Taken for Granite > Intensive Porpoises


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I’m taking a voice class for fun, but mostly to satisfy my inner drag queen.   Tuesday was my final, and my first on-stage performance.  Celeste, as usual, was there to cheer me on, but before it was my turn to go on stage, she went to get one of our mutual friends who worked in the health office and wanted to see my big debut.  While she was there, she got caught up in a conversation with his boss, who she described as “a mousy white lady with bucked teeth and frizzy hair”.  I’m using this description because I think it is important for you to know what she looked like in order to better understand the situation.   Anyway, Celeste was stuck talking to this woman while she was supposed to be in the auditorium waiting for me to go on.  She tried to politely extricate herself from the conversation which had somehow turned to talk of the renaissance faire we went to.  She says to this woman “oh, well, I have to go now, I’m supposed to see my friend Special perform.”  When she says this, the woman gets all confused and thinks that she’s saying that I am “special”.  When Celeste tries to tell the woman that it’s my name, the lady goes from one idea to the next.  First, she thinks that Celeste is saying that she herself is special, then she thinks that Celeste  is calling her special.  Anyway, sooner or later, the woman gets the point, Celeste has a friend NAMED special.

The woman then blurts out, “OH, is she African American?”  As soon as she says then, she tries to make it clear that she doesn’t mean to be offensive.   She says, “Well, you know, it’s just that African Americans give their kids such wacky names.”  Ok, I’ll admit my name is different, but it’s no different than people named April or Summer or the less common hippy names like Sunbeam and whatnot.  This woman goes on to tell Celeste that African Americans should name their children more common names and she goes on  to quote a study that was recently conducted.  The study says that students with more “exotic” or ethnic names do worse in school than children with more common names because teachers and even future employers are less likely to invest in them.  At this point in the story, I’m really irritated.  The lady is basically saying that people should conform because of other people’s bias.  Also, no one seems to realize that black people feel the need to make up names because we have no real cultural identity.  I mean, we’re not really Africans, but we’re not the descendents of Europeans either.

This lady was saying all of this to Celeste because she assumed that she was Hispanic.  She went on to talk about how schools where we live (in the hood), especially the school that we went to, should have metal detectors.  She said she couldn’t understand how people could say no to random searches and metal detectors.  Celeste replied by explaining that the people of our community voted against these methods of security because it would be demoralizing.  She explained that while the schools are more difficult than most, it’s not really a battleground (yes, this woman used the word battleground to describe the school) and that the students don’t need to be treated like prisoners.   She told her that she’d experienced it first hand from many angles because the school is mostly black and Hispanic and she’s multiracial.  When she said that she was multiracial, the lady made a face like she’d had an accident in her pants and suddenly remembered that she had some stuff to do in her office.

I always thought, “Yes, my name is different, but at least it’s not LaShoniqua” because I knew a girl with that name and I pitied her.  I got teased about my name when I was younger , but I grew to love it.  People like that lady piss me the fuck off.  When I tell people like her my name, they make a weird face but they quickly recover and say “Well, you must really be special”  or something along those lines.  I wouldn’t mind that comment, but now I’m wondering if they think the same way the lady in the office thinks.  My question is, why don’t people get it?  Most names initially meant words didn’t they?  We’ve just lost the original meanings.  I want to go visit my friend and find his boss just so I can introduce myself and prove I’m not just some ghetto black chick with another wacky name.  Well, that, and go all Johnny the Homicidal Maniac on her and chop her into pieces for calling me wacky.

That's a lot longer than I thought it would be, but it's ok because there are only 3 people who read the boards now that Nacho is gone.

Although I can't, of course, relate to being a minority, I can relate to having to deal with ignorant fucktards. I agree with you completely: Names are supposed to MEAN something. We have enough Johns and Marys and crap to last us a damn millennia. Labeling your kid with a name you picked off the top 20 list is lame and lazy.

Ignorant people are a scourge on this planet.

"Tyson" isn't completely original, but I think it's rather cool. Then when people hear my name, I have to go through the same fucking Mike Tyson and Tyson chicken jokes. I might as well wear a shirt with a picture of Mike Tyson and Tyson Chicken on it.

And don't get me started on dealing with people who think deaf == mentally retarded.


--- Quote from: Tyson --- I agree with you completely: Names are supposed to MEAN something. We have enough Johns and Marys and crap to last us a damn millennia. Labeling your kid with a name you picked off the top 20 list is lame and lazy.

Ignorant people are a scourge on this planet.

--- End quote ---

When I "grow up" I'm going to adopt kids and give them names that I have to work to find.  Names like Skeletor.

I read an article where a woman voiced concerns about giving her son an ethnic name.  She was worried that it would effect his future.  I never thought my name could hold me back.  Hell, I only just realized that in this day and age my skin could.  I guess it's ok because I'm doing everything I can right now to avoid having to get a real job.  Still, it makes me think.

I think you should go visit this woman and be as stereotypically black as you possibly can.  Really go all out with it and play to her racist fears about black people.  Then switch on a dime and start talking about the philosophy of names or something.  Really let her have it.

Also, I wish I had a cooler name than Matt.  My parents are uncreative and very, extremely white.  Actually, my middle name is kinda rad and I sort of wish I used it instead.  Then everyone could call me Al ... or Xander. :D


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