To the Editor,
On Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. at The Turtle the Lumbee Tribal Supreme Court will hear Paul Brooks’ request that he be allowed to run for a third term as Lumbee Tribal chairman.
Brooks has been elected to two consecutive terms as chairman. By the Lumbee Constitution and by previous Supreme Court rulings, Brooks is not eligible to run for a third term.
We all know that Robeson County is not known for abiding by regulated procedures. Money and political pressure talk in Robeson County and recently we heard these elements speak loudly within the Public Schools of Robeson County.
While the judges of the Lumbee Tribal Supreme Court know rule of law and previous historical rulings of that court, we all know that weird or unlawful things do happen in Robeson County. Just ask the Robeson County Board of Education. While I support Tommy Lowry being superintendent of the Public Schools of Robeson County, I think that political pressure and racial bigotry did have influence on putting this honorable man into an honorable position.
If the Lumbee people fail to show up on Tuesday to oppose Brooks being allowed to run a third time, our Tribal Constitution will not be honored. The Lumbee people have been dishonored enough by Brooks honoring his own agenda without concern for tribal law or responsibility to our 60,000 tribal members.
Even if Brooks is allowed to run, I do not believe the Lumbee people want him back in office. I do, however, believe votes can be bought and situations can be manipulated that would allow Brooks or a candidate he controls to become tribal chairman. To prevent all this from happening, the first thing the Lumbee people must do is show up Tuesday night to oppose Brooks.
Candidates begin filing for office on Monday. With potentially seven folks running, one candidate with a little more than a seventh of the vote could be elected into office. Understanding historically that only 3,500 people vote, a candidate could be elected with 501 votes to represent 60,000 Lumbee.
The second thing our Lumbee people must do is to convince egos running for tribal chairman that they are harming our people. Ten dollars and a pack of cigarettes can easily bring in 501 votes on bicycles. They won’t even need vans.
Eric R. Locklear