Okay sorry. Cheesy title. But look:
A federal appeals court Tuesday struck down the exclusive Kamehameha Schools' policy of admitting only Native Hawaiians, saying it amounts to unlawful racial discrimination.
Overturning a lower court decision, a panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit of Appeals in San Francisco ruled 2-1 that the practice at the private school violates federal civil rights law even though the institution receives no federal funding.
The case was brought by an unidentified non-Hawaiian student who was turned down for admission in 2003.
If you don't know, back in 1883, a Hawaiian princess established the Kamehameha schools to educate "the children of Hawaii." According to this article, the Hawaiian-only admission policy was created specifically to remedy the disadvantages suffered by Hawaiians as a result of the overthrow of Hawaiian monarchy. And the Kamehameha schools have been known to be some of the most sought-after institutions based on the quality of education received here.
I'm curious to know what my friend Reid thinks about this, as I know that he closely follows the goings-on in his home state. Most likely we'll think the same - that this is a defeat for native Hawaiians' efforts to hang on to whatever shred of original, non-mainland culture they have left. The Kamehameha schools are private. They are partly funded by a trust left behind by the Hawaiian princess which is worth now about $6.2 billion, and it receives no federal funding. As far as I am concerned, they can admit whomever they want. And in this case, where the schools are trying to uphold the mandate in the name of preserving Hawaiian culture and giving back to the children, I see no problem with it.
I hate to draw this parallel, but if this happened on the mainland, say, oh, I don't know, in a red state? Oh, the uproar. Yeah, I know, if these were white people wanting a white-only school system, the same argument applies. And yes, I'd be angered to find out that there's some private school out there that only admits whites. Hell, I went to a private university for grad school, and there was just a handful of non-whites there, anyway.
But when it comes to minority interests, we need all the help we can get. American society as a whole is not the kumbaya, racially tolerant society we think we are. Not yet, anyway. And yes, even in California. So whatever helps out the underdog, I'm all for.
And good for that Hawaiian princess wanting to save all her money and donate it to the "children of Hawaii." Of all the selfless, charitable, heartfelt gestures ever. Go on with your bad self.
Let the native-born Hawaiians have their Hawaiians-only schools, Jesus H.