Bob Hope used to joke about how the hyper-exclusive Cypress Point Golf Club on the Monterey Peninsula ("the Sistine Chapel of Golf") had just completed a successful membership drive, driving 40 members out.
Cherokee Nation Ousts Slaves' Descendants
Members Vote To Revoke Tribal Citizenship Of Freed Slaves' Descendants
(AP) OKLAHOMA CITY Cherokee Nation members have voted to revoke the tribal citizenship of an estimated 2,800 descendants of the people the Cherokee Indians once owned as slaves.
Ever since Congress allowed Indian nations to each own one casino back in the late 1980s, many tribes have been expelling marginal members to increase the slice of the pie for the remainder.
That's because the main benefit of belonging to a tribe -- the rake-off from a single casino -- is finite. In contrast, black and Hispanic organizations have backed broad, inclusive definitions of who is black or Hispanic because the rake-off from being black or Hispanic -- affirmative action quotas -- are indefinite in magnitude. The larger the percentage of the population, the larger the quota, and the larger the number of voters who are beneficiaries. (Of course, in this zero sum game, the greater the black and Hispanic rake-off, the more pain is inflicted upon whites, but the more white political opposition the more minority ethnic activist groups seem necessary to their constituents, so, for their leaders, what's not to like?)
Back in the 1820s, the farming Cherokees of Georgia were the most advanced tribe, enthusiastically adopting the white man's ways, such as literacy and slavery. They had their own newspaper and owned black slaves. While the hunting tribes were not much of a demographic threat to whites, the Cherokees looked like they could achieve rapid population growth. And if their hybrid ways spread to other tribes, whites would face serious competition for land. Not surprisingly, Andy Jackson ethnically cleansed the Cherokees from Georgia to Oklahoma on the Trail of Tears.
It's common for African-Americans to claim to be part American Indian, although DNA admixture tests have seldom verified those beliefs. (However, admixture tests are still crude enough that the possibility exists that they may be getting this wrong.)