A name is not a judgement of character

By: Alysha Payne, Columnist

Earlier last week, Raven-Symoné, again, made a very discriminatory claim.

While discussing topics on the ABC talk show “The View,” she mentioned that those who bear less-than-average names shouldn’t be afforded the opportunity to work in corporate settings.

She even went further to say that if she was the one in the position of power she personally would choose to reject someone’s application immediately after seeing his or her name.

This shows that stereotypes not only are prominent within races or social status, but also with something as trivial and as out of our control such as the names we have.

Yes, a corporate setting is draped in professionalism; employees are expected to enter it with the proper attire, and a clean and polished appearance.

There is a set caliber that all employees are expected to reach and it is not always easy to stay there.

One mistake can ruin your corporate career. Apparently, that one mistake can be your name.

I will not pretend that society hasn’t taught us that there is a rather prominent divide in the professionalism of a name. This may be why Raven-Symoné feels a certain way about names in the workplace.

However, what evidence do we have to support that a name you were given at birth determines the work ethic and overall professionalism?

A name that is not average, a lot of the time, is not completely made up. A lot of different names can hold more meaning to them, as it is from a different, non-European, culture.

In many cultures, a name in its simplest form is used for identification purposes, and it will be used to connect you to other means of identification in the future (i.e. social security numbers or policy numbers on insurance).

Some parents choose to add a little flair to their children’s name to show their sense of uniqueness, or because the name has meaning in a different culture.

However, the uniqueness of one’s name cannot and should not be a way to determine their personality or their work ethic.

Our names immensely define the way we are perceived by others in our society, however, we have almost no control over it. Our parents choose our names for us, and this burden can sometimes be an extreme strain on them because they do not want to name you incorrectly and potentially ruin their own kids’ life.

The name that you are given at birth in no way determines the work ethic you bear as an adult.

People often change their names to be more accepted in their workplace, or to even get a reputable job.

To think that any qualified applicant isn’t qualified for a position for something as trivial as their name is a terrible shame, but sadly, this is the twisted world we live in.

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