Supposedly Enlightened to predjudice, racism and marginalization. But CNO use of the words "them people" makes them ignorant of their own history.
From Cedric's H.E.L.P Newsletter:
Well, I said I would get back with the listserve if something big occurred. It doesn't get any bigger than this. The Removal of the Cherokee Freedmen cannot be likened to Jim Crow anymore. Jim Crow was a horrific experience for many including historic South and Eastern Indian communities.
However, when we attempt to view it through a contemporary lense it is difficult due to the time at which it occurred (and in some ways is still occurring). The removal of Cherokee Freedmen in 2011 is done in a time when people are more enlightened on the issues of prejudice and marginalization and so its occurrence could be argued as even more appalling.
Not even the United States, who tribes have argued with generationally for the countries actions against indigenous people, stooped so low as to disenfranchise citizenship from former slaves and their descendants. As someone living in Tahlequah, OK (capitol of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma), I was directly exposed to the racial hatred spewed by certain members of the CNO. John Ketcher, a former Deputy Chief and fixture in CNO politics, was caught on video saying, "Well you know how them people are." in reference to the Cherokee Freedmen.
If you are from a historic "non-federal" tribe in the South and East you know the term "them people" well. Our people have been called "them people" in various forms by racist white southerners for many, many generations. Of course we all know what "them people" in North Carolina, aka Lumbee, did to those KKK boys who liked using such terms. DISENROLLMENT is the work of immoral and unethical people and is a clear form of paper genocide. It is not "sovereignty". Sovereignty is a constantly renegotiated concept which is used by some Indian people today as a defense for negativity. Is Libya sovereign? Who controls their sovereignty? Is Haiti sovereign? Can sovereigns be completely dependent on their financial welfare from other sovereigns? These are all complex questions.
Sheryl Lightfoot does an incredible job of addressing such issues in her aricle. Going after the CNO is not an affront to sovereignty as she will explain when you read the attached article. Please see the three articles pasted below from various newspapers today. Here is a quote from Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma council member Cara Cowan-Watts from the July/August 2005 Manntaka, "I didn't hear of freedmen until this whole issue came up," she says. "I didn't hear of them or meet them." -Cara Cowan
Why would a racially white, non-traditionally raised, non-Cherokee Nation raised "council member" have heard of them.
Only actual Cherokees know Freedmen, have lived by them, intermarried with them, etc. for many generations. I have attached a copy of an email petition created and sent out by Cara Cowan in 2006, a copy of a Newsletter from the Descendants of the Freedman Association counteracting lies by the CNO, an incredible article written by Ojibwa Sheryl Lightfoot challenging the CNO's use of "sovereignty" as a cover up for immoral and unethical behavior, as well as an article showing the massive stimulus fund dollars paid out to the CNO. Funds which go into the war coffer they use against their own people and historic "non-federal" tribal communities.
Their (some CNO individuals/"leaders") hatred is not representative of all CNO citizens and that should be remembered by everyone. However, if CNO tribal members continue to not be critical of the racists in their midst, then their silence should be viewed as support.