asian-carp-politically-incorrect  Minnesota Changes Name of “Asian Carp” in Order to Avoid Offending Anyone asian carp politically incorrectThe Great Lakes are under attack from an invasive species, fish of the Cyprinidae family, which threaten to overwhelm the fragile ecosystem of the world’s largest freshwater lakes.[2] However, they’re commonly known as “Asian carp” and, as such, the biggest concern is that the name is offensive. [2] Screwball radical left-wing Democratic state Sen. John Hoffman has sponsored a bill that would rebrand Asian carp as “invasive carp.” The senator claims that some members of the Asian community have complained that the carp’s name makes it sound like Asian people are invasive. [6] Explaining the reasons for this bill, he asked the audience: “Should we call them ‘Caucasian carp?’ They have names. Let’s call them what they are.” Of course all his politically correct colleagues agreed that it’s important to end the abuse of this fish. [8] Supporters of the bill say that referring to invasive carp species as “Asian” is racist and offensive. [13] Believe it or not, back in April, Minnesota’s State Senate approved a bill amendment that would rename the “Asian carp” due to the carp’s association with a growing pestilence. [2] But the truth is, these fish are called Asian carp because the species comes from Asia. It’s simple, really. It’s not uncommon for species to bear the name of their home continent. Many plants, fish, and insects acquire the name of the region from which they came. [3] The term Asian carp refers to several destructive carp originating from Southeast Asia, including black, bighead, grass, and silver carp. Since the species’ introduction to the U.S. in the 1970s, the fish have spread to dozens of states. [7]  The Asian carp is a pest. It grows quite large, up to 110 pounds, and bullies other fish in the stream. The sight of hundreds of the heavy fish leaping high out of the water, even flopping into boats and sometimes smacking passengers, has become common. The fish gobbles down all the available fish food in the stream. Controlling the carp and its voracious appetite has become a priority of conservationists. [8]  If the Asian carp makes its way to the Great Lakes, the species could overwhelm the waterways and destroy the fishing industry. The Army Corps of Engineers, in a January study, says it will cost $18.4 billion to prevent Asian carp from entering Lake Michigan from Chicago-area waterways. [7]

johnhoffman2  Minnesota Changes Name of “Asian Carp” in Order to Avoid Offending Anyone johnhoffman2

The Author of the bill, Sen. John Hoffman

But instead of putting 100% of their energy fighting the biological threat that the asian carp represent, Minnesota State is now busy fighting its name. CBS reported that the bill was created “in response to concern by some people that the current term casts people from Asian cultures in a negative light.” [4] Jean Lee, who testified for the Senate bill Thursday, said she became upset by the term as it was used during a round-table meeting she attended with Minnesota Department of Natural Resources officials. [5] “They were referring to the Asian people in terms of being invasive species. This was offensive,” said Lee, executive director of the Children’s Hope International Minnesota chapter. That St. Louis-based nonprofit organization facilitates international adoptions from countries including China and Vietnam. [5] [12] Lee said she recently saw a Minnesota Department of Agriculture-produced poster at the airport that exemplified her concerns. “It said ‘Wanted, Dead or Alive’ — in big letters it said ‘Asian,’ [and] in small letters it said ‘carp,'” Lee said. “The message was very clear.”  [10] Sia Her, executive director of the Council on Asian-Pacific Minnesotans, a state agency, also testified in support of calling the fish “invasive carp.” The negative response to the fish “will reflect negatively on our community,” she said. [5] [12] The Department of Natural Resources’ spokeswoman Julie Forster said the agency was unaware of any complaints that “Asian carp” was offensive. But she said the agency would follow any direction the Legislature gives. [5] [12] Once the final bill is signed into law by Gov. Mark Dayton, a Democrat, the Minnesota commissioner of natural resources will be forever prohibited from using the phrase “Asian carp.” He must say “invasive carp” in any proposed law, rule or official document — or face the wrath of legislators. [8] The truth is that the renaming does not really have any bite behind it; nobody will be punished for continuing to use “Asian carp.” But official legislative policy is now to call the fish “invasive carp,” and that’s how legislators — at least, those who approve of the new name — will refer to the species on future reference. [9]

Maybe Minnesota can have politically correct names for all animals. And its own biology textbooks to reflect that.

The Minnesota Senate on Monday approved John Hoffman’s (D-MN) bill to change the name “Asian carp” so called because the species originates from Asia, to “invasive carp”. Since Asian carp were introduced in the U.S. in the 1970’s, the fish have spread to dozens of states causing destruction in the delicate ecosystems of the waterways.

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers have been fighting off the most invasive species, the black carp from China, the Silver carp from Vietnam, and Grass carp from China from spreading into the Great Lakes were the fish could do massive damage the regions fishing industry. While arguing his case on the Senate floor, Hoffman said that referring to the fish as “Asian” was hurtful to some people… [1] [17]

The fish are from Asia. Geography, not race. The Colorado potato beetle is from Colorado. Are we going to change its name?  And what about Dutch Elm Disease? Invasive Elm Disease? Is killing Asian Carp now a hate crime?  Once the P.C. madness breaks out, there’s no stopping it. I’m sorry, that should be invasive madness. [1] The bill that included the reworked name passed the legislature and was signed by the governor in late May. The evil fish shall henceforth be known, at least in the legislature, as “invasive carp.” [2] Hoffman did have one defender, another Democrat. Sen. Foung Hawj said the state needs to do a better job of being “sensitive.” [16]

The suggested replacement name “Invasive Carp” is bad for a number of reasons. First, it showcases the underlying scientific ignorance of the American population. The term “invasive species” does not suggest that a species of animal is “bad” but simply that it is overpopulating because of a lack of natural predators. They throw off the ecosystem of the area where they’ve either migrated or been introduced by humans. The second reason the name change is ill-advised is because it simply isn’t specific enough and could potentially confuse the historical record. Neither “Asian carp” nor “invasive carp” are names given with any sort of judgment attached. They are simply biological classifications of animals that are meant to convey information. Invasive carp sound like animals that are trouble, just because it is in their nature to be. Asian carp sound like a species of fish that, anywhere but Asia, aren’t part of the local eco-system. [23]

According to National Journal, there are plenty of invasive species that are named after locations, simply because that is where they come from. Asian carp, for instance, were imported into the US during the 1970’s from a variety of Asian countries — meaning it’s completely acceptable to throw all the fish under the umbrella heading of “Asian.” Because, again, that is where they are from. [26]  Also, save your talk about ecological cultural imperialism or whatever — there are lots of invasive species named after places white people come from:

Europe is also the namesake for several invasive species in the U.S. The European privet, the European green crab, and the European starling all threaten several ecosystems. Should people of European descent be offended by the names of these invasive species? [1]

And these names even go beyond continents. The Burmese python threatens wildlife in South Florida. The Chinese mitten crab competes with native species in the Chesapeake Bay in Maryland and the Hudson River in New York. There’s also the Russian knapweed, Spanish cane, Japanese barberry, Australian pine, Canada thistle, Brazilian waterweed, New Zealand mud snail, Cuban tree frog, and Armenia blackberry, among other invasive species in the U.S. Do the names of these plants and animals also reflect poorly on the countries from which they came? [1]

Rush Limbaugh, during his radio show, expressed a very different type of worry — one about how sensitive our public discourse has become (though expressed a bit more gruffly than that). Political correctness is just going nuts, going crazy…

While arguing his case on the Senate floor, Hoffman said that referring to the fish as ‘Asian’ was hurtful to some people… ” So they’re gonna change the name of the Asian carp to the “invasive carp” because it offended some people. I don’t even know. What is “invasive carp”? Isn’t that gonna be an insult to illegal aliens, once they hear about it? We’ve gone from Asian carp to invasive carp. Who was offended? I’ll betcha nobody was. Nobody even knew. This guy is just trying to be politically correct and score some points. Somebody needs to stand up when this kind of stuff happens and say, “Stop! No! Go to hell! We’re not gonna mess with this. But nobody does. This political correctness just continues to spread. It’s like a disease. It’s like an incurable disease. It just spreading and it’s irrational. [10] [21]

The big question we may have as a new member of “Political Correctness Police: Aquatic Division” is: Why stop at carp? [6]   After doing some research it appear evident that this country has a serious problem with offensive fish names, provided you take those names and find a way to make them offensive. Rex W. Huppke of the Chicago Tribune present us with a list of fishes with offensive names that we should change right now:

Consider the European flounder. Flounder are known bottom feeders, and that seems insulting to our European allies. Are we implying — via flounder — that people like the French and British are lowlife underachievers? That’s distasteful. The fish should be immediately renamed “personal injury lawyer flounder.”  And what about the Japanese eel? In dream interpretations, the eel is said to represent a phallic symbol with erotic connotations. Can you imagine how objectifying this must be to our Japanese brothers and sisters? It would be far more appropriate to refer to the serpent as an “immoral dream eel.” And don’t even get me started on the Mexican blind cave fish. That’s offensive to Mexican-Americans, the visually impaired and, in all likelihood, caves. Let’s just play it safe and call it a fish. As you can see, we’ve got our work cut out for us. There’s a spangled darter named after President Barack Obama (Etheostoma obama), which is deeply offensive to conservatives. And a fish called a sarcastic fringehead, which is offensive to sarcastic fringeheads like myself and is also just utterly ridiculous. So keep up the important work, Minnesotans. Get that Asian carp renamed before it can hurt anyone else. [6]

Instead of worrying about politically correct fish names, some suggested that Sen. Hoffman consider other forward-thinking legislative initiatives such as changing the name of the state’s capital city from “St. Paul” to something less offensive to the state’s atheist population. [14] Or perhaps Sen. Hoffman would consider changing his own surname to “Hoffperson” so it would be less hurtful to the men and women of Minnesota. [14]  If he’s unwilling to do those things, perhaps he would at least consider changing his first name from “John” to something more sensitive to the feelings of those involved in the plumbing fixtures industry. [14]

Minnesota law, alas, won’t help the carp once it gets to Illinois, where, once it swims across the state line, it will be an Asian carp again. But the owner of Dirk’s Fish in Chicago proposed a more pragmatic approach to the problem. Dirk Fucik, who spells his name carefully, says the proper way to treat a carp is with 2 tablespoons of fresh garlic, half a teaspoon of nutmeg, a few grinds of black pepper and a touch of oregano. “We should all embrace the use of Asian carp for food,” he says. “It’s a great, lean, low-fat protein and being a problem invasive species, eating it is a great solution.” [8]

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[2] Tina Nguyen, MN Senate Changes Name of ‘Offensive’ Asian Carp to Something Even More Offensive, Mediaite,  11:47 am, June 23rd, 2014
[3] Molly Wharton, Minnesota Renames ‘Asian Carp’ Because the Name Is Offensive, National Review, June 25, 2014 12:08 PM
[4] ‘Asian Carp’ Gets A Makeover In Minn. Senate, CBS Minnesota, April 28, 2014 2:50 PM
[5] MIKE CRONIN, In nod to cultural sensitivity, Minnesota considers renaming Asian carp to ‘invasive carp’, Star Tribune, March 27, 2014 — 5:15pm
[6] Rex W. Huppke, Rename the Asian carp? Why should we stop there?, Chicago Tribune, April 01, 2014
[7] Matt Vasilogambros, Minnesota Politician Thinks Asian Carp Name Is Offensive to Asians’, National Journal, March 31, 2014
[8] EDITORIAL: The politically correct rescue of the Asian carp, The Washington Times, Thursday, May 8, 2014
[9] Cheryl K. Chumley, Minnesota renames the ‘Asian carp’ to avoid hurting Asians’ feelings,The Washington Times, Monday, June 23, 2014
[10] Aaron Rupar, Rush Limbaugh on MN’s “Asian carp” ban: “Political correctness is just going nuts”, CityPages, Tue., May 6 2014 at 1:30 PM
[11] Aaron Rupar, Bill banning “Asian carp” advances; Asian leaders say term is offensive, CityPages, Fri., Mar. 28 2014 at 10:15 AM
[12] Minnesota legislators consider renaming Asian carp, FOX News, March 27, 2014
[13] Margaret Badore, Do Asian carp need a new name?, Tree Hugger, March 28, 2014
[14] Minnesota Renames “Asian Carp”, Great Lakes Seaway News, Thursday, June 26, 2014 at 10:55AM
[15] Tiffiny Ruegner, Minnesota Democrats Change Name of Fish — “Asian Carp” Is Offensive & “Hurtful”, Right Wing News, 06 May, 2014
[16] Robert Gehl, Minnesota Renames “Asian Carp” Because One Of Those Might Be Offended, Downtrend, May 5, 2014
[17] Joshua Riddle, Liberals passed a bill to change this fish’s name because it is “hurtful” and “offensive”, Young Conservatives, June 22, 2014 2:25 pm
[23] Joshua M. Patton, Cult of Outrage: Minnesota State Senator Sponsors Bill to Change “Offensive Name” of Asian Carp, IssueHawk, June 24, 2014
[24] Denton (Denny) Newman Jr., Senators rid Minnesota of ‘Asian’ carp, BrainerdDispatch, Apr 29, 2014 at 11:18 a.m.
[25] Asian carp’ gets a name change in Minnesota Senate, Before it’s News, Tuesday, May 6, 2014 4:17

 

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Bill Wallace is a self-fashioned writter, a computer programmer and cybermarketer from Quebec City, Canada who decided to enter the political arena after his disillusionment with the socialist system under which he was living in the french canadian province of Quebec.

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