An edited version of the following letter to the editor was published in the Honolulu Star-Advertiser.

On the editorial page of Saturday’s Honolulu Star-Advertiser 5/12/12 was “Hopelessness and despair on Pine Ridge Reservation” by Nicholas D Kristof. It is a horrible but familiar story of government incompetence and the resulting perpetuation of individual (specifically not counting Indian Chiefs and their pals) poverty and despair on Indian Reservations throughout the USA. Yet most of our political “leaders” want to put our fellow Hawaii citizens of native Hawaiian ancestry in grave danger– via the proposed Akaka bill– of falling into that same tribal trap.

It is certain that those leaders will deny that allegation. Our response should be “then guarantee that such a fate will not occur”.

If there is no such guarantee, then there is no genuine regard for our fellows of native Hawaiian ancestry. The danger is gruesomely, repeatedly, inexcusably real and cannot be dodged if the Akaka bill becomes law. Support for it will have to be recorded in history as an intended consequence.

– Richard O. Rowland

Founder & President, Grassroot Institute of Hawaii