Thursday, May 05, 2011

Two Items That Caught My Attention

With all the news coverage in the past few days, a lot can get lost. Two of these in relation to the BIG story came across Yahoo! News yesterday.

First, it appears that even terrorists can inspire. Well, at least inspire Internet terrorism (AKA- Scammers)

(AP) NEW YORK – Online thieves and spammers are using the killing of Osama bin Laden to send out malicious software and spam to unwitting Internet users.

In what's become common practice among the Internet's less savory citizens, these scammers are sending out emails and spreading Facebook posts that purport to be videos or photos of the dead bin Laden.

But more significantly is this item about the use of the code name "Geronimo"...
(AP) Jeff Houser, chairman of Geronimo's Fort Sill Apache Tribe, noted in his letter to Obama that the decision behind the code name stemmed from an ongoing cultural disconnect, not malice. But the damage is the same.

"We are quite certain that the use of the name Geronimo as a code for Osama bin Laden was based on misunderstood and misconceived historical perspectives of Geronimo and his armed struggle against the United States and Mexican governments," Houser wrote.

"However, to equate Geronimo or any other Native American figure with Osama bin Laden, a mass murderer and cowardly terrorist, is painful and offensive to our Tribe and to all Native Americans."

The White House referred questions on the matter to the U.S. Defense Department, which said no disrespect was meant to Native Americans.
Most of us, even some of the more sensitive among us, including even myself, never caught that. When I saw it pop up last night I did one of those "Doh!" actions hitting my forehead with the palm of my hand. No matter how much we of the "majority" try to sensitize ourselves, some of our historic racial training can still find its way in. I am more aware of stereotypes and inappropriate interpretations of others that I used to be. But even after over half a century of my personal journey with it, I am still amazed- and humbled- by how much further I still have to go.

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