I think it’s interesting and wise that she never gives her name–you’re meant to project something there, and I’m sure some people are going to protest that they don’t make judgments like that, that people are people, but let’s be honest. I’ve seen plenty of online discussions about “trashy” or “stupid” names. When pressed for the reasoning behind their assertions, there isn’t anything tangible. They sputter and swear that the names are just faulty and wrong to give to any child, when what they mean is that “those people” name their children those things. Those people can be anyone who doesn’t fit into their ideal parent, poor, uneducated, Black, Spanish speaking, whatever. The names become conflated with the culture from whence they came–and if its unacceptable, it’s stupid. It irks me, and I hate having conversations like that. Name prejudice is an easy way for bigots to air their views inoffensively. No one recoils in disgust when someone laughs at a name, they tend to join in. The same thing happens with language choice and accents, hell I’ve only taken one linguistics class but the rule that they drum into your head is that there is no such thing as good and bad language, greater and less than accents or sentence structure but people swear up and down that there is and only they speak it–everyone else is wrong.
Anyway, I have the experience the opposite way. I’ve got a plain jane sounds like someone’s grandma’s white person name. Its only amusing the first handful of times when they see that you’re not the color your name would seem to indicate. I’m almost firmly convinced that the phone interview is supposed to be the second tier weeding out process where they check for blackccent, finding none, they rest assured that they’ve found a proper white candidate, only to see me and sputter. I didn’t realize there was an official naming code for each ethnicity and by not falling into it, I’ve breached the unspoken code. How dare I not be white when I seem cued that way.
Its so easy to place people in categories, because then, you don’t have to think.
(Link courtesy of Racialicious)