Many Indians irked, but not surprised...

Many Indians irked, but not surprised, use of Geronimo name in Osama raid

There are 59 comments on the Las Cruces Sun-News story from May 4, 2011, titled Many Indians irked, but not surprised, use of Geronimo name in Osama raid. In it, Las Cruces Sun-News reports that:

This 1887 photo provided by the National Archives shows the famed Indian warrior Geronimo, a Chiricahua Apache, posing with a rifle.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at Las Cruces Sun-News.

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Buck Hole

Albuquerque, NM

#44 May 5, 2011
He said he chose GERONIMO because he felt it was too early to use Bush
clark

Gilbert, AZ

#45 May 5, 2011
What it boils down to is your point of view. To thousands of Muslims, OBL was a hero. To the white men who lived in Geronimo's time, Geronimo was a terrorist...same tactics terrorists use today adjusted for the times. It really doesn't matter what the motivation was. It was the reality and the perception. Indians, especially the Apaches, should be proud that that old warrior was so able to strike such terror in the hearts of his enemies, that even today they still use his name in that context. That's just my opinion; I could be wrong. (Sorry, Dennis.)
Quark

United States

#46 May 5, 2011
What's new? Native Americans have ALWAYS served as our country's scapegoats for over a century.

They're shown disrespect at nearly every turn with nearly every generation. Indians have served honorably in nearly every war since WWII yet they're still treated like second class citizens.

Can you imagine the outcry among African-Americans had the military code-named Bin Laden "Malcolm X," or the outcry among Asian-Americans had we called him Chairman Mao?
No But

Albuquerque, NM

#47 May 5, 2011
Quark wrote:
What's new? Native Americans have ALWAYS served as our country's scapegoats for over a century.
They're shown disrespect at nearly every turn with nearly every generation. Indians have served honorably in nearly every war since WWII yet they're still treated like second class citizens.
Can you imagine the outcry among African-Americans had the military code-named Bin Laden "Malcolm X," or the outcry among Asian-Americans had we called him Chairman Mao?
it's easy to imagine the outcries of your parents when they realized what a fool they had on their hands
Michael L Hays

Las Cruces, NM

#48 May 5, 2011
rev mike wrote:
At San Carlos Res I learned from tribal elders that Geronimo is not all hat popular as an admired iconic leader. one even stated that Geronimo gave the Apaches a "bad name" as he was not a chief.. a renegade thug. In case you don't know the word "apache" itself in the French Basque Region (Spanish speaking) is used to describe a "thug" that kills. Geronimo is one Native American that personafied "thug" as it pertained to merciless killing of anyone that crossed his path. Of course, he had personal issues that lead to his ferocious attacks on white settlers, and I don't condemn his resistance to living on a res. So it does seem a bit appropriate for navy seals to use his moniker to describe their operation. For other tribes to join the criticism seems inappropriate.. as their "resistance fighters" had legitimate goals.. namely "if you leave us alone we'll leave you alone." that was only part of Geronimo's reason for being.. Geronimo could be viewed like a right-wing bible-thumping Texan: "kill 'em all.. they ain't got Jee-suz like we do." Rather than attacking the use of "Geronimo" as our national symbol for our elite killers (seals) I think all proud Native Americans should attack the blatant racial epithet used by the Washington Football team: "Redskins" and the Cleveland Indians mascot which my Lakota brothers refer to as "Little Red Sambo." Geronimo was a ferocious warrior, operating like a Moslem terrorist, without the support of the Chiricahua Apache tribe of his day. As one Chiricahua elder noted: he still is "an embarrassment to us." So as an outsider, I can only assume Apaches are more like us than they wish to think.. vis a vis our maverick politicians.. our Texan & Arizonian "vigilantes" .. our KKK.. our Aryan nation and of course, Newt Gingrich who believes liberals have no right to live in this country. Rodney King asked the right question: "can't we all.. just get along?"
I like this comment a lot. It speaks with the authority of one not afraid to point out that any identifiable group of people is not homogenous in thinking. If some "Indians"--my understanding is that many prefer this term to "Native Americans"--presume to speak for all "indians," they are as guilty of "racism" as non-Indians speaking of all "Indians." More, all of us, "Indians" and others, should be able to acknowledge that all "Indians" were not good and heroic any more than others are good and heroic. What little I know of Geronimo squares with this account, so applying his name to Osama or the operation aiming to kill or capture him is appropriate.

That said, I question one point. I understand that some or most "Indians" might take offense at "Redskins" of the Washington, D.C., football team or "Chief Wahoo" of the Cleveland Indians baseball team, but for most people, those terms have to be terms of honor or endearment. No one would give a team a name or a mascot which had a derogatory meaning. Otherwise, what about "Washington Wheeler-Dealers" or "Cleveland Rust-Belts"?

Since: Dec 07

Clermont, Florida

#49 May 5, 2011
Too bad for us wrote:
It was a very deeply racist decision, even if done without malice. But "Geronimo" is only one of a handful of Native American name most whites even know.
"Gernonimo" had a real name, Goyathlay. And maybe there was a good reason for this raid being in his name, Geronimo. His mother, wife and kids were ambushed by Mexicans and murdered. Therefore, Geronimo vowed vengeance and went after the Mexicans. He was so fierce that the Mexicans started yelling "Geronimo" when he was attacking.(Some accounts say possibly beseeching help from St. Jerome.) Then he fought against Americans who were trying to move his people onto reservations.

I don't necessarily want to make a hero out of Geronimo for killing innocent people, but then, maybe a bunch of them weren't so innocent after all.
knighttemplarxii

Las Cruces, NM

#50 May 5, 2011
Oh guys stop complaining, get off your asses , from the Rez and the casinos and go educate your future generations so that they will have the power and clout to prevent such things from happening if the future
Peralta de Peralta

Fort Huachuca, AZ

#51 May 5, 2011
Many of us descendents of American Indians think the rest of the descendents of American Indians need to grow up. This is the 21st Century, not the 19th century. The whining and the victimization game is getting really old already.
get it straight

Las Cruces, NM

#52 May 5, 2011
Geronimo was the name of the operation, itself (Operation Geronimo). The code for Bin Laden was Jackpot.
White Boy

Midland, TX

#53 May 5, 2011
ICU wrote:
Geronimo killed many innocents. I would be offended if I was bin laden to be killed by such a dispicable code name
You need to go to your local library and get out old diaries and journals kept by early military men and hunter, trappers and read what they say. These are the killings you don't read about in history books. Try reading, The Deaths of Sybil Bolton, and you will find out some things you will not believe.
Rick O Shea

Farmington, NM

#55 May 5, 2011
Paul Weinbaum wrote:
From Las Cruces, New Mexico. Just another example of the culturally deficient Christian hegemony of our military and government who couldn't care less about the inappropriateness of using Geronimo's name. A close-to-home example is the taking of the Zia Pueblo's symbol and making it the State of New Mexico's symbol, to be modified and used as a symbol of adoration of the Christian Trinity on state government property.
Keyryst......Get the net
Slot Machine

Farmington, NM

#56 May 5, 2011
get it straight wrote:
Geronimo was the name of the operation, itself (Operation Geronimo). The code for Bin Laden was Jackpot.
I'm offended
Jozie Arviso

Albuquerque, NM

#57 May 5, 2011
The government needs to gives us Apaches and Native Americans and apology for sure! Geronimo was nothing like Bin laden! That is not right to even compare a Native American Hero to that piece of dirt!! The government can be so stupid at times!
DB_in Texas

Mckinney, TX

#58 May 5, 2011
Good Lawd!!!! Can we find anything else to bitch about?? REALLY??? This politically correct crap is getting pretty old!!

I am sure no one was even thinking about the "indians" when the code name was chosen. OOOPS, I reckon I'd better say "Native Americans," I don't wanna offend them anymore than they have been this week.

GIVE ME A BREAK! Get OVER it, already!

Oh, by the way....OSAMA is dead!
Erg

Dallas, TX

#59 May 5, 2011
It's obvious that people are upset because the blog it's filled by personal opinions. And the "truth" of our opinions is coming from our own particular upbringing. We always want to say that my view is right and others are wrong. But in a multicultural multilingual country no todos vamos a estar contentos o de acuerdo so to be united by one event it's going to be very dificult. But different opinions are what make our country great. Wheter we are oppressors or oppressed and or both we have a voice, por lo menos en un blog
arbee

Murrieta, CA

#60 May 5, 2011
DB_in Texas wrote:
Good Lawd!!!! Can we find anything else to bitch about?? REALLY??? This politically correct crap is getting pretty old!!

I am sure no one was even thinking about the "indians" when the code name was chosen. OOOPS, I reckon I'd better say "Native Americans," I don't wanna offend them anymore than they have been this week.

GIVE ME A BREAK! Get OVER it, already!

Oh, by the way....OSAMA is dead!
It equates one with the other. For example say "nine eleven" you automatically think "twin towers" so to say nobody thought about it when
they used "Geronimo" as the code word is just being naive (or stupid) It wasn't wise to use Geronimos name, even though Americans were told that this operation was months in the making, there was plenty of time to think of a more appropriate codeword. I actually believe that whoever put this planned operation together saw Bin Lauden as a renegade, murderous enemy to hunt down and kill (and worthy of such) just as they had done with the renegade Geronimo. And maybe it's "the past" and Indians need to quit whining about it, whatever your opinion may be, it is still unacceptable to have used a name associated with a historical Native American to one as infamous as Bin Lauden AKA "waterlogged" by this time lol! Too much information White House, better to have kept that one under wraps, but since you let that cat outta the bag, apologize and get it over with and promise not to gloat like that again!
Polly Anna

Eastpointe, MI

#61 May 6, 2011
What's really funny is that they're so upset about the name Geronimo being used, but no one is upset that the article refers to them as "Indians." I recall seeing a bunch of Native Americans getting upset awhile back because some public figure called them "Indians" and they even wanted pro sports teams to change their nicknames/mascots because they felt it was "insulting." Everyone is insulted by something someone says practically every day. Get over it and move on with your life. There are a lot more terrible things going on in this world lately that you should be more worried about.
Polly Anna

Eastpointe, MI

#62 May 6, 2011
Quark wrote:
What's new? Native Americans have ALWAYS served as our country's scapegoats for over a century.
They're shown disrespect at nearly every turn with nearly every generation. Indians have served honorably in nearly every war since WWII yet they're still treated like second class citizens.
Can you imagine the outcry among African-Americans had the military code-named Bin Laden "Malcolm X," or the outcry among Asian-Americans had we called him Chairman Mao?
I think they're making out pretty well these days with all the money they're raking in (stealing) from casinos all over America. They're getting filthy rich off that, and no one blinks an eye or questions all of the social problems that come from opening up more casinos. It's all about the money, and most of them are built specifically on Native American land so that the natives can make lots and lots of money. It's called "guilt."
LOL

Bradenton, FL

#63 May 6, 2011
Hey......

whats wrong with "operation MLK"........

or

operation Little Black Sambo.......

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