Saturday, March 03, 2007

Cherokee Nation to Vote on Cherokeeness of their former slaves descendants

I didn't realize that any Native American's had slaves. Sad to see that racism is alive and well in the Cherokee nation.

From the Washington Post:

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.

J.D. Baldridge, whose ancestors include Cherokees and their former slaves, may lose tribal membership.

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.


Xanthippas said...

Yes, the Cherokee did own slaves, and they treated the slaves about as well as white masters treated their slaves. Only now America seems to have abandoned the idea that any member of a community should be expelled because of their race, whereas the Cherokee are still learning that lesson. Which just goes to show how easily the oppressed becomes the oppressor.

Ken said...

The oppressed to oppressor transition has persistent psychological roots. I wonder what, if any, adaptive 'benefit' there might be for this?