Time to reduce the illegitimate Tribal Council

September 16, 2013

To the Editor,

Albert Einstein said “We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used to create them.”

To continue to elect 21 people to represent 14 Lumbee Tribal Council districts is unconstitutional and perpetuates an illegitimate Tribal Council. The Lumbee Constitution prescribes that 21 members represent 21 districts. Moving forward with a November election is not a problem of money, it’s a problem of morality.

Among those running for election are first of all, repeat offenders who have served on Tribal Council previously and are running again banking on Lumbees not being smart enough to stop the cycle of corruption. Then you have new independent head strong Lumbees filing for election who say they want to be a positive change but they are running to be a part of the illegal system.

Electing 21 independent head-strong Lumbees thinking they can solve the problems within an illegitimate and unconstitutional Tribal Council is like planting 21 “Pearlenes.” Once elected, none of them will step aside. A crop was planted last year with November’s election to “reduce” the size of the Tribal Council. Those folks drank the $550 per month stipend “Kool-Aid” and they haven’t put the cup down yet.

There is a simple way out of this insanity of doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. Five hundred Lumbees show up at The Turtle calling for the Supreme Court to stop playing to politics and uphold justice for our Lumbee Constitution. Request that the Tribal Council be dissolved immediately and sent home. Begin efforts to amend the Lumbee Constitution in November 2013 to a nine-district/nine-member Tribal Council. Then elect nine new Tribal Council members before April 1, 2014. Within seven months Lumbee people could have a legitimate tribal government working to regain tribal integrity for all of our people.

If Lumbee people don’t solve these issues of illegitimacy ourselves, then the federal government will solve them for us. New HUD management will not only stop the corruption but will also stop services to needy Lumbees and close down jobs. If these things happen, then every Lumbee who has stood by and allowed illegitimate terrorists to control our tribal government will be responsible for the pain felt by our needy tribal members.

Be a part of a solution, not a part of the problem.

Eric R. Locklear