In this episode of "What's Racist Today?", we'd like to announce that the woke prophets have spun the wheel of things to call bigoted and have landed on our scaly friends from beneath the waves.
The controversy stems over Asian carp, several invasive species that have threatened rivers and the Great Lakes. The fish are destroying local ecosystems and are known to jump out of the water at boaters when spooked.
The carp were imported to the U.S. from, you guessed it, a continent that begins with "A" and ends with "-sia".
Now some other government agencies are taking the same step in the wake of anti-Asian hate crimes that surged during the coronavirus pandemic. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service quietly changed its designation to "invasive carp" in April.
"We wanted to move away from any terms that cast Asian culture and people in a negative light," said Charlie Wooley, director of its Great Lakes regional office.
The Asian Carp Regional Coordinating Committee, representing agencies in the U.S. and Canada that are trying to contain the carp, will do likewise Aug. 2, he said.
In case you were wondering, none of the invasive carp come from South America, Europe, Africa, Australia, Oceania, or Antartica. If they had been, the dumb-dumbs spending tax dollars to fund studies on rebranding fish probably wouldn't have cried "racist."
Which reminds me, the bigots at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service are probably still using the terms "Ebola," "Zika," and "West Nile" to refer to viruses. I know Trump Derangement Syndrome runs deep, but when we're renaming fish now based on his correct geographical reference to the Chinese coronavirus, we may have entered the Twilight Zone.
Oh, and in case you were wondering, moths are also racist!
The moves come as other wildlife organizations consider revising names that some consider offensive, including the Entomological Society of America, which this month dropped "gypsy moth" and "gypsy ant" from its insect list.
Back to the fish, the real question, the government says, is how to trick you into thinking Asian carp are delicious so you'll eat them.
Scientists, technical journals, government agencies, language style guides, restaurants and grocery stores may have ideas about what to call them, based on differing motives — including getting more people to eat the critters.
That's a priority for researchers who have spent years developing technologies to stem the incursion — from underwater noisemakers and electric currents to netting operations.
The article notes that several species have had their names changed to make them more appetizing.
Illinois residents should especially get ready for their government to go all out in trying to get them to eat more carp.
The state of Illinois and partner organizations hope a splashy media campaign in the works will get bigger results. Dubbed "The Perfect Catch," it will describe Asian carp as "sustainably wild, surprisingly delicious" — high in protein and omega-3 fatty acids, low in mercury and other contaminants.
And it will give the fish a market-tested new name, which will remain secret until the makeover rollout...
Renaming for palatability is totally fine, but let's not forget that the point of this article was to tell us the fish is being renamed because of RACISM.
To bring things full circle, the AP made sure to include a Chinese professor telling you why you should feel guilty:
Song Qian, a University of Toledo environmental sciences professor who teamed with Kocovsky on the article, said carp is a valued protein source in many Asian nations. It's a good-luck symbol in his native China.
"If you say it's invasive, bad and needs to be eradicated, even though it's because of miscommunication, that's why there's talk about cultural insensitivity," Qian said.
Sorry, Qian, good-luck superstitions and the typical "you have offended my culture" tactics aside, it's a series of invasive species from ASIA.
No one is saying the dang fish have anything negative to do with people from Asia or Asian culture – just that they are threatening entire ecosystems and a fishing industry that supports workers and their families to the tune of billions of dollars each year.