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The Wright Perspective℠

Social Commentary from the C-Suite to Main Street℠

A Blog by Gary Wright II

Criteria of the Cherokees

Wednesday, March 28th, 2012

You can be 100% white (or anything else) and be a Cherokee. That was the old ways. If you wanted to contribute to the society, you were accepted into the tribe. It really is that simple.

A well-known example is the missionary family of Samuel Worcester, who is one of the most influential men in Cherokee history. Worcester fought hard to preserve the sovereignty of the Cherokees and their right to self-governance. Worcester defied a Georgia law that said white men could not live amongst "Indians." He was thrown in prison and locked away from his family, but still he never gave up the fight. When pardons were issued for some of the violators, Worcester stood his ground and refused the pardon. His legal case eventually made it's way to the US Supreme Court and the court eventually ruled in Worcester's favor. Despite the legal victory, President Andrew Jackson defied the court ruling and the removal process continued.

My point is that "white men" like Worcester were fully accepted into the tribe. Unfortunately, the Cherokee lost that somewhere along the way. There are countless examples of this throughout history, but to me, the Worcester case proves my point. If "white people" like Worcester weren't fully accepted - would he have went to prison and serve hard labor in support of the Cherokee people? Would he have refused a pardon just so the legal challenge could move forward through the "white man's" court? I think not!

Even if you don't "look" Cherokee - you can still be a Cherokee! Never let someone convince you otherwise. It isn't a card you carry in your wallet that makes you a Cherokee - it is the spirit you carry in your heart that makes you a Cherokee.

Best regards,

-- Gary Wright II

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