Releasing Saturday, July 9th
All Photos By: Aaron Yoshino [Honozooloo]
Ignorance New Era Snapback
This month we’re doing something new and different, as far as release schedules go. We’re focusing on one subject: Colonization, it’s cause and effect. As for our release schedule, instead of meticulously launching a t-shirt combo twice a week, we’ll be dropping the entire pack at once this Saturday. We believe that it is utterly important to examine these chunks of historical events that have apparently been left out of the History books we studied and read while in school. Although we’re not really taking a stance per-say on these subjects, we definitely feel the exclusion of some of these historical facts is a form of propaganda. Up until recently, a lot of these removed facts were unknown to us and we can confidently say that as we began putting together this pack, we definitely educated ourselves in the process. An excellent example of “learning something new everyday.” Let’s move on to the details.
The entire premise of the pack is the illegal colonization of Hawai’i, the events that led up to it and how we need to accept and overcome as our ancestors did. On the 30th of June, 1887 a secret meeting was held by a group of politicians and militiamen known formerly as the Honolulu Rifles (Club) (now known as the Hawai’i Army National Guard). Some of the men that attended this meeting were Sanford B. Dole (the first Governor of Hawai’i and cousin of James Dole, founder of Dole Food Co.) and Lorrin A. Thurston (founder of what is now known as the Honolulu Advertiser and leading figure who helped spearhead the overthrow of the Kingdom of Hawai’i). The reasoning behind the meeting was to force the hand of King Kalakaua to ink a new constitution. They also forced then government minister Walter M. Gibson to step down – in which Mr. Thurston then took his place. With Thurston’s new, powerful position in tact, the Hawaiian League, also known as The Committee of Safety, a 13-member group whose sole goal was to see the annexation of Hawai’i, drafted a brand new constitution. On July 6th, 1887, King Kalakaua signed the new proposed constitution, despite the appalling consequences, in turn stripping Kalakaua of most of his command and control. This constitution eventually became widely known as The Bayonet Constitution due to the King being forced to sign the document under the threat of use-of-arms. [Ed. Note: July 1st is actually the anniversary of the signing of the Bayonet Constitution]
Fast forward a couple of years to 1889 where a young Hawaiian man named Robert William Wilcox was summoned by then Princess Lili’uokalani to take up yet another rebellion (Ed. note: Wilcox previously led a Rebellion in 1885). This became known as The Wilcox Rebellion of 1889 and the point of this rebellion was to coerce King Kalakaua to reinstate the Constitution of 1864 which increased the power and authority of the King. Wilcox and long-time friend Robert N. Boyd enlisted a group of Hawaiians, loyalist Euproeans and Chinese and together, formed the Liberal Patriotic Association. Because of the illegally implemented Bayonet Constitution, drastic changes were made to the original 1864 Constitution including stripping the right-to-vote for all Original Hawaiians and extending the right-to-vote for foreigners. Because of this, the Chinese businessmen who signed up with the Liberal Patriotic Association supported the movement and supplied resources for weapons. The tranquil morning of July 30th, 1889, Wilcox and his LPA troops all dressed in redshirts, penetrated the grounds of ‘Iolani Palace, capturing the palace grounds’ cannons and aimed them at the palace. An intense gun battle ensued, but the strength of the opposition was too overwhelming for Wilcox and his men and unfortunately, Wilcox eventually submitted to surrender. In 1891, the controversial, yet beloved King Kalakaua passed on in San Francisco, leaving the power of authority to Queen Lili’uokalani. Kalakaua’s final words were “Tell my people I tried.” Despite his failure, Wilcox’s loyalty did not go unnoticed by the Queen and he landed a distinguished position in the Royal Legislature.
Throughout the 1890s, many threats were made toward the monarchy of Hawai’i, which ultimately culminated to the coup d’état or overthrow of the Kingdom of Hawai’i. This illegal overthrow was led by Lorrin A. Thurston and foreign “Americans” and US Marines which as we know now, left Queen Lili’uokalani imprisoned in her own palace. Although the overthrow was more passive than aggressive due to Queen Lili’uokalani’s desire to “…avoid any collision of armed forces, and perhaps the loss of life”, it was recognized as illegal and immoral by then President Grover Cleveland and launched a thorough investigation into the illegal occupation and overthrow, led by James Blount. Blount returned with his inquiry and notes (known as The Blount Report) which stated that “the United States diplomatic and military representatives had abused their authority and were responsible for the change in government.” President Cleveland and his cabinet demanded that Hawai’i President Sanford Dole restore power to the Queen, in which Dole entirely disregarded. Eventually, a contradicting report known as The Morgan Report submitted by Senator John Morgan was addressed and “stated” that the U.S. military troops who occupied and assisted in the overthrow were not guilty, and eventually, President Cleveland gave up on attempts to properly restore the Queen’s power and instead appointed “an official U.S. recognition of the Provisional Government and the Republic of Hawaii.” The rest, as they say, is History. We’d like to end this pack on a positive note however, with an old Hawaiian ‘olelo no’eau (proverb):
“E moni i ke koko o ka inaina, ‘umi ka hanu o ka ho’omanawanui” or roughly translated as “Swallow the blood of wrath and hold the breath of patience.”
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