Tuesday, April 07, 2015

2 Army Stories

I, like everyone else, have to wait until next week to find out what Army's new "branding" looks like.  The stretched "A" logo, and the "Black Knights" team names, have never settled well with me.  Like plenty of commenters on Facebook, though, I'd settle for a football team that could win a few seasons, especially against Navy.

The second story relates to "the" army, not West Point.  Did you know that the army's helicopters are all named after Native American tribes?  Iriquois (the official name for the Huey), Kiowa, Blackhawk, Apache, et. al. (but not the Cobra), they're named after Native Americans.  Isn't co-opting Native Americans a bad thing, a la the "tomahawk chop" in Atlanta?  Where is the line to be drawn?

For this author, the line is drawn after helicopter names but before sports teams:
But Waxman, the managing editor of Boston Review, created a false equivalence between a football team named after a term generally considered to be a racial slur—“redskin”—and products named after the proper names for Native American tribes—Apache, Kiowa, etc.

A quick tip for op-ed writers. For something to be offensive, people generally need to be, well, offended in the first place. Yet notably absent from Waxman’s missive are any quotes from irate Native American leaders—a particularly glaring omission.
I'm not buying it.  I recall issues with a certain university and the Sioux, and some Sioux claimed to be offended and plenty of others said they weren't.  Boom, the name was deemed offensive.

People don't name their sports teams after something they detest.  They name them, in most cases, after something they like (Dolphins, 49ers, Pelicans, Rockies) or something that inspires fear or respect (Raiders, Buccaneers, Bears, Broncos, Patriots, Chiefs, Warriors, Kings, Bulls).

I'm waiting for sober Irish-Americans to demand Notre Dame change its mascot, or non-elitists to demand San Francisco State change its mascot.

West Point is changing away from Black Knights, I'm just waiting for someone to call the move racist.


Anonymous said...

Thanks. I was about to write something really snarky about how all names should be up for grabs. Just get me in trouble though...I personally hate how names from Egypt get so casually dropped onto an American landscape ... Alexandria, Memphis, not to mention Cairo and Sinai.

Best would probably be rename all the towns so that their names are like the passwords enforced on us by various service providers. Random jumble of letters and numbers.

Yours from kj^7tyb?PR2.

(Redraw the maps!)

Darren said...

If we're going to talk about place names, let's not forget all those religious ones that obviously have to be changed: San Francisco, Los Angeles, Santa Cruz, etc. Oh heck, Berkeley, CA, was named after a slave-owing Anglican priest!

How far do we want to carry this silliness?

Anonymous said...

Every Irish I've met seems to be pretty damn proud of Notre Dame and the Fighting Irish...

I think we would question anyone who claimed the name was offensive if they were truly were Irish- the Irish have been drinking and fighting for rights, protections etc since long before anyone cared about their opinion.