Sponsored by Senator Daniel Akaka, the bill would transfer a percentage of public-owned lands to a native Hawaiian government within the state of Hawaii. The legislation would collect some 400,000 ethnic Hawaiians scattered across the country into a newly affiliated tribe, eventually endowed with the powers of a sovereign state, including freedom from state taxes and regulations and separate police power.
Proponents say the plan would duplicate the legal scenario set up for Native Americans, but the Akaka bill carves out new territory. Unlike Indian tribes made up of tightly knit populations that have lived together continuously, participation in the new group would be available to nearly anyone able to trace their roots back to a Native Hawaiian ancestor, no matter where they now reside. U.S. Civil Rights Commission member Gail Heriot told Congress in June that, “If ethnic Hawaiians can be accorded tribal status, why not Chicanos in the Southwest? Or Cajuns in Louisiana?”
So let's hear it for hopey-changey PC racism!