Posted by: bkivey | 10 April 2017

Where’s My Cultural Appropriation?

Although I live near one of the hotbeds of American Progressivism, I don’t live in it. Where I live it’s pretty much Life in America: folks minding their business and making a living. Folks will also talk about current events, and as my news intake is nearly non-existent, those aren’t conversations I excel at. I understand there’s some crisis in Syria, and we’ve launched some missiles.

But apparently not just any missiles. These are racist missiles. Because as sure as the Sun rises in the East, the ignorant have to pull a Lucy Van Pelt*. People are upset because the missile is named after a First Nations weapon: the tomahawk, proving again what a patriarchal, Anglo-dominant, cis-enabling society we are. Ho. Hum. You can read what I have to say about that here.

I was curious if the US military, largely run and staffed by White people, had appropriated any European culture in naming weapons systems. Depending on your sensibilities, it might be cool to have a cultural icon smiting the enemies of freedom.

How disappointing the results are.

There is the Claymore anti-personnel mine. Been in production a long time and very effective at it’s job. It’s a front-line weapon, so that’s good. If there’s some Scots in you your culture has been sufficiently appropriated.

Things improve with the C-130 Hercules. The Greeks get in on the game with their mythology, and the C-130 is a very capable aircraft. If you’re going to be appropriated, this is about as good as it gets.

The C-27J Spartan is a medium transport airplane we bought from the Italians. I don’t know if the Greeks would be too happy about appending the Spartan legacy to a cargo plane, and I’m sure most people wouldn’t want their cultural icon represented by a system that appears to have been an expensive bust.

That’s pretty much it for Euro-oriented weapons systems. The Navy has the E-2C Hawkeye, but the name probably refers more to visual acuity than Cooper’s protagonist or a super-human archer. There have been other Euro-centric monikers given to former weapons systems, but for the US military to have only two active system with a White connection is shameful. In the Age of Grievance, it seems everyone’s culture is getting stolen but mine.

* From a Peanuts comic where Lucy says “If you can’t be right, be wrong at the top of your lungs!”



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