Veterans aren’t happy with a recent op-ed by the Washington Post, which charged that the Apache, Comanche, Chinook, Lakota, Cheyenne and Kiowa military vehicles were a “greater symbolic injustice” than the NFL’s Washington Redskins’ name.
“Even if the NFL and Redskins brass come to their senses and rename the team, a greater symbolic injustice would continue to afflict Indians — an injustice perpetuated not by a football club but by our federal government,” Simon Waxman of the Boston Review wrote for the Post on Thursday.
He added that the helicopter names were “propaganda” that needed to end, because Native American life expectancy statistics indicate the “violence is ongoing, even if the guns are silent.”
Readers at the popular military news gathering website Doctrine Man reacted Friday.
“I suspect that the author is less unhappy that our choppers have Indian names, and more unhappy that there is a U.S. military,” wrote Alex Kuhns.
Kevin Schooler wrote: “What floors me is that for the most part, it isn’t American Indians who are offended. It is guilt-ridden white liberals being offended on their behalf. How’s that for paternalism?”
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Even the website’s moderator weighed in, saying that the names the military chooses for weapons platforms “are anything but derogatory, they convey strength, honor, and courage. @SimonWaxman is grossly uninformed.”