Opinion: Racism in removal of Cherokee Freedmen
"As in the ancient world, many nations of the world today confer rights or privileges by conquest, blood or religion. That is, citizenship is based on force, membership in a family, clan or tribe, or adherence to a religion. In America, and a few other nations, these ancient claims have no place.

But there are challenges to free citizenship right now. In Riverside, we learn from an AP article in Sunday's Victor Valley Press Dispatch that a dispute exists between the blood-connected and the treaty-connected members of the 20,000 member Cherokee Indian tribe in California. Membership in tribes is a great prize these days because many operate gambling dens, proceeds of which go to tribal members.

In what looks suspiciously like racism, Cherokees have been giving the cold shoulder to American blacks whose ancestors were once enslaved by that tribe, but were granted the privileges of tribal membership, according to the AP article, by an 1866 treaty. But while the “full-blood” Cherokee accept blacks related by blood, they are opposed to accepting those who are not, treaty or no treaty.

It is a sickening spectacle, this un-American business of claiming privileges by blood, even to the extent of ignoring treaty obligations. And, of course, since American citizenship is not based on blood, the only truly native Americans are those who were born here and (not “or”) subject to the jurisdiction of the Constitution and the laws."

Get the Story:
Richard Reeb:: Tribalism and Racism (The Claremont Institute 9/26)

Cherokee-Related Legislation:
H.R.2786 | H.R.2895 | H.R.2824 | H.R.3002

BIA Letters:
August 9, 2007 | July 11, 2007 | June 22, 2007 | May 21, 2007 | March 28, 2007 | August 30, 2006

Sovereign Immunity Court Decision:
Vann v. Kempthorne (December 19, 2006)

Cherokee Nation Judicial Appeals Tribunal Decision in Freedmen Case:
Allen v. Cherokee Nation (March 7, 2006)

Relevant Links:
Cherokee Nation - http://www.cherokee.org
Freedmen Of The Five Civilized Tribes - http://www.freedmen5tribes.com
Freedmen Conference - http://www.freedmenconference.com

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