- 10 months ago
- Wedding: September 2013
Shinytoy : Putting aside how gross I think it is that you’re internalizing white supremacy in this way and giving it this much credence in your life (plus discussing it in a public forum like wanting to avoid being perceived as a minority is a perfectly natural concern to which everyone can relate), I don’t think I understand why this is suddenly an issue. You’ve had an Indian name all along, correct? And your first name won’t change, will it? So you should pretty well be able to predict the impact of any other non-Anglo name. After marriage, are you moving to a new country where you’re unfamiliar with the racial landscape, or something?
On the impact of anti-Blackness on employment, African Americans have exactly the same surnames as white Americans (let me know if you need help understanding why, lol). So the news reports you saw about resumes with Black-sounding names being discarded is because of culturally specific first names, not last names. And I can tell you, as a Black immigrant woman who has very European first, middle, maiden and married names, that there is absolutely nothing in a name. I’ve had potential employers (and even grad programs) excited by my resume, experience and transcripts, tripping over themselves to invite me to an interview but as soon as my Black SELF showed up, all the energy suddenly left the room. So yeah, technically my name may have helped me get my foot in the door. But it’s not like a racist hiring manager would actually hire me (or treat me well if they did). I have shown up to meetings and had people visibly not believe me when I introduce myself. I even had one guy say right to my face with a slight twinge of disappointment, “oh. I just…I thought you’d be white.” I’ve responded to having my name called in a crowded waiting room only to have the receptionist tell me, “no, sweetie. I called Elizabeth Anne Baines-Locke, not you.” That is to say, regardless of my Anglo name, I have never had the option to avoid being discriminated against because, y’know, people can still SEE me. Smh. You shared the origin of your name and your general complexion, but not your own race. But if you are white, your privilege won’t leave you just because you changed your name. And if you are not white, avoiding ethnic names will not prevent racists from doing what racists do.
Oh. And Toussaint is the strongest, Blackest surname I can think of, lol.