Now that Bill John Baker has been certified the winner, his supporters appear to be lining up. Notably, the freedmen, who told reporters now that Baker is elected they are “confident in him until he shows me different…. I’m just hoping and praying this will all be over with.”
When they say “all be over with,” we get the unsettling feeling that they are talking about our Constitutional amendment. As we pointed out yesterday, APCSJC did what he could to make this “all over with,” by single-handedly reversing the Cherokee Nation’s Supreme Court, much to their dismay. Should we expect the same flagrant disregard for the Constitution from Baker?
The freedmen seem to think so. Their attorney, Ralph Keen, said, “The freedmen remain in a good position to continue to assert their rights. My hope is the freedmen and the Cherokee Nation will meet and reconcile.”
There certainly are ways for the Cherokee Nation and the freedmen to reconcile: we could have a new constitutional amendment to allow them to have citizenship. Or a court, somewhere, (the federal Nash case maybe) could rule that the Cherokee Nation is currently in violation of the treaty of 1866 in relation to the freedmen. If a court has ever done so (and not been overturned when the Cherokee Nation fought for its rights), we don’t know about it.
Otherwise, the Chief can’t ‘reconcile’ our Constitution. The Tribal Council can’t ‘reconcile’ our Constitution. Only the Cherokee people can do it.
Or we could lose in federal court. And don’t get us started on Cherokees who want the Cherokee Nation to lose in federal court! Remember, the freedmen have asked repeatedly to have the Cherokee Nation terminated as a tribe. So if you are a Cherokee who thinks the freedmen cause is just, by all means talk to your council member or start a petition to change the Constitution. Because only Cherokees should decide who is a citizen of the Cherokee Nation.
So what does Baker say about all this? "I'm pleased it's now in an Oklahoma court…and I will simply wait and see what the ruling is."
We hope he does, rather than try to ‘reconcile’ our Constitution. But that’s not what the freedmen think. They are “upbeat about Baker as chief. ‘Bill John Baker has got a new regime and hopefully he'll start off in a better direction... I believe we will get a better shake.’”
You can get a better shake from your favorite old-timey malt shop. We just hope that Baker, unlike Crittenden, remembers he is not a soda jerk.