Thursday, July 24, 2008

A Native American view of the Confederate flag

Charles Yow was the Senior Litigation Partner with Red Cloud Law Firm on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, South Dakota. He was a Cherokee, a former Tribal Court judge and mediator, and directed the tribal attorney education program with the Oglala Lakota Bar Association. His area of expertise covers racial discrimination in government funded programs. Read his amazing statement on the Confederate flag…

"The Native American Heritage Initiative has as its foremost purpose the defense of American Indian civil rights and self determination. As Indians we have a unique perspective in, and on American history, the American War Between the States is one such instance.

If children of Cherokee heritage chose to recognize their ancestors who fought with the Confederate services in defense of the State of Alabama they deserve the right to do so... If we, as Indians, are part of the community, and it is highly offensive to us to dishonor our ancestors, then why are our concerns routinely ignored?

While some may seek to make this issue in Lawrence County into an issue of sensitivity seeking to turn the War Between the States into a black-white, slave-free issue, such can only be done if historical reality is ignored...

While slavery is wrong, those who seek to vilify the Confederacy for the cause of slavery ignore historical reality that the curse of slavery on all people of color throughout this country's history finds its roots in New England.

... the so called abolition movement was a response to newly available inexpensive Irish immigrant labor rather than a reaction of conscience..."

Read the full statement here

Read the tribute to Charles Yow on the Students & Teachers Against Racism website:

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