More often than not, that Indian relative comes in the form of the Korean beauty supply owner who sells them packages of their “naturally” silky and straight “good hurr” with a side of Sesame Chicken. So many of our own have yet to fully accept that a plastic bag of hair, a VHS copy of Pocahontas, and referring to someone as “Chief” doesn’t make you an aboriginal. For those of you still clinging on to the fantasy, one tribe has news for all of you all claiming to be 1/333rd Cherokee:
Part monetary-issue, though arguably an issue fueled mainly by the racist sentiments held by those protesting, the 250,000-member Cherokee Nation will be holding a special election today to determine whether or not to ban “freedman” – the descendants of former tribal slaves, from membership.
“Don’t get taken advantage of by these people. They will suck you dry,” Darren Buzzard, an advocate of expelling the freedmen, wrote last summer in a widely circulated e-mail denounced by freedmen. “Don’t let black freedmen back you into a corner. PROTECT CHEROKEE CULTURE FOR OUR CHILDREN. FOR OUR DAUGHTER[S] . . . FIGHT AGAINST THE INFILTRATION.”
You would think if any group would be able to expound on the virtues of tolerance and acceptance, it would be a Native American. Then again, you have to take into account that black people are always being expelled from something, so this type of ignorance, no matter how hypocritical, is to be expected.
That totem pole isn’t looking so hot right now, is it?
For the record, I have never claimed to be part-Cherokee. My mama always told me that we had relatives from the Alabama-Coushutta tribe in our family tree (a tree I’m sure some uncle of mine has tried to smoke).