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Thread: WP: Cherokee Nation may expel blacks

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    WP: Cherokee Nation may expel blacks

    Tribe poised to revoke membership of thousands of black ‘freedmen’

    By Ellen KnickmeyerThe Washington Post
    Updated: 8:13 p.m. MT March 2, 2007

    VINITA, Okla. - J.D. Baldridge, 73, has official government documents showing him to be a descendant of a full-blood Cherokee. He has memories of a youth spent among Cherokee neighbors and kin, at tribal stomp dances and hog fries. He holds on to a fair amount of Cherokee vocabulary. " Salali," Baldridge says, his face creasing into a smile at the word. "Squirrel stew. Oh, that was good."

    What Baldridge, a retired Oklahoma county sheriff, also has is at least one black ancestor, a former slave of a Cherokee family. That could get Baldridge cast out of the tribe, along with thousands of others.

    The 250,000-member Cherokee Nation will vote in a special election today whether to override a 141-year-old treaty and change the tribal constitution to bar "freedmen," the descendants of former tribal slaves, from being members of the sovereign nation.

    Battle over identity, power

    "It's a basic, inherent right to determine our own citizenry. We paid very dearly for those rights," Cherokee Principal Chief Chad Smith said in an interview last month in Oklahoma City.

    But the Cherokee freedmen see the vote as less about self-determination than about discrimination and historical blinders. They see in the referendum hints of racism and a desire by some Cherokees to deny the tribe's slave-owning past.

    "They know these people exist. And they're trying to push them aside, as though they were never with them," said Andra Shelton, one of Baldridge's family members. Shelton, 59, can recall her mother gossiping in fluent Cherokee when Cherokee friends and relatives visited.

    People on both sides of the issue say the fight is also about tribal politics -- the freedmen at times have been at odds with the tribal leadership -- and about money.

    Read entire article at MSNBC

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    Re: WP: Cherokee Nation may expel blacks

    these cherokee freedmen really aren't cherokee citizens if their also negros too, so I respect and sympathize with the Cherokee chief, if the freedmen are arguing about money issues with the rest of the tribe, thats showing even more that the freedmen are just a foreign disporea people who don't really belong there
    "A star is extinguished, another will begin to shine - thus it is written in the Book of Nature" - Guido von list, 'Der Ubesiegbare'

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    Re: WP: Cherokee Nation may expel blacks

    I feel that the freedmen who were active in Cherokee society for the last hundred years have earned their citizenship. Whites and blacks have both been adopted over the last several hundred years. But I am not a cherokee and should have no vote in tribal matters. I have met many mixed black/indians at powwows but this has never come up in discussion.
    Land of the Free because of the Brave.
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    Sv: Re: WP: Cherokee Nation may expel blacks

    How is this recieved by anti-racist groups? Civil Rights groups?

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    Re: WP: Cherokee Nation may expel blacks

    As expected, a majority of the Cherokee Nation (76.6%) did vote this weekend to revoke the membership of those descended from former tribal slaves.

    Here is the article's url: http://www.newsmax.com/archives/arti...509.shtml?s=us

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