Nuwaubians claim right to issue official
Macon Telegraph/February 22, 2004
By Liz Fabian
Members of the United Nuwaubian Nation of Moors, now calling
themselves the Yamassee Native American Moors of the Creek Nation,
claim they have the right to issue their own official documents.
But local law enforcement and Georgia regulators disagree.
Michael Jenkins, who said he is an officer of the group, told
the Macon City Council last week that the Yamassee had "entered
into a treaty" with the state to issue its own driver's licenses,
birth certificates and automobile license plates.
He told council members they would be seeing the Yamassee
license plates around the city.
However, Department of Motor Vehicle Safety spokeswoman Susan
Sports said no other agency besides the DMVS can legally produce
driver's licenses or license plates.
"Our agency is the only agency allowed to produce a legal
document recognized by law enforcement as a Georgia driver's
license," Sports said.
Although an organization can create its own specialty license
plate, it applies through the DMVS, posts a $50,000 fidelity bond
and has 1,000 applicants willing to purchase the proposed license
Sports said Friday the state had not received a specialized
license plate application from the Yamassee Native American
When reached by the Telegraph, Jenkins said: "The only thing I
can say right now is that proper notification was given."
Jenkins said he sent documents to Macon Mayor Jack Ellis,
Police Chief Rodney Monroe, Bibb County Sheriff Jerry Modena and
the Bibb County Board of Commissioners' office.
"A portion of the treaty text was also sent which describes the
authorization process from the State Department and the State of
Georgia," Jenkins said.
When told the DMVS had no such application, he replied: "Well,
possibly in the future we can discuss the situation, but right now
that's the only comments I have."
Macon police already have issued citations after spotting one
of the Yamassee plates.
"I have a book from the State Department that includes all the
foreign entities, and they're not in there," Monroe said.
On Feb. 10, a Macon police officer stopped a red 1994 Mercury
Grand Marquis with a red Yamassee license plate at the corner of
Second Street and Edgewood Avenue, according to a police report.
The car is registered to Kevin Anthony Love of Macon, but the
man presented an identification card stating his name as Sekhem Re
Khem Love El. He also presented a packet of papers indicating he
had diplomatic immunity, the report said.
"From what I understand the documents were made on a computer.
It was like a (dealer) drive-out tag, and it had one of the names
of their tribe," said Melanie Hofmann, Macon police spokeswoman.
"They're using a computer to generate licenses and
The officer determined Love was the man's real name and that he
had been issued a proper Georgia tag, the report said.
According to the report, Love was uncooperative and refused to
provide proof of insurance.
The officer wrote Love citations for driving with no license on
person, no proof of insurance, improper tag display, possession of
false driver's license and hindering police, the report stated.
In response to a Telegraph inquiry Friday about the traffic
stop, Love said: "I have to get together with my counselor first
and maybe we can get together next week."
Bibb County Sheriff's Lt. David Davis said he was not aware of
any citations issued in Bibb County connected with Yamassee
license plates or documents.
"They're using the same tactics as some of these militia and
anti-government groups," Davis said.
The Nuwaubians began in 1967 in Brooklyn, N.Y., as a Muslim
community. Cult leader Malachi York later moved the group to
upstate New York, then to Putnam County in 1993. The group's
ideology has undergone several shifts, claiming ties at various
times to Christians, Jews, ancient Egyptians, cowboys and American
Indians. At one time, York claimed to be an alien from another