Essentially the Cherokee nation just decided, and their Supreme Court confirmed, to eject all of the descendants of slaves that were previously considered official members of the tribe.
No doubt this raises the reader's hackles. There is of course a substantial amount of money involved (their casinos earned the tribe over 25 billion back in 2009).
But this is what a group that has demographic hegemony can do. By their vote, they concentrated their share of the tribe's loot. It shouldn't surprise anyone that race is used as the point of coordination. It is, after all, one of the easiest Schelling Points to use in such games, and it has the most history of use. If another group has the demographic hegemony, you're at its mercy in such matters. Also, it doesn't matter what you identify yourself with---many of the freedmen doubtlessly identified themselves as Cherokees first. What matters is who the other identify YOU with. Groups that are heavily atomized and individualistic will always have a major handicap in such status competitions, and the stakes are often very high indeed. This case is just an abnormally clear object lesson. One can't even expect a constitution to take such issues off the table, because even if a constitution is abundantly clear, there has to be an official arbitrator, and that means somebody (i.e., not you) gets to vote, and such things are amendable anyway, even though the modern preference is to simply interpret them into uselessness.
I've heard it said that the Constitution is the White Man's Ghost Shirt. I tend to agree.
Oh, but I hear you saying, I'd NEVER do that to them, so they'd NEVER do that to me. Get this through your head right now---the Golden Rule is a command, not an if-then conditional promise.
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