The president signed an order that says certain people will not be allowed in America. Those already in residence will be relocated to an area set aside for them, and if they resist they will be rounded up and either imprisoned or killed.

No, this is not 2017 and King Rump’s rampage. It was in 1830, and the president was Andrew Jackson. He signed the Indian Removal Act, giving the federal government the power to take native-held land in the cotton kingdom east of the Mississippi and give it to whites so they could make their fortunes by growing cotton. They wanted that land, and they would do almost anything to get it. They stole livestock, burned and looted houses and towns, and squatted on land that did not belong to them. The “Indians” were to be moved to the west, to the Indian colonization zone in what is now Oklahoma that the United States had acquired as part of the Louisiana Purchase. Part of the so-called goal was a civilization campaign to make Native Americans as much like white Americans as possible by encouraging them to convert to Christianity. I have always believed that my mother called herself Southern Baptist because someone told her she was. I just learned in the last few months that not just my mother was Cherokee but my father was at least 1/3 Cherokee, a fact he kept secret because of the work he did where it could be frowned on to be Native American. And like myself, he looked white enough to pass. A funny story about that comes from my brother. When one of his boys was young and in a bad mood, he said, “I’ve had it. I’m going to go join the skinheads, the white supremacists.” My brother said, “Well, you can’t really do that,” and his son replied, “Of course I can. I can do anything I want. Why can’t I do that?” And my brother replied, “Because, Son, you’re not really white.”

In 1830, the U.S. Supreme Court objected to the practices of Indian removal and said that native nations were sovereign nations. But Andrew Jackson had no intention of enforcing the rulings and left the decisions up to the Southern states to take ownership of Indian lands. The law required the government to negotiate removal treaties fairly, voluntarily, and peacefully. It did not permit the president or anyone else to force native nations into giving up their land. However, President Jackson and his government ignored the letter of the law and drove Native Americans from land they had lived on for generations. In the winter of 1831, under threat of invasion by the U.S. Army, the Choctaw became the first nation to be expelled from their land. They made the journey to “Indian territory” on foot, some bound in chains and marched double file, and without any food or supplies. Thousands of them died along the way. It was as one Choctaw leader told an Alabama newspaper, “a trail of tears and death.”

In 1838, only about 2,000 Cherokees had left their Georgia homeland for Indian territory. President Martin Van Buren sent General Winfield Scott and 7,000 soldiers to expedite the removal process. Scott and his troops forced the Cherokee into stockades at bayonet point while whites looted their homes and belongings. Then they marched them more than 1,200 miles to “Indian territory.” Whooping cough, typhus, dysentery, cholera, and starvation were epidemic along the way, and historians estimate that more than 5,000 Cherokee died because of the journey. It was indeed a “Trail of Tears.”

At times I am criticized on social media for my rants against King Rump. I say forgive me, good friends, for breaking with the accepted order of things, for the intrusion of posting human concerns over that of entertainment and frivolity. It’s in my blood.

Forgive me if I find it impossible to ignore what the round orange idiot clown in Washington is doing with his immigration ban, among other insane ideas, for telling him he is only here as an interloping immigrant on blood-stained land. I will do all I can to stop him. I hope you will also forgive me if someday I see that your house is in flames, and I yell fire!

***There is still no podcast, but I am working on a few ideas to get it back on so stay tuned and read on.



Author: Dan Sanders

I'm a dreamer, a weaver of words, actor, picture maker, memory keeper