Russell notes a particular danger. Courts have ruled that tribes are political entities, not racial entities. But the Cherokees have argued that the Freedmen aren't Indians unless they have at least one Cherokee ancestor. The Freedmen counter that they're Indians by treaty and by 150 years of participating in Cherokee life.
Here's how Russell puts it:
The danger is obvious that the Congressional Indian fighters could use the Cherokee case as a wedge against all appropriations to tribes, even those required by treaty. Circumstances have changed, you see, and “race discrimination” cannot be tolerated.
For more on the subject, see Minority-on-Minority Freedmen Battle and Deal Restores Freedmen Citizenship.