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African-Native American Genealogy Forum

Re: again...BQ debate in the Nation

Wotko said:
This issue is very simple and it is about bloodline. If you do not have Cherokee blood, then you are not Cherokee.

David replies:
Just saying it is simple does not make it so. If blood is the determining factor in proving citizenship, then you have made an argument for the very definition of a club. The word Cherokee is NOT a traditional word to the Cherokee people. If you know anything about our language, you will know that we call ourselves something completely different in our native tongue. You are conflating blood with identity and in that case, someone whom I will accept as a "Cherokee" may not be someone you will accept. In that case, who gets to decide? Cherokee is a citizenship term and has nothing to do with racial identity. Our nationality is Cherokee, our race may be something else, or many other kinds of mixtures. The real statement of fact here is that if you do not have Cherokee blood, then you are not a Cherokee Indian. However, if you have citizenship in the Cherokee Nation, then your nationality is Cherokee, whether you have Cherokee Indian blood or not.

Wotko wrote:
Being freedman on the Cherokee rolls does not make you Cherokee. If freedmen can prove a bloodline connection, no problem.

David replies:
You are correct in one sense. Being on the Dawes Roll in and of itself does not make anyone a Cherokee, not even the Cherokee Indians. Being on the Dawes Roll or a descendant of someone who is and proving that to the satisfaction of the requirements of the Constitution prove that you are a Cherokee. The Freedmen can do that, period, nuf said, they are Cherokee. Under the law, being on the Dawes Roll does in fact make you a Cherokee. It doesn't change your race, a white person is still a white person and a black person is still a black person, etc. The Constitution of the Cherokee Nation says that having an ancestor on the Dawes Roll makes you a Cherokee. Until that is changed, it is the law and no social construct you espouse will change it. No one is asking you to socialize with black Cherokees.

And second, there is a problem for the Freedmen proving their blood line. They were placed on the Dawes Roll with NO DEGREE OF BLOOD, even when one existed. There are records created by the Dawes Commission which show unequivocally that a significant number of the Cherokee Freedmen have Cherokee Indian blood. But because they, due to the racist views at the time, were not permitted to record their blood, they are would not be eligible for citizenship under a "by blood" enrollment requirement. That is one of the many injustices of these attacks on the rights of the Freedmen. If they are to be cast out, no provision has been made in the proposed law to permit those who can prove Cherokee blood to remain in the tribe. The racists whose agenda is to destroy the rights of the Freedmen do not care that they will be tossing out Cherokee Indians along with the rest of the Freedmen. Why do they not care you might ask? Easy answer, a Cherokee Indian with negro blood, in their mind, is no Indian at all. Again, racism raises its ugly head as white people, with thin strains of Cherokee heritage are embraced and lauded as valuable additions to the "tribe" while Cherokee Indians with negro heritage, no matter how thin, are kicked to wayside.

Wotko said:
Other than that it's not travesty protecting bloodlines and tribal identity.

David replies:
You must have been reading Mein Kampf or some of the Christian Identity propoganda. Your statement sounds exactly like the white supremist rhetoric that flows from the evil mouths of hatefilled men and women. List to what you are saying man, do you really want to be that kind of person? And honestly, you aren't protecting anything by booting out the Freedmen. You can't stop intermarriage. You can't extract negro blood from a line once its there. And you can't tell people with whom they will socialize, love and marry. If you really wanted to protect the bloodlines of the Cherokee tribe, you'd be fighting against intermarriage with whites. There is the real threat to Cherokee Indian cultural identity. But of course we all know that you will not say anything about that, because having white blood, among the racists, still says you are special, priviledged and accepted. What you preach is the worst kind of hatred because its so hypocrital. If it were not so sad that you hold to such bigoted views, we'd all laugh. But its no laughing matter when an innocent people, with as much pride and love for their Cherokee heritage as you, are being attacked and could lose everything, for the simple cause of maintaining some ludicrous notion of racial purity that does not exist.

Wotko said:
If we let non-Indians into tribes it's no longer "tribe" it would be more like a "club."

David replies:
People grow and develop and you cannot turn back the clock. The Cherokee Nation became an ethnically plural nation with the first intermarriages between Cherokee women and white men. Those white men became Cherokees by adoption. We adopted blacks into our Nation as full citizens as early as 1775. We adopted people from other tribes throughout our history. None of these people have Cherokee blood. Yet, under Cherokee law, they were Cherokees by nationality. The Cherokee Nation is not a tribe. We are a Nation. You would have us do the impossible and go back in time and become like we were when no one else lived her besides us. No Nation can ever backward, no matter how much the racists among us would like it be so. We are a strong nation, made so by the people. Our diversity is an asset and we are protected from the very thing you would have us become. If we reject the Freedmen, we will be nothing more than a club of people with a common blood ancestry. We cannot deny what we have become, a full fledged ethnically plural nation. And of that, I am proud.

18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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