Canada The American Ornithology Society wants to change the names of "problematic"
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There were statues, street names and, recently,. From now on, it is the birds that may be targeted by the "Cancel Culture". Last April, the American Ornitological Association (American Ornithology Society, AOS) organized a seminar on North American bird names, reports . The purpose of this initiative: rename the volatiles whose appellation refers to slavery or colonization.
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It all started in August 2020, with a tribune published in theand signed by two American ornithologists, Jordan Rutter and Gabriel Foley. In their text, they particularly felt that " colonialism taints the vernacular names of several birds " and that they were " as such ", be modified. From our colleagues of the world , Jordan Rutter regretted as well as the birds were all baptized by the name of men - " and some women " - whites, most of which " were despicable characters, even according to the Criteria of the 19th century ".
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A list of 150 birds "problematic"
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Since then, the two specialists have launched a site named. It lists whose names are related to characters judged " problematic ". For each name, the site publishes a kind of technical sheet, which reminds the profession, the nationality and what is reproached to the "implicated". Among them, the Gobe-flies of Hammond, named from William Alexander Hammond, a surgeon and neurologist of the 19th century convinced that blacks were lower human beings. Or the sparrow of Bachman, who holds his name from the Lutheran Pastor John Bachman, described as " Progressive " but accused of having been the owner of slaves and to have " sought to provide a reasoning at the same time scientific and religious in favor of slavery ".
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by this initiative, Jordan Rutter and Gabriel Foley intended to convince the AOS to engage a deep reform of bird names. With success, since the president of the company, Mike Webster, has appointed a committee of 18 professional ornithologists professional and amateurs, charged with floor on the issue, emphasizes the world . And this small revolution has already made a first victim: McCown's Plectrophane, of the name of General Confederate John Porter McCown. The bird was renamed "Big Spout Plectrophane" because of the liabilities of Native American officer's " Skull Pilleter". Not without difficulty, since the AOS had first refused this change in July 2019, before giving in. From our colleagues, the organization now recognizes that some names are "potentially offensive or controversial". And to give an appointment at the beginning of the year 2022, for a first series of recommendations of the Committee.
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