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View Diary: Wilma Mankiller has died (144 comments)

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  •  Actually... (3+ / 0-)
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    sjcyoung, 4Freedom, Deoliver47

    Many, many Cherokee were already in Oklahoma by the time the rest were rounded up and forcibly marched.  I would not call their departure voluntary because it was obviously done with the encouragement/coercion of the US government who tried bribing/encouragement before they resorted to forced relocation, but the ones who went earlier (which include my great-great-great grandfather) were not marched with bayonets.  

    They also tended to be disproportionately the wealthier, "whiter," and more affluent of the Cherokees--i.e. the Cherokees more likely to own slaves.  Again, my great-great-great-grandfather among them.

    Were there Cherokee slaves forcibly marched on the Trail of Tears?  Absolutely.  Were there many who were "brought" to Oklahoma by fairly affluent Cherokees who moved in advance of the removal because the government promised them land in Oklahoma and they wanted to bring their "property" with them to help them set up their new farms?  Yes.

    As an Indian person myself, I dislike the way in which the wrongs of my people have been used to brush off, justify, or somehow make okay the horrible things that my people did and in many cases continue to do (see the Freedmen example).  Slavery was wrong.  It isn't less wrong because the people who owned the slaves were themselves oppressed and treated poorly.  

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