Opinion: City official insulted Eastern Cherokees

"Carl Mumpower can be congratulated for one thing, and it’s something Principal Chief Michell Hicks has yet to do. He created unity among the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians’ community, at least as far as the race for Congress is concerned. After a highly controversial and contentious tribal election, that’s no easy feat.

Mumpower basically insulted the tribe’s members and belittled the sacrifices made by their ancestors to further his political motives. He called the tribe a “corrupted special interest.” He even suggested “obtaining a fake ID, crossing the Qualla Boundary and seeing if (he) can join the race to use versus uplift America.” His anti-sovereignty rhetoric was reminiscent of anything seen from notorious “Indian fighters” former Sen. Slade Gorton (R-Wash.) and former Rep. Ernest Istook (R-Okla.).

He’s accused the tribe of using “us” versus “them” tactics, yet his press release does just that, playing upon the racially-inspired resentments among a small and unworthy segment of his potential constituency. His comment about obtaining a fake ID is particularly disturbing coming from a vocal opponent of illegal immigration.

The fact is members of the tribe have been among the most patriotic. They’ve voted. They’ve served in wartime. Some of them, most notably Charles George in Korea, gave their lives in service to keep this country free. They’ve been active participants of furthering and defending democracy since they’ve been U.S. citizens and even before that."

Get the Story:
Joseph Martin: Mumpower’s insults of tribe will cost him (The Asheville Citizen-Times 11/1)

Relevant Links:
Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians - http://www.cherokee-nc.com
Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, site 2 - http://www.nc-cherokee.com
Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, unofficial - http://www.easternband.com

Related Stories
Cherokee Chief: Tribes are not special interests (10/22)