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GOP resurrects ugly piece of history

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NNN0LHI Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-11-10 09:01 PM
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GOP resurrects ugly piece of history,CST-NWS-...

August 9, 2010

BY NEIL STEINBERG Sun-Times Columnist

Should Native Americans be citizens of the United States? Say you were born into the Santee Sioux tribe on an Indian reservation in Nebraska -- wouldn't it make more sense to consider you a citizen of the Santee Sioux nation, and exclude you entirely from the rights and responsibilities of also being a United States citizen?

Just posing the question today seems an insult, given the history of dislocation and genocide that Indians suffered during the creation of this country. Excluding them from U.S. citizenship would be the final negation -- the land is seized from you, you're booted out and sent by force to live on the fringes in misery and, oh by the way, you can't even participate in the nation supplanting yours, even if you want to, even though you were born here, because your loyalty automatically belongs at birth and forevermore, no matter what you say or do, to your defeated and marginalized tribe. Nice.

That was exactly the decision the United States Supreme Court made in Elk vs. Wilkins, an 1884 case that began with John Elk, who was born on the Santee Sioux reservation, then moved to the then-territory of Nebraska, broke off his ties with his tribe and claimed citizenship through the 14th Amendment, which states: "All persons born or naturalized in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and the States wherein they reside."

Or rather, Elk tried to claim citizenship. When he went to register to vote, Charles Wilkins, a registrar for the city of Omaha, turned him away.

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unblock Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-11-10 09:57 PM
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1. the gop IS an ugly piece of history.
sadly, we're STILL living through it.
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