Political Correctness Delusions #2: The U.S. Military Naming Its Helicopters After Native American Tribes Is A Slur

Military Helicopters 0088

The scourge of political correctness causes many kinds of damage, but the most ominous is that it intentionally greases a steep slippery slope. The effort to constrain private and public expression according to an endlessly versatile definition of “offensiveness”  is a desirable weapon for political activists, grievance bullies, censorious and debate-challenged advocates, weenies, and busybodies. Once one specious argument for strangling another small sliver of free speech succeeds, usually after capitulation in the face of relentless vilification and hounding aided and abetted by the press, this ugly and anti-American faction of the progressive movement just moves on to another target. The process  will never end, although it will get more oppressive, restrictive and absurd. That is, it will never end until a backlash and an outbreak of rationality stops it in its tracks.

The Patent Office’s politically motivated (and doomed) attack on the Washington Redskins was an example of political correctness at its worst, and sure enough, here comes another deluded censor with a related and even sillier grievance. Simon Waxman wrote a jaw-dropping op-ed for the Washington Post arguing that the military’s use of Native American names and works on its helicopters and weaponry is a “slur.” Why, you ask? Because the white man cheated and defeated the Indians using superior fire power, that’s why. Yeah, sure, we pretend to honor their bravery now, but that’s just to salve our guilty consciences.  He blathers…

The message carried by the word Apache emblazoned on one of history’s great fighting machines is that the Americans overcame an opponent so powerful and true that we are proud to adopt its name. They tested our mettle, and we proved stronger, so don’t mess with us. In whatever measure it is tribute to the dead, it is in greater measure a boost to our national sense of superiority. And this message of superiority is shared not just with U.S. citizens but with those of the 14 nations whose governments buy the Apache helicopters we sell. It is shared, too, with those who hear the whir of an Apache overhead or find its guns trained on them. Noam Chomsky has clarified the moral stakes in provocative, instructive terms: “We might react differently if the Luftwaffe were to call its fighter planes ‘Jew’ and ‘Gypsy.’ ”

See? I didn’t make this up. It sure is nice, though, to see old Noam is making as little sense as ever, and still has his gift for dishonest analogy. If the Luftwaffe named its aircraft “Jew,” it would be cause for rejoicing, since it would prove that the Nazis had finally lost all their marbles, and were drooling in a corner somewhere. The hypothetical has no similarity in any way to the current military recognizing the nation’s indigenous people who we fought over a century ago.

Wrote one of the many military veterans who were stunned by Waxman’s piece,

“Mr. Waxman does not understand Native American history and why all U.S. Army rotary-wing craft have Native American names. He seems to know nothing of the ageless warriors’ code of always holding your opponent as a worthy adversary no matter the outcome.”

Ah, but you see actual knowledge, much a less rational manner of interpreting it, is completely irrelevant to the political correctness movement. It matters not if normal, educated, fair people are offended by a name, for example, or have any historical or cultural reason for being so. What matters is that they are offended, say they are offended, or argue that someone else should be offended. Amanda Blackhorse, the Native American woman who brought the Redskins complaint to the Patent Office, lives on a reservation where Navajos root for the Red Mesa High School Redskins. The irony of this appears to escape her. Her comprehension of American sports traditions is also a bit muddled: she thinks that team  mascots “are meant to be ridiculed,” “to be toyed with,” “to be pushed around and disrespected” and “have stuff thrown at them.”

Oh, well. It’s too bad that Amanda’s entire argument is based on her slovenly failure to know what the hell she’s talking about: it will still be enough to cost Dan Snyder millions of dollars as he fights in the courts or free speech and his right to call his team what he wants to.  Amanda, Waxman and the others trying to take the words out of our mouths know how that game is played. Amanda’s and Maxman’s kind of nonsense-fueled hysteria is what wins it, and those who have real lives ultimately throw up their hands, and conclude that the battle isn’t worth it.

It is, however. Waxman lets us in on the secret with his final paragraph.”So, sure, rename the football team,” he says. “But don’t stop there.”

That’s what the political correctness fascists want, you see. They intend to censor speech and thought forever, until nobody is capable of opposing their view of the world, or everybody who does oppose them is terrified of saying so.

__________________________

Sources: Washington Post 1, 2, 34

24 thoughts on “Political Correctness Delusions #2: The U.S. Military Naming Its Helicopters After Native American Tribes Is A Slur

  1. “the conquered tribes of this land were not rivals but victims, cheated and impossibly outgunned.”

    So what is Waxman suggesting? Native Americans were victims rather than rivals because they were inferior and ignorant?

    Maybe Americans refuse to admit this because they don’t believe it.

  2. What bothers me is not just that there are nuts, but that more people are not laughing at and ignoring them.

    • I was going to delete it after I hit myself over the head with a frying pan 12 times, but after I did that I was disoriented for a while, and now I think I will leave it up, to preserve my shame.

  3. He’s gonna be really angry when he finds out that entire tracts of land out west which are dedicated to housing impoverished and undereducated communities with high rates of substance abuse are also named after Native American Tribes.

  4. It’s a race between the rate of politically correct changes and the end of the current administation, I have concluded. Previous presidents didn’t worry too much or as much about political correctness, I think Reagan may even have dismissed a few such discussions as not worthy of the president’s attention, but the current president never met a politically correct grievance he didn’t like, and so the bullies and fascists feel that much more empowered.

  5. I have always thought that we should take this to the logical extreme and wipe out any vestige of Native American presence (if that is what the left wants), even if it means changing the names of Arkansas, Indiana, the Dakotas, etc. After all, having two states named after the Dakota tribe is just a mocking taunt about how their land was stolen from them. I mean, after all, if America’s goal was the extermination of the natives, why haven’t the cartographers gotten rid of the names the same way the English did with New Amsterdam?

    On a related note (from a previous post), I propose that every team with a Native American name or mascot that is pressured to change it, should adopt an Irish/Celtic name and mascot. First off, we like the attention; secondly, we can take a joke.

    -Jut

    • should adopt an Irish/Celtic name and mascot. First off, we like the attention; secondly, we can take a joke.
      ************
      You know it.
      Personally, I like Bog-trotters or Gob Shites.
      Micks and Potato Pickers are good as well.
      Fecking Eejits has a profane air about it, so I don’t know.
      I’d be afraid of a chopper with Brawlin’ Mick painted on the side of it, because you wouldn’t know if the pilot was drunk or not. Hehehe

      • Fecking Eejits has a profane air about it, so I don’t know.
        **************************
        I’d think that would be a bonus in it’s favor. We aren’t allowed to be culturally disdainful, but that doesn’t apply to white European males, an it also has the advantage of being ever so slightly “edgy.”

  6. Simon Waxman wrote a jaw-dropping op-ed for the Washington Post arguing that the military’s use of Native American names and works on its helicopters and weaponry is a “slur.”
    **************
    You’re trying to make my head explode, for the holiday.

  7. Military attack aircraft are named after birds of prey. Who will write a column defending their honor? The birds deserve equal treatment.

    • Or entire classes of naval vessels named for War Heroes, I bet those guys wouldn’t want their names attached to symbols of American Might. Hell, what about the bigger ships, some named after Presidents. Did anyone think to ask if those guys want their names attached to the preeminent vehicles that are often the tip of the spear of Foreign Policy? I mean, based on current Presidents they really would be offended by being associated with strong foreign policy.

      What about poor Creighton Abrams? I bet he’d be appalled and offended that his name is attached to the iconic piece of American weaponry that is so recognizable on the battlefield – the M1 Tank. He’d be offended to know he is associated with decisive maneuver and overwhelming power crushing America’s enemies in combat…

  8. Disclaimer: I don’t know if this is true or not, but then, neither does anyone else. Texas is NOT named for an Indian tribe. However, the original name, Tejas, is said to be either a Caddo or Karankawa word for “friend”. Hard to check, since the Karankawa, the only known cannibalistic tribe in North America, no longer exist.

  9. There are two narratives here, one obviously overshadowed predominantly by the other. The American vs Indian experience wasn’t one of disdain, merely cultural competition, as exists between cultures since the dawn of man. Disdain developed, yes, as it always does. However, the attitudes towards Indians wasn’t (and isn’t) wholly derogatory. Earlier Americans often found qualities of Indian culture to be very admirable.

    As it goes, the American model of assimilation works (not the new model of multiculturalism) even if not always applied and when applied seeks to absorb the good qualities of incoming cultures while burning away the bad. Adopting Native American tribal names for our military hardware is hardly denigrating, rather a clear tribute to one of the qualities we admired from their culture – that is Ferocity on the Battlefield.

    I think part of this cry-baby-ism is partly due to the lie that was developed by guilt-ridden liberals that America stole land from a pre-existing Utopia. The lie that posited that Indians were master conservationists and that Indians lived in harmony with each other and nature. Naming battle implements as a tribute to their ferocity betrays their extremely belligerent past, and supposedly insults the intentionally fabricated myth of Native American pacifist society.

    • The venom directed at the US for the fate of the Indians has always puzzled me. First of all, it was inevitable. Civilization always crowds out less developed primitive societies. It’s brutal, but it is also how civilization advances. That doesn’t excuse in any way individual examples of atrocities, like the Trail of Tears, but the Native Americans were going to lose most of North America, one way or the other. The way chosen was not as honorable, fair or humane as it should have been.

      The result of the Europeans taking over does not justify the process, but only a lunatice would say that the result wasn’t infinitely preferable to what would have happened if North America had remained a large undeveloped spanse occupied by warring nomadic tribes with stone age technology.

      • On your final paragraph:

        This may be a rationalization, but short of the tribes immediately adopting American culture with no resistance, then I think, despite the occasional atrocity, the American method of ending uncivilized expanse would have been far better than say, the Mexicans doing it? The British doing it? The Russians? The Chinese? Because it wouldn’t have remained a large undeveloped expanse… someone would have come in and settled it. Better America and our system than someone else.

        The expanse needed to be settled by America and the American system. For the world’s sake. And thank God.

        • Oh, I agree, with caveats. There is no way to disrupt and overtake a culture and have that culture not feel mistreated, and from their perspective, they were. Still, there is basis for plenty of legitimate complaints, such as serial improvidently drafted treaties that the US refused to honor. Citing those other nations is pretty much Comparative Virtue, no?

          • I was gonna say either “worked out for the best” or “lesser of two evils” (knowing that in a virtuous world where everyone respects everyone, we’d not impose on their society and let it evolve as it would…but we don’t live in a virtuous world and the only way we could keep a worse option from doing the inevitable, was by doing it first, and ideally less bad).

            • A Federation Star Ship landing on the Earth in the 1820s might easily conclude that the “right” thing to do would be to help the oppressed Native Americans push the white man’s armies into the sea. But this is the wisdom of the Prime Directive, no? That new nation that arose from the defeat of the Native Americans saved the world itself, and more than once.

              • That or they’d look at us and pre-interstellar “cities” and think “how quaint, let’s put a colony there, the planet will be ours in no time”

      • And thanks for mentioning the inevitability of City-Oriented societies ALWAYS pushing out or compelling civilization of non-city-oriented societies. Even in the chaos of the middle east where the nation-state is being broken, they won’t devolve away from cities.

        The civilization of the Celts was accelerated by the Romans, who had before had their civilization accelerated by the Greeks, who before had the an interesting reversal where the invaders were civilized by the invaded. Even the romans, although losing their specific ethnic attachment of their civilization, saw their civilization perpetuated by non-civilized invaders who rapidly adopted it, much like the aforementioned Greeks during the Dorian invasion.

        The real problem with the American civilization of the Indians is not that we prosecuted war against the tribal hold-outs, but that we ignored and undermined the occasions where the Indians had willingly begun civilization and were ripe for healthy assimilation.

      • That’s one of many theories; another being severe, prolonged drought. In other words, climate change. Having been there and lived among the current indigs, I would tend to go with poor conservationism.

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