Tag Archives: citizenship

Taxation Without Representation

The City of Washington, DC was set up in a Congressional Act in 1787. The city is limited to space of no more than 10 square miles.Until “Home Rule”, the City was ruled by the Federal Government, under the auspices of Congress. Until 1961, citizens in the City could not vote for election of the President or local Officials. In 1973, Congress passed the District of Columbia Home Rule Act, ceding some of its power over the city to a new, directly elected city council and mayor. Walter Washington became the first elected mayor of Washington, D.C.

Congress still maintains the power to approve any law passed by the City council and Mayor. This was demonstrated most recently when the council approved a bill legalizing Marijuana, and the Republican led Congressional Committee nixed the Law.

Unique among cities with a high percentage of African Americans, Washington has had a significant black population since the city’s creation. As a result, Washington became both a center of African American culture and a center of civil rights movement. Since the city government was run by the federal government, black and white school teachers were paid at an equal scale as workers for the federal government. It was not until the administration of President Woodrow Wilson, a southern Democrat who had numerous southerners in his cabinet, that federal offices and workplaces were segregated, starting in 1913.This situation persisted for decades: the city was racially segregated in certain facilities until the 1950s.

DC Statehood is still a hot local issue. Republicans oppose such for much the same reason the slaveholding South demanded the compromise that all future states added to the Union be balanced between slave and free – due to a large black population, the City leans Democrat. Meaning statehood would likely add two more Democrat Senators to the Senate, and 1 -2 Democrat Congressmen.

Key Bridge – From Rosslyn, Virginia into the Georgetown section of Washington, DC.

John Oliver: Why Washington, D.C., Should Be the 51st State

It sucks to live in Washington, D.C.—or so says John Oliver, the surprisingly nimble political satirist and host of HBO’s Last Week Tonight. Yes, if you thought Sen. Marco Rubio making The Hill’s ultra-silly list of the “50 Most Beautiful People” on Capitol Hill was bad, well, that’s just the tip of the iceberg for D.C. residents.

“There is one U.S. territory that suffers a lack of representation in D.C., and that is D.C. itself,” Oliver announced on Last Week.

District of Columbia license plates say “taxation without representation” for a reason. If you’re a resident of D.C., you’re forced to shell out for federal taxes and can fight in wars, yet no member of Congress is there to fight on your behalf, even though D.C.’s population eclipses that of states like Vermont and Wyoming, and its GDP is higher than 16 other states.

Oliver noted that when the Dalai Lama came to visit D.C. some years back “…he wondered why ‘a small pocket’ of people living in the world’s ‘champion of democracy’ lacked full voting rights,” calling the practice, “Quite strange”—and Tibet isn’t exactly a bastion of democracy.

The District of Columbia does have Eleanor Holmes Norton, who acts as delegate to the U.S. Congress representing D.C., but “she basically has pretend power,” Oliver said, since she votes by committee, can’t vote on the House floor, can’t vote on tax reform, and can’t vote on whether the country should go to war.

There’s strange historical precedent here, including a clause in the U.S. Constitution granting Congress the power to “exercise exclusive Legislation in all Cases whatsoever” over the district. Residents in D.C. couldn’t even vote in presidential elections until 1964, and it took a constitutional amendment to grant them that right. Also, D.C. residents weren’t allowed to elect a mayor and City Council until July 17, 1966—when they were granted “Home Rule”—but it was still required that all legislation, including the city’s budget, be subject to congressional approval.

So for over two decades, Norton has introduced a series of bills trying to grant D.C. statehood or a vote in Congress—to no avail.

“Over the years, Congress has repeatedly stepped in when D.C. is about to do anything they disapprove of,” said Oliver.

Last November, 70 percent of D.C. voters approved Initiative 71 to legalize marijuana, but then congressional Republicans stepped in and enacted a rider preventing them from allocating funds to pass the law—which, Oliver said, doesn’t square with the Republican ethos of “limited government” and “states’ rights.”

Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT), a member of the House Oversight Committee, tried to justify stomping all over D.C.’s rights with the following explainer: “Well, Washington, D.C., is not a state. Washington, D.C., has a lot to offer, but…free rein on marijuana use? I just don’t buy that. I just don’t think that’s the way they should operate. So, states’ rights? Yes. But Washington, D.C., is not a state.”

But that isn’t even the half of it.

“The award for the most depressingly cynical thing that has ever been said about D.C. actually goes to our current president, who in 2011 avoided a government shutdown by striking a deal with John Boehner that included prohibiting D.C. from spending its own money on abortions for low-income women, saying, ‘John, I will give you D.C. abortion. I am not happy about it,’” Oliver said.

It seems that it’s been the GOP congressmen who, time and again, have sought to limit D.C.’s voting power or fought its right to statehood. Back in 2009, a bill to give D.C. a vote was introduced in the Senate, and the Senate did, according to Oliver, “the most dickish thing imaginable” by passing it with an itty-bitty addition: an amendment that would repeal all of D.C.’s gun control laws, including its ban on semi-automatic weapons; remove criminal penalties for possession of unregistered firearms; and alter its ability to enact future gun control legislation.

“As a result of that amendment, the bill was dropped, and D.C. hasn’t been close to getting a vote since,” said Oliver.

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Posted by on August 3, 2015 in The New Jim Crow


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Marco Rubio…An Illegal Alien?

This gets very interesting after the “birther” controversy over President Obama. Seems that Marco Rubio may not be a legally born American – and at best would be an “Anchor Baby” in the words of Jan Brewer, Arizona’s Governor.

Even more significant, much of Rubios story about his parents fleeing Castro’s takeover of Cuba turns out to be an outright lie, with his parents having immigrated to the US 2 1/2 years BEFORE Castro seized power. Indeed, when Rubio’s parents left Cuba, Castro wasn’t even in Cuba – he was in Mexico trying to raise money for his revolution.

Marco Rubio’s compelling family story embellishes facts, documents show

During his rise to political prominence, Sen. Marco Rubio frequently repeated a compelling version of his family’s history that had special resonance in South Florida. He was the “son of exiles,” he told audiences, Cuban Americans forced off their beloved island after “a thug,” Fidel Castro, took power.

But a review of documents — including naturalization papers and other official records — reveals that the Florida Republican’s account embellishes the facts. The documents show that Rubio’s parents came to the United States and were admitted for permanent residence more than 21 / years before Castro’s forces overthrew the Cuban government and took power on New Year’s Day 1959.

The supposed flight of Rubio’s parents has been at the core of the young senator’s political identity, both before and after his stunning tea-party-propelled victory in last year’s Senate election. Rubio — now considered a prospective 2012 Republican vice presidential candidate and a possible future presidential contender — mentions his parents in the second sentence of the official biography on his Senate Web site. It says that Mario and Oriales Rubio “came to America following Fidel Castro’s takeover.” And the 40-year-old senator with the boyish smile and prom-king good looks has drawn on the power of that claim to entrance audiences captivated by the rhetorical skills of one of the more dynamic stump speakers in modern American politics. Read the rest of this entry »


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Black Cherokee Become Cherokee Again

Richard Pryor in Bingo Long

There was a  movie comedy some years ago (Bingo Long) about the Negro Baseball League. One of the characters was played by Richard Pryor, who showed up one day as a “Cuban”, and when that didn’t work,  in full “Native American” regalia as “Chief Takahoma”, declaring himself to be Native American, and thus eligible to play in the then segregated Major League Baseball…

Upon hearing that Jackie Robinson had been hired into the Majors, Pryor’s character laments something to the extent of  “Dang, now they are hiring black people, and I just became an Indian!”

Seems a bit like this situation.

I guess its because, as for the Cherokee…

I’m not sure there is any “Indian” left in those supposed “Native Americans” – begging the question as to their continued recognition as a tribe by the US in the first place.

Black Cherokees regain tribal citizenship

Black Cherokees in Kansas City were ecstatic Tuesday after learning that the tribal citizenship they’d been fighting years for has been restored.

Their citizenship is regained through an agreement made in federal court between the Cherokee Nation and black Cherokees known as freedmen, an attorney said Tuesday.

“This is not temporary, where the Cherokee Nation gives freedmen citizenship until after the election and then tries to change it,” said Jon Velie, who was in court Tuesday on behalf of the freedmen.

The agreement came during a hearing in federal court in Washington. The parties have until this morning to submit a written agreement to the judge.

The agreement gives 2,800 freedmen all the benefits available to the Cherokee tribe, including tribal voting rights. And it extends the voting period for the upcoming election for principal chief to Oct. 8. Before Tuesday, that election was to take place this week.

“We have been vindicated,” said Willadine Johnson, whose ancestors, like other freedmen, were held as slaves by Cherokees. After the Civil War, Cherokees signed a treaty freeing its slaves and granting them full Cherokee citizenship.

“This is the way it always should have been,” Johnson said. “You can’t take my citizenship from me.”

In 2007 the nation stripped freedmen of their citizenship and suffrage rights, saying bloodline determined citizenship.




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Posted by on September 21, 2011 in The New Jim Crow


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US Says Cherokee Cannot Exclude “Black Cherokee”

In 2007, the Cherokee Council passed a resolution saying the the “Black Cherokee” were no longer part of the tribe.  The Cherokee Supreme Court just validated that resolution as “legal”.The move was partly political, having to do with the voting for a new Chief. It appears the black Cherokee favored replacing the old Chief – so in true Republican fashion – the old Chief took away the voting rights of the black Cherokee (Hey… It worked for George bush…Twice!). And partly to do with who gets the benefits from the crumbs of casino money the tribe managed not to give away. There is a lot of “dirt” as to who actually gets rich off the Casino business, while the rest of the tribe lives at subsistence level on Welfare provided by the US Government.

The move disenfranchised about 2,800 black Cherokee.

Cherokee History is fascinating and complex. The story of the Tribe’s struggle to avoid annihilation through accommodation with white settlers, and the forces which made them different from every other tribe in the US is a study in Historical pressures, and the willingness of one tribe to adapt – even if that adaptation meant their ultimate destruction as a cultural entity.  They are actually part of the Southern Iroquois, and one of the largest tribes in the US.

Think maybe those who made this move should have learned a few lessons from the period of 1800-1866. They should also have learned a lesson from the Seminole who tried this a decade ago…

Too bad some did not.

Cherokee Indians say they will not be dictated to by U.S.

The nation’s second-largest Indian tribe said on Tuesday that it would not be dictated to by the U.S. government over its move to banish 2,800 African Americans from its citizenship rolls.

“The Cherokee Nation will not be governed by the BIA,” Joe Crittenden, the tribe’s acting principal chief, said in a statement responding to the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs.

Crittenden, who leads the tribe until a new principal chief is elected, went on to complain about unnamed congressmen meddling in the tribe’s self-governance.

The reaction follows a letter the tribe received on Monday from BIA Assistant Secretary Larry Echo Hawk, who warned that the results of the September 24 Cherokee election for principal chief will not be recognized by the U.S. government if the ousted members, known to some as “Cherokee Freedmen,” are not allowed to vote.

The dispute stems from the fact that some wealthy Cherokee owned black slaves who worked on their plantations in the South. By the 1830s, most of the tribe was forced to relocate to present-day Oklahoma, and many took their slaves with them. The so-called Freedmen are descendants of those slaves.

After the Civil War, in which the Cherokee fought for the South, a treaty was signed in 1866 guaranteeing tribal citizenship for the freed slaves.

The U.S. government said that the 1866 treaty between the Cherokee tribe and the U.S. government guaranteed that the slaves were tribal citizens, whether or not they had a Cherokee blood relation.

The African Americans lost their citizenship last month when the Cherokee Supreme Court voted to support the right of tribal members to change the tribe’s constitution on citizenship matters.

The change meant that Cherokee Freedmen who could not prove they have a Cherokee blood relation were no longer citizens, making them ineligible to vote in tribal elections or receive benefits.

Besides pressure from the BIA to accept the 1866 Treaty as the law of the land, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development is withholding a $33 million disbursement to the tribe over the Freedmen controversy.

Attorneys in a federal lawsuit in Washington are asking a judge to restore voting rights for the ousted Cherokee Freedmen in time for the September 24 tribal election for Principal Chief.

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Posted by on September 14, 2011 in American Genocide, American Greed


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Half Right… For All The Totally Wrong Reasons

This Republican is trying to repeal part of the 13th Amendment which gurantees American Citizenship to anyone born on American Soil. This clause was originally intended to grant full citizenship to former slaves. There is plenty of real evidence that it is being misused by some people as a methodology to avoid US Citizenship and Immigration Laws. Real numbers are hard to come by, as folks like Arizona’s Governor, and other anti-(brown and black) immigration types like Arizona Governor Jan Brewer, and Cong. Hayworth are proven liars, grossly lying about everything from beheading, to crime statistics. The racist right doesn’t change it’s stripes because it might have a valid point – it just continues race-baiting, lying, and exasperating on captive “news” media, who are happy to generate ratings by convincing easily duped Americans into believing illegals are Axe murderers waiting under their windows at night to wreak Lizzie Borden like carnage on unsuspecting white folks…

But “Anchor Babying” does seem to constitute fraud to me, and something should be done about it by creating some form of law which, among other penalties, denies citizenship based on fraudulently taking advantage of the system.

The real “immigration problem” has nothing to do with illegal immigrants. The real “immigration problem” has to do with H1 Visas, and American companies exporting high-tech jobs to foreign countries because of cheaper labor. These are real, middle class jobs that are being destroyed by American companies – and not the fantasy of the illegal immigrant from Mexico of Latin America putting hundreds of thousands of skilled American workers on the dole. Republicans have sponsored and fully supported every single rise in the number of H1 Visas offered the last 20 years…

With the resulting impact that the income of the middle class dropped $2,200 a year during the Bushit Years, and over 3 million college educated unemployed.

It isn’t Pablo, or Hernando who screwed you out of a Job – it’s Microsoft and a host of other High-Tech firms, who have hung out signs – “Jobs – No American Need Apply” fully supported by the very same Republicans screaming about “Pablo” being the greatest threat to America since the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor, and “Hernando” thirsting to kill white babies.

If you a tired of getting screwed, and being unemployed – you need direct your anger at a different group of people.

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Posted by on July 29, 2010 in Stupid Republican Tricks


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