Thursday, May 5, 2011

Native Americans' objection to "Geronimo" as code name for Bin Laden raid

He was a Native American military leader.  Sure, he was a warrior and probably killed many American soldiers.  But he was fighting Mexico and America's expansion to the West, his ancestral lands.  Code Name for Bin Laden?!  Not Cool. 

Here's the Washington Post article.

“I was celebrating that we had gotten this guy and feeling so much a part of America,” Tom Holm, a former Marine, a member of the Creek/Cherokee Nations and a retired professor of American Indian studies at the University of Arizona, said by phone Tuesday. “And then this ‘Geronimo EKIA’ thing comes up. I just said, ‘Why pick on us?’ Robert E. Lee killed more Americans than Geronimo ever did, and Hitler would seem to be evil personified, but the code name for bin Laden is Geronimo?”

“It’s how deeply embedded the ‘Indian as enemy’ is in the collective mind of America,” she said. “To this day, when soldiers are going into enemy territory, it’s common for it to be called ‘Indian country.’ ”

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