Mumpower's Insults of Tribe Will Cost Him
- From Louise indigenousfirstpersons@...Mumpower's Insults Of Tribe Will Cost HimBy Joseph MartinNov. 01, 2007
Carl Mumpower can be congratulated for one thing, and it’s something Principal Chief Michell Hicks has yet to do. He created unity among the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians’ community, at least as far as the race for Congress is concerned. After a highly controversial and contentious tribal election, that’s no easy feat.
Mumpower basically insulted the tribe’s members and belittled the sacrifices made by their ancestors to further his political motives. He called the tribe a “corrupted special interest.” He even suggested “obtaining a fake ID, crossing the Qualla Boundary and seeing if (he) can join the race to use versus uplift America.” His anti-sovereignty rhetoric was reminiscent of anything seen from notorious “Indian fighters” former Sen. Slade Gorton (R-Wash.) and former Rep. Ernest Istook (R-Okla.).
He’s accused the tribe of using “us” versus “them” tactics, yet his press release does just that, playing upon the racially-inspired resentments among a small and unworthy segment of his potential constituency. His comment about obtaining a fake ID is particularly disturbing coming from a vocal opponent of illegal immigration.
The fact is members of the tribe have been among the most patriotic. They’ve voted. They’ve served in wartime. Some of them, most notably Charles George in Korea, gave their lives in service to keep this country free. They’ve been active participants of furthering and defending democracy since they’ve been U.S. citizens and even before that.
The members of the Eastern Band are Americans. They pay federal taxes. Those who reside and/or work off the Boundary pay state taxes. Everyone who shops off tribal land, which is a significant number since the Qualla Boundary offers limited retail options, pays sales taxes, much of it in Mumpower’s hometown.
While Mumpower raises a valid concern about campaign donations and corruption from tribes, it’s an issue that is and should be best addressed tribally. To hit the whole for the actions of a few is unfair. The tribe can take care of its own problems.
Mumpower should get to know the tribe rather than ostracize it. It has become a voting bloc in this region, and that bloc cast its ballots for Rep. Heath Shuler in 2006, the man he seeks to unseat.
Mumpower doesn’t have to like the tribe’s leadership or how it raises revenue, but he needs the tribe’s members. They can and do vote.
Joe Martin has been editor of the Cherokee One Feather since 1996. He won third place for Individual Best Editorial Writing at the 2004 Native Media Awards from the Native American Journalists Association at the 2004 UNITY Journalists of Color convention in Washington. He lives on tribal trust lands in Cherokee County.
Anyone who decides they are going to write to Mumpower will soon find out how vile & immature he is. How incessantly he will continue to badger you with absurd email after email. www.drmumpower.com