On Wednesday, a scientific organization announced that it was changing the names of two species of insects, due to the informal names allegedly being “racist,” the Daily Caller reports.
The Entomological Society of America (ESA) announced in a statement that it would end the use of the terms “gypsy moth” and “gypsy ant,” the colloquial names for the Lymantria dispar and the Aphaenogaster araneoides, respectively. The statement, issued by ESA President Michelle Smith, claimed that these names were offensive to the Romani people in Europe, who have been known as gypsies for centuries.
“Gypsy,” Smith asserted, “is an ethnic slur to begin with that’s been rejected by the Romani people a long time ago.” She added that “nobody wants to be associated with a harmful invasive pest.”
To this end, ESA recently announced that it has started its own program dedicated solely to the purpose of renaming such species’ names if they are found to be offensive, called the Better Common Names Project. In addition to going after certain terms contained within names, the new initiative seeks to remove references to specific geographical origins, in order to avoid associating certain species with a certain country or continent.
“Names that are unwelcoming to marginalized communities run directly counter to [the] goal” of making “communication easier between scientists and the public,” Smith further justified. “That’s why we’re working to ensure all ESA-approved insect common names meet our standards for diversity, equality, and inclusion.”
The push for so-called “diversity and inclusion” in the scientific community has been seen prominently in the ongoing response to the coronavirus pandemic. Scientific “experts” have repeatedly demanded that the general public refuse to refer to the fact that the virus originated in Wuhan, China, with many referring to it as the Wuhan virus or Chinese coronavirus in defiance of this arbitrary language rule. More recently, a strain of the virus that is allegedly more infectious and deadlier than previous strains originated in India, and thus was dubbed the India strain. In an attempt to discourage associating it with its country of origins, scientists have attempted to rebrand it as the “Delta variant.”