Markwayne Mullin describes Trail of Tears as “Volunteer Walk”

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:

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.

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60 Responses


  1. Anxious to see what Louis Fowler says about this.


  2. That’s what we get when we send a plumber to Congress.


  3. TOOL.


  4. Vote for Jason Nichols and send Markwayne home.


    1. After this he has no home in Oklahoma.
      The Cherokee PEOPLE I think SHOULD
      Be ready offend by what he said.
      The U.S. GOVERNMENT removed 5 tribes
      from that 4 state area. PRESIDENT
      Jackson. It was no fun walk.
      Why do think it was called.
      THE TRAIL OF TEARS….


      1. Exactly! This is such BS for him to say that. Also the Removal was around 1826-1828 and the allotted land was not given out until around state hood in 1902! I would also like for him to show his degree of Indian blood which would be on his tribal ID! Most of the Indians who came on the Trail of Tears also had to go to Fort Gibson! There is a lot of remarks he has said that do not match with the history. But a lot of Republicans like Trump’s supporters like Mullins don’t care if it’s factual!


    2. Please, don’t send Markwayne home. But don’t send him to Washington, either.


  5. Not knowing Markwayne I don’t know who he feels about his heritage. Is it something he lives? Does it influence his decisions? Or is it like most Americans something that’s only celebrated when an ethnic holiday such as Columbus Day or St. Patrick’s Day occurs. Just another chance to get shitfaced.


    1. It’s something he uses for PR and makes bank on with his plumbing company through contracts with the Cherokee Nation. I’ve never seen him dressed in traditional clothing once, but then I live in Tahlequah, and he’s afraid to come here because of the dreaded red pieces of paper.


  6. Wonder what his great grandparents would say about this ?


  7. Can someone ‘Volunteer Walk’ him to another state? Maybe the state of Huh?.


    1. Would love to see this happen. I will even gladly VOLUNTEER for the job!


  8. There are a lot of reasons to hate Markwayne Mullin – but his first name(s), his family’s profession, and where he is from, are not them. Let’s stick to the fact that judging by his actions and statements over the past years, he is an overall hypocritical and terrible person.


  9. The first part of Cherokee removal WAS voluntary by the signers of the Treaty of New Echota. And yes, I retained this from 7th grade Oklahoma history class.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cherokee_removal#Treaty_of_New_Echota


    1. Cherokee removal, part of the Trail of Tears, refers to the forced relocation between 1836 and 1839 of the Cherokee Nation from their lands in Georgia.
      Not all Cherokees were relocated voluntarily so don’t downplay or lesson the trail of tears to justify Mullins ignorant statement. Maybe you should go back to 7th grade.


      1. Not just Cherokee… My grandmothers people, The Seminole were forced away from their honelands….Choctaw, Creek and many more were also relocated.


        1. The Seminoles rebelled and fled to Florida.


    2. How can it be voluntary when they were forced from their homeland? They were still forced to leave.


    3. The people who signed that volunteer treaty was not authorized to sign. Chief John Ross started a petition to revoke that treaty. That’s when the enforcement came to remove all from their homelands.


      1. The Old Settlers removed voluntarily starting in 1817. The forced removal of 1838-39 is what is referred to as the Trail of Tears.


  10. As I mentioned in the article, this is what Mullin says on his congressional page:

    “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.”

    Also, something tells me the Treaty of New Echota wasn’t really what you would call “voluntary.”


    1. Voluntary unless you wanted to be dead.


  11. Fuck this piece of shit. I wouldn’t piss on him if he were on fire.


    1. I would piss on him if he wasn’t on fire.


      1. +1 FYI I did vote today!


      2. Careful for what you wish for, Markwayne might like it if you did that!!! The party of Family Values (TM) by day, secret hella kinky and freaky at night. Ralph Shorty will show you how it’s done once he’s out of jail.

        PS Vote this guy out on Nov. 6 if you live in NE Oklahoma, please and thank you!!!


  12. If a white person used a euphamism for slavery it would be disgusting. If a person who was descended from slaves it would be biting sarcasm. That is, until you check his party affiliation of course.


  13. New MMA stage name: The Chief


  14. He bears a striking resemblance to Elizabeth Warren.


  15. For what it’s worth it wasn’t just the Cherokees. The Creek, Chickasaw, Choctaw, and Seminole, among others were also forced out.


    1. Amen. I also remember from my high school American History class that the Five Civilized Tribes took the Federal Government to court and won at the U.S. Supreme Court. Andrew Jackson said fine let the Supreme Court enforce it’s ruling and ordered the Army to forcibly removed the tribes to Indian Territory.


  16. Cops using fire hoses on blacks in the 60s was just community bathing.

    Nothing to see here.


  17. What??? Who is this guy and why does he keep getting in office? It was the Trail of Tears for a reason, dumbass.


  18. Sarcasm. . . . .


  19. MW – He of the $20 Big Mac under the ACA is passed.

    I’m going to term limit myself – quickly disavowed – ahhh, the sweet, sweet draw of D.C. and the public dole.

    I’m going to fight government handouts (que the whole, “built this company without govt. interference blah blah”), and it turned out that – news to him – that those sweet plumbing contracts THAT MADE UP THE MAJORITY OF HIS BUSINESS were “government handouts” which he now proudly touts.

    I may be described as the, “Stupidest, least educated member of congress”, but that R after my name means the rubes back in OK will continue to vote AGAINST THEIR OWN INTERESTS.

    Sorry for shouting.


  20. That’s one reason I’m voting for Jason Nichols.


  21. Another towering intellect brought to you by a Christian education.


    1. Nothing about that comes from a Christian education. He appears to be misusing his values for gain….go figure.


  22. Boy reading these remarks tells a lot of SJW today opening mouth and inserting not only both feet but all the way up past their legs!!! First of all he is using that phrase as SARCASM. Stop implying your own misguided ideologies on others. The phrase “a loose term” is an old Cherokee form of sarcasm. And yes I am a proud member of the same tribe he is. And I grew up listening to that same manner of speech coming from the Cherokee I was surrounded with. He’s got nothing to be ashamed up with his remarks. You SJWs do by trying to put words in his mouth.


  23. When he speaks, its almost like you can see the stupid coming out of his mouth. Amazing.


  24. …and the Battle of Bunker Hill was Legged? I’m appalled! What a privileged, flippant piece of crap!


    1. (a kegger not legged, thanks spellcheck)!


  25. This guy is an idiot.


  26. *Misanthrophy intensifies* what a douche thing to say. Also, just because youre white, doesnt mean youre better than the rest of the world. There is one race, the human race, and any jerk that thinks theyre better because their skin shows up pale should also realize that being an ignorant twit also seems to run in white genes. (sorry seen too much white privilege lately getting really catty about it.


  27. It was a volunteer walk , if you didn’t walk you died…. look at it from the Cherokees point of view and ask yourself if you would volunteer to walk…. or you could stay on ancestral land and die….. hmmm… my shit would be packed


  28. Please read a history book (or in this case even Wikipedia would have sufficed). The government called the first phase of the Cherokee Removal “voluntary.” It might be a good idea to develop a sarcasm filter. When a person uses a term “loosely,” they’re being facetious (think “finger quotes”). Also, I’ve lived in Oklahoma a long time…I don’t actually don’t know anyone named JoeBob, RickyBobby or WaynePayne…but I’ve met a several rather obtuse people named Patrick.


  29. I think Markwayne needs to explain what he meant by “volunteer” before we pass judgement.


  30. He should have called it the Andrew Jackson Democrat walk…


  31. He never researched it. Please look into Marshall trilogy’s from a white law professor at OK university. Cause having to carry ur dead all day cause ur not allowed to bury them until night is not voluntary


  32. My great great grandmother and her family walked the trail of tears. She got separated from her family along the way and was adopted by white people. It angers me to no end that he called it a “volunteer ‘s walk”! He should have to take the same journey our ancestors did and under the conditions they did. Then we will see if he calls it a “Volunteets Walk”!


  33. No, he didn’t. https://www.cherokeephoenix.org/Article/Index/62739


  34. Families were involuntarily rounded up by soldiers and put in stockades during the the removal. I wouldn’t call that a volunteer walk. A quarter of the peope died on that “volunteer walk”. I’ve never seen a better example of the brain rot caused by Republicanism. I f this guy has a tribal card, he should turn it in!


  35. It is been 0 days since Oklahoma’s last national embarrassment.


  36. I have all kinds of problems with what he said beyond the “voluntary walk” BS. My family also received allotments of land, but the bulk of it is in the hands of someone else now. Being away from some plot of land white people “assigned” to us doesn’t make us any less Cherokee (I am half) any more than his family still being on theirs is a connection to the heritage.

    Being Native is growing up with the traditions and culture, wherever you are, which my family did and it’s what I try to teach to my own child.

    That he’d use that as some sort of Badge of Cherokeeness offends me.


  37. Just another redneck, hillbilly politician from Okiehoma. Only this goon is an enrolled member of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma. He ought to know better, but, sigh…It’s not surprising. Wow!!!! Yes vote for anybody but this idiot!!!!


  38. He has not done the job in two terms, and he will not attend town meetings because he is afraid of the crowd’s reaction.
    This remark just shows how inept and ill educated he is about his own heritage.
    He needs to go. He had his shot twice!! .Step aside and let real Okie do it.


  39. That is alarming. On a less alarming, but concerning note, I don’t know why you had to insult people who have a particular name construction in your post.


  40. From a former teacher-peer, “Will tell you as an Oklahoma History teacher, that some Cherokees led by Stand Watie, left before the forced removal..in fact volunteered seeing the writing on the wall. They met the Cherokees led by John Ross when they arrived from forced removal. Can’t stand Mullins but facts are facts. His family must of come early.” So if possible he should produce some evidence of what he said, IMO.


  41. Old Settlers and Emigrants

    The following excerpt is from the interview of Thomas Buffington, Principal Chief of the Cherokee Nation from 1899 to 1903. Buffington died at his home in Vinita February 11, 1938. He was known for many years as the “last Cherokee Chief” because his successor, W.C. Rogers, never had the power and authority usually exercised by tribal chiefs.

    “I have seen my people strive to make a living ever since the last bunch of Cherokees arrived over the trail of tears to the present time. I have seen many of our tribe deed away their land to satisfy a mortgage of which they were not able to cope.

    I have had many ask me the difference in an ‘Old Settler Cherokee’ and an ‘Eastern Emigrant.’ An old settler is a Cherokee who came with the first bunch from Georgia without being forced by the government. An eastern emigrant is one that remained behind and was forced by the government to remove to the new country, west of the Mississippi and this movement was known as the ‘Trail of Tears.'”

    http://webtest2.cherokee.org/About-The-Nation/History/Facts/Old-Settlers-and-Emigrants


  42. Did… he just say “litteredly?”

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