To the Editor,
The Lumbee have perfected the holiday exchange of the white elephant — the tradition about passing the buck.
The first elephant was discovered eight months ago when our tribal government was found to be a fraud. The legislative branch has for more than a decade been unconstitutional. While the executive branch has supported corrective action to return our tribal government to constitutional compliance, for eight months the corrupt government has been intentionally maintained by the legislative and judicial branches. Recently a member of the tribal Supreme Court has publicly recognized what he calls the “dysfunction” of the tribal government. For months, however, the court has ignored tribal member petitions detailing and seeking relief from the unconstitutional “5,000-pound elephant in the room”.
In the past month a second elephant has been discovered. In 2002, the Tribal Council wrote a law that denies all tribal members their constitutional right to recall elected officials.
The third elephant is that in January 2013 the Lumbee Supreme Court will knowingly and willfully administer oaths of office to elected officials of an unconstitutional government.
Three elephants in three rings and The Turtle is the big top. Free admissions to shows every third Thursday night. All we need is popcorn. Maybe in the New Year the Lumbee will have our own Arab Spring and the people will revolutionize our tribal government to actually become democratic.
In closing 2012, I want to thank all of the readers who have humbled me with your gracious comments about my writing and efforts to improve our tribal government. In the battles that have waged this year, it has been your neverending support that has kept me on the field fighting for our Lumbee people. Two populations of supporters have been most special to me — our elders and our teenagers. I will continue to fight for these most sacred populations.
Eric R. Locklear