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Sweden Ban Bird Names that Sounds ‘Racist’

bird-watching-racist  Sweden Ban Bird Names that Sounds ‘Racist’ bird watching racist

Bird watching is racist!

Sweden’s at it again, folks. Political correctness has gotten so far out of control in Sweden that they are now renaming birds because certain bird names might be construed as “racist.” [3]  Because everybody must know by now that things that sound racist are just another stumbling block to the emergence of a post-racial utopia. [6] According to Swedish news site The Local, the ban and ensuing name changes came about after the society finished compiling its first complete list of bird types.  “We haven’t had an official list of what all the birds in the world are called in Swedish until now, we just had an unofficial list put together about 10 years ago,” Swedish Ornithological Society member Anders Wirdheim said. The employees of the society have been receiving numerous questions from translators and bird watchers, who want to know the exact names of birds. [5] Anders Wirdheim, a spokesperson at the society, told The Local:

We kept getting more and more questions from translators of Swedish TV programmes and books wanting to know what exactly different bird names were or meant. We decided to compile a list and while we were doing that we decided to change the names of any birds that could have stirred up a debate.” [2] [5]

AndersWirdheim-  Sweden Ban Bird Names that Sounds ‘Racist’ AndersWirdheim

Swedish Ornithological Society spokeperson Anders Wirdheim

The full list of Swedish bird names was completed three weeks ago after several years of research and includes translations for 10,709 different species. [7]  All bird names containing the word “neger” (negro), such as the negerfinken, have now been changed to instead use “svart,” the Swedish word for “black.”  A species of duck known as the “Hottentott” has been changed due to the word’s apparent derogatory usage against the “Khoikhoi” tribe in South Africa.   The “kaffer” bird, known as the “swift” in English, was also changed as not to sound similar to a term used in South Africa as well, causing the “white-rumped swift” to becomes the “vitgumpseglare.”  Even words that could be translated to sound questionable in other languages were banned and altered, such as the “Zigenarfågel” or the “gypsy bird.” [2] “It’s a very racist, especially in Africa. It is incitement to hatred in South Africa to use that word so we really needed to remove that name,” says Erland Jirle, one of those who have been involved in developing the new names, TV4. [1]  The racial sensitivity of Sweden is so remarkable. Humanity ought to be thankful for Sweden’s role as a beacon of light in the world. [6] In addition to the racist names, bird names that previously have been directly translated from English have been updated on the list that includes nearly 1100 species of birds.  [1]

Paul-Baicich  Sweden Ban Bird Names that Sounds ‘Racist’ Paul Baicich

American Birding Association board member Paul Baicich

Bird watching is a popular hobby among nature-loving Swedes. Around 17,000 are members of Sweden’s Ornothological Society and the group estimates that a total of 30 to 40,000 people across the country participate in the sport on a regular basis.  [7] But thanks to the National Geographics we now know that the entire field of bird watching is “racist.” According to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, in 2011, “93 percent of American birders were white, 5 percent were Hispanic (which includes both blacks and whites), 4 percent were black, 1 percent were Asian American, and 2 percent were “other.” [10] So, it would seem that there is not enough black bird watcher according the National Geographics. [9] [10]  This should explain why ornitologist came up with such offensive and racist names for all those different species of birds they discovered over the years. Not only that, but it would seems that they don’t accept everybody into their ranks either. The demographic numbers shows big ethnic gaps in the field of ornitology.  It must be racist exclusionism. [9] Writer, editor, and former American Birding Association board member Paul Baicich, whose father is named Giuseppe and whose family background is Italian, says lack of inclusiveness is nothing new. “About 120 years ago, birding organizations were anti-immigrant,” he says. [10]

In the past three years, a group of birders has pulled together to try to bring more minorities into their community, staging a series of conferences called Focus on Diversity: Changing the Face of American Birding. [10]

Because it must be obvious to anybody that you can’t watch birds without “diversity.”

The meetings have covered a range of reasons why minorities may find it hard to embrace birding, including concerns about how onlookers might react to seeing a black or Hispanic man with binoculars wandering the woods—or a suburban neighborhood—at dusk, dawn, or night. [10]

According to reports, debate thus far over the subject has been minimal, but at one point a lot of people started to tweet pictures of Swedish birds in protest.  “I thought it would be a few reactions, but there have not been so many,” Erling Jirle a researcher at the University of Lund and bird enthusiast told Swedish newspaper Sydvenskan. [7]  While some see the change as a needed adjustment, others feel the incident once again represents out-of-control political correctness. [2] A similar incident unfolded in the United States in late 2013 when public affairs officers in Seattle, Washington, demanded the words “brown bag” and “citizens” be banned from all governmental use.  [2] Elliott Bronstein of the Office for Civil Rights in Seattle argued that “brown bag,” a term referring to city meetings in which participants brought a lunch from home, could be offensive to black Americans.  Police in the United Kingdom banned the words “blacklist” and “whitelist” in 2012 as well over fears that law enforcement could be accused of racism. [2]

[2] Mikael Thalen, ‘Racist Sounding’ Bird Names Banned in Sweden, Infowars.com, February 20, 2015
[3] Sweden Renames Birds With “Racist” Names, The Daily Slave, February 20, 2015
[4] Michael Allen, Racist Bird Names Banned In Sweden, Opposing Views, Sat, February 21, 2015
[7] ‘Racist’ bird names banned by Sweden, TheLocal.se, 20 Feb 2015 10:53 GMT+01:00
[8] Sweden: Several birds found to have racist names – now they are being replaced, Before it’s News, Friday, February 20, 2015 9:18
[9] Daniel Greenfield, Bird-Watching Now Also Racist, Front Page Mag, September 23, 2014
[10] Martha Hamilton, Colorful World of Birding Has Conspicuous Lack of People of Color, The National Geographics,  September 23, 2014


About Bill Wallace

Bill Wallace is a self-fashioned writter, a computer programmer and cybermarketer from Quebec City, Canada who decided to enter the political arena after his disillusionment with the socialist system under which he was living in the French Canadian province of Quebec.

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