Morality and the Freedmen
From Wampum (back from summer vacation), a thought-provoking discussion of the moral aspects of the Freedmen controversy. The comments raise yet another point: if you are (like me) a fairly militant supporter of Tribal Sovereignty, what do you do when a tribe (particularly your tribe) uses its sovereignty to commit a grave moral injustice? Even though I am very sympathetic to the Freedmen and I hope they remain as tribal members, I can't find myself rooting for Congress to ride to the rescue by cutting funding, since the very act of doing so states rather implicitly that Congress has once again expanded the scope of its peremptory powers to now decide tribal membership. If tribes can't decide who is and who isn't an Indian, what sovereignty do they have left?
On a semi-related note, my boys and I were in Tahlequah this weekend for the Cherokee National Holiday. I managed to miss Principal Chief Chad Smith wrapping himself in the flag of the very sovereignty he has endangered, but I did watch him get knocked off his feet and into the air two or three times during a stickball game Saturday Night. He was the oldest one playing by (I would guess) ten or fifteen years and apparently didn't realize they were playing "Choctaw Rules". Eventually, someone yelled "Don't hurt him!" and they stopped clobbering him. To his credit, though, he stuck it out to the bitter end, and his team won 5-4. You won't see George W. Bush suiting up for the Superbowl, I can guarantee you that.