US bird society’s fowl woke rebranding

US bird society’s fowl woke rebranding


Memory-holing has reached another absurd extreme with the American Ornithological Society’s decision to rename dozens of bird species whose monikers are “clouded by racism and misogyny.”

Just to be safe, the plan is to purge any moniker associated with any human, as well as an avian classification “deemed offensive and exclusionary.”

This is beyond bird-brained; it has to come from professional staffers with too much time on their hands.

Real bird-lovers surely have better things to do with their time.

But it’s not just a waste of time and energy: It’s dishonest and cowardly.

If “there has been historic bias in how birds are named, and who might have a bird named in their honor,” as AOS officials claim, then just acknowledge that history — don’t paper it over.

We refuse to believe that even most fragile snowflake of a college student will melt on learning some particular fowl is named for a problematic rich guy, or whatever.

Rewriting the record doesn’t change what went before, it just hides it — and so makes it harder to learn from.

And, as the great philosopher George Santayana famously warned a century ago, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”

Enough with mandatory-amnesia games.

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