Our Very Own Emperor — Cedric?

One of the advantages of having a little education is discovering how various writers will analyze the many foibles of men who find themselves with power, while lacking the most basic qualities of justice.  Eugene O’Neill wrote two of my favorite plays, “The Hairy Ape” and “The Emperor Jones.”

Brutus Jones was an American convict serving time for murder, who escapes to a Caribbean Island, where he installs himself as a dictator, Emperor Jones.  I leave it up to you to read this great piece of stage drama, but will reveal, that in the end, Jones is on the run from the people that he oppressed.  He had let it be known that he could only be killed with a silver bullet.  The downtrodden people obliged him.

You may  be asking “what on Earth does this have to do with anything?”  Well, you may want to take a good look at the leadership of the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe, in particular, the Chairman, Cedric Cromwell.

He has taken for himself powers and privileges unprecedented in the history of our tribe.  I don’t want to alarm you, but this behavior is definitely not the “Indian Way.”  Our ancestors were never under any kind of dictatorship, but followed the leaders who performed, those who had the best interests of the Tribe in mind.  This administration, in particular the Chairman, has only its own interests in mind.  Could it be that this is the way things are in this age of diminishing liberty, the bitter dose that we must swallow to become a gaming Tribe?  I don’t think so.

Brutus Jones traveled far from his home to lord it over the people of the island.  Similarly, Cedric Cromwell, who grew up outside the bosom of Mashpee, has never lived here, nor do I think he plans to, lords it over us.  Now calling himself Dr. Cromwell, he is showing signs of some sort of strain.  As Aretha Franlkin sang, “I ain’t no psychiatrist, ain’t no doctor with degrees,” it doesn’t take a shrink to see someone falling apart.  Frankly, I’m concerned about his state, I wish someone close to him would  intervene, but I am more concerned about the state of our Tribe and its future.  Heaven help us.