• November 13, 2020
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confederate national bird

Smithsonian Institution. Read the original article. Notably, this occurred in 1851, before the U.S. Military Academy graduate left the U.S. Army. The NACC membership is all White. Why don't libraries smell like bookstores? Birders have so many different names for red. This date reflects the establishment of the federal government under the new Confederate Constitution when Jefferson Davis was inaugurated as the The pioneering birder John Audubon, whose legacy is memorialized in two bird names and by the National Audubon Society, also raided Native American graves, Martinez points out. McCown, Driver wrote, “fought for the right of states to preserve slavery.” All researchers, he argued, “should be able to conduct future research on any bird without feeling excluded, uncomfortable, or shame when they hear or say the name of the bird.”. So, they really have no excuse for not changing these names.”. The bird world is embroiled in debate about whether to rename McCown's Longspur, a grassland bird that bears the name of a Confederate general—an ornithological outgrowth of a national movement to remove monuments to defenders of slavery. What Was on the Menu at the First Thanksgiving? “But I see no evidence he was involved with slavery.” (Decades of historical work have documented that the Confederate Army primarily existed to defend the institution of slavery.). An AOS spokesperson said the committee will announce its decision on renaming later this month or in early August. Felis catus) as well as a common name (e.g. In a petition it submitted to the society in June, it noted the rejection of a 2019 proposal to strip McCown’s name and suggested that the latest push to do so could not fail. Jason Ward, host of the documentary series “Birds of North America” and founder of the group Black AF in STEM, an online community of Black scientists, said that birding “is not really the most accessible hobby, for a lot of different reasons,” including the cost of gear like binoculars and cameras and accessibility of green spaces. California Do Not Sell My Info Louisiana. Give a Gift. The most important news stories of the day, curated by Post editors and delivered every morning. Kenn Kaufman, an ornithologist and author in Western Ohio, supported the name change and praised Driver for alerting birders to McCown’s background. Last year, the North American Classification Committee of the American Ornithological Society (AOS), passed on a chance to rename McCown’s longspur, citing the importance of maintaining stability in bird names. Shop By Price. These were the prevailing thoughts in the scientific community at that time.”. The name was indeed problematic. “Why not change these bird names as well? Does Jerry Seinfeld have Parkinson's disease? “It’s just amazing how many of them there are. Many birders hope they will not have to wait 40 years for McCown’s longspur to get a new name. McCown is hardly the only objectionable name in the bird world. In anonymous written responses, several committee members argued that the group should favor “stability in names” as much as possible, reflecting the checklist’s taxonomic philosophy. Something much smaller has also elicited debate over its Confederate name: McCown’s longspur, a bird that lives in the Great Plains and looks a bit like a sparrow. Regarding stability, McGee said, “the idea that we should do things a certain way because that’s how they’ve always been done isn’t a good enough excuse.”, Sara Lipshutz, a postdoctoral fellow in biology at Indiana University Bloomington, wrote in an email to Undark that she was frustrated with the value placed on stability. Photo: Agami Photo Agency/Alamy. A petition calling for the renaming of McCown’s longspur and other species, led by birders Jordan Rutter and Gabriel Foley with the help of others in the birding community, soon collected hundreds of signatures. “As I continued reading about him, he really rose through the ranks,” he said. “The landscape of birding is changing,” says Ward. Hannah Thomasy is a freelance science writer splitting time between Toronto and Seattle. “In the case of McCown, the only negative I really see for him is that he chose to go with the Confederates rather than the Union when the Civil War broke out,” the member wrote. “The general awareness this has produced, I’m very happy that this is on people’s minds now.”. In 2019, after the ruling, NACC developed a new naming policy, in consultation with the AOS Committee on Diversity and Inclusion, in which they acknowledged the possibility of changing offensive names. Make sure to check out our Confederate Flag Belt Buckles and sweatshirts and hats too! The announcement late last week represented the first time the 137-year-old society has altered a name with a Confederate past. Now at The Dixie shop, we have Confederate Flag & Rebel Flag Decals. It was named after John Porter McCown, who was involved in forcible relocations of Native Americans during the 1840s, and who left the United States Army to serve as a Confederate general during the Civil War. “I don’t think we should make that road even tougher by having names that evoke bad memories or horrible times in our country.”, Driver’s longspur proposal did instigate some changes. “Multiple people in high-up positions in neighboring ornithological groups have spoken out with their thoughts and have given really, really great solutions to this problem. Do American Indians celebrate Thanksgiving? One group, Bird Names for Birds, seeks to eliminate such names entirely. They are perfect to place on your jacket, bag, or wherever else you can show off your Southern pride. “Naming and language have power. “In a way, it’s implicitly being like ‘the most important thing for you to know about a bird is that this White guy saw it.’” But, McLaughlin said, many people already “had an intimate knowledge of these birds.”, McLaughlin and some other researchers suggest that birds shouldn’t be named after people at all. How will understanding of attitudes and predisposition enhance teaching? There are signs that naming conventions are changing — among bird people, and in scientific and geographic classification more broadly. “These antiquated common names are harmful, unnecessary, and should be changed in the interest of a more welcoming ornithology.”. Cookie Policy Andy Reago & Chrissy McClarren via Flickr, The Myths of the Thanksgiving Story and the Lasting Damage They Imbue, Hegra, an Ancient City in Saudi Arabia Untouched for Millennia, Makes Its Public Debut, Missing Australian Masterpiece Spent 115 Years Hiding in Plain Sight, Medicinal Plant May Have Evolved Camouflage to Evade Humans. Sports teams, military bases and corporate logos aren’t the only things being renamed or recast during these days of racial reckoning. Something much smaller has also elicited debate over its Confederate name: McCown’s longspur, a bird that lives in the Great Plains and looks a bit like a sparrow. The names of various animals, plants, and natural features have faced criticism over the years, including a beetle named for Hitler; a lizard named for surveyor Howard Stansbury, who was involved in massacring people of the Timpanogos Nation in Utah; and a lily with a common name containing a deeply offensive racial slur. When scientists refuse to stop using terms that are steeped in racism, she added, “that tells Black people and other people of color that they don’t matter, that they’re not important.”. Many in the community are applauding the switch. In 2015, ornithologists in Sweden officially renamed several birds whose original names had racist connotations. Two decades ago, the organization assessed the problems with the oldsquaw, a vocal species of waterfowl that officially became the long-tailed duck. This article was originally published on Undark. They must be changed. Continue Privacy Statement When nationwide protests against racial injustice began this May, though, the longspur still had its name. Get the best of Smithsonian magazine by email.

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