After pressure from Native American groups, Apache helicopters renamed ‘Haji Killers’
THE PENTAGON — The Pentagon announced today a plan to rename the AH-64 Apache attack helicopter the AH-64 “Haji Killer.” The move comes amid pressure from Native American advocacy groups to remove what are seen as racist or degrading references to Native Americans from the Pentagon’s naming conventions.
“We want to ensure we do not offend marginalized groups of people with the names of our flying death machines,” said Defense Secretary Ashton Carter. “We take special care to avoid microaggressions, as the Department of Defense is only in the business of macroaggressions.”
Carter acknowledged he aims to bring the Pentagon into the 21st Century by becoming more culturally sensitive.
“We have a proud heritage, and will not allow the white man to dehumanize our people by reducing us to mascots for sports teams or nicknames for helicopters,” said Chief Flying Horse, spokesman for the National Congress of American Indians.
Several name changes were proposed for the AH-64. The AH-64 “Hornet” was a provisional name under consideration, but was scrapped due to not wanting to offend F/A-18 Hornet pilots.
“Instead of trying to come up with a catchy nickname, we simplified the process and named the AH-64 based purely on its functionality,” said Carter.
In addition to the Apache changing to the Haji Killer, OH-58 Kiowas will now be known as “Mosque Manglers” and BGM-109 Tomahawk Missiles as “Turban Torpedoes.”
“This is a proud moment in the advancement of Native American civil rights,” said Flying Horse. “Now we just need to deal with those fucking Washington Redskins.”