The Cherokee Nation's decision to exclude its Black descendants of slaves owned by the tribe meets with resistance. Black tribal members have banded together to regain their membership rights.
I am a Black man from New Orleans, Louisiana, with a Creole (French/Spanish) background and a great deal of American Indian heritage. An old family photo is displayed to the left, which shows my multiple ethnic racial inheritance. The photo includes my grandmother, great grandmother and great-great grandmother. I have no desire to be a part of the Cherokee Nation, or any Indian nation for that matter, but I am now very supportive of my Brothers and Sisters who feel that it is their right and privilege.
Earlier this month I posted an article providing details on the Cherokee Nation's decision to to revoke the tribal citizenship of an estimated 2,800 Black descendants of the people of the Cherokee Nation, who were once owned as slaves. In that article, I expressed no personal opinion as to the decision of the Cherokee Nation for making such a drastic change in policy. Since then, I have received comments from other Digital Journal writers, family members and friends regarding the Nation's decision to exclude Blacks.
Some of their comments are listed below:
1. "Whites only need be 1/32 Cherokee to qualify for membership." I refer to this as the "Cherokee Nation's White Man Easy Qualification Plan". The Cherokee Nation should know that it is no longer necessary to "suck up" to the White man, yet they continue to do so.
2. "The majority of the 2,800 Blacks excluded from membership are well in excess of 1/32 Cherokee."
3. "The very fact that many Blacks have taken a great deal of pride in tribal membership for over 140 years and to suddenly exclude them seems inconsiderate."
The decision of the Cherokee Nation to revoke the membership of its Black slave descendants is in my opinion indicative of a deeply rooted "Kiss-Up" and "Uncle Tom-Tom" mentality.
Perhaps the Cherokee Nation would like to return to the "good old days "of life on an indian reservation in the 1880's. In that environment, a friendly White Indian Agent could give them a sense of direction and take control of their daily lives. They could then, joyously beat their "Uncle Tom-Tom" drums all day.
On a more serious note, it is obvious that the voting populace of the Cherokee Nation are not up with the times.
To view my first article on the Cherokee Nation, click the following link: http://digitaljournal.com/article/132061/Cherokee_Nation_Votes_Out_Decendants_of_Black_Slaves