Here the Words

What’s In A Name?

From time to time we discuss names black Americans give their children.  I have seen some pretty outlandish names encroached upon innocent children black and white alike who have to grow up and live in this society.  Some names subject children to endless bullying.  Having survived childhood teasing and possible bullying there is employment to consider.  It is indeed unfortunate, but some names will net resumes right into the trash can.  In the case of black Americans it seems unfair, but this another one of these near unprovable discrimination cases.  How can you prove it?  Some of these names have become known as “ghetto” which is attached to a large stigma.  One may envision a negative stereotype from a name and determine that they will pass on that person not giving them a chance.  Of course people still get jobs, but it may possibly take longer with a perceived ghetto name.  Or one may be passed over for a job they really want just because his or her mother wanted an exotic sounding or unique name.  No one will argue that some outlandish names cause even the best of us to prejudge.  But does come down to personal choice good or bad.

A story came out last year about a woman who regretted giving her daughter a ghetto name.  She had grown up and suddenly realized her decision as a seventeen year old was not wise.  Then there was the case of a child support magistrate who overstepped her authority and renamed a child in his best interest.  I agreed with the magistrate’s reason for doing so, but it simply was not her call.  That magistrate was fired some time later with strong speculation that the firing was related to that name changing case which was reversed.  The name in question was “Messiah” that the magistrate decided to change to Martin, the mother’s last name — though well intentioned, it was not her call.

In this day and age, we have discussed this issue enough to know that it is still an issue.  We need think about the ramifications of the names we give our children.  I am all for creativity, but we need to at least be able to spell a name with letters found in the alphabet.  And most people need to be able to pronounce said name.  It again does come down to personal choice, right or wrong, good or bad.  But the child’s future should be considered.

I found this video of KevOnStage, a local up and coming comedian.  He sums up a serious debate quite hilariously.

A little more serious, but he is right in my opinion.



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