Seen a Hammond’s flycatcher lately? Or perhaps a Wallace’s fruit dove? Yes or no, you likely won’t be seeing one again. Don’t worry, it’s not because they are on the edge of extinction. It’s because the humans they were named after are now deemed racist by certain ornery ornithologists. William Alexander Hammond, for example, was a former U.S. surgeon general, but apparently did not think highly of the mental capabilities of Black people. Wallace was a British naturalist, explorer, and anthropologist who assisted Charles Darwin in conceiving the theory of evolution via natural selection. Wallace, however, apparently used the “N” word in his writings, and, since he was neither Black nor a rap “artist,” his name must be eviscerated from the face of the earth.
Enter Bird Names for Birds (!), a grassroots initiative striving to change potentially offensive eponymous North American bird names. Bird Names for Birds, a name that is for the birds, believes far too many of our avian friends have been named after problematic people…and ergo their names must be changed. Jordan Rutter, the group’s co-founder, says the initiative has identified a list of 150 birds in North America named after people and that it is attempting to get many of those names changed.
J. Drew Lanham, a Black ornithologist, says “conservation has been driven by white patriarchy.” Really? Could it be that whites organized and catalogued most of the natural world in part to protect it when no one else was doing so?
Hyper-sensitive so-called “progressives” have set about changing the names of our streets, lakes, school names and sports teams. And now they are going after racist bird names. As if anyone in this increasingly over-educated yet increasingly ignorant nation would have any idea who the birds were named after, let alone what that person thought or did.
Schoolchildren used to say, “sticks and stones may break my bones, but names will never hurt me.” Now adult scientists are scarred by the name of a bird.
But it’s not just birds named after “problematic” humans that can offend. Far from it. What about the cardinal? Overly religious and exclusionary to non-Catholics. American Goldfinch? America has certainly finched a lot of gold from the rest of the world’s nations. Purple Martin? Sexist to beat hell. What about Martina? The Killdeer? Violent, scary and confusing. Common Loon? So, making fun of the mentally ill is okay? Same with the cuckoo. Coot? As in, “look at that old coot?” Ageist. Quail? Sounds like Dan Quayle. Yuck. Turkey? Obviously hurtful. Albatross? Like in, “an albatross around my neck?” I think not. Vulture? Would you want to be called a vulture? How about the Northern pygmy-owl? Are you that callous and small-minded? Yellow-bellied sapsucker? Is there a more hurtful name to call a living being? Tufted titmouse? Boobie? Talk about the product of a twisted, misogynistic, white patriarchy!
There is no end to what one can be offended by if one is desperately looking to be offended.
Rutter and Lanham are nought but virtue-signaling birdbrains. I can only dwell on progressive madness so long before I need a break, so I’m going to pour myself a drink and listen to some music. Kill two birds with one stone so to speak. Perhaps a little Grey Goose and Lynyrd-Skynyrd.
Free Bird anyone?