Fish Fry: Social Justice Sizzles With the Woke Renaming of a Racism-Riddled Carp

The renaming revolution continues.

We’re floundering in a sea of change, amid a whale of a makeover where syllables are concerned.

From our awareness-raising woke-up surfaces a fresh take on a freshwater fish.


As noted by The Associated Press, the name “Asian carp” commonly refers to “four imported fish species that are wreaking havoc in the U.S. heartland, infesting numerous rivers and bearing down on the Great Lakes.”

Here’s more:

[The fish] were brought from China a half-century ago to rid Southern sewage and aquaculture ponds of algae, weeds and parasites. They escaped into the wild and have migrated up the Mississippi and other major rivers.

That’s all well and good, but evidently, the “Asian” moniker is rife with racism.

Per the AP, Democratic-Farmer-Labor (DFL) Minnesota state Sen. Foung Hawj has never been fond of the hateful handle, and the straw that broke the camel’s back — if it’s okay to reference animal injury — was “when an Asian business delegation arriving at the Minneapolis airport encountered a sign reading ‘Kill Asian Carp.’”

They found the well-meaning message “off-putting.”

Hence, via a 2014 measure, Foung — along with fellow DFL Sen. John Hoffman — required state agencies to call the creatures “invasive carp.”

About that, Sen. John spoke of sticks:

“I had more hate mail than you could shake a stick at.”

And now, a further undoing is upon us.

A momentary motivator: increased dialogue over “anti-Asian hate crimes.”

Therefore, in April, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service switched to the “invasive” title as well.


Charlie Wooley — Great Lakes regional director — explained:

“We wanted to move away from any terms that cast Asian culture and people in a negative light.”

Is that what employing “Asian” for a finned dweller of the deep did?

Apparently so.

In fact, those of you with bugles, play “Taps” — for the Asian Carp Regional Coordinating Committee, which represents carp-containing agencies in North America.

The group will likely endeavor a name change in August.

With regard to refined sensibilities, nature’s getting a load of love as of late.

Earlier this month, the world’s largest insect organization announced a tuned-in turn regarding the formerly-phrased gypsy moth and gypsy ant.

Meanwhile, another bug recently received the world’s first nonbinary name for six-legged pestilent persons.

And carps aren’t the only guys and gals with gills getting the tender treatment: As I covered last week, advocates are insisting shark “attacks” should be reconfigured as “interactions.”

We’re moving in a very decisive direction:

Congratulations to the carp — the removal of a racist geographical designation will hopefully be a load off its mind.


Or, perhaps, the planet is made of dirt, and a large chunk of that dirt is called “Asia,” which is an area, not a race.

And dirt doesn’t have feelings.

But then again, perhaps it does.

And maybe in kindness to dirt, we should assume it wouldn’t want to be associated with a living organism.

But there’s more work to be done: The four species to which “Asian carp” refers are the bighead, silver, grass, and black.

When do black folks find a fix?

What of beings with big heads?

Surely in time, all will be made right.

Because when it comes to conscientious christening…in the realm of enlightened labeling…finally — against a problematic current — the world is swimming upstream.



See more pieces from me:

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Find all my RedState work here.

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