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Opening Arguments

Name blame game takes flight

God, I really thought this whole demeaning-name thing had already gotten completely out of hand, but I guess I was wrong:

In the United States today, the names Apache, Comanche, Chinook, Lakota, Cheyenne and Kiowa apply not only to Indian tribes but also to military helicopters. Add in the Black Hawk, named for a leader of the Sauk tribe. Then there is the Tomahawk, a low-altitude missile, and a drone named for an Indian chief, Gray Eagle. Operation Geronimo was the end of Osama bin Laden.

[. . .]

Why do we name our battles and weapons after people we have vanquished? For the same reason the Washington team is the Redskins and my hometown Red Sox go to Cleveland to play the Indians and to Atlanta to play the Braves: because the myth of the worthy native adversary is more palatable than the reality — the conquered tribes of this land were not rivals but victims, cheated and impossibly outgunned…

It is worse than denial; it is propaganda. The message carried by the word Apache emblazoned on one of history’s great fighting machines is that the Americans overcame an opponent so powerful and true that we are proud to adopt its name. They tested our mettle, and we proved stronger, so don’t mess with us.

Seriously? Naming weapons after those we defeated is a way to mask the fact that they were really victims and not enemies? That's not just PC on steroids. That's PC that went crazy and forgot to take its meds. It's about as close to being an absolute crock as anything I can think of.

As one critic points out, the Army "has a long tradition of paying respect to those who have fought valiantly and honorably against us."

And further, it’s not as if these are derogatory names… they are the actual names of the tribes as translated into English. I can, to a point, understand that the term “redskin” is described as a pejorative, so there will be people who have a problem with it. But Iroquois is a nation. You can imagine that we might decide to name a class of aircraft “The Irish” but we wouldn’t call them the drunken paddies. We don’t tend to name a lot of things after African tribes, but I can’t imagine people being offended by using The Tzambaro for a class of jet fighters, while we wouldn’t consider slapping the n-word on them.


Mon, 06/30/2014 - 4:16pm

It would be funny if the Washington Redskins changed their name to the Washington Lone Stars.  After all their primary opponent is a Texas team.

Why would they change their name for any reason to the Washington Lone Stars you might ask?

The franchise started out as the Boston Braves in 1932.  They changed their name to the Boston Redskins in 1933.  This was in honor of their head coach.  An American Indian by the name of Lone Star Dietz.