Has Your Name (Or Racial/Ethnic Background) Ever Held You Back From Getting A Job Or An Apartment?

Discussion in 'Career, Work, Finances and Education' started by African King, Oct 3, 2017.

  1. African King

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    There was a heated discussion on The Breakfast Club Radio Show this morning regarding securing employment, race and ethnic names. They had a guest on their show, Jordan Belfort ('Wolf of Wall Street', movie featured Leonardo DiCaprio) and they talked about the art of sales.

    DJ Envy (born as Raa-Shaun Casey) spoke about how he would change his name and go as Shaun when he was in high school in order to increase his sales numbers while working at a telemarketing company and Jordan Belfort agreed. On the other hand, Charlamagne Tha God (born as Leonard McKelvey) was completely against changing his name in order to make other people feel comfortable. He feels that at the end of the day if there are prejudice white people that are hiring for a job or they are consumers for a certain product that at the end of the day a racist person is still a racist person. That you are still black. Jordan Belfort felt as if what DJ Envy was saying is true because it is about making people feel comfortable. Belfort said that at the end of the day that he feels that if a black (or asian) person is selling to another black (or asian) person that both parties will be more comfortable. Angela Yee (her real name) shared experience about friends of hers that had to change their names in order to get their resumes considered for employment positions.

    They had callers dial into the radio station to discuss their own personal experiences (link: ) about how their names or cultural backgrounds have caused them to be on the receiving end of prejudice and discrimination.

    How about for you guys? Has your name, race/ethnic background or appearance ever held you back from securing a job or a place to live? Sound off below!

    @BlackguyExecutive @Artistic Arsonist @DreG @JNH412 @ControlledXaos @Nick Delmacy @Ockydub @Dante @takeyourmeds91 @Champagne_Papi @Infinite_loop @SB3 @mojoreece @Omega Level @Cyrus-Brooks @Sean @Sean P @Rico @ColumbusGuy
     
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  2. Artistic Arsonist

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    I've been mentioned? Someone wants to hear my opinion?!

    Unfortunately, I don't think I have much say here. The only jobs I've had have been on campus, both in high school (a special program that allowed me to work in the school library) and college (student leadership). My high school was 95% black, so it was pretty much inevitable. In college, my boss and her boss were both black with ethnic names, and most of my coworkers were black as well despite the student racial population. So, more possibility of discrimination but much less probability.

    As for my name, it comes straight out the bible, so no ethnic alarms sounding off when you read it.

    Now that I'm trying to break into a career that's dominated by white people, we'll see how that goes. Admittedly, it's an extremely liberal field, but you can't be too sure, ya know?
     
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  3. ColumbusGuy

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    No. I have a very 'white' first name and a very German last name(I dislike both intensely). But I will say I have heard blacks talking about not wanting to hire someone named Jamarquavious or Jerhondakeisha also-it ain't just white folks giving the side eye to 'ethnic'-in many cases, ghetto-ass names(per said black people)mind you.

    Now I did not listen to this, so if they are just real ethnic names vs what is called 'ghetto' names, then that is different. There is a difference that people perceive I think between say something like Lamont, Aliyah, Demarcus, etc and stuff like Shar-Tanquerayisha and Gangstaquan. Just like there is a difference between Robert, Bob, Bobby, and Bobby Ray Joe(last one makes me think of West Virginia, no teeth, and meth). Names matter whether we like it or not, just like first impressions matter.

    *and yeah, I know racism plays into it as well with whites, at least when it does not come to filling a quota-when they will hire Shar-Tanquerayisha over you even though you may be more qualified because it is two minorities in one and she will not be thought of as 'threatening' and all(unless you let them know you are a fag and then they get two in one as well smh).

    *and I had a black boss of my department who would never hire a black person with an 'ethnic' name-unless she knew them and all-per her own mouth(which was unencumbered with thoughts or appropriateness or propriety in the workplace, obviously).
     
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  4. Rico

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    @African King in my case, the name, probably not. My own IRL name practically sounds like a white male 19th Century inventor (so much so that I used to joke when I was a kid that I was related to Alexander Graham Bell and co-invented the telephone). The reality of white supremacy, however, is that white folks in general ultimately forget a name if they are racist; even if your social security card reads “Aloysius Wellington McGillcuddy III” they just see “black.” I’m sure my Civil War-era engineer name probably got me in the door in my younger days when HR people read over my name, resume, and experience, but once I showed up and they saw this LL Cool J looking brother coming through the door, my Edwardian novelist name didn’t mean shit.

    Now unique names are not a strictly black thing, regardless as to how mainstream culture tries to portray it. I was born in the south and I can tell you there were a lot of “rednecks” and hillbillies down with peculiar names too…

    “Mah mama done named me Placenta ‘cause she heard the doctor say it when I wuz born and she thought that was a right purty name for a girl!!”

    Tons of psychological and sociological research has been done on how society judges black ethnic sounding names, not just black names that are African or Arabic based. I just wanted to add some cultural history for you younger brothers. For most African-Americans (those whose families are descendants of U.S. slavery, not recent black immigrants from the Continent or elsewhere), the “ethnic naming” trend as we know it came on strong during the Civil Rights era in the time of Martin Luther King and Malcolm X. Psychologically, names have always been more than just identification ever since humans invented language. After slavery, a black parent naming a child by ANY given name of choice, regardless as to its etymological origin, was an act of freedom. Slaves in the U.S. generally weren’t given the freedom to name their offspring, as we were generally bred and named like animals and pets. When blacks were free, they usually named their children* after parents or someone admired, particularly Biblical figures or names that emphasized power and pride (e.g. “Sojourner Truth”).

    In the early 1900s around the time of the Harlem Renaissance, “Ethiopianism,” “Negritude,” and early Afrocentric culture took hold. This is where you see some more urbane, radical, and culturally strident black folk taking on Africanesque names (particularly East African-based ones due to Egyptology and Haile Selassie’s routing of the Italians). You’ll also see a smattering of American black folk who took on Francophone names due to the perceived “non-racist” attitudes of white French intellectuals and French culture towards American black ex-pats, compared with segregationist Jim Crow America (think Josephine Baker).

    After World War II, enter Elijah Muhammad and Malcolm X. The Nation of Islam had an enormous effect on black names in major urban areas. You started seeing black men with Arabic names like “Malik”, “Akbar”, “Jamil”, “Kareem”, etc. The influence of the Nation of Islam on black naming culture was tremendous., particularly after Mike Wallace put Malcolm X on the international map with his Bill O’Reilly type documentary “The Hate That Hate Produced.”



    In addition to the renunciation of white surnames (“slave names”), replaced by Nation members with “X” (since we were kidnapped from Africa and didn’t know our “real” and “original” African names), the nomenclature shit hit the fan when Cassius Clay changed his name to Muhammad Ali (Muhammad meaning “one worthy of praise”, Ali meaning “the Most High, the Most Exalted”). Even though this happened years before I was born, the cultural effect was still strong by the time I came along. Black folks, regardless of religion, started consciously thinking of their own names, what they meant, and what a name said about one’s being. After Muhammad Ali, came the Black Panthers. So, black people who didn’t like Islam or felt that even Arabic names were “too white” started adopting African or Africanesque names in droves (e.g. SNCC leader Stokely Carmichael became Kwame Ture). When Alex Haley’s book, “Roots” was made into a TV series in the 1970s, that also hastened the trend (Henry Louis Gates owes his whole TV and academic career to the cultural revolution that Haley’s book ushered in).

    Somewhere along the line, the influence of the Nation of Islam and Pan-Africanists of the 1960s started to get lost, but the creativity remained. Thus, we get Gen-X, Millennial, and Gen-Z parents naming their kids all kinds of things. By the time I hit college, black folk had all kinds of names, not just “white ones.” For example, former Congressional Black Caucus leader, Kwesi Mfume. So black folks felt free to name their kids anything for any reason.

    In the end, keep in mind, most of the overt genocidal campaigns (plural) committed against blacks in the U.S. and Africa in the last three hundred years were done to us whether we had “Christian” (re: white European) names, or traditional cultural names. Our treatment wasn’t based on names, it was based on our color and our being. That being said, regardless as to your name, it’s how you present your force and being. If a semi-Black man named Barack HUSSEIN Obama can be elected twice to the White Peoples House, then names are not necessarily destiny.

    “A rose by any other name…”
     
    #4 Rico, Oct 3, 2017
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2017
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  5. Juan-Carlos

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    Nominative profiling does exist especially if your name sounds too ethnic. I heard that interview this morning too but left before they got into this discussion. My name is like a multiple threat. It's could be Muslim, Middle Eastern, African, or Spanish. In corporate America, it is easy to be singled out and could uniquely work in your favor if you are top in your dept or field . Or if you work in a call center and interface with the public, you could be subject to unfair prejudice based on the first few seconds of how you drive the call will create a lasting impression. If you don't speak intelligently and professionally you won't be taken seriously/respected. #facts.
     
  6. African King

    Squad Veteran Most Valuable Player The 1000 Daps Club Supporter

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    THIS!!!!!!!
     
  7. Dante

    Dante https://www.gofundme.com/qv7v5dw
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    Nope. I've been fair with Dante (Latin) vs. Donte/Dawntay/Dawntae/Dontae/Dantae.... Now, my middle name....Lol!
     
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  8. ColumbusGuy

    ColumbusGuy Deactivated Account

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    Billy Ray Joe Don Bob may fly in Imafoolatcha, Mississippi or Bigbelch, Kentucky, but may be just as problematic in Palo Alto, California or Greenwich, Connecticut as Desaundrakeisha may be. That is just the way it is for some people and how they judge names. Billy Ray might try William, Desaundrakeisha might try Saundra to get in the door, and then when in the door they can try selling themselves to the point where the name is not relevant. Again to an extent, this is the way it is.
    Which leads to....


    True, but that is as long as you can get in the door first so they can see how you are, not just what your name is, to an extent.

    Also if someone is named MalcolmXreborn, that was done to create an effect/affect(I hate these!) and it will create that in just about any scenario-names that are very non-mainstream(not just ethnic or heritage based like Mohammed or Ikume or Morioka, etc) can be problematic for all kinds of people-including those in the perceived ethnic group. Again I have heard blacks say they do not want someone coming in with a really 'ghetto sounding name' because they think the person will live up to the name and they do not want that person reflecting on the group. The business world is not your friend they are cutthroat and you have to do what you have to do to get in and find your place.
     
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  9. Rico

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    That only applies to people of color.

    See also Ross Perot, George W. Bush, Donald Trump ...
     
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  10. ColumbusGuy

    ColumbusGuy Deactivated Account

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    Can't forget Dan Quayle and Sarah Palin now given they are two of the dumbest humans that have ever lived. True once they climb the ladder there is the omnipresent white privilege safety net.

    Trump has to be the worst of all time though...just such a blight on the nation smh. Too bad he was not a giant Jason Aldean fan and decided to take in a concert or two....
    tumblr_m6nyq9O3KA1qziulwo2_500.gif

    *won't mention anything about 57 states though*
     
    #10 ColumbusGuy, Oct 4, 2017
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2017
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  11. Omega Level

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    While I understand what they are saying, I ABSOLUTELY could never live my life this way. So I guess I am definitely on the side of Charlamagne Tha God. Im not a real religious person at all but I would take the spiritual route on this in thinking, "What ever the universe has for me will be for me".

    I would never be in the business to try and make anyone comfortable that are as ignorant to pre-judge me by my name. And in the end I would look at that as a blessing if they didn't call me because thats not the kind of person I would like to work for anyway. I feel like a person looking at someones name and being turned off without even setting up an interview is a prejudice asshole. Why would I beg to work for such a person by changing my name?

    My name is definitely ethic and it has never failed me. If there were some people that were turned off by my name, I don't know and don't care. I focus of those that are decent and unbiased.
     
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  12. BlackguyExecutive

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    I think there is cultural bias when it comes to names. Throughout my relatively short career, I have been blessed I have a very very generic name (IRL) and coupled that with a very articulate vernacular people are always confused when they meet me for the first time. Although I do sometimes have a Florida Southern Accent. Ok, back to the issue at hand. I have seen dozens of time people get glanced over because their name sounds ethnic or foreign.

    I used to be a manager at Chuck E. Cheese and I had an employee named Tru'Monie pronounced True Money. When I received his application I called him for an interview because I was curious...some people live up to the stereotypes of their names. We have all heard the loud ass Shaneka but we have also all been around the annoying let me speak to the manager Deborah.

    In all reality, it boils down to the people attached to the name, not the names themselves.

    With that being said, for the longest time when it was time to pick a doctor or dentist I looked for the people who had plain names, names I could pronounce. Now that I love overseas, none of the doctors I go to have plain English sounding names.
     
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  13. Cyrus-Brooks

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    It's been shown in study after study if you have a name that sounds identifiable as black your resume is going in the trash. If you speak with "Ebonics" you're not getting a call back. I hate the term Ebonics by the way because there is no such thing as black English. Black Americans have regional accents just like every other American there is no single black dialect. We gotta be able to code switch. We have to go above and beyond what someone who is not black would do in order to get hired. I have an Arabic middle name. I don't use it on any job applications or official documents of any kind unless it's absolutely mandatory. Also my mom really stressed the importance of speaking standard English when I was kid so I know not to speak in street dialect in professional settings. I think black parents who give their kids "ghetto names" and don't teach their kids to speak standard English in certain situations be it acedemic or professional are committing parental malpractice. Like it or not we still gotta jump through the man's hoops in order to get ahead. Anyone who doesn't acknowledge that is fooling themselves.
     
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  14. Omega Level

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    Tell all of this to Barack, Thurgood, Condolizza, Kamala, and of course Oprah.

    Before you start, yes, I know these are exceptions and not the general rule. Im aware that there are very ignorant people in this world who look at "Tamika" at the top of a resume and automatically rolls there eyes. And the sad thing is this may happen even if the employer is a black person. But as you say below,

    OMG. So my name would be doing me a favor then if the employer doesn't want to hire black people! Don't waste my time by having me come to the interview just because I had JOHN on my resume and you low key disappointed to find out I'm black when I get there. I understand we all need to eat and therefore work, but it just upsets me when the undercover argument is - "Y'all better change yo name nah, to get to be able and work wit white massa".

    White culture has many privileges obviously, but what I can appreciate about them and specifically at Ivy League schools is that they teach their kids to form their own business and develop their own opportunities so you would never have to acquiesce to society inequities. As black people are we really still teaching change your name to be acceptable for white folk? Thats ridiculous and yes life is unfair but I would tell my Tyrones, Latishas, and Raheems to stick and stay true to who you are and fight to form your own path instead of begging to be accepted by an interviewer who doesn't want you or your kind in the first place.
     
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  15. Rico

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    True that, it's a balancing act of what you want to put up with or not.

    I worked for a black law firm at one time and they went out of their way to put their faces in their ads. Their attitude was, if you have a problem with a black person as counselor-at-law (that goes for self-hating, crab barrel Negroes as well as racist whites) save us both some time and don't bother to call (and yes, they had "white names" but were dark skinned). I always took that to heart.

    That being said, I'm at the point in my life where I refuse to code switch for anybody. I talk to everyone, black or white, exactly the same. And since my vocabulary is more extensive than 90% of the white people in America, mendacious Caucasian miscreants and reprobates who experience vexation with my lexicographical alacrity ... can kiss my black ass (lol)
     
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  16. Cyrus-Brooks

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    Excellent points I actually do agree with your thoughts on this. :ufdup:
     
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  17. ControlledXaos

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    “ヽ(´▽`)ノ”

    I know her!

    Anyway, my name is plain and white sounding. I actually felt my HBCU on my resume held me back more than my name since I was looking for jobs in Mississippi where they wanted the big 3 schools more. I actually had someone tell me that to call them after I got my masters done even though I had a degree and 10 plus years of experience. Tuh! I know they would not have asked Cody or Brett that.

    Anyway I think your name can curve you directly to file 13 for some things but honestly you're better off if they did that on one hand because you probably don't want to work around those types anyway.

    That being said of my name was Demario Quantiverious Jenkins or Alejandro Rodriguez Macias, I'd probably go with Mario Q. Jenkins or Alex R. Mac on my resume.

    While we are here, if your email address is
    DigBickBottemz@gmail or TooSexxxy2022@outlook you may wanna get a professional sounding email address for business purposes.
     
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  18. ColumbusGuy

    ColumbusGuy Deactivated Account

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    'Cody or Brett' lol.
     
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  19. OckyDub

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    My name hasn't but my race has.

    FYI, I work with a black woman named 'Cautious' .... no lie! When I place warm transfers over to her, I don't even say her name when I introduce my clients over because I'm embarrassed.
     
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  20. Rico

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    Don’t be hatin’ on Precious’s twin sister...
     
  21. Omega Level

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    Damn Ocky. Why you embarrassed of her parents "creativity". :mjlol: Guess you not gonna be a party of that foolishness huh? LOL.
    Cautious? Damn, thats a new one. :sabu:
     
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