Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Eastern Band Of Cherokee Upset Over "Satire" Of Burial Desecration

Eastern Band Of Cherokee Upset Over "Satire" Of Burial Desecration

The Initial Piece:

Unique historic plane flights: Land on Cherokee cemetery!
Attention private plane owners! Land your plane on a real Cherokee cemetery.
Experience history at its best. Macon County invites you to land your private jet at our new Andy Jackson Airport and try out our new Gen. George Armstrong Custer Cherokee Landing Strip, located square on top of historic Iotla Cherokee Cemetery. Enjoy the thrill of landing on 50 generations of deceased Indians who lived here for over 2,000 years.
In 1869, Yankee Gen. Philip Sheridan said, “The only good Indians I ever saw were dead.” Capitalizing on this Yankee ingenuity, Macon County is living up to that axiom by extending our runway across the old Cherokee graveyard.
“This is exciting. Our airport and runway is built dead center on several Indian villages. We don’t know exactly how many dead Cherokees are under there, but we know this makes our airport unique, kind of like celebrating Halloween every day,” crowed Miles Standish, the Andy Jackson Cherokee Airstrip’s chief officer.
“We’re gonna have us a ‘Public Cherokee Airstrip Cemetery Day’ out here at the Andy Jackson Airport,” said Harold Cobalt, head of the Macon Airport Ethics Committee. “We want all our school kids to come out and see what we have done. As future citizens of Macon County, this is their legacy and heritage. I only wish we had claimed the Jackson County name before Jackson County thought of it. We stole this land fair and square from those Indians, cemeteries and all, and it’s our private property rights to do anything we want with them. Pave, baby, Pave!”
So, fly those Lear Jets and crop dusters right on in here and don’t be superstitious! The ghosts of dead Indians can’t jinx your flights or your landings. Just ask Andy Jackson and George Custer.
Lamar Marshall, Franklin

Letters To The Editor From The Eastern Band of Cherokee In Response:

Nothing humorous about desecrating graves
To the Editor:
I am writing in response to the Opinion piece written by Lamar Marshall of Franklin and printed in the Nov. 18 edition of your publication (“Unique historic plane flights: Land on Cherokee cemetery”).
The Cherokee certainly agree with the outrage expressed through satire in Mr. Marshall’s article; however, the reaction in our community is not one of humor. These issues are very real to our people. Mr. Marshall’s use of satire to express a similar feeling has only obscured the real issue — the protection of our people’s cemeteries. The outrage being expressed in our community to Mr. Marshall’s piece is rooted in the belief that those are, in fact, the true feelings of the people of Macon County. Sadly, our relations with our neighboring communities have not always been positive, thus our people have felt the article is not satire but reality.
We appreciate the support we do receive from the local community but hope in the future that support is worded strongly but positively and with the understanding that we find no humor whatsoever in the desecration of the final resting places of our people.
Larry Blythe
Vice Chief,

Backlash will come for offensive letter
To the Editor:
As an enrolled member of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Nation, I find the comments posted by Lamar Marshall greatly offending (“Unique historic plane flights: Land on Cherokee cemetery,” Nov. 18 edition). Even if this article was meant to be sarcastic of the decision to build this airstrip on a Cherokee historic site, I’m afraid that it won’t be taken that way by many who read it. The first time that I read it, I was greatly offended by it.
Perhaps in the future you should consider the backlash that you are most definitely going to receive about this article before you allow something like this to be printed again in your paper! Be prepared, because I know for a fact that I won’t be the last person that you will hear from about this!
Angela L. Gunter

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