Is the U.S. Congressional Black Caucus Acting like the KKK
and Custer over Indian Nation vote?


Mike Graham, a Black Cherokee, not a freedmen!  A descendant of a Cherokee lady that married a blackman, not a slave or ex-slave, Criticizes Black Caucus...Mike Graham's diatribe against the Congressional Black Caucus would be laughable if it were not for the fact that his half-truths and lies were not presented in such a believable format.

Much like his hero Chad Smith, Graham is good at spinning his tales. But here, his lies cannot stand close scrutiny. My thoughts follow his: 

March 27, 2007

Mike said:
Over two dozen members of the U.S. Congressional Black Caucus have taken it upon themselves to fuel racial hate toward the Oklahoma Cherokee Nation over its special election vote determining their official tribal citizenship.

David replies:
It is not the Black Caucus who draws racial ire toward the Cherokee Nation. The destruction of the civil rights of Cherokee citizens of African descent was constructed by Chad Smith and his cronies on the Council. The Black Caucus, and much of the U.S. and world merely reacted to the heinous event that took place on March 3rd. Graham seems to ask those who care about their fellow man to remain silent in the face of 1960s like racist behavior by a government charged with protecting the rights of its citizens, not destroying them. Genocide comes in many forms. The Cherokee Nation has perpetrated a "paper genocide" against the Freedmen and it is incumbent upon all good men and women to speak out against it.

Mike said:
The issue covers a group of individuals called Freedmen and Intermarried Whites who want to include their descendants as members of the Cherokee Nation.

David replies:
While the Intermarried White section of the Dawes Roll was included in the amendment, that was nothing more than a race-baiting smoke screen meant to provide cover for the real attack on the black Cherokees. The descendants of the Intermarried Whites, having been married to Cherokees, thus being called "Intermarried" appear on the by blood section of the Dawes Rolls. Thus, excluding that section of the Roll does not exclude anyone. The whole purpose of the recently adopted amendment was to rid the Cherokee Nation of its Freedmen, plain and simple.

Mike said:
These Freedmen are not related to a Cherokee citizen by blood as listed on the nation's official roll book.

David replies:
Mr. Graham has obviously done no genealogical research on the Cherokees if he thinks the Freedmen listed on the Dawes Rolls are not related to Cherokees by blood. There are examples of siblings being divided, some placed on the by blood roll, others on the Freedmen Roll and all having the same parents. Even the illustrious family of former Oklahoma House Speaker Larry Adair and former Congressman Brad Carson have blood kin connections to Freedmen families. Chad Smith himself is blood kin to large numbers of Freedmen. They are our family.

Mike said:
It should be noted that the U.S. Congressional Black Caucus itself is a "Black race only" segregated caucus. They're made up of 43 federally elected representatives. Members of the caucus state that the group should remain "exclusively black." According to sources, Congressman Pete Stark, D-Calif., (who is White) tried and failed to join the caucus in 1975. He was reportedly denied membership because he is not Black. Stark still serves today in the U.S. House of Representatives.

David replies:
The Black Caucus is and should remain comprised of black members. Imagine the destruction of the purpose of the CBC if it were open to non-blacks. Just the same as the Native American Congressional Caucus must be comprised of only Native Americans. The minority issues addressed by these groups cannot move forward if they are subject to the whims of groups of whites who could and would invade their ranks, dilute their mission and even destroy their existence. Those who seek to caucus with minorities are free to do so. And for those, perhaps like Mike, who might say "where is the white caucus," I say, look around you. America is the white man's caucus.

Mike said:
Fast forward to 2006. Now freshman Rep. Stephen I. Cohen, D-Tn, who is White, pledged to apply to the Black caucus for membership during his election campaign to represent his constituents, who are reported to be around 60% black. It was reported that although the bylaws of the caucus do not make race a prerequisite for membership, former and current members of the Caucus agreed that the group should remain "exclusively black."

David replies:
More race baiting by Mike. Mike is a black man with a thin strain of Cherokee blood. He gets to be a citizen of the Cherokee Nation at the suffrage of the full bloods and higher degree Cherokees. He takes this privilege for granted, but like the Freedmen, he too may find himself on the outside looking in when his fight for a "blood" requirement in the Cherokee Nation rises up to bite him in the backside.

Mike said:
Members of the Congressional Black Caucus, without consultation with Cherokee Nation elected representatives, have signed and sent a letter to the U.S. Department of Interior, demanding the department intervene over the sovereign Cherokee Nation special election citizenship vote.

David replies:
The leadership of the Cherokee Nation who support destruction of the rights of their own citizens have deligitimized their own status. There is no need to consult with men and women who have made their racist positions clear. Smith and his minion have had every opportunity to present their case, and they have done so eloquently. They support the racist view that Cherokees of African descent listed on the Freedmen Roll are not welcome in the Cherokee Nation. Once the leadership of a rogue administration have committed their acts of genocide, those who think and act right are no longer required to consider their views. The only thing that matters following is to right the wrong. When P.W. Botha took a brutish and violent stand against the rights of blacks in South Africa, he delagitimzed his own government and the word reacted. No one consulted with him. Governments, as in the case of the Black Caucus asserting their own vested authority, must take action regardless of the views of the leadership.

Mike said:
Without hesitation the U.S. Black Congressional Caucus called into question restrictions of federal funds and appropriations to the American Indian community to include the Oklahoma Cherokee Nation. In doing so, the U.S. Congressional Black caucus members are going straight for Indians' jugular veins, specifically targeting their economic well being as U.S. citizens and concerning their sovereign nation's voting rights.

David replies:
And well they should go for the jugular. The Cherokee Nation, as Mike so eloquently points out, is a sovereign nation. Whether or not we agree with the actions of the Nation to commit this genocide against the Freedmen, all can agree the right to do so exists. But like all sovereign nations, there is a reward or price for their actions. The United States, in its government to government relationship with the Cherokee Nation provides a good deal of financial assistance. And much like other rogue nations that have harmed their own citizens, it is uncumbant upon the United States to use its financial muscle, rather than force, to rectify these wrongs. The Cherokee Nation has taken a sovereign stand, asserting the might of the majority over a harmless and innocent minority. The Cherokee Nation must now reap the rewards or suffer the consequences of that action, like any sovereign would. Stop whining Mike. All the Black Caucus is asking the U.S. to do is affirm the sovereignty of the Cherokee Nation by treating like it would any rogue government, stop paying for it.

Mike said:
Not only did the U.S. Congressional Black caucus fail to correspond with Cherokee Nation leaders, they did not consult on the issue with the U.S. Congressional Indian Caucus, which has over 100 racially mixed members. They also failed to request input from the National Congress of American Indians, which represent over 300 American Indian Nations, concerning their sovereignty rights.

David replies:
The Indian Caucus could make their own presentation to the BIA. They have remained strangely silent. Perhaps because the people being disenrolled are of mixed African/Indian descent, the Indian Caucus, themselves being of mixed White/Indian descent, don't feel any affinity with the disfranchised Cherokees. This is America where freedom of speech and freedom of conscience reign. We should applaud the Black Caucus for the risks they have taken to protect the rights of Cherokees. And we should decry the silence of the Indian Caucus because only when there is silence can evil find a home. And the National Congress of American Indians is just as culpable. They have been asked on numerous occasions to make a statement. They too, have remained mysteriously silent. The silence of these two very powerful Indian advocacy groups brings into question whether they believe that it is okay to destroy the rights and lives of the citizens of indigenous governments, or even worse, that its okay to destroy the rights and lives of citizens of indigenous governments just because they have African ancestry. Which is it boys?

Mikes said:
The Congressional Black Caucus is pandering to the Freedman group concerning their rights to full citizenship within the Oklahoma Cherokee Nation.

David replies:
Pandering? How? None of the Black Caucus members represent the areas of the U.S. where Freedmen reside (Oklahoma). Pandering is one of those buzz words used to discredit politicians when they do something to help a group and those against it don't like it. Whether its pandering or representing depends upon which side of the issue you land on. If its pandering that will protect the rights of Cherokee citizens, I say pander on my brothers and sisters in Congress, we need your help.

Mike said:
The Cherokee Nation was forced to sign onto an 1866 treaty written by and for the federal government.

David replies:
The Cherokee Nation was NOT forced to sign that treaty. Federal recognition was at stake. We had made war against the United States and relinquished our recognition. The Cherokee Nation could have simply said, no, we don't want federal recognition. But the consequences would have been a total loss of control of lands and governance and a relegation of the Cherokee Nation to a social club. And perhaps that is what has happened by excluding the Freedmen. The Cherokee Nation has declared itself to be nothing more than a social club made up of persons of like mind. We have voluntarily abrogated the Treaty of 1866, thus jeopardizing our federal recognition.

Mike said:
Part of the treaty covered runaway black slaves associated with Cherokee people.

David replies:
Mike is either ignorant of the Treaty of 1866 or he is intentionally distorting the truth. The word "runaway slave" never appears in that treaty. The people he is probably referring to are "free blacks" residing in the Cherokee Nation at the commencement of the Civil War. These were not just any "free blacks." They were people who were Cherokee Indians with negro ancestry who had been denied their rights of citizenship because of their negro ancestry. The belief at the time of the Treaty was that negro blood so tainted any other ancestry as to make the person "nothing but black." In order to uncomplicate the status of these Cherokee Indians of negro descent, the writers of the Treaty called them "free blacks" thus forever bringing into question who they really were. Freedmen President Marilyn Vann's own ancestors, the children of Cherokee Indian woman Katherine Fields, were classed as Free Blacks and were dumped onto the Freedmen section of the Dawes Rolls despite their Cherokee blood ancestry. Mike apparently has no problem punishing those living today for the racism practiced against their ancestors 100 years ago.

Mike said:
The treaty gave members of the so-called Freedman Group full citizenship within the nation whether they had Indian heritage by blood or not. This action amounted to one nation dictating to another sovereign nation. History shows that the federal government went out of its way to trash and forget the 1866 treaty.

David replies:
The Treaty of 1866 is the ONLY Treaty the United States did not trash and forget. It is the treaty that defines the boundaries of the Cherokee Nation, still used today by the BIA and the tribe. The provisions of the Treaty were enforced and often paid for throughout the 20th Century in a series of lawsuits, one that brought the Cherokees $14 million dollars in per capita payments in 1963. Its easy to point an accusatory finger at the United States, it is guilty of breaking treaties. But not this time. And it is important to the integrity of the United States that it enforce the Treaty of 1866 to protect the rights of ALL Cherokee citizens.

Mike said:
The federal government abandoned the 1866 treaty completely when it dissolved the Cherokee Nation Government and other tribal nations.

David replies:
Mike needs to learn a little more history. The Cherokee Nation was NEVER dissolved. The 1906 Five Civilized Tribes Act continued the governments of the FCT in full force and effect. Just about a year ago, the FCTs celebrated that act as being the rocket that catapulted them into the present time and existence. The attempted dissolution of the Cherokee government had little to do with the Treaty of 1866. But one important point did. The Treaty made clear that allotment and closing of the tribal government would be voluntary. When the United States put to a vote whether the Cherokee Nation would be allotted and the government dissolved, Mike's ancestors voted yes, as did a majority of the thin blood Cherokees and intermarried whites. On the other hand, the full bloods refused to participate. The real champions of the effort to save the Cherokee Nation were the Freedmen, who voted NO.

Mike said:
In 1906, in anticipation of Oklahoma statehood, the federal government unilaterally dissolved Indian Nations' sovereign governments.

David replies:
Again, wrong Mike, learn some history.

Mike said:
This action from the federal government brought about the U.S. takeover of Indian Territory land now called the state of Oklahoma.

David replies:
The federal government already had control of the Indian Territory. The tribes were and are domestic dependent nations. Our status is dependent upon federal recognition. Without it, we are just a social club.

Mike said:
Later, Indian nations reestablished their sovereign government, and tribal citizenship was set up on the Dawes Rolls Act 1887. The Freedman Group and intermarried Whites were set up on a separate roll list. Indian nations maintained their own sovereign official rollbook by blood quantum.

David replies:
OMG, what a bunch of garbage. The United States dictated through the 1906 Act that the citizenship rolls of the FCT be closed forever. The chiefs of the tribes would be appointed by the President and Congress could deem at anytime to finish the business of the tribes and close their governments forever. Membership in the Cherokee Nation was since 1906 and has ever since been determined by having an ancestor on the Dawes Rolls. The Freedmen DO HAVE ancestors on that roll. The mere fact that the roll was segregated does not negate their rights or the fact that their ancestors were Dawes enrollees. The Cherokee Nation has NEVER kept a "blood roll" as Mike asserts. Since 1976, there has been a registry of descendants of Dawes enrollees. Freedmen descendants were registered in the Cherokee Nation, voted in the elections and fully participated in Cherokee life right up to 1983, when they were unlawfully excluded by Ross Swimmer. Blood quantum is a federal function exercised through the issuance of a Certificate of Degree of Indian Blood card. That card does not constitute citizenship/membership. The fact that the BIA interprets the 1947 FCT Act to mean they cannot issue cards to Freedmen is false. In the past, the BIA has issued proof of descent documents to members/citizens of the FCTs when no blood quantum was records. These documents are known as Certificate of Indian descent. Even descendants of the Adopted Whites have been able to obtain these sorts of documents, but not the Freedmen. One has wonder what the mitigating factor was and is to prevent this. Could it be negro ancestry? NO, say it ain't so.

Mike said:
Indian descendants today have to prove their tribal citizenship through a family member listed on the official tribal nations' roll book by blood linkage. Anyone of another race claiming Indian heritage today has to prove their blood linkage to a family member listed on the official Indian nation roll book.

David replies:
The recently adopted amendment does appear to demand blood for membership in the Cherokee Nation. However, this is not a correct assessment of the wording of that provision. The amendment only demands that the applicant have an ancestor on the "by blood" section of the Dawes Rolls. Since there are a number of Adopted Whites on that section, the amendment has not had the curative impact the racists in our tribe had claimed. They did not achieve an "all Indian tribe" but instead have created a social organization of like minded individuals, some of Indian descent, some totally caucasian. The real achievement, the fruition of the grand scheme was the removal of the descendants of the slaves of the Cherokees, whether they had Cherokee blood or not.

Mike said:
In my opinion, the Congressional Black Caucus has chosen to revisit past U.S. Holocaust policies used against the American Indian community. The caucus members are overstepping their elected positions in threatening to cut funding of Indian health programs, housing, Indian children's educational programs and Indian elderly programs. This is a flash back to the dark days of Custer and Black Buffalo Soldiers raging across America destroying Indian men, women and children any way they could. The caucus should remember what happened to Custer!

David replies:
Actually, as I stated earlier, the Black Caucus is respecting the sovereign rights of both the Cherokee Nation and the United States. It is through the government to government relationship, usually via some sort of cash flow, that a force for good can overcome a force for evil. The U.S. offers financial incentives to rogue nations in order to bring them into line with the popularly accepted practices of human and civil rights. The Cherokee Nation has placed itself among those rogue nations and there is a price to pay. The U.S., through its popularly elected officials, has the right to embargo sovereign governments when they act out. The Cherokee Nation has clearly acted out and is deserving of all the recognition of its sovereignty a trade and funding embargo can bring.

Mike said:
Government bounties were offered for scalps of American Indians. A "savage" pricing scale was set up covering prices to be paid for the scalps of Indian men, women and children. It's not a stretch to say those taking part in the government's Indian scalping policy were the true founding fathers of anti-American hate groups, such as the KKK.

David replies:
This doesn't even make sense. Stick to the issues Mike, historic blathering that has no real application just muddy the waters.

Mike said:
The Congressional Black Caucus members have disgraced themselves as elected members of the U.S. House of Representatives. Without regard to their American Indian constituent's well-being as citizens of this country by federal law, they are focused on putting Indian Nation's governments back in their 1800's place.

David replies:
The CBC are not the ones in disgrace. It is the Cherokee Nation and her citizens who should be feeling the sting of disgrace. But the leadership of the Cherokee Nation, unrepentant for their evil deeds are without shame. Much like Hitler, Stalin, Botha, Chad Smith and other leaders who justify genocide for the sake of unity, purity, economic development, in the name of the STATE, cannot feel shame, because they have no conscience. What about the well being of the Freedmen descendants, who have been citizens of the Cherokee Nation for 140 years and present in the Nation since long before the Trail of Tears. It is not the CBC who takes the Cherokee Nation backward. Racism is an antiquated and hurtful philosophy rooted in the past, but living in our present. It is our future that is at stake. The Cherokee Nation is a multi-cultural and multi-ethnic population. The Freedmen are an integral part of the population. We cannot move forward as a Nation without them.

Mike said:
All of this is happening because American Indians are exercising their right to self-govern themselves under their Tribal Nations' sovereignty rights. Who can and cannot be a member of an Indian Nation is up to the people of that Indian Nation, not the federal or state governments. American citizens are united in telling the federal government's elected members to stop threatening to eliminate Indian Nations' sovereignty rights and social program funding! They are U.S. citizens and voting tax-payers too!

David replies:
Much of this is true and exactly why it is the duty of the United States and all right thinking people to condemn the vote to destroy the Freedmen. Sovereignty of the Cherokee Nation demands that it be treated like a sovereign nation and suffer the consequences of its actions. The United States cannot justify this kind of racism and most certainly cannot use the hard earned tax dollars of the CBC and the Freedmen (who are taxpayers too) in order to fund a rogue government bent on destroying its own citizens.

Mike said:
The U.S. Congressional Black Caucus is missing in action when it comes to "real" national American Indian issues. Where is their "Black caucus anger and outrage" concerning the Indian Land Trust Fund issue? Over "100 billion dollars stolen". The federal government says it's just missing and has been looking for it for over 100 years. A lawsuit case has been before a U.S. Court for over a decade. The federal government controls the Indian trust fund money. The federal government today is offering individual Indians involved in the lawsuit around 8 billion dollars and call it even. There's been no jail time or accounting over the years of where the other "92 billion dollars" went and to whom.

A resolution has been before the U.S. House of Representatives for years calling for an official apology from the federal government over its misguided policies against American Indians. The word Holocaust was not allowed on the resolution, and to date the resolution has not passed. The U.S. Congressional Black Caucus is missing in action again.

The caucus was silent in past years when the Native Hawaiian government's recognition bill failed to pass. There was no press release from the group stating their outrage. For several years a resolution has been before the U.S. Congress calling for a federal Native American Day holiday. It has been passed over each year. Health, education and poverty issues concern Native Americans. Again the U.S. Congressional Black Caucus is missing in action.

David replies:
Most of the above is false. The CBC have long been staunch supporters of Native American initiatives. Their voting record proves that. Indian Nations have depended upon the CBC to support health and education funding to the tribes and to defeat bills that threaten the sovereignty of the indigenous governments.

Mike said:
The Caucus knee-jerk reaction to the Oklahoma Cherokee Nation's citizenship voting issue has fueled numerous national media reports and Internet postings calling Indians "racist and bigots." Their action plays into the hands of anti-Indian groups like One Nation United, and KKK members. Their tactics are one and the same one way or another, fear mongering, and calling for an end to Indian Nations sovereignty rights. Indian children are having to deal with this racial hate being directed toward them.

David replies:
The Cherokee Nation has brought the ire of America upon ourselves by voting in favor of a constitutional amendment that destroys the lives of our fellow Cherokee citizens. If we are bigots, then let the world recognize it and condemn it. It was Chad Smith and his minion who promoted fear mongering among the Cherokee people as they lied time and time again about the Freedmen in order to get the vote results they wanted. Much like Hitler's propaganda campaigns against the Jews, Smith's propaganda campaign against the Freedmen could have been lifted straight from the pages of Nazi history.

Mike said:
Some African Americans have made it a point to frame the Cherokee Nation's citizenship issue as racist. Cherokee Nation Chief Chad Smith has stated his willingness to discuss the facts and merits that brought about the special election vote. The nation's citizen's vote set a start and correct equalized tribal citizenship for all that proved their Cherokee blood line to the Nation's official roll book. Tribal council members were available as well for information concerning the vote. Federal and state representatives and heads of organizations around the country chose not to speak to Chief Chad Smith and tribal council members, they went straight to the nation's media groups blasting Indian people over their nation's citizenship vote.

David replies:
Again, Smith and company have deligitimized themselves. There was and is NO need to speak to them about this issue. They have made their position clear, it is wrong and the only thing left is to rectify it by any means necessary and lawful. Suffering the consequences of a sovereign nation gone bad is the only way to resolve this issue. The United States MUST assert its own sovereignty by withdrawing recognition and funding for the Cherokee Nation until the Nation stops hurting its own citizens.

Mike said:
The 2008 election is on its way. Presidential candidates and their staff members better take American Indian History 101. American Indians will be at the voting booth in severe large numbers.

David replies:
I'm still laughing at this one. I seriously don't think 1.2 million Native Americans constitute a "severe" number of voters. We Indian people are the minorities minority. And in the Freedmen, we had every opportunity to expand our influence and bring in greater support. I suggest Mike take a closer look at the numbers. African Americans constitute "severe large numbers" and when the Cherokees and other tribes must defend their status as sovereigns because of what Chad Smith and company have done, we should remember the one man, Chad Smith, who brought this upon us.

Mike said:
As a citizen of the Oklahoma Cherokee Nation I have called and discussed the issue of the Cherokee Nation's citizenship vote with U.S. Congressional Black Caucus representatives' staff. I can tell you their knowledge of American Indian issues can be compared to the ABC TV show "Lost".

David replies:
Well Mike, I think you could join them on that lost island. Your knowledge of the true history of the Freedmen, Treaty of 1866 and the Cherokee Nation generally is sorely lacking. Or could it be that Mike is telling lies about the issue to do what Chad Smith has done for months, generate fear and hatred toward the Cherokee Nation in an effort to cover for what the Cherokee people have themselves done. It was our vote, our assertion of the sovereignty of our Nation to impose the will of the majority upon an innocent minority. I've said before, and it cannot be said too many times, "just because we can, does not mean we should."

Mike said:
America! The country will not come full circle till the people elect an American Indian as president of this U.S.A. America's history began with the American Indians!

David replies:
Just being some degree of Indian does make one a loyalist to Indian people. The history of our nations is riddled with traitors. And in case Mike does not remember, a Kaw Indian served as the vice-president of the United States. He was but one heart beat away from the presidency. Yet he, like so many Indian traitors before him, did little to truly help Indian people and in fact, used his position to help destroy the rights of tribes. Does anyone recall the Curtis Act?

Mike said:
More Cherokee Nation history: Long before the treaty of 1866 there was this one.

The treaty of 1785 between the Cherokee people and the Confederation Congress of the United States in 1785: This treaty sought to end hostilities between the Cherokees and the U.S. government and establish exclusive territory on which the Cherokee people would reside.

David replies:
And Mike obviously does not even know that in 1785 the Cherokee Nation had already become a multi-ethnic population with citizens who were white, black and other Indian. A black woman named Molly was adopted into the Cherokee Nation by the Deer Clan. When a white woman tried to take her away as a slave, the Cherokee Supreme Court rules that she, by her adoption into the Deer Clan, had become a Native Cherokee. That is what adoption means; its permanent. Anyone who would like to read more about Molly should read Tiya Miles book, "Ties That Bind."

Mike said:
Ely S. Parker: Seneca-Iroquois Indian, was born in 1828. The U.S. Civil War surrender documents are in his hand writing. Lieutenant Colonel Ely S. Parker was present when General Robert E. Lee surrendered at Appomattox, and the surrender documents are in his handwriting. Grant was bad at spelling and penmanship. After exchanging small talk, Lee and Grant began drafting the articles of surrender for the Confederate Army. Once the generals had agreed on conditions, Parker was directed to draft two copies of the articles of surrender for signatures. Then General Lee while shaking hands with Parker said "I am glad to see one real American here." Parker accepted the proffered handshake, responding, "We are all Americans here."

Although Ely Parker is best known for his role in drafting the terms of surrender that ended the U.S. Civil War, his life's work was far greater than that single act. He attained the rank of brigadier-general and during Grant's presidency, served as Commissioner of Indian Affairs. He is buried in Forest Lawn Cemetery in Buffalo NY.

David replies:
Again Mike, this is just irrelevant history and has nothing to do with the issues at hand.