Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Senate Official: Wrong to Link Bin Laden, Geronimo

The news is currently dominated by stories of the capture and killing of al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden. But here is one story I never expected to hear: "After bin Laden was killed, the military sent a message back to the White House: "Geronimo EKIA" — enemy killed in action."

Once again, we have a case of negative stereotyping of Native Americans and an inappropriate use of their iconography. As Tuell, member of the Nez Perce tribe in Idaho states, "These inappropriate uses of Native American icons and cultures are prevalent throughout our society, and the impacts to Native and non-Native children are devastating".

The linking of Native American hero Geronimo and U.S. enemy Osama bin Laden is another example of the fact that although non-existent in the biological sense, "race" as a cultural construct, is alive and well, with strong impacts on society today.

To read more, see: Senate official: Wrong to link bin Laden, Geronimo

UPDATE: Apache tribe is requesting a formal apology from President Obama.
The leader of Apache warrior Geronimo’s tribe is asking President Obama for an apology for the government’s use of his name as a code name for Osama bin Laden.

In a letter to Obama, Fort Sill Apache Tribal Chairman Jeff Houser said equating Geronimo to a “mass murderer and cowardly terrorist” was painful and offensive to all Native Americans. “Right now Native American children all over this country are facing the reality of having one of their most revered figures being connected to a terrorist and murderer of thousands of innocent Americans,” he wrote

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