PC-Obsessed Writer Outraged Military Uses Indian Names For Its Attack Helicopters…
Oh for fuck’s sake.
Not to keep beating this horse, but it’s always about language. And that’s because language controls thought and thought, when driven to consent, either affirmatively or through tacit surrender, secures power, from which all else derives.
Nobody pretending to outrage over this gives a tinker’s damn about Native American dignity. They care about controlling language and by doing so, controlling thought and collecting power. There’s nothing noble in their stance, and we needn’t pretend their is.
Or to put it another way, Bob Costas can suck a bag of dicks, and the WaPo writers — and those like them — can help themselves to a few licks, too.
The Boston Review’s Simon Waxman, writing in WaPo:
In the United States today, the names Apache, Comanche, Chinook, Lakota, Cheyenne and Kiowa apply not only to Indian tribes but also to military helicopters. Add in the Black Hawk, named for a leader of the Sauk tribe. Then there is the Tomahawk, a low-altitude missile, and a drone named for an Indian chief, Gray Eagle. Operation Geronimo was the end of Osama bin Laden.
Why do we name our battles and weapons after people we have vanquished? For the same reason the Washington team is the Redskins and my hometown Red Sox go to Cleveland to play the Indians and to Atlanta to play the Braves: because the myth of the worthy native adversary is more palatable than the reality — the conquered tribes of this land were not rivals but victims, cheated and impossibly outgunned.
The destruction of the Indians was asymmetric war, compounded by deviousness in the name of imperialist manifest destiny. White America shot, imprisoned, lied, swindled, preached, bought, built and voted its way to domination. Identifying our powerful weapons and victorious campaigns with those we subjugated serves to lighten the burden of our guilt. It confuses violation with a fair fight.
It is worse than denial; it is propaganda. 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.’ ”
Noam Chomsky, bless him, is never “instructive.” Only destructive. Once again, were we to name our battles and weapons after a people “we have vanquished” (and I don’t think there are many of us around today who fought in the Indian wars, so whether or not it was “we” who vanquished them is not a settled point) as a gesture to celebrate their having been vanquished — which is what Chomsky tries to conflate with his Luftwaffe ‘Jew’ and ‘Gypsy’ examples — he might have a point, depending on intent.
But the only real linguistic point here is that he and those like him can drum up phony outrage by presuming to speak to others’ intent, and by presuming to endure others’ outrage for them, whether they — or those whose outrage they claim to endure — are outraged in reality or not.
So many of these white liberal language barons, you’ll notice, reject as inauthentic any minority who doesn’t feel disparaged by what they’re told by these same white liberals is disparaging. That is, the usurpers of our language, in their attempt to chill speech and control power, are quite okay with marginalizing those they claim to be fighting for, should those they claim to be fighting for reject the phony championing of these presumptuous white liberals.
Meaning, it is white liberals like Waxman here who are presuming to determine who gets to count as an aggrieved minority, and who is, in essence, a race-traitor, or suffering from false consciousness, or an Uncle Tom, etc. They will determine your authenticity and true racial, ethnic, or gender identity. You are but their linguistic play things.
Which, how convenient! And all done in the name of compassion!
So predictable. But, until we learn to fight back against the linguistic underpinnings — leftist ones at that, designed primarily to destroy the individual and to create group narrative for political expediency, replacing individual will with collectivism — we will continue to fall prey to these kinds of ludicrous attacks.
But hey. That’s just me riding my hobby horse again.
Sorry. It’s what I do.
(h/t Geoff B, via Weasel Zippers)