Scientists Change Name of ‘Asian Murder Hornets’ over Discrimination
Political correctness has propelled scientists to change the name of Asian murder hornets to prevent potential discrimination.
Known officially as Asian giant hornets and colloquially as Asian murder hornets, scientists with the Entomological Society of America announced on Monday that the new official name will be the “Northern giant hornet,” even though they actually do descend from Asia and were only detected in North America in 2019.
“Amid a rise in hate crimes and discrimination against people of Asian descent, usage of ‘Asian’ in the name of a pest insect can unintentionally bolster anti-Asian sentiment,” the society said in a press release.
The society further added that the negative stigma attached to the hornets’ name could lead to future violence against Asians.
“‘Asian giant hornet’ does not convey unique information about the biology or behavior of the species,” the society’s statement read.
Jessica Ware, president of the society, added that the name is “scientifically accurate.”
“Common names are an important tool for entomologists to communicate with the public about insects and insect science,” said Ware. “Northern giant hornet is both scientifically accurate and easy to understand, and it avoids evoking fear or discrimination.”
As noted by the New York Post, the hornets were first detected in the United States in 2019 and “caused quite the panic after pictures surfaced of their quarter-inch long syringe-like stinger.” Aside from their intimidating presence, the hornets are known to slaughter honeybees, which has led to worry they could cause an environmental imbalance. Per the Post:
A few dozen of the hornets can tear apart a honeybee nest in just a couple of hours during a process researchers call the “slaughter phase.”
Scientists have feared that the Pacific Northwest could provide fertile grounds for the hornets, but luckily there has yet to be a major outbreak.
Last year, hundreds of them were killed after officials in Washington state managed to track down and destroy their huge nest.
The World Health Organization (W.H.O.) also announced in June that it will officially rename the monkeypox virus to address concerns about the stigma and racism associated with the word. The change came after 30 scientists signed an open letter arguing for an “urgent need for a non-discriminatory and non-stigmatizing nomenclature for monkeypox virus.”
“In the context of the current global outbreak, continued reference to, and nomenclature of this virus being African is not only inaccurate but is also discriminatory and stigmatizing,” said the missive.