The painting above is titled “Trail of Tears.” It’s a 1942 work by Robert Lindneux and is currently on display at the Woolaroc Museum and Wildlife Preserve in Bartlesville. It depicts the brutal and atrocious forced removal of the Cherokee nation from its lands east of the Mississippi to present day Oklahoma in what became known as… the Volunteer Walk?
Well, that’s what Oklahoma Congressman Markwayne Mullin now appears to call it. Check out this clip from a recent appearance the congressman made on Fox News. It was caught by Brandon Scott with the Cherokee Phoenix:
Just going through some old TV spots regarding the DNA testing dust-up. How did this fly under the radar? IT'S CALLED THE TRAIL OF TEARS! VOLUNTEER WALK????? ARE YOU KIDDING ME??? I've literally never heard anyone call it this until today. pic.twitter.com/lqgxGkQZIJ
— Brandon D. Scott (@CP_BrandonScott) October 30, 2018
Question for all the people out there who know a JoeBob, RickyBobby or WaynePayne – when your parents name you something like Markwayne does it automatically drop your IQ a couple of points? Considering this is the same guy who told people at a town hall that he pays his own congressional salary, it’s an interesting hypothesis.
Seriously, Volunteer Walk? Wouldn’t that imply the Cherokee tribe’s trek to Oklahoma was voluntary? Unless Oklahoma History books lied to us as kids, which you never know with the Oklahoma educational system, I don’t think that’s the case.
Either way, I performed a basic Google search to see if “Volunteer Walk” is a new alt-right term like alternative fact, snowflake or pussy-grabber. I couldn’t find one instance on the Internet where anyone had used it in place of Trail of Tears. I also couldn’t find one instance where Markwayne Mullin used the phrase as “a loosely term.” I did however find this reference to the Trail of Tears on Markwayne Mullin’s government website:
As one of two Native Americans currently serving in Congress, Congressman Mullin is a strong advocate for tribes and Native Americans. Mullin has sponsored a number of bills to advance Native American priorities including improving rural broadband access, allowing tribes access to federal opioid grants, protecting ancestral burial grounds, and reforming the Indian Health Services. He is a proud member of the Cherokee Nation. He and his wife are raising their five kids on the same family farm where Mullin’s ancestors ended their walk on the Trail of Tears.
Yeah, he’s such a strong advocate for tribes that he won’t even say the phrase “Trail of Tears” on Fox News.
Anyway, I would complain more about this, but I’m a white dude and don’t want to overstep any boundaries. You can volunteer to watch the entire video on YouTube. And of you live in Markwayne’s district, please stop voting for people with a two first names. It makes everyone look bad.