October 25, 2021

"[T]he Audubon Naturalist Society (ANS), has announced it will change its name, due to the 'pain' caused by the 19th-century ornithologist and slaveholder John James Audubon...."

[Audubon] has come under scrutiny for his buying and selling of enslaved people in the 1820s; for his objections to the abolitionist movement; and for writings that portrayed black and indigenous people as inferior to whites. Audubon, who was born in modern-day Haiti but moved to the US before dying in New York in 1851, took five human skulls from a battlefield in Texas and sent them to Samuel Morton, a doctor who attempted to determine differences that he claimed showed varying intelligence levels between races."

The Guardian reports.

52 comments:

tim in vermont said...

So when do the firemen show up to burn his pictures?

rhhardin said...

I suggest honoring Admiral Richard E Byrd, Antarctic explorer. Penguins.

Kevin said...

The real punishment would be to kill all the birds.

Without birds, no one will accidentally come across his name.

rhhardin said...

That was before IQ tests made skull size irrelevant.

If you admit people to college based on skull size instead of IQ tests you wind up with unremarkable people instead of elites.

wendybar said...

This is getting just plain STUPID now. When can we cancel Obama?? His family in Africa were selling their own people into slavery. His Mothers white family had slaves. Obama is a painful name to many of us. Cancel him and his family immediately. See how stupid it is??

Mark said...

You can change the name, but you can't change the history. You can't change the roots of the organization.

Rather than coming in and hijacking what someone before you has established, if you are honest, you'll simply abolish the organization and create your own from scratch.

Robert Marshall said...

The Guardian reports:

"Originally called the Audubon Society of the District of Columbia, ANS was set up in 1897 as part of a wave of such groups seeking to protect bird species then under threat from hunters."

I predict that it will be renamed The Washington Bird Watchers Team, in the same spirit as the renaming of the Redskins.

Of course, "Washington" is also problematical, so stay tuned for further developments. That is all for now.

Lyle said...

Damn... folks down in Louisiana just named a bridge after him. Nearby, at Oakley plantation, he had tutored the plantation owner's children and did his naturalist thing.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_James_Audubon_Bridge_(Mississippi_River)

There was a near slave rebellion in Pointe Coupee Parish (the opposite bank from where Audubon was living and working - Feliciana Parish) in the late 18th century... a little before Audubon's time there. I guess they could name it after that.

https://lsc.berkeley.edu/1795

Conspiracy Bridge!

Dave Begley said...

When do Brown University and Yale University change their names?

Fernandinande said...

Samuel Morton

"They" won't admit it, but he was basically correct.

rwnutjob said...

Give me a freakin' break

Yancey Ward said...

David Burge is once more relevant:

1. Identify a respected institution.
2. kill it.
3. gut it.
4. wear its carcass as a skin suit, while demanding respect.

tim in vermont said...

He shot a lot of birds too. He used a shotgun instead of binoculars.

Joe Smith said...

Will they give back all the money they raised in the racist's name?

Thought not...

Michael K said...

The idiots will roll back history until it began yesterday.

mikee said...

"Audobon" is right out! Got it!

Well, "Naturalist" has always caused me feelings of distress over the plight of oppressed nudists, so let's just get rid of that part of the name, too. And "Society" is so very Western Civ drived, can't have that. For that matter, "The" is exclusionary, while "A" indicates our tolerance of others.

Let's call it "A Nameless Something Group" to avoid hurt feelings. Perhaps we could run it as an anarcho-syndicalist commune. We can take it in turns to act as a sort of executive officer for the week. But all the decision of that officer have to be ratified at a special biweekly meeting. By a simple majority in the case of purely internal affairs, --but by a two-thirds majority in the case of more--

Oh, you get the idea. Stop exhibiting the violence inherent in the system!

Humperdink said...

No one's sins are forgiven. Ever.

madAsHell said...

What ever happened to "Don't speak poorly of the dead!!"?

Civility bullshit.

Ice Nine said...

>(Audubon) took five human skulls from a battlefield in Texas and sent them to Samuel Morton, a doctor who attempted to determine differences that he claimed showed varying intelligence levels between races."<

Well, he was certainly on to something, wasn't he.

madAsHell said...

Daughter: "Why does everyone tell me that my last name sounds black??"

Me: "Someone had to own the slaves......and pass da' malt liquor!"

gilbar said...

i'm Sorry, but this argument is for the birds!

mccullough said...

Is the Audubon Society going to refund all the donations it received using the Painful Audubon Name the last 50 years?

William said...

I don't know that much about Audubon. Was he a conspicuously bad slave owner? If he had just heedlessly participated in the mores of his time, then perhaps he deserves a pass. In any event, we do not celebrate his qualities as a slave trader when we make note of his genius.....When I was younger, I was instructed that homosexuality was a perversion and the outward sign of a decadent and sinful nature. I am now informed that the true sin lies in homophobia. Sure why not.in both cases. Who has the time to forge a lofty morality that is independent of the society in which you live.....I blame Buddha, Moses, Socrates, and Jesus. If these worthies had preached openly and explicitly against the practice of slavery, we could have ended slavery ages ago. I give Jesus some credit. His preaching unlike that of, say, Mohammed is not supportive of slavery and is, arguably, antithetical to that institution.

M Jordan said...

Okay, this may be a legitimate act of revisionism. I didn’t know Audubon was such a dick. But still … does this negate the positive side of Audubon’s life?

Zev said...

LOL

Original Mike said...

Do I have to give my Audubon bird book back?

Fortunately, it's a physical book so that can't get it.

Aggie said...

Too bad. I only know how to spell 'Audubon' on my donation checks.

Original Mike said...

They can't use the name The Washington Football Team. That name is taken.

Andrew said...

Birds are ugly, and stupid. The man wasted his life.

rhhardin said...

Slavery was okay in the first place, it just outlived its economic justification.

Through history, in a hit the guy in the head and take his stuff economy, it was more economic to enslave your defeated enemy than to kill him. A win/win. So slavery was all over. It's not a great economic model, for instance a lot of capital is used up in defense instead of production. But it worked so well that everybody did it, and it didn't require everybody to act nice.

With the free market, contracts enforced by the state and so forth, you don't need that defense cost, and a slave contributes more to society working in his own interest instead of as a slave. So the Western enlightenment freed the slaves.

As a lifestyle, slavery was dead but propped up with arguments that ultimately were doomed to lose, e.g. naturally subservient race, etc. Hopeless argument that did lose except in backward economies, shithole countries today.

So it wasn't a sin in the first place, just out of place in a modern economy.

So which is better, question for a lefty: hit the guy on the head and take his stuff and kill him, or hit the guy on the head and take his stuff and enslave him. Those are the options. Otherwise he hits you on the head and takes your stuff and his back.

Incidentally a slave owner knows very well that his slaves are human beings - all he insists on that his slaves not see him as a human being. The opposite of the claimed moral blindness.

Like today you can't joke with your boss, at least very often you can't.

boatbuilder said...

They are going to run out of perfect people very soon.

Narr said...

I walk on Audubon Drive every day, and drive through Audubon Park almost as frequently.

David Begley said...

I think Brown University should be renamed George Floyd University.

Lem said...

I suppose if you make something sturdy hollow it would be that much easier to quash.
When we don’t care to look up and we’re told looking back is racist, what do we have to look forward to?

Skipper said...

Then also erase all the work he contributed to ornithology.

DLH said...

So Boy Scouts got cancelled which I thought was crazy but now it’s the Audubon Society? It’s their fault for even caving in. Just blow it off and it goes away in this news cycle

Bunkypotatohead said...

They should just call it KFC.

LA_Bob said...

I'm wondering why this took so long.

Narayanan said...

boatbuilder said...
They are going to run out of perfect people very soon.
-----------
and they shall come back to Jesus baby and all shall rejoice and there was peace on all earth.

AMEN

JAORE said...

How about Bird Brains International?

Critter said...

There is still a Jefferson/Jackson honoring (famous dinner, fundraising, etc.) within the Democrat party. The party owes its existence to these two slave owners. Why haven’t the woke demanded the renaming of the Democrat party? Of course, we know the answer. Power never bows to any criticism.

Bart Hall said...

There is a pernicious and ultimately fatal disease raging in certain corners of America. It looks back not to seek and celebrate greatness, but to grasp and grovel in grievance. These compulsive fault-finders are trapped at emotional age 10, when all they can see in their parents is what's wrong.

Tragically, a great many persist in that condition far into what otherwise would be adult lives. In the process they destroy many business relationships and marriages, for in lacking any personal greatness they're able only to push others down to make themselves feel better.

Wokeness is WEAKNESS.

tim in vermont said...

This is pure Gramsci.

mkh said...

The difference in population IQs between blacks and whites and others is well known.
average black IQ today is 85, white is 115, and that is with interbreeding. If you look at IQ maps for Africa, the mean for Chad is actually 70, which is the top end of the retardation spectrum. Now deciding to make blacks slaves, that is a moral decision.

But then when you consider that in 1820, there was no written language in black Africa, no technology not introduced by Europeans, Arabs or others, one can see that virtually every other race/culture would have the same opinion, and have plenty of evidence. Does this hurt feelings? Yes, but scientific truth is truth.

gilbar said...

Critter said...
There is still a Jefferson/Jackson honoring (famous dinner, fundraising, etc.) within the Democrat party. The party owes its existence to these two slave owners

They're Not Just slave owners! those two did MORE than ALL other Presidents combined, to commit genocide on the indians.
Jackson and his Trail of Tears (the ethnic cleansing of the southeast)
Jefferson, on the other hand.. Stole the Entire continent West of the Mississippi

Between the two of them, you're looking at EVERYTHING BAD in america!!
anyone, ANY ONE that attempts to support these two demons (or, their party); is Not JUST a Racist Pig... They are genocidal land stealing Racist Pigs!!!

IF you believe in Justice! If you believe in equity!! If you believe in CRT
ALL Democrats Must be throw down!!!!

frak22 said...

So much for the F-test.

robother said...

I suppose a new name contest could only result in Birdy McBirdface. So, how about a homophone: Autobahn Society. No problematic founder issues there, surely.

tim in vermont said...

"efferson, on the other hand.. Stole the Entire continent West of the Mississippi"

He didn't steal it, he bought it fair and square from Napoleon.

PM said...

And what do we do with all those collaborative birds that posed for that slaver?

wildswan said...

"Fernandinande said...
Samuel Morton

"They" won't admit it, but he was basically correct."

"I" (my pronoun is "I", not "They") certainly won't admit it. He was in error. There is a direct line leading from Samuel Morton's "research" to IQ research. Morton's work was a predecessor to eugenics and IQ research was a field funded by eugenicists such as William Draper of the Pioneer Fund and and led eugenic society members such as Cyril Burt, Arthur Jensen, Chris Brand and JP Rushton. In both cases the scientific error rests on the inability to define the unit of measurement. No accurate measurement, no science. Where do you place the tools measuring head size? How do you distinguish cultural knowledge from innate ability. These questions were never solved. And now they have been largely dropped, except by a few last holdouts living in hiding like the Japanese soldiers living in Philippine hideouts. In their place we have behavioral genetics - the new frontier in eugenic evil. This promotes, as usual, a theory of race genetic inferiority though the field is behavior not intelligence, the term of art is polygenic risk score, rather than IQ and the preferred social system in Chinese not Western.
How can anyone promote a theory of racial inferiority in this day and age? Simple. You attribute lasting genetic damage to "black and brown bodies" as the phrase goes, to the evil white race. Racism has "gotten under the skin" and altered genes, the new eugenics claims. In the theory of "oppression inferiority", the usual racist attacks claiming that members of the black community have, as group, genetic criminal tendencies become virtue-speak anti-racism. It is alleged that members of the black community do have genetically-based risks for anti-social behavior based on stress which has altered genes by changing methylated side chains over the generations. This last claim has no scientific basis; there are claims but no solid basis in valid replicated, established research. The theory of "oppression inferiority" just uses scientific words which is good enough for social scientists seeking funding for a comfortable, approved life and good enough for most Democrats.

PS. God only knows what the social infrastructure bill is funding in the way of this new racism. No one else has read it. But it will crunch down on some hapless children very soon. We'll know when we hear of their pain. I find this hard to be in.

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

mkh,

I do not believe your IQ data. It's belied by, among other things, the fact that Black Americans suffer more from poverty in the US than do first-generation African immigrants. Immigrant Nigerians, IIRC, are the highest income group in the US, ahead even of "red-dot" Indians and Ashkenazi Jews. Why would that be?

My own guess is that immigrants from Africa haven't had to deal with the long legacy of Americans trying to help American Blacks. They don't know what the country was like 60 years ago; they see it only as it now is, and say, "Are you freakin' crazy?" and just get on with their work. Whereas American Blacks really cannot do that.

Bunkypotatohead said...

The Robert Byrd Society rolls off the tongue.