Friday, May 7, 2010

The Concept of Race in the Five Slave Holding Tribes part 4

Recently I was reading what can only be described as a pernicious and convoluted “legal concept” called the “origin of citizenship.” This concept apparently was to describe “Indian Territory Freedmen” and their origination of citizenship in the Five Slave Holding Tribes?


This “origination of citizenship” theory is supposedly not a “racist institution” but something that “only” determined the size of land allotments which were determined by the amount of “Indian blood” you possessed and these distinctions were the only criteria that determined the amount of land you and your children would receive. In the Choctaw and Chickasaw nation it meant that there would be a difference between forty acres for someone with freedmen “origins of citizenship” as opposed to three hundred and twenty acres of land for someone on the “by blood” roll of the Choctaw or Chickasaw nation.

The author does not account for the history and laws in both nations that were race based that influenced all decisions that affected the freedmen. The author does not look at the history of racial oppression and subjugation in the tribes that prevented so called freedmen from attaining full rights and privileges as citizens in these two nations. The author does not take into account the fact that when it came time to accurately determine the full lineal descent of people with “mixed race” parents the system was clearly race based because when someone attempted to demonstrate they descended from someone who possessed “Choctaw or Chickasaw blood” this information was systematically ignored and “almost” removed from the record.
Click on image for larger view

Testimony of Wirt FRANKLIN Senate Report 5013 pt 1 pg 346 part 3
 
Throughout the Dawes records that enumerated all people who were deemed citizens in their nation with the only exception being the Chickasaw nation because of their racial intolerance, the record shows repeatedly that when someone illustrated their lineal descent to a “citizen by blood” the record is incomplete and inconsistent. This was the basis for so much of the adversarial relationship between the tribe and its African-Native people that it created one of the largest and widest set of records on the construction of race we have today.
 
 
Testimony of Wirt FRANKLIN Senate Report 5013 pt 1 pg 347 part 1
 
Evidently the author was attempting to justify the race based construction that determined people born to women of African descent and men of Native American descent.

The Molsie BUTLER case was one of many but it was exceptional because there was a lengthy documented record that clearly demonstrated the effort the Dawes Commission thwarted many people deserving their rights and citizens “according to the law” but were denied because of race based policies, not some theory of “origin of citizenship” made up out of whole cloth.


Molsie BUTLER M-1186 Choctaw by Blood Denied # D638

The author insidiously attempts to diminish the effects of a race based policy by the tribes and the Dawes Commission by intimating “you see only a couple of real struggles to be placed on the by blood roll and those struggles are definately (sic) rooted in the perception of identity the person held.”


For the author to presume he knows what these people thought of themselves as being based only on the desire to acquire more land, which must also follow the presumption they were only doing so for the land is contrary to the record of how these men and woman thought of themselves and how they were perceived in their communities.

It also speaks to the arrogance that is present in too many people to think that it was somehow more acceptable for everybody else to desire their rights and interest in the land but assign ulterior motives to those with African-Native ancestry when they exercised their rights to their fair share based on the law that should have applied "equal protection" to them all.


Molsie BUTLER M-1301 Choctaw Freedmen Denied D 638 p9

 
The record also demonstrates quite accurately what was the basis for “citizenship by blood” in the Choctaw and Chickasaw nations or more accurately what was not allowed in the nations was someone who descended from a woman who was “classified” as someone of African descent.


The record contradicts the falsehood that “only legal marriages” were the basis for citizenship in the Indian nations. As we see in the Interview Jacket (M1301-D638) of Molsie BUTLER, her parents consisted of a Choctaw man who was a blood citizen and her mother who was described as “freedmen” (as if that were a term and classification for “race”) and they were legally married by Choctaw “law” yet when Molsie’s father died his children and his wife were unceremoniously placed on the Choctaw Freedmen Roll “against their protest.”

Molsie BUTLER, her mother and children is just another example of the hundreds of cases where African-Native people were denied their rights to land AND citizenship in the nations of their birth and how a race based policy was employed by the tribes and the United States government to deny those rights. It clearly demonstrates that anyone that desires to speak for Freedmen descendants is incapable of such; without a proper knowledge of the records. It is also an inability to interpret the facts or cite any source for theories or statements which seemed designed to limit an open discussion on issues others find relevent.

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