This video made my blood boil. Native American Activist Winona Laduke is up in arms about how the U.S. Government is "racist" for using the code name "Geronimo" to relay the news that Osama bin Laden was dead. This made Laduke, and many others, believe that the government was equating Geronimo, the Native American leader, to Osama bin Laden. Too bad they didn't have all the facts.
As it turns out, the navy seals used the name Geronimo in quite a different way. Here's the actual story from the AP:
Back at the White House Situation Room, word was relayed that bin Laden had been found, signaled by the code word 'Geronimo.' That was not bin Laden’s code name, but rather a representation of the letter 'G.' Each step of the mission was labeled alphabetically, and “Geronimo” meant that the raiders had reached step 'G,' the killing or capture of bin Laden, two officials said.
But Laduke turns the use of the name Geronimo into a platform to discuss a larger grudge, drawing out examples of how the military has a pattern of using Native American names in a "negative light" in her opinion.
Laduke says the following starting around 1:45 in the video above:
The military is full of native nomenclature. You've got Black Hawk helicopters, Apache Longbow helicopters, you've got Tomahawk missles. The term used when you leave a military base in a foreign country is to go 'off the reservation.' So what is that messaging that is passed off? It is basically the continuation of the wars against indigenous people.
Actually, I don't think she could get it more wrong. It's an honor to have military properties named after you. If anything, it correlates to the fact that the Native Americans were mighty warriors.
She goes on to say that the government uses the same name for a cavalry as we did in 1890 during a battle between the United States and Native Americans. I'm sorry, but dragging out an event that happened two generations ago just to prove a point is nothing more than playing the victim card. The war was between previous generations. We are not the same people today, and thus the name doesn't carry the same connotation.
Rather than the government apologizing to Laduke, she should apologize to the government for making a complete fool of herself.