At the Washington Post, cuckoos have been called out for trying to benefit off of racist ideologies and behaviors in a transparent exposé of their operations.
There was also an article surrounding racist birds.
Environmental justice reporter for the Post Darryl Fears, praised efforts in the birding community to eliminate all ties to racism after it was discovered that many of the titles assigned to the Aves of America contained hints of discrimination within their history.
Most notable are James Sligo Jameson and Alfred Russel Wallace, who have a total of nine different species of birds named after them. According to the Fox News report, the two British naturalists were born in the 19th century and have been connected with problematic behavior and rhetoric.
The appropriately named Fears also addressed two new discoveries in Bachman’s sparrow and Wallace’s fruit dove, both species that “bear the names of men who fought for the Southern cause, stole skulls from Indian graves for pseudoscientific studies that were later debunked, and bought and sold Black people.”
The birding community has sought the help of Black ornithologists to combat the racist ties, including J. Drew Lanham, who told the Post, “Conservation has been driven by white patriarchy, this whole idea of calling something a wilderness after you move people off it or exterminate them and that you get to take ownership.”
The Post report also informed readers that while a campaign to rename these species has been in development, White ornithologists have been the blockage for progress. “But overcoming those barriers will be daunting. As with the wider field of conservation, racism and colonialism are in ornithology’s DNA, indelibly linked to its origin story. The challenge of how to move forward is roiling White ornithologists as they debate whether to change as many as 150 eponyms, names of birds that honor people with connections to slavery and supremacy.”
A wave of cancelations will be on the way for birds with bigoted backgrounds, meaning Hollywood screenwriters are on the brink of a new socially relevant drama centered around this controversy, and prime for awards season.
One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest 2.