Opinion: Trail of Tears biker rally not really an inconvenience

"Motorcyclists don't need much of a reason to ride in herds. They're kind of like grown up bicyclists, except they obey the rules of the road and rumble instead of whine.

Despite the umpteen barrels of beer consumed, the Trail of Tears ride is a sobering event. It commemorates an unspeakable event. The "relocation" of the indigenous peoples from the southeast to the Oklahoma territories was an event bordering on genocide. The white man had no reservations about reservations.

The Indian Removal Act of 1830 was responsible for the deaths of more than a quarter of the 15,000 that attempted the journey. An estimated 4,000 members of the Cherokee, Muscogee (Creek), Seminole, and Choctaw nations, among others, died enroute, most of starvation, dehydration, exposure to the elements and disease.

Indian reservations are invariably the most poverty-stricken areas of any state I've traveled through. They are strewn with unreasonable facsimiles of house trailers, leaning shacks and yard ornament cars."

Get the Story:
Ricky Thomason: Inconveniences of biker ride pale to plight of Indians (The Huntsville Times 9/25)

Join the Conversation