Due to a confusing registration and voting system for outlander citizens like me, I wasn’t able to register in time for the Cherokee Nation special election today. Even if I had, it wouldn’t have made a difference.
Seventy-six percent of the tribe voted today to expel the descendants of the freedmen, the ex-slaves of wealthy Cherokee plantation owners. This is an expulsion of over 2,000 citizens, because they are not Cherokee by blood. Promised by treaty in 1866, the freedmen are entitled to citizenship, and todays decision is a shameful travesty.
The blood argument does not wash. The Delaware and Shawnee of Oklahoma are citizens of the Cherokee Nation, yet they are not Cherokee by blood.
This is racism, pure and simple. I am ashamed of my tribe today.