One of the nation’s largest American Indian tribes has sent letters to about 2,800 descendants of slaves once owned by its members, revoking their citizenship and cutting their medical care, food stipends, low-income homeowners’ assistance and other services.
The Cherokee Nation acted this week after its Supreme Court upheld the results of a 2007 special vote to amend the Cherokee constitution and remove the slaves’ descendants and other non-Indians from tribal rolls.
Unlike casino benefits, which are extremely finite legally, affirmative action benefits for blacks and Hispanics have no theoretical limits, so black and Hispanic leaders tend to have expansive views of who should be eligible for quotas as being black or Hispanic. The more who benefit from affirmative action, they reason, the more supporters for affirmative action in the political arena.
Of course, if anybody stopped to think about it, they'd realize that the more beneficiaries of affirmative action, then the higher average costs imposed upon each benefactor, which would tend to increase political resistance among nonbeneficiaries. So, conceptually, it's not obvious that the black/Hispanic approach to winning political battles over racial preferences is a clear-cut winner.