Racist No More? More Appropriate Name Revealed for Colorado Fish
A particular type of fish in Colorado has officially been given a new name after its last one was deemed unacceptable.
According to a report from Colorado Parks and Wildlife, the fish formerly known as the Colorado Sqawfish is now being called the Colorado Pikeminnow.
About the Colorado Pikeminnow
Of course, Colorado Pikeminnow is just the layman's name for the fish, however, its scientific name is Ptychocheilus Lucius.
The Colorado Pikeminnow is listed as endangered and is known as the largest fish in the North American Carp family. The Colorado Pikeminnow can grow to be a stunning six feet.
Why The Name Change for the Colorado Pikeminnow?
While the word "Squaw" was not initially a derogatory term in many Native American languages, the term often has a negative connotation in Western Culture.
Merriam-Webster defines Squaw as:
1 offensive : an Indigenous woman of North America
2 dated, disparaging + offensive : WOMAN, WIFE
Why Renaming This Colorado Fish Matters
Many people across the state of Colorado are wondering why the name change of a fish was so important. Questions of "other important matters" have been raised and it seems the lesson has been lost.
Yes, the name is only a word when broken down to its simplest. However, as we should all be aware, words hold meaning.
Our voice and the words that we use have immense power. To continue to use a term that has been repeatedly used to disparage a group of people is unjust and cruel. We can't change the past, but we can change the present and build a more tolerant and positive world for the future.
As it is, Colorado already has a sordid history with Native Americans, changing the offensive name of a fish is the least the state could do.