Wednesday, September 14, 2011

That Pesky Slave Problem Crops Up Everywhere

The US government has stepped into a bitter ethnic dispute between a powerful Native American tribe and the descendants of black slaves the tribe used to own


The fight centres on the tribal membership of the Cherokee nation, a Native American group who were kicked out of their ancestral lands in south-eastern America and forced to relocate to Oklahoma.

For a long time, the tribe has included among its members people who called themselves 'freedmen', who were descendants of the black slaves that the tribe used to own, but who were given their liberty after the American civil war. Being a member of the tribe gives certain rights and benefits around tribal-run healthcare schemes, and the spending of money the tribe earns from casino operations.


[The] Cherokee's tribal leadership has recently moved to expel an estimated 2,800 freedmen from the tribal rolls, which will cut off their access to Cherokee services and also stop them from voting in upcoming tribal elections.


But now the US Bureau of Indian Affairs has weighed in.

Larry Echo Hawk, the assistant secretary at the department, has written a letter to the Cherokee saying it will not recognise any election the tribe carries out that does not include the freedmen.


"The department's position is, and has been, that the 1866 treaty between the United States and the Cherokee nation vested Cherokee freedmen with rights of citizenship in the nation, including the right of suffrage," Echo Hawk wrote.

UK Guardian

OMG. The Natives would deign to ignore their treaty with the US government? !

I’ve read a little back-and-forth between the two sides in the Cherokee argument, and it seems to me that it’s more evidence that humans are not one species. There’s the one species that experiences pain and humiliation and empathizes with others, and there’s the species that experiences the same and looks for someone else to visit it upon.

....but hey, do what you will anyway.

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