Are you a namist? Urban Dictionary definition: “To be discriminatory against a certain name, it can be equated to being racist, but with names”. How many of y’all will even admit to it? How many times have you seen a name ending in -isha (as in Franquisha) or -onte (as in Deonte) and assumed that, that person’s mother was a high school dropout, future WorldStar model. While we, especially us black folk, don’t want to admit, we are namists. Whenever we see a name that ends in multiple vowels, we tend to think the worst of the person; never mind that the person didn’t name themselves, all we see is someone who set the African American race back 30 years.
Is this fair? No it isn’t, but it’s like that and that’s the way it is – no Run DMC. We all have our prejudices whether you want to admit it or not; for some, it’s men under 6 feet, a person’s hands (I have a friend who thinks Sanaa Lathan is ugly because of her thumbs). And
women who don’t swallow, women who wear weave. While wearing or not wearing weave can be helped height, hands and names cannot, but that doesn’t stop you from talking about Qourvoisier’s mother who had to have been an extra in the Pass the Courvoisier video ** (Editor’s note: I knew a boy named Quorvoisier when I was living in GA). If kept in perspective, our prejudices don’t have to be harmful, and besides, a parent is allowed to give their child any name they want without having to explain.
And here lies the problem, while we are given freewill and a mind of our own, I personally think some people need a license to operate said free will and own mind. Yes, you can name your child whatever you want without regard for the next person’s opinion; you can call it being creative. But truth be told, there is nothing creative about naming your child D’Brickashaw, that’s just being lazy. Either you were a Brickmason living in South Central, Los Angeles near Crenshaw, or you just said f*ck it, I am going to make it impossible for my child to find a job in the future.
You see, freewill in the wrong hands can lead to all sorts of future strippers named Precious, Black Butterfly, Cinnamon and Obsession , and rappers whose stage name’s begin with “Lil” (Lil Zane, whatever happened to him??). Mama, don’t let your children grow up to become Video Vixens. Because honestly who is going to hire someone named Qwayshawna or Dontaysha?? Yes, it is possible, but it’s also an uphill battle to just get to the interview.
While it may seem like I’m judging, I’m trying not to, I’m just concerned about the impact some of these names will have on the younger generation as they get older. We are some of the most creative people on this Earth, and unfortunately that goes for names. Also, I know I’m straddling the fence talking about how it’s unfair to be prejudiced against names, but I’m tired of running into LaDante’s and NaKisha’s handing me their demo or
asking me if I want a lap dance, while working as cashier’s at Target with mix-matched bangs and ponytails (one word).
So am I wrong in thinking this way? How do you feel about names that sound like their letters were picked while being blindfolded?
Talk to me, I’ll talk back.
The Narrator Breazy.