Debunking Forwards: Bird Feeder Syndrome

I received the following forward from a good-intentioned relative, but had to overtly disagree with its message. The article seems to rationalize a form of racism (nationalism, perhaps) whereby an absolute trait is labeled upon the entirety of a people-group based on speculation and rumor, perhaps in response to a perceived amount of injustice incurred by the presence of such people:

As usual, Maxine gets it right…
The Bird Feeder Syndrome – A Survival Thought For The Day

I bought a bird feeder. I hung it on my back porch and filled it with seed. What a beauty of a bird feeder it is, as I filled it lovingly with seed. Within a week we had hundreds of birds taking advantage of the continuous flow of free and easily accessible food.

But then the birds started building nests in the boards of the patio, above the table, and next to the barbecue. Then came the poop. It was everywhere: on the patio tile, the chairs, the table ..everywhere!

Then some of the birds turned mean. They would dive bomb me and try to peck me even though I had fed them out of my own pocket. And others birds were boisterous and loud. They sat on the feeder and squawked and screamed at all hours of the day and night and demanded that I fill it when it got low on food.

After a while, I couldn’t even sit on my own back porch anymore. So I took down the bird feeder and in three days the birds were gone. I cleaned up their mess and took down the many nests they had built all over the patio. Soon, the back yard was like it used to be…. quiet, serene and no one demanding their rights to a free meal. Now let’s see.

Our government gives out free food, subsidized housing, free medical care, and free education and allows anyone born here to be an automatic citizen. Then the illegals came by the tens of thousands. Suddenly our taxes went up to pay for free services; small apartments are housing 5 families; you have to wait 6 hours to be seen by an emergency room doctor; your child’s 2nd grade class is behind other schools because over half the class doesn’t speak English.

Corn Flakes now come in a bilingual box; I have to ‘press one’ to hear my bank talk to me in English, and people waving flags other than ‘Our own’ are squawking and screaming in the streets, demanding more rights and free liberties.

Just my opinion, but maybe it’s time for the government to take down the bird feeder. If you agree, pass it on; if not, continue cleaning up the poop!

Firstly.. (a) Immgrants are not birds. There should not exist the perception that, by contrast, legal citizens are on an intellectual level of homeowners while immigrants possess the limited capacity of air fowl. That’s just terrible. It might not have been what she meant, but it’s pushing the boundary on outrightly stating it. (b) Maxine fails to put herself in their shoes. Imagine if the country you came from became so stank that you decided to actually move your family out of it, and into an country that offered nice surroundings but in which existed a people that spoke a language different than yours. Would you not, at first at least, take kindly to offerings of quality and genuine support so that you could get on your feet? Would it not be a temptation, as a person (regardless of where you came from) to perhaps rely on that support longer than was presumed socially permissible? I’m not asking if you would, but wouldn’t the very idea at least occur in your mind that, hmm, perhaps I might be able to? Do you not know actual citizens of this country that would jump onto that if it were offered to them? I know dozens who would snatch it up if offered. Could some of this resentment toward immigrants who are offered this assistance actually be a bit of avarice you possess, that you yourself “deserve it more than someone else” in regard to those benefits?

Secondly, Maxine (the person putting out the birdfeeder) epic-failed on a few key aspects, in terms of the story itself and not drawing any particular metaphors: (a) She didn’t have any idea what birds actually were. Birds CAN get noisy and may very well fight, especially over limted resources. (b) She blamed her overt lack of research on the birds themselves, rather than herself for not knowing this would happen. Instead of being irritated with her own decision to put the birdfeeder out, she projected the irritation onto the birds themselves, who were just being what birds are and have always been since birdfeeders were even around. (c) The birds may not actually possess the capacity to realize that she is the person supplying the feed, whereas she may simply be a large competitor for the feed itself, much less knowing how out-of-pocket economics work to realize it is a sacrifice for you to do this. The anger here is a transition from a long-held belief aligning itself with the facts of reality, and isn’t at all a fault of the birds themselves. The biggest factor is her self-sustained deception that birds were not what they actually were. Instead of treating it as a learning experience, she has now over-encumbered herself with a severe distaste for birds, and sits pridefully on her porch in the self-reinforced notion that she had been right all along.

Pass the shovel, fellow citizen. I’ll do the gruntwork of humanitarian aid if your butler says you’ve got other appointments for today! Puh!