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PACIFIC OCEAN (June 23, 2010) The guided-missile destroyer USS Sterett (DDG 104) successfully launches its second Tomahawk missile during weapons testing. Sterett is underway off the coast of Southern California conducting Tomahawk missile testing in preparation for an upcoming deployment. (U.S. Navy photo by Fire Controlman 1st Class Stephen J. Zeller/Released.) 100623-N-0251Z-004 PACIFIC OCEAN (June 23, 2010) The guided-missile destroyer USS Sterett (DDG 104) successfully launches its second Tomahawk missile during weapons testing. Sterett is underway off the coast of Southern California conducting Tomahawk missile testing in preparation for an upcoming deployment. (U.S. Navy photo by Fire Controlman 1st Class Stephen J. Zeller/Released.)  

Indian tribe not offended by term ‘Tomahawk cruise missile’

Photo of Patrick Howley
Patrick Howley
Political Reporter

The American Indian tribe pushing to change the name of the Washington Redskins is not offended by President Obama’s potential use of “Tomahawk” cruise missiles in Syria.

“Go to a Webster’s dictionary and read what ‘Redskins’ means. It specifically says that it is a racial slur. That is the Webster’s dictionary. If you look up ‘tomahawk’ that’s not what it says,” Joel Barkin, vice president of communications for Oneida Nation, told The Daily Caller.

“[Redskin] is an objective slur. That is the primary issue here,” Barkin said.

Obama might launch Tomahawk cruise missiles at Syria, much the way the Indians shot their bows and arrows at American cowboys.

The upstate New York-based Oneida Nation is running a radio ad campaign to pressure NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell to “stand up to bigotry” and denounce the Redskins’ name.

“Symbols matter, and sports hold a very unique role in our culture. We’ve seen that sports has been a tremendous vehicle for social change in this country,” Barkin said, referencing Jackie Robinson and the U.S. Olympic hockey team’s 1980 victory against the USSR.

The Oneida Nation owns the Turning Stone Resort Casino, which hosted Mike Tyson’s debut as a boxing promoter August 23.

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