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From Rich Bowen <>
Subject Re: [VOTE] Official Name for "Geronimo" Project
Date Sat, 29 Nov 2003 23:45:05 GMT
On 29 Nov 2003, Jason van Zyl wrote:

> It's not like it's "Geronimo: the society of baby seal clubbers" or
> something nasty like that. It's a piece of free software that gives
> people some choice and it uses the name of a native indian hero. So some
> coke and twinkie consuming, pasty white programmer might actually learn
> something from looking up Geronimo.

Do you really feel that this type of unwarranted attack in any way
benefits the discussion? Please try to keep the discussion at a
professional level, and on topic, rather than resorting to personal
attacks. Thanks.

The fact of the matter is that, in the USA, any mention of any minority
(aka non-white) historical figure or group of people, by persons not in
that group, is guaranteed to cause someone to be offended. Being
offended is kinda like a national pasttime. And while this irritates
most right-thinking people, that in no way stops it from happening. Any
attempt to prove this wrong via logic is obviously going at it from the
wrong angle, because this culture of umbrage is in no way based on

Yes, the name "Apache" offends people, but it's too late to change. It
is not, however, too late to avoid offending other people. And while
it is, of course, impossible to avoid offending everyone (you'd be
amazed at the things that people get offended about) it is possible to
avoid the most obviously hot-button ones.

Yes, Geronimo was a hero. Yes, naming the project after him does him
honor. However, not everyone will see it that way. Frankly, not being
Native Americans, we're not entitled to have an opinion about whether
it's offensive. And I expect that they might not want us appropriating
their heroes for our own uses.

So, for the record, I'm saying that we should avoid using the name.

And everyone said, "If we only live, 
We too will go to sea in a Sieve -
To the hills of the Chankly Bore!"
 (The Jumblies, by Edward Lear)

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