The Unheard Echoes of the Trail of Tears: Reclaiming Voices and Justice
The Trail of Tears: A Devastating Forced Journey
Once Andrew Jackson was elected president in 1839, everything changed for the Cherokee tribe. Andrew Jackson’s administration was hostile to the Cherokee sovereignty and forced them to move out of their lands (without Cherokee agreement) and head West of the United States. The Cherokee tribe had endured a lot of pain and loss during their trip to the West. Many people died on the trail due to starvation, illness, or cold, causing many Cherokee members to lose family members- hence the name of the trail being the “Trail of Tears.”
Fast forwarding to today, the Cherokee voices are still silenced because there is no one to represent them in Congress. This is extremely unfair towards the Cherokee tribe because they have been treated inequitably, and their voices have been left unheard ever since Andrew Jackson was president. The Cherokee tribe deserves to be equally represented after all the pain and mistreatment they’ve suffered.
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A Call for Equitable Representation and Justice
The unfortunate evictions of the Cherokee tribe have caused many members to die because they had not been prepared for the long and harsh journey they had ahead of them. The 4,000 deaths could’ve been avoided if Andrew Jackson had been more selfless and allowed the tribe to stay in their native land. Giving a living Cherokee member a seat in Congress will honor the 4,000 people who died on the Trail of Tears and will give justice to all Cherokee members by having a Cherokee voice represent them in Congress.
Silenced Voices and the Need for Empowerment
Since there has never been a Cherokee member in Congress, it singles out the tribe because they feel unacknowledged by everyone else. They feel like they don’t matter and that they are constantly left unheard. For the longest time, this tribe has been unequally represented because the Cherokees that had been evicted didn’t have any say in what they wanted, and their lives had been controlled by other people with “superior power.” With a Cherokee member in Congress, it will finally allow for the Cherokee people to be equally represented and not be bossed around by other people who think they are superior to them.
Charting a New Path for the Cherokee
The Cherokee have been around for centuries, and they are still around today. What the Cherokee people want is to move forward, and giving them a voice in Congress will open the door to new opportunities for them. If they had a member in Congress and people liked what the member did, the member would be known by everyone, and people would begin to acknowledge and praise the Cherokee tribe. People would want to learn more about the tribe and show them immense amounts of respect.
Hakim, J. (2003). Thomas Jefferson: Young Virginian. Oxford University Press.