Audubon society changing name?

For now just the Seattle group. He’s accused of owning slaves and being a racist.

Not just Seattle, and it’s been going on for a while now. And Audubon isn’t accused of owning slaves, his history is well documented.

I am very liberal but most of this name changing stuff makes me mad.

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Why does it make you mad? What difference does it make if a local bird society is no longer named for John James Audubon?

mainly because people should focus on problems that exist today , not a guy who died in 1851.

I don’t see how changing the name of a bird group impacts much except I guess some people are happy about it.

We just had a big shopping center change names because the guy it was named for had slaves. What good did that do?

My fellow liberals waste time on this crap when global warming is really bad.

what harm does it do? If I was a member of a group that was associated with a slave owner, I would certainly consider changing the name. But, I would agree, there has to be a limit. Jefferson, Grant, Washington, for example. (well, there doesn’t have to be a limit, but there is in my mind)

It takes very little time to change the name, and it’s done by people who aren’t active in the global climate change battle anyway. I do agree, there are more important issues facing the world than the name of a bird group.

It’s an admittedly small step in removing the glorification of racism and whitewashing of American history. How our culture treats these things impact people of color in myriad ways. It’s the same argument that keeps up the Confederate flags and statues.

And, yes, it’s not like doing this impacts our ability to do anything else. It’s more a sign of a cultural change than anything. America’s mythologizing of history is a huge part of our problems right now.

There are always bigger problems to face-that doesn’t mean you should ignore all problems but the supposed largest. In what way does this name change effect you personally, btw?

I agree. It might not matter to some that an ancient white asshole’s name lives on, but it matters to others with a different historical relationship to white assholes. Furthermore, it definitely matters to others when supposed allies stand up and declare with their whole chest that it’s a waste of time to stop glorifying some white asshole’s name. It’s the veritable definition of microaggression.

So what the heck are you doing on the Internet? Get to work.

It allows certain privileged people to pretend to do something about inequality without having to sacrifice anything that would actually impact them. It’s purely performative.

It expends political and social capital. Every little bit of this kind of noise gradually erodes at parts of societies willingness to change. Yes, in the grand scheme of things this is small, but it depletes the limited time and energy people have for these kinds of ideas. This isn’t happening because of some groundswell of outrage…its happening because some busybodies in a niche have too much time and energy…and they manage to get completely outsized attention from the media when it happens. That strengthens the opposition to actual meaningful change.

It’s foolhardy and the real white supremacists are laughing at us. Not a shred of their actual power, influence and advantage is being impacted a whit.

Bullshit. If you don’t change the name they will scream “Hypocrisy!!”, so they should go ahead and do what they think is ethically correct.

That might be in the region of true if it were the only thing being done, but of course it is not. Actual substantive changes are made at the same time, and often the name change helps to spur those other changes. Symbols matter, and names are very potent symbols.

Here in California there are a lot of things named after Junipero Serra, who treated native Americans abominably in the name of the Catholic church (he is perhaps the best known of a cadre of such people). Not much has been done about changing those names, but raising the issue reminds us all of the ugly past and how that impact has passed down through the generations to today. Very much worth doing, and talking about.

Pretty much every business school and socioeconomic study disagrees here. You do what’s important and urgent first. Everything is zero sum.

And that’s the right time to change the name…when the other side points it out.

What business study advises people to ignore all problems but the most urgent?

The right time to fix a problem is when it comes to your attention, not when it comes to the attention of your enemies.

Yeah, I don’t think “Act based on how the White Supremacists will react” is the best way to live.

So, let’s say you have three people.

Alice has worked for your org for years, but is uncomfortable about it being named for a slave owner, and thinks it should be changed. Ignore her.

Bob has been a reliable donor to your org for years. He’s given thousands of dollars, but is concerned about the name, and thinks it would be better if it weren’t named after a racist. Bob can go fuck himself.

Ted has never supported your org in anyway, and is philosophically opposed to your goals. He also doesn’t give two shits about stuff being named after racists. When Ted brings up the issue, you better jump on that shit tout suite.

How does that make any fucking sense at all?