Monday, May 13, 2024









Empty Apologies…

On January 17, 1993, coinciding with the solemn observance of the 100th anniversary of the overthrow of the Hawaiian Kingdom, the United Church of Christ (UCC) formally apologized for the role that its leaders played in the overthrow of the Hawaiian Kingdom in 1893. The apology was publicly announced and presented by representatives of the national leadership of the UCC.

That apology prompted the Hawaii delegation to the US Congress to convince their colleagues to pass a Joint Resolution of Congress that was signed into law as US Public Law 103-150 by US President William Jefferson Clinton on November 23, 1993. By this public law the US also apologized for its involvement in the overthrow of the Hawaiian Kingdom in 1893.

What has become of these high profile public apologies?  The UMC Apology was followed a year later with pledges of millions in money and property as compensation from the UCC to the Hawaiian people for the wrongful act.

The US Apology pledged to initiate reconciliation between the US and the native Hawaiians who suffered the consequences of the wrongful taking of their nation.

In the 31 years since the issuance of these apologies, there has been no measurable or noticeable movement toward reconciliation. In fact conditions have grown worse. The US and the UCC have demonstrated by their inaction not only lack of follow-through but no intention of ever correcting the wrongs they admitted they committed.

Years ago, a friend said to me, “The trouble with people today is they think… if we say it; we have done it!” This is so true. Apologies today mean nothing as people do not seem to think they need to do anything to repair a wrong or offense. No acts of repentance, no making things pono. Just say sorry, then move on.

In April, a resolution was adopted by the General conference of the United Methodist Church (UMC) apologizing for the role its pastors and churches of that denomination played in the overthrow of the Hawaiian Kingdom in 1893 and after. Announcement of this recent apology by the UMC is pending. The resolution calls for “Acts of Repentance.” Will this prove to be sincere? Or will it go the way of the UCC’s “compensation” and the US’ “reconciliation”?

Hopefully, this will not be another empty apology that makes no difference except to give self-serving offenders a platform to absolve themselves of their own guilt and move on.

Insincere apologies are not only empty words. When issued with no effort to repair the wrong, they are insulting and more offensive to those to whom the apologies are addressed… and to all fair minded people in this world.

“Love of country is deep-seated in the breast of every Hawaiian, whatever his station.” — Queen Liliʻuokalani
Ua mau ke ea o ka ʻāina i ka pono. The sovereignty of the land is perpetuated in righteousness.

For the latest news and developments about our progress at the United Nations in both New York and Geneva, tune in to Free Hawaii News at 
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"And remember, for the latest updates and information about the Hawaiian Kingdom check out the twice-a-month Ke Aupuni Updates published online on Facebook and other social media."

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Malama Pono,

Leon Siu

Hawaiian National