On Thursday afternoon, we let the Oklahoma internet world know that US Representative Markwayne Mullin “loosely” used the words “Volunteer Walk” in place of “Trail of Tears” in a recent interview with Fox News. Here it is in case you missed it.
The story created the expected level of outrage. I guess people around here get mad when an Oklahoma politician who is a card-carrying member of the Cherokee Nation creates a more casual and less abrasive way to describe the atrocious forced relocation of Native American tribes to Oklahoma in the early to mid 19th century (a.k.a The Trail of Tears).
As a result of the outrage, Markwayne voluntarily walked over to his computer and released a statement on Facebook. Naturally, he blamed pesky political activists for twisting his very clear and direct words.
Check it out:
Yeah, his ancestors “voluntarily” relocated to Oklahoma before they were forced to move. In other news, I voluntarily quit my last job before I was about to be fired.
If you ask me, Markwayne’s pitch that his family didn’t come to Oklahoma on the Trail of Tears and arrived via a “Volunteer Walk” is nothing but a revisionist, rightwing-pandering spin. We know this because it directly contradicts previous claims he’s made that his ancestors came to Oklahoma via the Trail of Tears.
As we noted on Thursday, Markwayne issued a press release on his congressional website in September about the US House passing some amendments to the Stigler Act. In the final paragraph, he talked about his family’s Cherokee heritage:
You can view the original press release in its entirety on the Internet Wayback Machine. The reason you have to view it there as opposed to Markwayne’s website is because, only a few hours after our story broke, he removed the section about the Trail of Tears.
Check out what it says now:
Yep, he deleted the part about living on the same farm where his “ancestors ended their walk on the Trail of Tears.” While he’s at it, maybe he should remove “proud member of the Cherokee Nation.” That’s a tough claim to make when you go out of your way to distance yourself from the insufferable and inhumane tragedies your tribe faced while being driven from its homeland.
Anyway, in case it’s not obvious, the edits to Markwayne’s website mean he was either A) lying in September when he claimed his ancestors were on the Trail of Tears, or B) lying today when he says they were part of “The Volunteer Walk.” I guess we shouldn’t be surprised. This is the same guy who broke his campaign pledge to only serve three terms in office. Once a liar, always a liar.