Editor, Daily Press:

At last, a true American has stepped up to confront and challenge the Black Caucus regarding their ambition to force the Cherokee Nation to accept all Freedmen – who have no Cherokee blood quantum – as citizens.

Representative Tom Cole, of Oklahoma, reacted and called the plan “legislative blackmail” in reply to statements made by the chairman of the House Finance Committee, Barney Franks. Chairman Franks told a Washington newspaper he would not take the bill to the house floor again without the provisions that required the Cherokee Nation’s acceptance of all Freedmen, with or without blood quantum.

At issue is language added to the house bill last September, which in essence, states that unless the Cherokee Nation accepts all Cherokee Freedmen as citizens, the Cherokees would be denied federal funding in all areas. The Black Caucus want to make all Freedmen citizens of an Indian Nation.

Can our government make us something we aren’t?

There are blacks with Cherokee blood who are now citizens along with Irish, Scotch, German, Mexicans and other tribes who make up the Cherokee Nation. I have a strong suspicion that the Freedmen leadership promised a large block of votes to certain Cherokee candidates in the last election.

The Cherokee Freedmen should remember their Confederate Freedmen received freedom. The Cherokees and their sister tribes agreed to give large tracts of land to their ex-slaves, and they were also included in the money claims. Just because the Black Caucus can out-shout their colleagues in Congress and intimidate the news media, businesses and corporations with threats of boycott, or of having individuals fired for uttering words they themselves invented and used, is blackmail.

This form of bullying has to stop. Our Chickasaw friend has fired the first shot. All Indian nations and their state representatives should get very serious about the matter. If the congresswoman from California is successful in her pursuit, and cuts off funding to Indian tribes, we all will be without federal monies to spend in our respective states. Each of us should contact our elected representatives and voice your opinion, just as loudly.

John A. Ketcher


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