The Elsa Kurt Show

Flight of Controversy: The Audubon Society's Rebranding and Rethinking America's Name

November 06, 2023 Elsa Kurt
The Elsa Kurt Show
Flight of Controversy: The Audubon Society's Rebranding and Rethinking America's Name
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What's in a name? Well, if you're a bird with a potentially racist namesake or a nation unaware of its naming history, quite a lot it seems. This episode takes flight with a controversy sweeping the birding community as the Audubon Society embarks on a renaming journey, ruffling feathers in the process. They're scrubbing their avian directory clean of racist associations while leaving the "mean" mockingbird untouched. But that's not all, they've also committed a cool $25 million towards fostering a more diverse and inclusive birding community. Feel the atmosphere thicken as we explore this decision and its ripple effects across the bird-watching world.

Now, imagine this - What if the United States of America wasn't the United States of America? A radical thought, one that we dissect with a light-hearted yet thoughtful approach. We divulge how explorer  Amerigo Vespucci inadvertently became the namesake of our nation and toy with alternative names such as 'Americania' and the 'Divided States of America'. A hint of satire perhaps, but it's a reflection of the current state of our divided nation. We then invite you, dear listener, to join us in an amusing game of hypotheticals - if you had the reins, what new name would you bestow upon the U.S.A? Don't be a wallflower, tune in, and share your thoughts!

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Speaker 1:

Well, if you thought that cancel culture could not get any more cancel-y, you thought wrong.

Speaker 2:

Try anything in your cancel bro.

Speaker 1:

That's right. Guys, hold on to your binoculars and toss your your birding books, like right now, immediately burn them. Maybe even If you haven't heard, we are going to be renaming a bunch of birds because they're racist.

Speaker 2:

Oh sweet jacket. What was that? I got a bird, oh yeah, and he's racist.

Speaker 1:

Okay, so obviously the birds themselves are not racist, but apparently the people that they were named for are, or were because they're they're long, long dead. Um, so yeah, the birding community has been in an uproar. They are just livid and wait. Uproar. No, I feel like they're. They're peeping and chirping in anger. I think that makes more sense. Yeah, birding community is really mad. So no longer will you have to look up into the sky and see a bird and feel offended by by them because they're going to have different names. That's right. No longer do you have to see the the gambles quail or the Lewis woodpecker or Anna's hummingbird and and field triggered. It's not going to happen anymore, because they're going to change those names into something that is more neutral, more acceptable, more inclusive. I don't know what they're going to do, and so this has been decided by the Audubon Society, who is actually going to be keeping their name despite the namesakes racist background. So, but it's okay that they're keeping the name. What they're going to do instead is they're going to commit $25 million $25 million to equity, diversity, inclusion and belonging, which is amazing and wonderful, because that means that these birds are going to have like such a better life and existence, because they're going to be.

Speaker 2:

What you just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard. At no point in your rambling, incoherent response were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought.

Speaker 1:

It's not. Oh, that's not for the birds, that's for the people that work, born with the Audubon Society. Oh, okay, so it's not going to habitat conservation, it's going to go to equity, diversity, inclusion and belonging, not the habitat that the whole society is about. Not that, okay, all right, we're good. My bad, silly, silly, silly. So, anyhow, I think that's really special and wonderful, although I will say I find it a little disheartening, a little shocking and sad really to me, because one of the names that they're going to keep bird name, one of the bird names they're going to keep is the mockingbird, despite the fact that it is such a mean, mean creature.

Speaker 2:

Hey, is that a?

Speaker 1:

mockingbird. Is that a mockingbird? Is that a mockingbird? What would you say if someone told you that they were changing the name of the United States of America to something else? How would you react? I know how I would react and I'm going to tell you in just a second. Yeah, so I came across a little article and that was more or less the headline and I would love to share it with you, but I lost it somewhere in the shuffle of looking through articles and reading stories and watching videos and all the stuff and things that I do before recording. Also, if I find it, I'll put it in the show notes. But yeah, but that was kind of the gist of it, that people were proposing to change the name of America to something else. Now, first I have to start by telling you that I'm kind of embarrassed by this and I don't really know if I want to tell you this. I'm going to tell you anyway. So something I didn't know is that America was named for a Marigold Vespucci. Did you know that? I didn't know that. I feel incredibly dumb. Well, actually, no, I don't feel incredibly dumb. I felt incredibly dumb until I learned that new to me fact. I'm just embarrassed that I didn't know it and feel free to tell me in the comments that you didn't know it either, to make me feel better about myself. I would appreciate that. So here's a little information about America Vespucci. So yeah, I'll be honest with you. My initial reaction was to get mad. I was ready to go fight somebody. I said do you want to fight me? Do you want to kiss his hand? But you're not changing the name of the United States, you're not changing the name of America. Okay, it's not going to happen and I will fight you over it. Okay, so here's my initial reaction. And then I started to kind of peruse through the little articles, not really even articles, just a little quick little thing. And they're just messing around. It's okay, we don't have to get mad, we don't have to get ready to fight anybody, they're just messing around. And it actually turns out these people were, you know, I don't know, I guess somebody was bored and they pulled a bunch of people and said if we were to change the name of America United States of America, because it's kind of it's interchangeable in that there were different variations People just changed the America part. Some people wanted, you know, the whole thing changed. So it turned out they actually came up with some kind of funny ones, some ones I liked, and I'm going to share with you that. The few that I thought were kind of either cute or funny or appropriate. But don't worry, we are not changing the name of America for anybody, any reason, any purpose, not that I'm aware of, at least. So the first one that I thought now there's quite a few, there's maybe I don't know a dozen or so of people who put in their thoughts and opinions on the different names that we could change it to, and one that I thought was kind of cool. I kind of liked it, because this one here, americania, americania, right, I mean, it's a mouthful, sure, sure. But they went on to say we would be called Americanians. No, americanians are over, 100% Americanians. Taking a shot was suicide. I kind of like it. How about you? Do you like it? What else? Somebody who felt that there should be a reflection of the division in our country said we should change it from the United States of America to the divided states of America, which is sad, kind of sad, but accurate, right, I mean, it's pretty accurate. Pretty, pretty divided, you know. I mean, at least if we listen to what mainstream media is telling us, or actually all seems like all media is pretty much telling us that these days. But you know, I don't know. My neighbors are all friendly. The people I meet in stores are pretty friendly, everybody's. You know, generally speaking, in the most general context, people are, are pretty okay. Um, yes, I know, I know there's a lot of stuff going on outside of my bubble, don't worry, I am very well aware. But yeah, so that was one of them. Divided states of America. Somebody was pretty cheeky and they came up with this one here, america incorporated, and that, of course, is a, is a play on our capitalism, our, you know, corporation style Everything. I guess that was their attitude, their mentality. So I guess my question to you would be um, I know you don't want to, I know you don't want to change the name, but let's just pretend for a minute, just in the silly hypothetical alternate world thing, if you were to change the name, we'll play the game. Right, let's play the game, why not? If you were to change the name of the United States of America, what would you change it to? I'm curious. I don't even know if I can come up with something. If I do, I will put it in the comments, but I want to hear yours too. So we're just playing the game, don't get mad. Okay, I love America, I love the name, it's all good. Okay, all right, we're good, all right, let me know in the comments.

Bird Renaming and Funding Controversy
Changing the Name of America
Hypothetical Name Change for America