What's with all this whining about who is and isn't on the Congressional Black Caucus panel on the Freedmen? I was scheduled to speak last year and couldn't make it. I'm going this year and am not scheduled. So what? At least there is a panel and the issue remains before Congress and the American people.
It seems to me what is going on is an effort to regain a voice by those who have been shut out of the process by their OWN choice to create dissension and division in the Freedmen movement.
Eleanor "Gypsy" Wyatt and her gang of so called chiefs, Angela Molette and her so called Freedmen Nations and anyone else who is not behind the Descendants of Freedmen of the Five Tribes just want their name in the limelight. Get over yourselves. (they're all descendants of slaves of former Indian families apparently)
Wyatt's group wants federal recognition for the Freedmen separate from their tribal nations. She wants a casino. Molette is no different, although she has not made her financial desires known, I believe she sees herself as High Priestess of a Freedmen Nation. If these people put as much effort into supporting the Freedmen movement as they do in pushing their own agendas, who knows where things might be by now. (and we agree, if the Freedmen of the 5 Civilized Tribes can be included as *members* of the 5, then why exclude any of the slave descendants - by giving them a Black Indian Nation, they all are now *Indians*)
Marilyn Vann is the president of the group that represents ALL of the Freedmen of the Five Tribes. Her participation in the panel covers them all, period, enough said. And FYI, Marilyn is a descendant of both Cherokee and Chickasaw Freedmen. Her blood ancestry alone speaks for both groups. (there is no proof that she has any Indian blood - some Freedmen have an ancestor on the Freedmen Roll of the Dawes Roll but it is common knowledge that they were NOT Indian by blood)
Joe Byrd is a citizen of the Cherokee Nation, a tribe with cases that are now in the federal courts and the only tribe with a case in tribal or federal court. The Cherokee Nation is the main focus of the Watson Bill even though it does include the other tribes. The other freedmen don't have a case in any court. (the Watson Bill ONLY includes the CHEROKEE NATION - all tribes have different rules that govern these folks - the Congressional Black Caucus by excluding the Cherokee Nation from funding in an Indian Health Care Bill and Housing Bill by amendment, have used this to force all Indian Tribes to suffer because of a few non Cherokee who want *membership* in the Cherokee Nation - if you give the Black Indians their own Tribe, problem solved)
Jon Velie was the attorney of record for the Seminole Freedmen. He won their citizenship back at great financial and personal cost to himself. While it is true the Seminole Freedmen have second class citizenship, there are no lawsuits, no petitions, nothing that would give an indication that a majority of the Seminole Freedmen are dissatisfied with their fate. The CBC Conference is a missed opportunity for the Seminole Freedmen to have delivered a written memorial petition to Congress regarding their plight. (what plight? they're members of the Seminole Nation, what else did they want? an attitude shift from folks they've been forced upon?)
And in the end, what did the Seminole Freedmen want? They got their vote back, all they need do now is get out the vote and elect leadership that will change the laws of THEIR nation. A voting block is a powerful tool of democracy. It is not the business of Congress to do the work that should be done by the Seminole Freedmen themselves. (Oh, I suspect it goes much deeper than just a voting block and the Cornsilks' true agenda comes out here - a voting block of Cherokee Freedmen at their disposal....most interesting - that's what they call the California Cherokees, a voting block for the current administration and they do dislike us for that)
The Creek Freedmen have Allen Mitchell to speak for them. He is a Creek Freedman. Has anyone asked that their concerns be included in his speech? Creek Freedmen situation is nearly identical to the Choctaw Freedmen. Has anyone bothered to ask him to mention the plight of the Choctaw Freedmen?
The Watson Bill addresses all five tribes and their freedmen. (no, it only addresses government to government relations with the Cherokee Nation, the language in the Bill is very specific) The Chickasaw Freedmen constitute a whole other ball of wax. At this moment, they are included because they are Freedmen, not because they have any justifiably rights in the Chickasaw Nation.
And finally, while the Freedmen of the Five slave-holding tribes may see themselves as one people, NO ONE ELSE DOES. Yes, they are black and that ties them together. They are oppressed and that ties them together. There is strength in numbers and that ties them together. But they are all separated by their national origins in one or more of the Five Tribes and the laws and treaties applying only to each tribe. (sorry, I see them as one people, they are all descendants of former Indian family slaves - they have no specific provable blood lines to any of the Big 5 Tribes - at least in the Cherokee Nation, all those Freedmen with provable blood lines included on the Dawes Roll ARE citizens of the Cherokee Nation)
Clearly, the passage of time and separation from the Nation of their ancestors has nearly extinguished the Freedmen's sense of belonging to SEPARATE tribes with discrete rights and obligations NOT binding upon the other tribes. (they have their own customs and Identity, they need to develop that, rather than trying to imitate or *take* Cherokee ID or any other tribal Identity)
I don't know what the effect of all this whining will have, but I suspect that those who have fought for the Freedmen are feeling a little abused themselves right now. (well, apparently all this whining got the Vann group a hearing or conference with the Congressional Black Caucus - so what about the REST of the BLACK INDIANS!)
BILL AND TO ALL. MY GOAL HAS ALWAY BEEN UNITY! I HAVE TRIED MY BEST TO BEING THESE PARTIES TOGATHER. CHECK MY POSTINGS, IT WILL BEAR IT OUT! BUTT, I LIKE THE REST OF YOU, HAVE AN OPINION!
Dr. Bob, no disrespect intended, but Eleanor Wyatt has a club comprised of descendants of former slaves of the Five Civilized Tribes. The only cohesiveness the group has is their common heritage to slavery by Indians. There is no inherent sovereignty in your group and nothing that could be recognized as a nation by Congress or the Cherokee people. The only rights the freedmen have are as citizens/members of their respective nations. Otherwise your group is just a bunch of black folks playing Indian. The future of the freedmen depends upon unity with their nations, not claiming to be chiefs, clan mothers and whatever other hogwash Gypsy has concocted. (apparently not all Freedmen are equal)
DAVID,ONCE THE WORD "BUT" IS USED, IT TENDS TO NEGATE WHAT WAS SAY BEFORE! MY PERENT TOLD ME THAT I CAME INTO THIS WORLD WITH MY EYE WIDE OPEN. NOW OVER 70 YEARS LATER, THEY (MY EYES) ARE STILL OPEN! WHAT DO I SEE? I SEE SOME WITH BLIND EYES AND DEAF EARS. I'M A FREEDMEN! I'VE MADE NO CLIAM TO BE AN INDAIN! SO I AM CALLED A CHIEF! WHO IS TO SAY THAT FREEDMEN CAN'T HAVE A CHIEF? OH, IF ONES EYES AND EARS ARE OPEN, ONE MIGHT SEE AND HEAR WHO IS THE CHIEF OF THE CHEROKEE FREEDMEN BAND!!!!!!!!!! (hmm, wonder if he's refering to David Cornsilk) SOME WHITE FOLKS HAVE PLAYED THE OLD DIVIDE AND CONQUER GAME SINCE DAY ONE, I FEEL YOU OF ALL PEOPLE SHOULD KNOW THAT AND FEEL THE PAIN IT'S CAUSED. THEY (THOSE PEOPLE), THEY SCREWED YOU BACK THEN AND YOU ARE STILL GETTING SCREWED! I STAND FOR THE FREEDMEN'S RIGHTS! I STAND FOR MY RIGHTS AND NO MAN SHALL TELL ME WHO I AM OR WHO I'M NOT, NOR WOULD IT BE RIGHT TO TELL YOU THAT YOU THAT YOU ARE JUST A HALFBREED AND THAT GGGGRANDMOTHER WAS KNOWN BY A WHITE MAN. THINGS SAID LIKE THAT ARE TOTALLY PROVOCTIVE! SOME TIMES EMOTIONS TEND TO CAUSE US TO BE PREJUDICIAL AND WE SEE ONLY WHAT WE WHAT TO SEE. HEY, REMEMBER TO BLACK GUY IN THE HAMBURGER PLACE? SO YOU STAND BY THE OLD "ONE DROP RULE" JUST A BUNCH OF BLACK FOLKS PLAYING INDIAN! BLOOD IS BLOOD, BLOOD IN, BLOOD OUT! I BET YOU THAT SOME WHITE PERSON SAID, THOSE BLACK FOLK CAN'T HAVE NO NATION OF ISLAM. ARE YOU GOING TO TELL THEY CAN'T? OR DO YOU ONLY SPEAK FOR CERTAIN FREEDMEN ORGANIZATIOS? WE TOO, SHALL,AS YOU TOO SHAL OVERCOME! OUR PATH MY BE SAFE AS LONG AS ARE EYES ARE OPEN, WHICH WILL KEEP US FROM STEPPING IN S**T!!!!!!!!!!!!!! YOUR STILL THE ROCK! PS: MR BILL IS A DOUBLE AGENT...
(former slaves and their descendants of all Tribes, need their own Black Indian Tribe - problem solved)