When it canceled six federal trademarks for the Washington Redskins name, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office effectively declared open season on any and all references to Native Americans.
The Cleveland Indians baseball team may soon face a $9 billion federal lawsuit, and even the U.S. military is being called out for names assigned to its aircraft.
The Washington Times reported:
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.
Simon Waxman of the Boston Review wrote in the editorial titled, “The U.S. military’s ongoing slur of Native Americans,” that “a greater symbolic injustice would continue to afflict Indians — an injustice perpetuated not by a football club but by our federal government.”
Waxman zeroed in on the AH-64D Apache attack helicopter.
“It is worse than denial; it is propaganda,” he said. “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.”
According to GlobalSecurity.org, the habit of naming Army aircraft after Indians tribes, chiefs or terms was made official by authority of AR 70-28, dated 4 April 1969 — although the regulation is said to have been rescinded.
The names remain popular because they are uniquely American and signify an aggressive spirit — names that depict mobility, firepower and endurance.
Traits seldom associated with a slur.
But then, as a reader was quoted in the Times article: “…for the most part, it isn’t American Indians who are offended. It is guilt-ridden white liberals being offended on their behalf.”