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Chechneyan President—American as Apple Pie
And we think others are inherently different from Americans.

In a September 4, 2006 web article, CNN reports that Chechnya's President Alu Alkhanov has suggested renaming the Chechnya region—to clean up its image after a decade of war. He suggested "Nokhchiin," from their name for themselves in their own language.

We've been trying this for decades, attempting to solve a problem or correct a perception by renaming a people, place or thing. Estate tax became death tax. Negroes became Colored People, became Black People, became African-Americans. Abortion became either life (death) or choice, depending on the point of view.

Of course, bigotry didn't end when we changed our labels for ethnic groups, the national debt didn't go away because we came up with catchy names for taxes, and the life/choice labels only succeeded in hijacking the body of American politics and holding it captive to a single issue.

But while we may not be very successful at inspiring others to mimic our idea of democracy, it seems we're doing OK at convincing them to try name-changing. I hope it works better for the Chechens than it has for us.


copyright © 2010, J. C. Adamson