Scientists believe racism and colonialism are in the DNA of ornithology
The Washington Post newspaper published a long article, the main characters of which were birds, as well as scientists, after whom some birds were named. The story is titled “The racist legacy of many birds.”
“Racism and colonialism are in the DNA of ornithology … About 140 eponyms (names for birds) honor people associated with slavery and white supremacy,” writes journalist Darrell Furse. – Bachman’s sparrow and Wallace’s pigeon bear the names of people who fought for the ideas of slave owners and stole skulls from Indian graves for pseudoscientific research, later refuted, and also bought and sold blacks.
Thus, six different species of birds are named after the British naturalist Alfred Russell Wallace, who bragged about killing an African woman, claiming that he “mistook a woman for an animal.” Three more species are named after another British naturalist, James Sligo Jameson, “who was involved in a heinous act against a young black woman he bought.”
Whites were to blame not only for ornithological problems. “Ornithology and natural sciences in general were associated with the colonialist worldview of whites, the exploitation and assertion of property rights to things and people who were part of the ecosystem and lived alongside these birds all their lives,” – the American ornithologist of Asian descent Olivia Wang made the verdict.
By the way, the American Ornithological Society bears the name of the famous scientist John Audubon, who was a slave owner 170 years ago. The leadership of the society has already stated that they are “deeply concerned about the racist actions of Audubon and realize how painful this historical legacy is for blacks.”