February 25, 2013
Why not just keep it totally real, take it all the way back to the Motherland, and make your name a series of clicks, grunts, and exclamation points?
What does it say about our world when Slappy White and Nipsey Russell suddenly seem like reasonable names? Would it have been so bad if Cornel West’s parents had named him Kevin instead? Bill Cosby was born William Cosby 75 years ago, and you know what he’s still called? “Bill.” That’s right””Bill.”
There have been studies demonstrating that employers are more likely to discard resumes featuring black-sounding names, but does that necessarily mean that employers hate all black people, or are they merely more wary of the ones whose names essentially translate to “Fuck You, White America”?
In the American past, most midlife name changes seemed designed to neuter one’s ethnicity rather than amplify it”to fit in rather than stand out. Jews, Asians, and Italians frequently softened their natural-born names in their quest to assimilate. With blacks, it’s more like a repudiation of society. A way to distance themselves.
Can we all get along? No, not when you have silly-ass, fundamentally divisive names like that.
And what the HELL is up with all the apostrophes? Do you know how much all that costs in ink and paper, not to mention how it contributes to global warming?
And let’s be frank”even better, let’s name your kids Frank”but when you bestow your child with appellations such as Riodejuonerol, Kwauntre, Letalvis, and”ahem”Shitavious, don”t you ever wonder whether you may possibly be paving their way for an eventual murder beef?
Like I said, I enjoy black names immensely. I enjoy them so much, I wrote all of the following imaginary black names for my own amusement and would be honored if any black couple used them to name their children:
And then there’s a friend who joked about how he wanted to adopt a small black boy and name him Enward.
But then my conscience kicks in and I realize that we all”all of us, black and white, as Americans“need to admit that black America is hemorrhaging stupid names, and we need to come together to stanch the bleeding. I know this is supposed to be some kind of “libertarian” website or whatever, but I would favor a harsh federal law forbidding black people from giving themselves and their children such ridiculous names. It’s not helping them, and it’s not helping us normal people, either. I honestly feel this impedes our progress as a civilization. Other countries already have laws restricting certain baby names, but we”re apparently too timid to take a stand.
And if we can”t stop such names altogether, we at least, as one nation working together, need to keep them at a Jerminimum.