“He Said- She Said”
What’s with the “Ghetto Names”
By Nicole Nutting and Don Valentine
She said: Not trying to be offensive here, but I’ve always been curious about this. What is up with those crazy names Blacks give their children?! You can read any list of names and know instantly which people are Black. That seems like an unnecessary stigma for your children to bear.
He Said: Nicole, you and I don’t always agree on everything. This time I know you’re spot on. There are multiple articles lampooning the absurdity of the over inventive Ghetto Names. Try “Top Tens.com” for laughs. They feature “Labronce”, “Jewleigh” [someone could not spell Julie?], “Airwrecka” or “Sharkeisha” to name a few. I bet the readers have more!
Every time a resume or school roster is reviewed and you see “Darquan, or Portiea” the reader assigns their personal pejorative about “Colored Folk”.
She said: Don, I’m not senile yet and I get that everybody wants their child to be unique and special, but here’s a cautionary tale: Have you ever noticed news stories like “Rayshon and his girlfriend Bonquisha were arrested for robbing the 7-11…”? Meanwhile, Shirley (Chisholm) and Martin (L. King) were community stalwarts. It appears we are either blessed or cursed by our names!
He Said: Right on, girl. In the Black community you have to “be the Gold Standard to get the Silver Standard job”. I would never employ someone named Marijuana Washington!
She said: Well, you could always employ her as a dope dealer! But seriously, if you want to be unique in a sea of Caucasians why not draw on your heritage instead of making up wacky names? Something African-derived would simultaneously provide personal dignity and honor your ancestors. Then all us honkies can perform verbal somersaults in an effort to pronounce them! Seemed to work out for that guy named Barack Obama.
He Said: . Every police stop, interaction with customer service or job interview you have made your child overcome your vanity to have them be noticed.
Invest your time on what Dr. King said, “.. be judged on the content of your character.” Parents you would benefit your child more by spending your energy on fortifying their character. Rather than finding some un-ique spelling of their name!
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