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Sic Semper Tyrannis

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Well here's a political-correctness conundrum

US Cherokees vote to expel descendants of slaves

WASHINGTON (AFP) - Native American Cherokees voted to expel descendants of black slaves from their tribe nation in a special election that has prompted charges of racism, according to returns made public early Sunday.

But a vote of 77 percent to 23 percent, the Cherokee Nation in Oklahoma adopted Saturday an amendment to their constitution that strips membership from so-called "Freedmen," those descended from slaves once owned by Cherokees, blacks who were married to Cherokees and children of mixed-race families.
I suppose, if one is descended from a former slave, but has no Cherokee ancestry. But they also included "children of mixed-race families."

Now, let's follow the money:

...opponents of the amendment say it was a racist project designed to deny the distribution of US government funds and tribal revenue to those with African-American heritage, US media reported.
Of course, that's not what the Cherokee say:

"The Cherokee people exercised the most basic democratic right, the right to vote," Chad Smith, Principal Chief of the Cherokee Nation, said in a statement. "Their voice is clear as to who should be citizens of the Cherokee Nation. No one else has the right to make that determination."
You trying to disenfranchise us?

The enlightened liberal must, I think, side with the descendants of slaves. But surely the tribe is simply acting out its frustration over 150 years of oppression!

At least I learned something new:

Cherokees, along with several other tribes, held black slaves and allied themselves with the Confederacy during the US civil war. After the war, the federal government in an 1866 treaty ordered the slaves freed.