Thursday, December 17, 2009

Congressional Black Caucus, Watson vs. Felton Newell Tribal Sovereignty and South Africa?

Frequent contributor to Original Pechanga's Blog, Allen L. Lee raises a good point in commenting on a previous post. If the Congressional Black Caucus hadn't created the legistlation to impose sanctions on South Africa, a sovereign nation, Nelson Mandela would still be in jail or dead and apartheid would be alive and well. Felton Newell, running against Rep. Diane Watson, supports the Cherokee Nations brand of Apartheid.

The MORAL OUTRAGE that we showed against South Africa, prodded them to give the civil rights that black South Africans were entitled to. Similarly, we should show the same MORAL OUTRAGE on those SOVEREIGN tribes that have denied civil rights to their people, via disenrollments, terminations and now tribal apartheid.



Permanent Interests: The Expansion, Organization, and Rising Influence of African Americans in Congress, 1971–2007

…Among the CBC’s notable legislative achievements were the passage of the Humphrey–Hawkins Act of 1978 to promote full employment and a balanced budget, the creation in 1983 of a federal holiday commemorating the birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr., and legislation in 1986 that imposed the first sanctions against South Africa’s all-white government for its practice of apartheid…. “
http://baic.house.gov/historical-essays/essay.html?intID=1&intSectionID=10

“…Felton Newell, 38, said he opposes legislation Watson authored in 2007 to cut federal funding to the CN. Watson penned the bill after Cherokee citizens voted to expel all non-Indian citizens from the tribe. The vote affected about 2,800 Cherokee Freedmen. He said he opposes Watson’s interference because he doesn’t believe it’s an issue Congress should be addressing.

“The people of the Cherokee Nation should have the sovereignty to decide for themselves what membership means,” Newell said. “I don’t think it’s appropriate for the U.S. Congress to be stepping in to dictate to the Cherokee tribe what its definition of membership should be.”
http://www.cherokeephoenix.org/20951/Article.aspx

If Congress and the CBC hadn’t decided to push to “sever” relations with Apartheid South Africa, Nelson Mandela would still be in jail. Felton Newell shows a serious lack in what a sovereign practice of “Apartheid” or “Jim Crow” really is. Taking money for a manufactured statement doesn’t bode well for his character either. He’s not fit for the job.

Lets try the statement with some editing (OP: Say it out loud to yourself)

The people of the Cherokee or (Republic of South Africa) Nation should have the sovereignty to decide for themselves what membership means,” Newell said. “I don’t think it’s appropriate for the U.S. Congress to be stepping in to dictate to the Cherokee tribe or(White Afrikaaner tribe) what its definition of membership should be.

Thank YOU Mr. Lee for your contributions to this post.

Now, Mr. Newell, you can support sovereignty and still exercise moral outrage by withholding funds from the Cherokee Nation. Let them celebrate their sovereignty, but not with FEDERAL funds, as Rep. Diane Watson understands.

Similarly, Mr. Newell, tribes in your OWN STATE, like the Pechanga Band of Luiseno Indians, The Redding Rancheria, The Picayune Rancheria, Enterprise Rancheria, Robinson Rancheria, San Pasqual among others have ALL denied civil rights to their members. Do you support that brand of APARTHEID in your own state?


We posted about how to reconcile tribal sovereignty with moral outrage HERE

As mentioned on other sites, tribal sovereignty is something that should be nurtured and cherished. Many now believe that the Pechanga Band of Luiseno Mission Indians from Temecula, CA will be responsible for the quick erosion of sovereignty, that tribes have fought for for centuries.

The question was asked, "what could be done?".

Frankly, economic sanctions of another nation, plus public embarrassment may be the only course of action that is effective. For instance, in South Africa, it was their SOVEREIGN RIGHT as a free nation to impose apartheid on their country.What recourse did civilized countries use to bring down this hateful policy? Economic sanctions and world ridicule of the policy. No trade, no travel, no money. Final result, end of apartheid and a welcome back to South Africa into the world community.
Similarly, citizens of the United States (OP: AND California especially) can impose their own economic sanctions on the Tribal Nation of Pechanga by boycotting their nation. Stop patronizing their casino, hotel, restaurants and their powwows. Let them know that we do not agree with their system of denying civil rights to their people and until they follow their own tribal law, citizens of our country will NOT support their nation, but will patronize (OP:

In other words, support tribal gaming elsewhere) their competitor nations.

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

I'm wondering if our resident tribal hack thinks that Nelson Mandela should have given up and all the black South Africans should have just "gone on with their lives"?

Anonymous said...

Say no to pechanga. Apartheid! No to tribal corruption. And. Yes. To sovereignty

'aamokat said...

I would like to ask Mr. Newell what he thinks about a tribe such as Pechanga who doesn't even follow their own rules regarding membership that they themselves set up.

Because violating Pechanga law and the Band's own constitution by disenrolling hundreds of long time citizens of that nation without due process of law is wrong and what does Mr. Newell think should be done about it?

Also, the disenrollments that have occured at Pechanga and elsewhere in Mr. Newell's own home state as well as in the Cherokee nation sound eerily familar.

Because in the 1930's Nazi Germany corrected to what to them were errors in the citizenship rolls by declaring millions of Jews to no longer be German citizens and that led the way to the wholescale murder of those millions of ex citizens.

And while I in no way campare the degree of evil with what occured in Germany under Hitler with what has happened in Indian country, even if the evil isn't as extreme, evil is still evil.

It was wrong to reclassify the Jews as non citizens of their nation just as it was wrong to reclassify thousands of Indians as non citizens in their respective nations.

But as with the analogy Mr. Newell uses regarding the Freedman, didn't Nazi Germany have the sovereign right to disenroll millions of their Jewish citizens out of their nation?

Allen L. Lee said...

Sovereign rights and citizenship,
a Bush era case:

"Temesgen W. HAILE, Petitioner,
v.
Alberto R. GONZALES, Attorney General of the United States, Respondent.
Everusalem M. Tekelu, Petitioner,
v.
Alberto R. Gonzales, Attorney General of the United States, Respondent.


Argued August 2, 2005.
Decided August

…..He based his decision in part on the principle (which we have endorsed, see De Souza v. INS, 999 F.2d 1156, 1159 (7th Cir.1993)) that a country has the sovereign right to bestow or deny citizenship as it sees fit. At issue here, however, is whether Ethiopia has the sovereign right to discriminate against ethnic Eritreans by stripping them of their citizenship. Unable to affirm that principle, we remand both of these cases for further proceedings.

…The IJ also considered the petitioners' claim that they had been or would be stripped of their Ethiopian citizenship, but concluded that such treatment would not amount to persecution because a country has a right to determine who is or is not a citizen. This reasoning is problematic — it fails to acknowledge the fundamental distinction between denying someone citizenship and divesting someone of citizenship. The IJ relied on a Fifth Circuit decision holding that denial of citizenship is not persecution, Faddoul v. INS, 37 F.3d at 189 ("The decision to bestow or deny citizenship is deeply-rooted in national sovereignty and must be left to the individual nation's discretion."), which cited a similar case from this court, De Souza v. INS, 999 F.2d at 1159 ("It is well within the discretion of the Kenyan government to decide who its citizens will be."). But in each of those cases, as we noted in Bucur v. INS, 109 F.3d 399, 404 (7th Cir.1997), the petitioner never was a citizen of the country in question, despite having been born there. ... Here, in contrast, the petitioners were considered citizens of Ethiopia before the war's outbreak. Neither Faddoul nor De Souza — nor any other case of which we are aware — suggests that a government has the sovereign right to strip citizenship from a class of persons based on their ethnicity.
….It is arguable that such a program of denationalization and deportation is in fact a particularly acute form of persecution. We have suggested, for example, that "a campaign of expulsions" based on ethnicity, even where not orchestrated by the government, would constitute persecution, see Bucur, 109 F.3d at 403 (7th Cir.1997), and a leading authority on asylum law has asserted that "[e]xpulsion of citizens or nationals almost invariably constitutes persecution," see Deborah E. Anker, Law of Asylum in the United States (3d ed.1999) at 246. Historically, denationalization has been a precursor to even worse things — it was one of the first steps taken by the Nazi regime against the Jews, see, e.g., Lucy S. Dawidowicz, The War Against the Jews, 1933-1945 (1975) at 67-69 (discussing the Reich Citizenship Law of 1935, which stripped German Jews of their citizenship);...One human-rights group has expressed concern about the increasing use of denationalization as a political weapon, particularly in Africa, see Open Society Justice Initiative, "Statelessness, Discrimination and Denationalization: Emerging Problems Requiring Action," Statement to the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights (April 29, 2005), available at
…..The IJ concluded in both of these cases that it would not be persecution for the Ethiopian government to divest the petitioners of their citizenship based on their ethnicity. That conclusion is not supported by the cases on which the IJ relied, and we are not prepared to endorse it now. ..."
http://openjurist.org/421/f3d/493/haile-v-r-gonzales-m

Anonymous said...

I think you are going to lose a lot of Native American support going down this path. Tribes have always enjoyed the right to detemine membership eligibility. All tribes determine their eligibility criteria based on blood quantum, age, tribe, affiliation, etc. It is an exclusive right of each tribal nation. This right should never, ever be taken from the tribes. Although I certainly disagree with disenrollments, such as what took place in Pechanga, Redding, Enterprise, etc. I don't have much sympathy or support for those that want into tribes now that tribes are prosperous. Most tribes have a cut off age of twenty-one, if your not enrolled by that age, oh well. Tribes determine by majority what the blood quantum for their tribes will be. Tribes are not trying to fade out, they want to exist as Natives moreso than being just another group of people claiming Native Blood with their blond hair, blue eyes, kinky hair, asian eyes, or latino only speaking selves. Moratoriums on enrollment are used by all Native American Tribes and should not be abused like in the case of Pechanga. Usually, it is a majority of the tribal membership that vote for or against a moratorium. Please don't do damage to all tribes because of a handful of bad eggs.

O Pechanga said...

Please don't do damage to all tribes becuase of a handful of bad tribes

That's a nice sentiment. A better one would be for tribes that are against what has happened, re: disenrollment to say:

Dear Pechanga; Enterprise; Picayune, et.al., while we respect the sovereign right to terminate members, even if you violate your own constitution, it is OUR SOVEREIGN right as a nation to NOT DO BUSINESS WITH YOU, NOT ASSOCIATE WITH YOU in Business Groups and to express publicly our plans to do so. We will NOT ATTEND any function at your place of business and will shun you at any event you choose to attend. YOU disgrace all tribes by your actions.

Seems simple and easy. Support soveignty and abhor those that deny civil rights to their people.

While I support the right of free speech, I don't have to agree with everything said.

Allen L. Lee said...

Anonymous,
I fail to see the crux of your dis-agreement. The case presents that:
" Faddoul v. INS, 37 F.3d at 189 ("The decision to bestow or deny citizenship is deeply-rooted in national sovereignty and must be left to the individual nation's discretion."), That is indeed the majority of your statement.
What's the problem?
The case points out that:
"This reasoning is problematic — it fails to acknowledge the fundamental distinction between denying someone citizenship and divesting someone of citizenship."
and:
"Neither Faddoul nor De Souza — nor any other case of which we are aware — suggests that a government has the sovereign right to strip citizenship from a class of persons based on their ethnicity."

Your statement anonymous was:
"I certainly disagree with disenrollments, such as what took place in Pechanga, Redding, Enterprise, etc. "
So again I ask, What's the problem?
My point is to demonstrate Felton Newell's deviation from the U.S.'s position on removing citizenship from a person already recognized.
Felton Newell said:
““The people of the Cherokee Nation should have the sovereignty to decide for themselves what membership means,” Newell said. “I don’t think it’s appropriate for the U.S. Congress to be stepping in to dictate to the Cherokee tribe what its definition of membership should be.”
http://www.cherokeephoenix.org/20951/Article.aspx

The U.S position on the expulsion of Eritreans from Ethiopia was:

“The expulsion of people of Eritrean origin was often carried out in an inhumane manner
that amounts to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment," according to Amnesty International's investigation.66 The expulsions were protested by the U.S. government which found "fundamental humanitarian and human rights concerns raised by the forcible separation of families, the undue hardships of those detained or expelled to Eritrea, and the financial losses caused by sudden expulsions,"
http://www.uscis.gov/files/nativedocuments/QAERIETH02001.pdf

The Pechanga and Cherokee Freedmen Descendants dis-enrollments and all Indian Country disenrollments deserve the same attention. They are no different then the Eritrean expulsions from Ethiopia. Felton Newell fails this vital Human Rights test and isn't fit for Congress.

'aamokat said...

And what about the treaty of 1866 that says the Freedmen are to be afforded citizenship in their Indian nation?

The Cherokee Nation should have to abide by the agreement they signed in their government to government relationship with the United States that allows the Freedmen a place in the tribe.

As a sovereign nation the Cherokees could conceivingly re-negotiate the treaty to allow them to deny citizenship to the Freedmen but that seems to be the only way they could disenroll the Freedmen.

allen L. Lee said...

The U.S. no longer negotiates treaties with it's indigenous population because they wield federal jurisdiction over indigenous sovereigns. However, all treaties formally made with indigenous sovereigns and ratified are still legally binding.
There is no basis for the U.S. and the Cherokee Nation to re-negotiate the rights of Cherokee Freedmen Descendants for as I have mentioned, Human Rights provisions in treaties, and Human Rights not included in treaties, are non-negotiable.
Denying citizenship is not the same as dis-enrolling an enfranchised citizen.

""The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe
At the same time, reform should not be an excuse to roll back existing standards. This is a point on which we must be very clear. Human rights are non-negotiable."
http://www.osce.org/cio/item_1_8985.html

"Convention on the Rights of the Child
...Built on varied legal systems and cultural traditions, the Convention is a universally agreed set of non-negotiable standards and obligations. These basic standards—also called human rights—set minimum entitlements and freedoms that should be respected by governments. "
http://www.unicef.org/crc/

"Human Rights are Non-Negotiable
Michael Dodson, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner
Social justice
...Human rights are non-negotiable. They are not something which can be conferred, they
are inherent. No-one ‘gives’ you your rights. Human rights are your birth rights."
https://www.tai.org.au/file.php?file=newsletter/NL10.pdf

"""Iacovou's address to UN Human Rights Commission
`Human Rights not negotiable'
The protection and promotion of human rights are non-negotiable and cannot be sacrificed in favour of political considerations and expediencies. The United Nations' role as the basic guardian of the human rights system worldwide is, therefore, both instrumental and indispensable,'' Iacovou said at the end of his address on Wednesday."
http://www.lobbyforcyprus.org/press/press2005/cywe_110305_humanrights.htm

'aamokat said...

Mr. Lee, I wasn't suggesting the Cherokees actually change the provisions of the treaty of 1866 but saying that it would be the only way they could disenroll the Freedmen.

So in effect they can't disenroll them so they are obligated to keep them as tribal members.

I have yet to hear an argument that convinces me that they aren't obligated by the treaty of 1866 to keep them in the tribe.

Does Chief Smith or Mr. Newell ever bring up that treaty?

Allen L. Lee said...

Mr Newell has not demonstrated any knowledge of the treaty, and C. Smith denies that the particular provision, Article 9, is valid.
I'm still with you 'aamokat, no worries.