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Washitaw Nation

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Washitaw Nation at the Mardi Gras Indians Super Sunday, New Orleans, 2014
Washitaw Nation at the Mardi Gras Indians Super Sunday, New Orleans, 2014

The Washitaw Nation (Washitaw de Dugdahmoundyah) is an African-American group associated with the Moorish Science Temple of America who claim to be a sovereign state of Native Americans within the boundaries of the United States of America. Their name is appropriated from that of the Ouachita tribe,[1] who are also eponymous of the Washita River and of Washita, Oklahoma. The group is part of the sovereign citizen movement, whose members generally believe that they are not subject to any statutes or proceedings at the federal, state, or municipal levels.[2][3]

The Washitaw Nation was headed by Verdiacee Hampton Goston (also known as Verdiacee Turner, and as Empress Verdiacee Tiari Washitaw Turner Goston El-Bey, c. 1927–2014).[4] She was mayor of Richwood, Louisiana in 1975 and 1976, and again from 1980 to 1984,[5] and is the author of the self-published book Return of the Ancient Ones (1993). Goston asserted that the United Nations "registers the Washitaw as indigenous people No. 215".[1]

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Moorish Science Temple of America

Moorish Science Temple of America

The Moorish Science Temple of America is an American national and religious organization founded by Noble Drew Ali in the early twentieth century. He based it on the premise that African Americans are descendants of the Moabites and thus are "Moorish" by nationality, and Islamic by faith. Ali put together elements of major traditions to develop a message of personal transformation through historical education, racial pride and spiritual uplift. His doctrine was also intended to provide African Americans with a sense of identity in the world and to promote civic involvement.

Sovereign state

Sovereign state

A sovereign state is a state that has the highest jurisdiction over a territory. International law defines sovereign states as having a permanent population, defined territory, a government not under another, and has the capacity to interact with other sovereign states. It is also normally understood that a sovereign state is independent.

Native Americans in the United States

Native Americans in the United States

Native Americans, also known as American Indians, First Americans, Indigenous Americans, and other terms, are the Indigenous peoples of the mainland United States. There are 574 federally recognized tribes living within the US, about half of which are associated with Indian reservations. As defined by the United States Census, "Native Americans" are Indigenous tribes that are originally from the contiguous United States, along with Alaska Natives. Indigenous peoples of the United States who are not listed as American Indian or Alaska Native include Native Hawaiians, Samoan Americans, and Chamorros. The US Census groups these peoples as "Native Hawaiian and other Pacific Islanders".

United States

United States

The United States of America, commonly known as the United States or America, is a country primarily located in North America. It consists of 50 states, a federal district, five major unincorporated territories, nine Minor Outlying Islands, and 326 Indian reservations. The United States is also in free association with three Pacific Island sovereign states: the Federated States of Micronesia, the Marshall Islands, and the Republic of Palau. It is the world's third-largest country by both land and total area. It shares land borders with Canada to its north and with Mexico to its south. The U.S. has maritime borders with the Bahamas, Cuba, Russia, and other nations. With a population of over 333 million, it is the most populous country in the Americas and the third most populous in the world. The national capital is Washington, D.C. and the most populous city and financial center is New York City.

Washita, Oklahoma

Washita, Oklahoma

Washita is a rural community in Caddo County, Oklahoma, United States. It is located west of Anadarko on a bend in the Washita River. The post office opened April 16, 1910.

Oklahoma

Oklahoma

Oklahoma is a state in the South Central region of the United States, bordered by Texas on the south and west, Kansas on the north, Missouri on the northeast, Arkansas on the east, New Mexico on the west, and Colorado on the northwest. Partially in the western extreme of the Upland South, it is the 20th-most extensive and the 28th-most populous of the 50 United States. Its residents are known as Oklahomans and its capital and largest city is Oklahoma City.

Sovereign citizen movement

Sovereign citizen movement

The sovereign citizen movement is a loose grouping of litigants, activists, tax protesters, financial scheme promoters and conspiracy theorists, who claim to be answerable only to their particular interpretations of the common law and believe that they are therefore not subject to any government statutes or proceedings, unless they consent to them. The movement, which appeared in the early 1970s, is American in origin and exists primarily in the United States, though it has expanded to other countries. Notably, the freeman on the land movement, an offshoot of the sovereign citizen movement with similar doctrines, emerged during the 2000s in Canada before spreading to other Commonwealth countries. However, sovereign citizens as such have also appeared in these countries and others. In the United States, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) describes sovereign citizens as "anti-government extremists who believe that even though they physically reside in this country, they are separate or 'sovereign' from the United States."

Statute

Statute

A statute is a formal written enactment of a legislative authority that governs the legal entities of a city, state, or country by way of consent. Typically, statutes command or prohibit something, or declare policy. Statutes are rules made by legislative bodies; they are distinguished from case law or precedent, which is decided by courts, and regulations issued by government agencies.

Federal government of the United States

Federal government of the United States

The federal government of the United States is the national government of the United States, a federal republic located primarily in North America, composed of 50 states, a city within a federal district, five major self-governing territories and several island possessions. The federal government, sometimes simply referred to as Washington, is composed of three distinct branches: legislative, executive, and judicial, whose powers are vested by the U.S. Constitution in the Congress, the president and the federal courts, respectively. The powers and duties of these branches are further defined by acts of Congress, including the creation of executive departments and courts inferior to the Supreme Court.

State governments of the United States

State governments of the United States

State governments of the United States are institutional units exercising functions of government at a level below that of the federal government. Each U.S. state's government holds legislative, executive, and judicial authority over a defined geographic territory. The United States comprises 50 states: 9 of the Thirteen Colonies that were already part of the United States at the time the present Constitution took effect in 1789, 4 that ratified the Constitution after its commencement, plus 37 that have been admitted since by Congress as authorized under Article IV, Section 3 of the Constitution.

Richwood, Louisiana

Richwood, Louisiana

Richwood is a town in Ouachita Parish, Louisiana, United States. The Town was incorporated December 31, 1974, under the provision of Louisiana Revised Statute 33:52. The Town operates under a form of government consisting of an elected mayor and a board of alder persons, which has five elected members. The Town provides garbage collection, street maintenance, drainage maintenance, and other health and welfare services, in addition to the administrative services provided to its residents. The population was 3,392 at the 2010 census.

United Nations

United Nations

The United Nations (UN) is an intergovernmental organization whose stated purposes are to maintain international peace and security, develop friendly relations among nations, achieve international cooperation, and be a centre for harmonizing the actions of nations. It is the world's largest and most familiar international organization. The UN is headquartered on international territory in New York City, and has other main offices in Geneva, Nairobi, Vienna, and The Hague.

Classification

Flag of the Washitaw Nation
Flag of the Washitaw Nation

In 1999, the Southern Poverty Law Center estimated that the group had about 200 hard-core members, noting its popularity among followers of Moorish Science, a nationalist movement. The asserted legal basis for the establishment of the Washitaw Nation is a theory that individuals and groups may declare "sovereignty" and may separate themselves from state and federal governments, a concept earlier used by the Posse Comitatus. The argument is also made that Napoleon only sold "the streets of New Orleans and a military barracks" and that the rest of Louisiana was stolen from the Washitaw.[1]

Various United States courts have held that the Washitaw Nation is fictional and that it is not recognized as a sovereign nation.[6][7]

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Southern Poverty Law Center

Southern Poverty Law Center

The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) is an American 501(c)(3) nonprofit legal advocacy organization specializing in civil rights and public interest litigation. Based in Montgomery, Alabama, it is known for its legal cases against white supremacist groups, for its classification of hate groups and other extremist organizations, and for promoting tolerance education programs. The SPLC was founded by Morris Dees, Joseph J. Levin Jr., and Julian Bond in 1971 as a civil rights law firm in Montgomery. Bond served as president of the board between 1971 and 1979.

Moorish Science Temple of America

Moorish Science Temple of America

The Moorish Science Temple of America is an American national and religious organization founded by Noble Drew Ali in the early twentieth century. He based it on the premise that African Americans are descendants of the Moabites and thus are "Moorish" by nationality, and Islamic by faith. Ali put together elements of major traditions to develop a message of personal transformation through historical education, racial pride and spiritual uplift. His doctrine was also intended to provide African Americans with a sense of identity in the world and to promote civic involvement.

Posse Comitatus (organization)

Posse Comitatus (organization)

The Posse Comitatus is a loosely organized American far-right populist social movement which began in the late 1960s. Its members spread a conspiracy-minded, anti-government and anti-Semitic message linked to White supremacy aiming to counter what they believe is an attack on their social and political rights as white Christians.

Napoleon

Napoleon

Napoleon Bonaparte, later known by his regnal name Napoleon I, was a French military commander and political leader who rose to prominence during the French Revolution and led successful campaigns during the Revolutionary Wars. He was the de facto leader of the French Republic as First Consul from 1799 to 1804, then Emperor of the French from 1804 until 1814 and again in 1815. Napoleon's political and cultural legacy endures to this day, as a highly celebrated and controversial leader. He initiated many liberal reforms that have persisted in society, and is considered one of the greatest military commanders in history. His wars and campaigns are studied by militaries all over the world. Between three and six million civilians and soldiers perished in what became known as the Napoleonic Wars.

New Orleans

New Orleans

New Orleans is a consolidated city-parish located along the Mississippi River in the southeastern region of the U.S. state of Louisiana. With a population of 383,997 according to the 2020 U.S. census, it is the most populous city in Louisiana and the twelfth-most populous city in the southeastern United States. Serving as a major port, New Orleans is considered an economic and commercial hub for the broader Gulf Coast region of the United States.

Actions

The Washitaw Nation is the accrediting agent for a diploma mill, the City University of Los Angeles.[8][9]

Source: "Washitaw Nation", Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, (2023, January 25th), https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Washitaw_Nation.

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References
  1. ^ a b c "Born on the Bayou". Southern Poverty Law Center. Spring 1999. Archived from the original on April 19, 2005.
  2. ^ Erwin, James L. (2006). Declarations of Independence: Encyclopedia of American Autonomous and Secessionist Movements. Greenwood Press. p. 205. ISBN 978-0313332678. Retrieved February 17, 2016.
  3. ^ Nelson, Leah. "Memphis Stew". Intelligence Report. SPLC. Retrieved February 17, 2016.
  4. ^ "Former Richwood mayor dies". KNOE.com. Archived from the original on 2014-05-12.
  5. ^ "Empress Goston's legacy continues in 40th Anniversary". Archived from the original on 2018-08-02. Retrieved 2021-07-03. Monroe Free Press
  6. ^ "U.S. v. HENLEY". Retrieved 17 February 2016. The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals characterized the Nation of Washitaw as fictional. Bybee v. City of Paducah, 46 Fed. Appx. 735, 736 (6th Cir. 2002), unpublished. Other federal courts decline to recognize the Washitaw Nation as a legitimate sovereign.
  7. ^ "For Immediate Release: Wednesday - September 17, 2003". United States Attorney's Office (Press release). September 17, 2003. Retrieved February 17, 2016. Bowden and Peele ... talked to the taxpayers about the 'Washitaw Nation', a fictional place populated almost entirely by separatist tax protesters
  8. ^ Bear, John; Mariah Bear (2002). Bears' guide to earning degrees by distance learning. Ten Speed Press. p. 195. ISBN 978-1-58008-431-4.
  9. ^ Burgin, Aaron (September 19, 2008). "Lake Elsinore City Council candidate's doctorate from online school accredited by separatists". The Press Enterprise.
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