th Circuit Court, the Hawaiians only policy represents unlawful racial discrimination.

I disagree, but not for the reasons you might think.

Some people feel that ethnic Hawaiians, like many indigenous people, Native Americans, etc., are entitled to a break. The Kamehameha Schools represent a relatively low cost, high quality option for a people who were exploited in the past and may not have had many options. Arguably, that was true when Princess Bernice Pauahi Bishop founded the schools to meet a specific need within a specific historical context. Whether it remains true in modern times is a debate that I'm reallly not interested in.

Moreover, many would argue that opportunities exist for non-Hawaiian students in Hawaii which are just as valid. Case in point is the equally prestigious Punahou School, which is open to all ethnic groups on Oahu and in the past has been an opportunity for folks who were neither native Hawaiians nor of white missionary stock. These days they will give special consideration to ethnic Hawaiians, but are equal opportunity, according to their website. Again, That's not a debate that I care to address.

I mean really, I'm a brat which means my haole ass went to Radford, so screw 'em. ;)

But that's not what bothers me. What bothers me is that Kam is a private school. Did you catch that? I said private, son! And as a private school they ought to be able to admit whoever the hell they want to admit for whatever reason they see fit. They should be able to hang a big sign in front of their Kapalama Campus that says "Kanakas only! All Haoles, Pakes, BukBuks, Portugee, Japanee, and Popolos stay away and sully us not with your non-ethnic-Hawaiian stench," should they choose to do so. Granted that would be overtly racist and bad for enrollment, but as a private school they at least should have the legal right to do so.

Since when does a Federal court get to tell a private organization what to do? That's what this really boils down to. If it were a public school such as Radford, McKinney, or Castle (all considered good schools on the island, at least as far as public schools go), that'd be a different story.

This is not Brown V. Board.

Is there an inverse to taxation without representation? Because that's what this sounds like. The Kam schools are funded partially by tuition, for which financial aid is available, partially by money from Princess Pauahi's estate, and partially by lease revenue, as the Kam Schools represent the largest private landowner in the State of Hawaii. So taxpayers didn't pay for this, but the Government (through the 9th Circuit Court) is going and tell them how to run things anyway? What's that about?

So do we now as citizens no longer have the right to determine how our private money is spent?

EDIT: As I was posting this, a coworker came up and saw "Kamehameha" highlighted in blue and asked me if I was writing about Dragonball Z. Apparently, there is a character in Dragonball Z named Kamehameha and my coworker goes, "you mean there's a Kamehameha besides the one in Dragonball Z?" This was a grown man that asked me this!


No wonder our rights are being taken away. We are too damned culturally illiterate to know a damn thing about anything!

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