A small, representative system having analogies to a
larger system in constitution, configuration, or
U.S. - Indians' Squabble
November 20, 1958
if the United States were not already having enough trouble
with the Communist bloc in the United Nations, Florida's
Miccosukee Seminole Indians may carry a complaint to that
international organization and it could be troublesome to
The Miccosukees are contemplating such an approach after
they failed to receive support from the British, French, and
Spanish embassies in an effort to obtain use of 240, 000
acres of Everglades land from the United States and
Florida. They presented their proposal to the embassies on
buckskin scrolls. If the request goes through, these
scrolls could nearly rival the Dead Sea Scrolls in
The attaches at the British and Spanish posts put their
finger on a live international issue when they said the
matter was an international problem and therefore one that
their governments were reluctant to become involved in.
The label, "internal affair," covers a multitude of sins.
Right now France, despite the advent of De Gaulle, is still
having serious troubles with the Algerians. And when other
nations express a concern about the situation there, the
French have told them to keep hands off, for it is purely a
And then there was Russia's brutal quelling of the
Hungarian revolt. When the United Nations timidly expressed
disapproval of the assault of the hapless Hungarians, the
Soviet leaders said it was strictly a family fight and no
concern of outsiders. If that were the case, one wonders
why Russian tanks, artillery and troops were rushed to
The United States should heed the warning in the Russian
and French experiences, that domestic problems - if left
long unsettled can grow and have international
implications. If not this internal dispute with the
Indians, it may be another.
The United States Government already has had a protracted
war with the ancestors of these same Seminoles. It was
prosecuted about as unsuccessfully as the French so far have
conducted their fight with the Algerian Rebels.
And the dispatching of bayoneted federal troops to settle
an internal flare up in Arkansas last year brought on
comparisons with Soviet intervention in Hungary.
In light of all the connotations in the term, "internal
matter," one can only hope that the differences between the
United States and the Miccosukee are speedily settled.