As a taxpayer, I’m not overly happy that we still have an Indian Affairs Committee. And I’m definitely not happy that the Committee is wasting my money by holding a hearing about stereotypes. And I’m rolling my eyes that some folks on the Committee are upset that Osama bin Laden was given the code-name Geronimo.
Here’s what ABC is reporting.
The Senate Indian Affairs committee will hold a hearing Thursday on racist Native American stereotypes, a hearing that will now also address the Osama bin Laden mission and the code-name Geronimo. While the hearing was scheduled before the mission, a committee aide today said the linking of the name Geronimo with the world’s most wanted man is “inappropriate” and can have a “devastating” impact on kids.
I’m not saying that the Geronimo was the best choice in the world. I’m sure, for instance, that the CIA (or Defense Department, or whoever) would understand that a negative-sounding Middle-Eastern code-name (such as “Towel-head”) would be completely inappropriate.
Likewise, I doubt anybody in the government would use an African-American-sounding code-name, particularly when referencing a villain.
In other words, some common-sense sensitivity is a good thing.
But is there any reason why the Chairman of the Committee, Senator Akaka of Hawaii, can’t make a quiet phone call and say, “I know you guys didn’t mean anything, but in the future please stay away from using code-names that link bad guys to American Indians.”