L.M. VanEvery: Use of 'Geronimo' codename was 'offensive'

"What brought relief to some, brought insult to others. With release of the information that the message sent to the White House was "Geronimo" was killed, memories of racial discrimination and genocide were awakened for not only the ancestors of the Apache leader but all Onkewhón: we people of North America.

Social media was bombarded with reaction to the use of the word "Geronimo" as a code name for Osama bin Laden from native journalists, organizations and leadership. The perception that the United States equated their No. 1 enemy and most wanted terrorist to an Apache leader was beyond insulting.

Of course I'm empathetic to the people of the United States in accomplishing their goal of capturing/ killing Osama bin Laden. They've waited 10 years to celebrate the accomplishment of this mission and bring vindication for that terrible day of Sept. 11, 2001. However, to name their mission after one of the finest native leaders, Geronimo, is not only questionable, it's offensive.

In a statement released May 3, 2011, by the Onondaga Nation Council of Chiefs on behalf of the Haudenosaunee, they describe this choice of "Geronimo" as a code word as "reprehensible," "illogical" and "insulting." They write, "This kind of thinking indicates little progress in a mature social development of United States leadership.""

Get the Story:
L.M. VanEvery: Geronimo: more than a code name (The Brantford Expositor 5/5)

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