Ethnic name myth, Why would anyone want to work for someone who judges by names?

Condeleza Rice (secratary of defense), Colin Powell (former secratary of defense), Thurgood Marshall (former supreme court justice and great lawyer), Cornell West (Princeton professor), Oprah Winfrey (Talk show host) , Barack Obama (US senator), Kwame Kilpatrick (Youngest mayor ever of a large city Detroit), Iyanla Vinsant (Self help guru and arthur)

If this myth is sooo true how did all of these people get to there stature. There are many more examples of people with ethnic names I could have given but these few totally proves my point. Besides you should not want to be employed by people who judge you for your name because they are very small minded.


I didn't come up with the trem "ethnic" names I believe it was created by the media or someone else. Some more Ethnic names are Montel Williams talk show host. Khephra Burns (black astronaut, Goion Bluford (Black Astronaut) I have 4 great white people who have ehtnic names ( Franklin DELANOR Roosevelt ( the best president of them all), Tipper Gore ( former vice first lady) Boomer Esiason ( NFL pregame host and former QB) Millord Fillmore ( former US President)

All I'm really attempting to prove is this myth is totally false as long as parents don't go insane with there kids names.

Every name from Joe, Jose, Jamal, Jullan to Jing are all great names and no one should have deny themselves of a great family name and cultural name to make it in this World.

Update 2:

enlightenedsista I feel you but your makeing my point exactly. I have enough faith they are enough companies who want judge me for my first name and I hope the closet racist will see my name and by pass me. This way i don't have to put on my nice suit, bust out the resume, and waste a few gallons of 3 dollar gas to go to an interview I want get because when they see my face they say no. Think about it and be a little more positive with your thinking.

14 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    I hear you, totally. I'm not black, but I can't understand why somebody would deny somebody an opportunity because of what their parents named them. One interesting point the book Freakonomics makes about this myth is that yes, black people who changed their name to "less ethnic" names did succeed--but it's probably because they were so ambitious and motivated, as their taking such a drastic action as changing their names to get ahead shows! They'd have succeeded anyway!

    Besides, how many Brittanys and Ashleys and Johns and Davids do we need in the world? At least nobody will say "Oprah *who*?" or "Which Barack?"

  • 1 decade ago

    Hi Sam..........I fully agree. I wouldn't want to work for someone that judges anyone by name. That is a personal preferrence. There are so many individuals that have made an impact on the world, not just the United States. My niece had the priviledge to spend some time with Colin Powell a few years ago during an internship in Washington D.C. and she couldn't stop talking about what an incredible man he was.......not only professionally but personally. We get stigma's attached to us by the media and its hard to get past what you hear because for whatever reason in our mind it seems to stick in the back of it if we hear something negative about them. If we did, we wouldn't have very many people in our lives. I for one no longer judge people by name or first instincts because I have been wrong (dont' tell my kids I said that! :) ) and some people (2 esp.) that I thought when I met wouldn't like and have become 2 of my best and closest friends. I do thank you for asking this because I enjoy answering questions that make me think about my life and why I do things and think the way I do. Trina

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    In this country, however, these individuals you've name are the exception, not common or occurring more than average. Indeed, it is stupid and ignorant to judge a person based off a name alone, but reality is, we still live a very ignorant, racist country that will judge someone off a name, even though it is wrong to do so.

    Shaquita, Bookeisha and so on,when these names are seen on resumes, if a closet racist is in HR and in charge of reviewing resumes, they will bypass these individuals, even if they are more than qualified.

    Its wrong to do so, but we must live in reality. And yes, no one should want to work for an employer that judges them by their name, but how exactly would they know their company is doing so. If the racist spoke outright, they could be sued, so more often than not, it is institutionalized racism and not out in the open, so the employee will have no idea.

    edited to add:

    Sorry if realistic talk seems "negative" to you. I live in the real world. I go to grad school in the real world. The clients are serve, are in the real world too. I work in the real world and can only speak on what I KNOW from personal experience and that of co workers and clients who have shared their experiences with me.

    Positivity surrounds my lifestyle, but that doesn't mean I don't speak and act realistically. I've already stated that these racist practices of not hiring someone based on a name is WRONG, but that doesn't mean it isn't occurring. How is telling the truth negative? You are making illogical assumptions and living in a disillusioned reality. In a PERFECT world, this wouldn't even be an issue. But in the U.S., reality is different from the way things should be and until they change, reality will still occur whether you choose to acknowledge it or not.

    Here's a tip, instead of telling me what I "should" do, if you ask a question, expect constructive feedback, not just feedback you want to hear to support your question. Have a good day!

  • $0.02
    Lv 4
    1 decade ago

    First of all, generally all the people you mentioned mad it to where they are BECAUSE they are Black not in spite of. I mean Kilpatrick is Mayor of Detriot for god sake, not salt lake city (not to mention is mother was very heavy in politics around there)

    Obama wouldn't be a Senator if it wasn't for Chicago (if you rememebr the race it was two Black people running, so one of them would have made it it)

    Colin and Condi are both tokens for the Repubs (not taking away from what they have accomplished but we wouldn't know who they were if they weren't Black)

    Oprah is in the entertainment industry, Black people have never been held back form that

    Thurgood Marshall isn't really ethnic sounding. But he went to howard which is an all black college and then was civil rights lawyer, before becoming a judge. so again him being Black is what made him what he is.

    Cornel West - well ... lets see what he has to say:

    "I arrived at Harvard unashamed of my African, Christian, and militant de-colonized outlooks. More pointedly, I acknowledged and accented the empowerment of my black styles, mannerisms, and viewpoints, my Christian values of service, love, humility, and struggle, and my anti-colonial sense of self-determination for oppressed people and nations around the world."

    you see, these people made it to where they are because they are Black.

    The ethnic name theory is no myth. Its been tested again and again, and the results are the same every time.

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  • Mel W
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago

    It's ridiculous to judge someone based on a name given to him/her by others (his/her parents). Oprah Winfrey has openly talked about how people told her early-on in her career to change her name to Susie. The only downside I see to any ethnic or unusual name is that of other people continually mispronouncing it.

  • 4 years ago

    i'm jap too, Issei is born Japan, Nissei is country-born jap, even we've diverse words, at country I stay generally San Francisco, many Asians there, I stay at Japantown, small city human beings have small minds, words you record are definitely racist. What you do? i think attempt overlook approximately lots so obtainable, in college if every person carry it too a approaches, whinge of instructors and significant.

  • Pask
    Lv 5
    1 decade ago

    I'm with enlightenedsista on this one when she says that the names above are the exception because their names aren't as common. I also believe that these folks knew early on of the possiblility of their names raising a few eyebrows, however they would take it upon themselves to ensure that the eyebrows they raised were positive. And I feel they have done so - Condoleeza, Barak, Oprah, Cornell, et al, are all dynamic personalities, and they have in a sense defined their names on their own as opposed to allowing others to do so.

    It is stupid and ignorant to judge someone's potential based on their God given name, but sadly, our society has become just that superficial.

    On the flipside, knowing that, I think as parents (especially black parents), present and potential, we need to give a bit more thought in naming our children. Let's be realistic here for a moment - Condolezza is a name - BooQueesha is not!

    Reminds me of something I heard a comedian say about this very subject. It's funny, but it's also kind of sad:

    "I have a son, love him more than life itself; I named him Christopher. Now some of you are wondering why I felt the need to mention that; and I'm here to say bc 'Christopher' means marketing potential. We need to stop giving our kids these messed up, pseudo-Afro-french hybrids some of y'all are coming up with. Give your child a name he can live up to! When Christopher gets older, and starts looking for a job, they won't know my boy's black until the interview. However, Aldentay LaEvian Jenkins better start practicing his jump shot NOW!"

    Source(s): My own name is also uncommon
  • argus
    Lv 5
    1 decade ago

    If all the names you listed above are ethnic names, what is an unethical name?

    I must know, in order to answer your question.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Good point

  • 1 decade ago

    I can make a list 10 times that with the name Bob if you would like.

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