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From Danny Angus <>
Subject Why I am opposed to retaining the name Geronimo, and whi I consider this VOTE to be biased.
Date Thu, 18 Dec 2003 09:32:34 GMT


Responding to comments made about noise on the VOTE thread, and the
importance of acheiving a reasonable majority for one position over another
(in order to make the decision clearly mandated) I would like to express my
opinions regarding the name and the vote.

1/ With regard to the vote it appears to me that a vote proposing that we
either retain the status-quo or opt for an as yet unknown new option will
always be biased in favour of the status-quo.
I would contend that this issue would have been more fairly decided had a
nomination process been held for potential alternative names.

2/ With regard to the name itself I believe that it would be an expression
of anglo-saxon imperial arrogance to appropriate a cultural symbol of
another culture in this way unless it was with the blessing of the culture
concerned. That we have done it in the past, and that others may also be
doing it is no defence. Consider how you would feel should some refrence
from your cultural history be misappropriated in this way. We are a mixed
community, from innumerable different backgrounds, surely between us we can
exhibit some sensitivity.

That there _is_ a feeling in Native American society against this
misappropriation in general is clearly seen here:

"Mascots perpetuate stereotypes about American Indians, involve the
misappropriation of the American Indian cultural identity, and often
include the display or depiction of symbols and practices having a
religious significance to American Indians.
In addition, these practices are likely to have a negative impact on the
educational experience and self-esteem of American Indian students and
contribute to the mis-education of all students."


3/ On a practical level the current name is causing division, we should be
seeking to unite opinion in one way or another, and not pre-empt concesus
by holding a vote before the community has had time to reach broad
agreement. I would stress that I have an open mind about the acceptability
of our use of the name, but also I believe that it is not my judgement
which counts, it is that of Native American society.

4/ Most commercial software is announced and pre-released using a code
name, a working project name.
Ours is "Geronimo". I do not believe that we would undo six months of brand
building if we do change the name, but we need to do it soon, and to
prepare the ground intelligently.

I would stress that I'm a great believer in The Apache Way, I have no doubt
that this will be resolved fairly and to the credit of our community, but
remember that we should consider the issues before voting and if this issue
requires a length debate then thats what we will ahve to put up with.


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