To the Left, EVERYTHING is racist ... including bird names, apparently. Glenn and Stu review an announcement from the American Ornithological Society that it's changing the names of around 80 bird species that are either named after people or have somehow been deemed offensive. Then, they break down why this is utterly ridiculous in every way possible.
Below is a rush transcript that may contain errors
GLENN: Oh, man.
Is everything racist?
STU: It's time for another episode of everything is racist!
GLENN: We're going to pantoverse now. As we are looking at ornithology.
STU: Yes! It's very important, Glenn. I hope you know that a lot of the familiar names you know, from birding. I know you're a big birder. Big birder. People don't know that.
GLENN: I'm not a big birder. I don't know anyone who is a big birder.
STU: Oh, huge birder.
GLENN: I eat birds.
STU: That's why you're looking for them. It's a little bit differently than the typical birder. You do it a little bit differently.
STU: But you will have to say goodbye to some very familiar bird names. Like, I mean, say it with me. Anna's hummingbird.
GLENN: Anna's hummingbird. Anna's hummingbird.
STU: Gambel's quail.
GLENN: Gambel's quail.
STU: Lewis's woodpecker.
GLENN: Lewis's woodpecker. That one sounds like we shouldn't talk about it.
What is that? That's Lewis's woodpecker. Stop playing with that.
STU: Just leave him alone.
Bullock's oriole. How many times have you been like, oh, look. It's Bullock's oriole right over there?
GLENN: I usually just say it's an Oriole. But when it's Bullock's oriole, it rubs me wrong. It rubs me wrong.
STU: It does.
Well, apparently this will go away. Because of the American Ornithological Society, how they viewed to change the English names of all bird species, currently named after people.
Along with any other bird names deemed offensive or exclusionary. Now --
GLENN: Okay. Okay. Hang on just a second. To whom? The birds? The watchers?
STU: No, the birds don't care. It's apparently about human beings, as they discuss in the article.
GLENN: Okay. So is this happening all over the world, in every language? Any other society that has named a bird?
STU: There's only one society that matters.
And it's the American Ornithological Society, which is a word I've said many, many times. Not just starting yesterday.
GLENN: You remember.
Now, there have also been bird names named after Native American tribes. Because that's also offensive, like the Washington Redskins. That was offensive, had to get rid of it.
Even though about 90 percent of the people in the tribe approved of it. That didn't matter. This move comes as a part of a broader effort to diversify birding, and make it more welcoming to people of all races and backgrounds.
GLENN: You know what, I have to tell you, because you know me.
I'm one with the hood.
And I'm down with my peeps in the hood.
And we're listening to --
And she's like, where is --
STU: Where my phone?
GLENN: Where my phone in and I say to myself, Lizzo, have you thought of perhaps bird watching?
STU: Birding. Let's call it the appropriate term.
GLENN: I'm in the hood.
STU: This is a slang term for birding. I got it.
GLENN: And she says, where the hell my phone. And I said, you don't need one. You just go out with all the stuff you might get from the ornithology society. And you just go watch them birds.
And she said to me, and this is a quote. Birding is too racist. And I said, I'm with you. I'm with you on that.
But can you explain?
And she said, huh. I don't think I have to, you to, Glenn. And I said, damn right.
STU: That's right. I remember, you told me about that conversation. With contemporaneous notes backing that up, if anyone wants to see it. So this is very common actually. There's a lot of people just sitting around and saying, you know, I would love to get into birding. But I find the name Louis' woodpecker to be a little offensive.
GLENN: Can we use something else besides?
STU: No. Because there's never been an African-American.
GLENN: A hole in the side of a barn. And now I have to replace that whole --
STU: With Louis' woodpecker?
GLENN: No. Because Louis put a hole in the barn.
STU: It's a large bird.
GLENN: Is it?
STU: Louis had a big bird.
And a lot of people talk about it.
GLENN: Let's move on.
STU: But, you know, are there a lot of people that go through this process?
Because there's never been an African-American name with the last name Louis. That's never occurred. Certainly throughout history.
GLENN: Well, Joe.
STU: Carroll. You know, I don't know. There's been some.
But you would think --
GLENN: The one who wrote Alice in Wonderland.
STU: That one. Yeah, whoever that one was.
So biologist Erica Nole says, she was recently visiting some salt marshes. Now, I know you have a time share near a salt marsh that you visit often.
GLENN: Oh, yeah. I get all my salt there.
STU: She saw a common bird there called Wilson's snipe. As you know, there's never been an African-American with the last name Wilson. They don't -- that never occurred.
STU: Russell. So which -- this bird has a long bill and engages in dramatic displays such as flying in high circles, which produces a whistling sound as air flows over specialized feathers. Very good execution. You are a birder. I can tell.
GLENN: That's the Wilson snipe.
STU: Which I actually this is a pretty cool name.
GLENN: Snipe! Snipe!
STU: But it doesn't say Wilson. It just says snipe.
STU: And this biologist says, quote, and I thought, what a terrible name. I mean, Wilson was the father of modern ornithology.
STU: But this bird has so many other evocative characteristics. I mean, all --
GLENN: You know, when I think of the guy who founded modern ornithology. When I think of him, I think, that damn Wilson.
That damn Wilson. His name is everywhere. Everywhere.
STU: What color was Wilson with Tom Hanks?
White. The ball was white. Remember that.
GLENN: I got it.
STU: Okay. So that's the typical craziness.
Number one, they're calling the bird names racist. And acting like some Hispanic person is like, I can't. I would never go into birding now.
I've always wanted to bird. But the name Louis!
I may not bird now.
STU: Beautiful bird. A little annoying if it's around your house. But a beautiful bird.
So you have that part.
GLENN: I have a whole nest of them.
STU: Yeah. Secondary part of this, which is ridiculous. They're not just targeting. I guess there are people who have named birds. Who also were in the 1980s. And made racial remarks. Or did something terrible.
I don't know. But they're not just targeting those people.
GLENN: I mean, if it's like Sherman's N-word. I get it. I get it.
STU: You would understand that. You would understand the name change with that one.
And like, it's hard. We understand how this process works. We might think it's stupid. Erasing history.
But like, this has happened all across the country, at this point. They're tearing down statues of freaking Ben Franklin.
GLENN: These guys are not. They're not necessarily bad guys. Wilson is not a bad guy.
STU: Right. They're not targeting only people who have done things that could be deemed offensive by modern sensibilities.
GLENN: Does Tom -- Tom's blue jay.
STU: Tom's blue jay.
GLENN: Tom was a badass guy. He knocked over a few of the Southland corporation's best 7-Elevens back in the '40s.
STU: There you go. That's a whole 'nother story. But they're targeting anyone, any name. If you're named after a person, they're getting rid of it. Even if you're the best person in the world.
GLENN: Not all around the world. Just American.
STU: Just the American ornithology society.
GLENN: And that's crazy.
That's baseline crazy. There's another level of crazy with this story.
And here it comes. The president Colleen Handle says, that was the first I ever really recognized or heard a name was offensive.
She says, at that point in time, concerns about injustice, weren't an acceptable reason for changing bird names. But it really started to change, in 2020.
STU: When police officer killed George Floyd in Minneapolis.
GLENN: Wait. That's when the birders said enough of this.
STU: Enough the Wilson snipe.
And the Louis' woodpecker. Because George Floyd has been killed in Minneapolis.
Now, you might say, well, what the hell does that have to do with anything.
This is a totally different story.
GLENN: No. I might say, produce one birder that said that.
Produce just one that said that.
STU: But the issue was that it was not really George Floyd's murder.
GLENN: Oh, it wasn't?
STU: Because on that same day. You may remember. You may forget. This was the exact same day as George Floyd's murder.
GLENN: Same day. Same day. Remember this.
STU: A white woman, in Central Park.
GLENN: In Central Park.
STU: Called the police on a black birder.
GLENN: Oh, my gosh.
STU: Named Christian Cooper.
GLENN: So he was a birder.
He was a guy who was in the bushes watching, maybe looking for Louis' woodpecker.
STU: She called the police, claiming he was threatening her. Less than a month later, the group called...
GLENN: The group called.
STU: The name is so good. Less than a month later, a group called Bird Names for Birds.
Bird Names for Birds. I've got to join this organization.
GLENN: Wow! I want -- can you look it up, Sara, real quick. Just look up for their mission statement.
What is their mission statement?
Imagine going door to door, trying to get people to go into -- we represent the Bird Names for Birds Club. Okay.
STU: Yeah. Okay. So Bird Names For Birds. They come through. They write to the American Orinthological Society and say, hey! George Floyd was killed.
This birder was -- the police were called by a white woman on this black birder. Therefore, we should get rid of Wilson's name from Wilson's Snipe. That's basically how this conversation went.
Now, the problem with this story, if you remember, it was called the Central Park Karen story. This was the story.
And the main issue with this part of it is the story has been utterly and completely debunked.
At the --
GLENN: There was no blackbirder.
STU: Not utterly and completely.
But the blackbirder did exist. Is a human being. But there's a lot of details you haven't heard about it.
Should we go into those?
GLENN: Yeah. I would like to go into the detail.
Give me a minute to just get over. Snipe!
Let me get past that.
GLENN: That was actually the bird. That wasn't me doing that. That's how close my --
STU: You did the call. That's how --
GLENN: I know. Shut up.
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STU: So if you remember how this story went down, here's -- here's a couple of headlines. A black man bird watching in Central Park, asked a white woman to leash her dog. She called the police.
Amy Cooper was her name.
She was charged in Central Park false report against a blackbird watcher.
GLENN: Is that an actual crime? Is that the crime she was charged with?
STU: A false police report, yeah.
GLENN: Oh. But not against a blackbird watcher.
STU: Well, that's a separate crime.
It's like a hate crime.
There's false reports. Against blackbirders.
GLENN: And that's bad.
STU: So let me give you the -- the footage of this incident.
Because you'll remember it, when you hear it.
This is Amy Cooper.
Being very frantic. And, I mean, she's hysterical this clip.
Of course, the blackbirder was in the right.
Here is Amy Cooper. This is from the day George Floyd died.
VOICE: Please don't come close to me.
VOICE: Sir, I'm asking you to stop.
VOICE: Please don't come close to me. Please call the cops. Please call the cops.
VOICE: I'm going to tell them you're threatening my life.
VOICE: Please tell them whatever you like.
VOICE: I'm sorry. There's a man. I'm looking at him. He's recording me, threatening me and my dog.
There is an African-American man, I'm in Central Park. He is recording me and threatening myself and my dog. I'm being threatened by a man. Please send the cops immediately.
I'm in Central Park. I don't know.
VOICE: Thank you.
STU: Okay. Now, she's very concerned.
GLENN: She's very hysterical. He seems like he's under control, and a nice guy.
STU: Calm guy.
GLENN: It's two New Yorkers that are just probably a little nuts.
STU: There are -- to take you back to this moment in all seriousness. New York City around May 2020, were pretty freaking nuts. People were afraid to go outside. This is like the very beginning of COVID. And we can all look back at some of the hysteria then, with the -- certainly noticing how ridiculous that was.
GLENN: Oh, that's probably why she, in her twisted New York way. Said, he's threatening my life. Because she said, don't come closer to me.
And he's wearing a mask.
STU: Well, that could be that.
Remember too, she also had health problems. She was predisposed to being more effective to COVID. She had barely had gone outside. She was a terrified person.
And A lot of people in New York at that point were very terrified.
Some of them remain to this day.
GLENN: They still are.
STU: But what happened to her afterward?
She was a white woman called police on blackbird watcher has been fired.
They took her dog from her.
GLENN: They took her dog?
STU: They took her dog.
And she actually went into hiding.
Left the country. And went into hiding after this.
So let's just say for a minute, she is a racist, and she did this.
You wouldn't necessarily think you would have to leave the country.
She was being threatened by people. She was terrified by everybody.
It was very, very bad for her.
When we come back on the other side. I want to give you the actual perspective of what occurred in this incidence.
Because nobody knows. Everybody watched it that way. The media covered it the way I just described.
Racist white Karen, going after this black guy for absolutely no reason.
And she -- she -- good. She got fired. Good, they took her dog. Good, she's out of the country. She's a terrible human being in every way.
GLENN: Yeah. I don't agree with that. I'm glad maybe she's out of the country. But for entirely different reasons.
GLENN: Yeah. Gee, we lost another New Yorker, who was walking their dog in the park. And was all freaked out about going inside. Oh.
But I would like her to move away in happy terms. Like, I really don't like it here. People make too much. Sense.
STU: Well, that's true. As far as I know, she's not even a member of bird names for birds.
GLENN: Oh, no. I have it pulled up here. I'll look.
STU: Oh, you do? Can I join?
GLENN: Well, I was just looking at the background. Concerns about the honorific common bird names is not new. But this movement seeks to change those names.
STU: Oh, yeah.
STU: Thank God. Thank God these names are going away.
GLENN: So they're very upset about Bachman's sparrow, was the first one they bring. Yeah, Bachman.
STU: Really? What did Bachman do?
GLENN: Bachman was bad. Just, well, Bachman, I believe that's probably Jewish.
GLENN: And the Jewish Zionists, they control all of the bird names.
STU: I've been hearing that a lot on college campuses.
That's interesting you bring that up.
GLENN: Yeah. Yeah.