BY: CRYSTAL ANOKAM
For the past few days, “The View” co-host Raven-Symone has been receiving backlash. Symone said, “I’m not about to hire you if your name is Watermelondrea. It’s just not going to happen. I’m not going to hire you.” This isn’t the first time Symone has made a ridiculous and ignorant statement. In an interview with E! News correspondent Alicia Quarles, she said, “I am from every continent in Africa except for one and I’m also from every continent in Europe except for one.”
Either Symone was sick with the flu in elementary school when everyone else learned about geography or she just lacks basic knowledge. I like to believe the latter. How is one to determine whether a name is ghetto or not? In today’s society, those who are often plagued with their names “sounding ghetto, are usually Afro-descendants. So ultimately, what Symone is saying is that she won’t hire you. Ironically, this is coming from someone who starred in the popular Disney Channel Show, “That’s So Raven”, and in an episode aired in 2005, Raven wasn’t hired for a job simply because she was black. In this episode, Raven said, “I always knew about racism, but I never knew how much it could hurt.” So what exactly is it with celebrities becoming traitors to their own racial identity? Before you make fun of black names, it important to understand that people in today’s society will call any name that sounds or looks unusual or even hard to pronounce, ghetto. Long and complex names in other languages or from other countries aren’t seen as ghetto, but cultural.
Why aren’t our “ghetto” names viewed and valued as cultural? Those names that apparently sound ghetto, usually have a deeper meaning to them. For example, Nario means cheerful. Kareem means noble and distinguished. Lystasia, translates to the beautiful one has come, and Kimwana means extremes in fortune, health and spirituality. All these names may look different and sound different, but their meanings are profound. It is also disgusting to base someone’s work ethic off of solely their name.
There are hundreds of people named Sally and Bob that hate their job and are lazy. A name cannot and should not be used to determine whether one is capable or incapable of performing a job. I thought when applying for job, hiring managers look at resumes and work experience and not just focus on your name. If that’s the case, that would explain why so many people of color are unemployed.
When we are born we do not have a choice in the name given to us, granted, we can go and legally change it, but why change your unique name because someone out there doesn’t appreciate it? Say your name and be proud of it!