Apparently the anonymous defenders of “Indian” life and culture have been agitated to the point of writing the usual hate mail because of my drawing attention to the history of slavery and racial prejudice in the Five Slave Holding Tribes known as the Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Creek and Seminole.
It appears they are of the opinion that I should post their vile and incendiary language just because I omitted mentioning the contributions of Africans to the institution of slavery among the Five Slave Holding Tribes. My misguided defender of all things Native American goes further to suggest that it is because of me and my colleague Angela Walton-Raji speaking on these issues, we have somehow driven a wedge between the Black and Red communities. I doubt quite seriously either of us having that much power and influence over either community that the statement is laughable.
However that was not the end of my detractors hate filled rant, OH NO! The fact that I would post primary source material too substantiate my point is not impressive enough for Mr. or Mrs. “Native.” Like so many people “Native” did not want to be confused by the facts, they preferred to continue down the road of denial and blame everyone else but the “poor defenseless Indians” from their participation in the “peculiar institution” of enslaving humans. THAT ain’t gonna happen!
They noted I didn’t BLAME THE WHITE MAN! Nor did I BLAME THE AFRICAN FOR SELLING MY ANCESTORS FOR A BOTTLE OF RUM! Quite frankly, he/she is right! I’m not blaming them or anyone else for that matter, I’m just interpreting the history according to the documentation that I read and from where I sit, the Five Slave Holding Tribes where just that! Slave holders! They were racist and they were fathers to a whole lot of African-Native children they denied. Not a pretty picture but very true and documented. They are not being blamed for a thing, but they need to take responsibility for their history and legacy of oppressing humans.
I have no idea what the Africans were thinking when they participated in the slave trade and for that matter, it is not clear if they understood their part in the institution. No, I’m not blaming the white man because in this case, there were plenty of whites in the nation to such a degree, many were considered, say it with me boys and girls, INDIANS!
The “Indians” in most of the five tribes with the notable exception of the Seminoles were so mixed with whites and intimately involved in their culture that Indian and white could be interchangeable when you discuss the Five Slave Holding Tribes. But I digress.
My buddy “Native” seems to think that it is impossible to discuss the history of the Five Slave Holding Tribes AND NOT implicate all the other Native American tribes on the North American continent. “Native” apparently is of the belief there truly is a “Native American race” of people which the Five Slave Holding Tribes are central to it’s being. I on the other hand don’t see “Native Americans” as being monolithic or a “pure” race, sorry, that’s just my opinion.
The Five Slave Holding Tribes have developed their own history and culture and it included owning, dehumanizing, ostracizing, oppressing other humans. When they attempt to elicit sympathy for their plight as an oppressed people I will be there to tell the other side of the story. The Five Slave Holding Tribes cloak themselves with the pain of other tribes but never, NEVER seem capable of telling their true history when it comes to the institution of slavery; so I’m here to help them see the evil in their past and hopefully work through some of their anger management issues when confronted by their history.
Look, I can understand how some of this rhetoric sounds if you are not familiar with the history and the documentation. I am not even suggesting I have all of the answers or that I’m 100% correct on my interpretation of the data. However, I do know right from wrong, and the “Five Slave Holding Tribes” have been wrong for some time and they are going to be called on it.