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From Berin Loritsch <>
Subject Re: FW: Use of "Geronimo" as a project name
Date Tue, 19 Aug 2003 13:12:13 GMT
Arved Sandstrom wrote:

>>-----Original Message-----
>>From: Geir Magnusson Jr. []
>>Sent: August 19, 2003 12:56 AM
>>Subject: Re: FW: Use of "Geronimo" as a project name
>>seems like a pretty useless answer.
>>I really dislike the name Geronimo too, but I can't see how it would be
>>insulting.  The currently-named geronimo project is so far very
>>positive, active, and cool.
>>I'm of Icelandic heritage, and would be more than happy to see anything
>>named after a Viking.
> [ SNIP ]
> My thoughts precisely. I am 100% Estonian, and if someone used the name of a
> legendary or historical Estonian figure for a software project I can hardly
> see how that would be offensive or actionable. I completely discount the
> notion that only American Indians can use the names of American Indians -
> that is absurd. Where does that thought process stop?

Keep in mind what makes Native Americans so sensitive about their heritage,
names, and icons.

Historically, what happened is that "White Man" (Europeans) came to this
country.  While some europeans attempted to live peacefully with the Native
Americans, others did not.  Eventually there were so many whites in this
nation that they took over.  The Europeans took over the land, told the
Indians where to live, took their symbols, and left them with essentially

Let me ask you, if you were exploited and treated so unfairly, would you be
so enthusiastic to let anyone--esp. white men/europeans--take parts of your
identity for their purposes?

That is *why* Native Americans are so reluctant to allow their heritage to
be used by non-natives.  Being about 1/8th Cherokee, I can sympathise a bit
to their plight (my great grandfather was full blooded).  Although, not
being in real contact with any native americans I can't truly empathize.

That said, I am not saying that the name Geronimo--a nationally historic
figure--should be avoided at all costs.  All I am saying is to understand
where they are coming from.


"They that give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety
  deserve neither liberty nor safety."
                 - Benjamin Franklin

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