By Roni Freels
Geronimo, an Apache warrior, may have been able to walk the trails without leaving footprints, but he sure left his footprints on many hearts in the Native American nation.
It is appalling that the Obama Administration has repeatedly pulled out the race card, yet would not give a second thought to using the name of an American Indian hero in an explicit derogatory way. Calling Osama bin Laden Geronimo has created a stir among the Native Americans…and so it should.
Indians have been pushed aside by the government since Columbus found them standing on the shores of a country he got the credit for discovering. They have been treated as outcast from the rest of the population, yet bravely and without regrets they wear the American label proudly. Many Indians from distinct tribes fight along side their counterparts, the black man and the white man, they too have lost lives in the battles of time past as well in the wars of today. Yet seldom recognized, the Indian nation holds their contributions to the country they love close to their hearts.
Geronimo was not a terrorist, but a man who fought against the government for the benefit of his people. The government was taking the land away from the Indians and Geronimo, feeling it was wrong, set out to stop them. America needs another Geronimo.
What else would one expect from the Obama except excuses for claiming that particular code name. A code name that to not only the American Indian was a degrading choice, but to many white and black American’s who still today value the heroism shown by the real Geronimo.
To label Osama bin Laden with the code name Geronimo in the opinion of many is not only distasteful but a lack of American history knowledge. The Defense Department claims they did not intend disrespect due to the fact that the term Geronimo is used as a war cry in many situations. That can perhaps be acceptable, however to pin the name on a know terrorist is not acceptable.
Had the Administration not been so eager to play the race card, perhaps the nation could accept this as simply lack of knowledge, but since the race card has been played numerous times by this Administration, it cannot possibly be recognized as an oversight. It is a race issue and the President should by all means stand before national television camera’s and apologize to the American Indians.
Geronimo was in his time, and remains today a true warrior to his people…a hero who wanted his people to be treated with respect and to be allowed to live on their own land…land they elected to live on without government interference.
Osama bin Laden was a terrorist. He orchestrated the demise of 3,000 people on 9/11. A day in history that brought not just the black American or the white American to the knees, but the American Indian wept as well for the country they love. To compare bin Laden to Geronimo is despicable and insulting. There is no comparison what so ever in Geronimo the hero, and bin Laden the terrorist.