In an article that approaches peak 2020, some avis-inbecilli ornithologists say we have to change the common names that birds have had for centuries because, you guessed it, the names are RACIST!!! And not only that but the poor bird names “represent colonialism, racism and inequality”. Scary stuff!
However, it turns out that this avian ethnic cleansing is gonna be tough to accomplish. When I looked, I was astounded at the number of clearly racist bird names out there. Here are some of the worst offenders.
Under the new politically correct rules for 2020, for example, we can’t use “red” in a bird’s name, because we don’t want to insult the Early Asian Immigrants, aka “Red Indians”. I mean, looking at what happened to the “Washington Redskins”, red is obviously out of the question for bird names.
Next, of course, we can’t use “white” in bird names, as that might upset the melanin-deficient. And clearly, we mustn’t ever use “black” in a bird’s name, the BLM rioters would likely get riotous, and that’s literally lethal. Can’t have any names containing “yellow”, Asians would be mortified. “Brown” is out as well, I can hear the Aztlan Nation screaming from here.
And of course, “orange” is out because even in bird names ORANGE MAN BAD.
Doesn’t leave a whole lot of colors. We still have “rufous” in a lot of bird names, but nobody is quite sure what color that actually is. Once the sun sets on this farrago, we’ll be left with the Blue-Footed Booby, but the Red-Footed Booby will be consigned to the ash-can of Red Indian history …
And what about sexist bird names like the “Great Tit”? The 2020 funny-pink-hat crowd would be deservedly affronted by that name. I mean, you’d have to agree that it is seriously offensive to Not-So-Great Tits.
And undoubtedly, the Yellow-Breasted Antbird would spontaneously combust the hair of Asian feminists …
On another path, we dare not wander too far into questions of size-shaming. The wondrously named “Large-footed tapaculo” would have to go, obviously, it’s totally insulting to those who wear over Size 12 footgear. (For those asking, I call it the “bureaucrat bird”, because “tapaculo” in American Spanish literally means “one that covers its backside”, from Spanish tapar to cover + culo backside, from Latin culus. So it’s the CYA bird … but I digress)
Moving on from the culi, we have the “Dwarf tinamou”, highly problematic. It’s far too abusive to the altitude-challenged. Having a bird named “dwarf” endlessly insults them based on an unchangeable characteristic, so that every time they read the name of the bird, they are triggered once again. Gotta go.
And the well-upholstered and the abdominous come in for their share of size-shaming. The poor Giant Megapode of my old home, the Solomon Islands, has to lose its name. Plus, I know a few Pacific island countries full of people whose general construction blueprint is not unlike that of the “Stout Tongan Megapode” … talk about fat-shaming, “Stout” indeed! (Protip—as a long-time South Pacific resident, I don’t recommend angrifying the Tongans, Samoans, and other Pacific Islanders. They are wondrously charming folk, faithful friends and marvelous family … but they are not averse to thumping heads if excrement occurs … )
Now, as you may have noticed, those are not the name changes that the ornithologists actually called for. What you may not have noticed is that the stuff they called for was not only far stranger than anything I imagined. It was stranger than anything I could imagine.
For example, they called for renaming a bird because the man who first described it and named it, the man whose family is undoubtedly proud to have it named for him, happens to share a name with some damn obscure Confederate general nobody ever heard of.
Seriously. That’s their issue. Who could have imagined such lunacy? There’s a list of bird names here … perhaps you can look through them and point out this racist sky pilot who is so disgracing his politically correct great avian nation …
We live in a curious time. There are some folks out there that are so desperate to be offended (on someone else’s behalf, of course) that they are triggered by the name of a man who had NOTHING TO DO WITH RACISM, THE CIVIL WAR, OR BLACK PEOPLE!
And to make it even more bizarre, the author/ornithologist (who certainly appears to be white, see below) claims that white people are not qualified to judge what is racist and what isn’t … dang, bro’, hate yourself much?
The irony meter pegged out on that one. Some white soiboi is saying that the entire white race, based solely on the color of our skin, is not allowed to have a voice in the discussion.
Y’know, I think we used to have a word for denying people a voice in important discussions based solely on their skin color … it’ll come to me …
(In passing, I’ve often wondered what people meant by the recently popular phrase “white fragility”, as it certainly doesn’t describe me or my friends … but I think I might have found a clear example in the photo above.)
And in closing, all of this talk of bird names reminds me of the peculiar oddity of the naming of the Canary Islands.
The peculiar oddity is, there’s not one canary in the whole place. Go figure.
Perhaps not surprisingly, the exact same thing is true with the Virgin Islands.
… no canaries there either …
Stay well, dear friends. Hug your family, laugh at the inanities of this most wondrous life, and always, remember to remember …
PS—I do find a scant bit of hope in the name of a bird I’d never heard of, the “Black-and-white warbler” … ebony and ivory, together in perfect harmony. And we can do it. Thomas Sowell, one of the more brilliant men of our time, said “Racism is not dead, but it is on life support — kept alive by politicians, race hustlers and people who get a sense of superiority by denouncing others as “racists.”
This ornithologist is one of those keeping racism alive.