Thursday, May 6, 2010

Treasure Chest Thursday-A Newspaper Account of the Lawsuit of African-Native Americans Suing for Citizenship...

December 30, 1908 p4
Click on image for larger version

What did the Congressional Delegation of the new state of Oklahoma think about African-Native Americans?

When people talk about the rule of law, does that mean you will receive your rights under the law if someone else finds it expedient to circumvent the law at your expense?

Is there such a thing as "Due Process" when it pertained to the rights of African-Native Americans in Indian Territory/Oklahoma?
An aspect of people receiving their legal rights but denied is illustrated by the newspaper article published in the Daily Ardmoreite in December 30, 1908 p4.

This article clearly demonstrates that despite Oklahoma becoming a state a year earlier in November, the Congressional delegation was determined to prevent approximately two thousand people their due process rights to be classified as citizens of the tribe of their birth.

It is a tragic comment on the contemporary discussion of who is and who gets to determine who is an Indian. Many Native Americans take the position that these men and women through no fault of their own were born to woman who were of African descent and that was/is enough to say they "are not" Indian.  It was the racial climate of "Little Dixie" Oklahoma and the Five Slave Holding Tribes that initiated this unscientific approach to what constituted "race" and it's legacy is present with the five tribes today.

There are very few outspoken people who are considered part of the Native American community that speak up forcefully about this tragic history among the indigenous people and that is unfortunate. It is more unfortunate that two oppressed people have so much in common but the Five Slave Holding Tribes can't even acknowledge their own history of oppressing and disowning their own because of their African bloodlines.

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