What’s In A Name?

I didn’t watch the Academy Awards last night because they are too long and boring and I was tired from my out of town trip, but I did periodically check my Twitter account to see what my timeline had to say about the show. Mostly there were tweets about how Seth McFarlane pretty much sucked and that per the usual, the show ran WAY too long. So I got ready for bed and figured I didn’t miss much.

I got in bed and grabbed my phone (I have an addiction, I know), settled in and pulled up Twitter again to see folks final commentary and when I logged back it my feed was ON FIYAH. Apparently the Onion, a website known for its biting satire had called a 9 year old girl a very ugly name. I’m not going to link them but this blog post pretty much gives a good summary.

I typically don’t hop on the Twitter bandwagon about a lot of things because if you did, you’d be mad about something every 30 seconds and half the time it’s faux outrage but I have a 7 year old niece and I certainly wouldn’t want her called out of her name. It’s very telling that there have been other Oscar nominees who have been children who apparently are off limits, but when a little black girl dares to correct someone about how to pronounce her name, then it’s a problem. I get that Quevenzhane Wallis is a celebrity and is in the public eye, but she’s still a kid. There was a time in our society when kids were exempt from public ridicule and attack. Apparently that time has passed. This should be one of the happiest days of her life and it’s tarnished because some asshole on a Twitter account thinks it’s cute and funny to call out a kid in the name of laughs. I’ll be first to say that people, black folks especially, have a knack for coming up with some creative names for children. I have seen some names that have made me shake my head and wonder how to pronounce them. But the point is, a person’s name is a person’s name and they have to right to be called by that name. And calling children, be they celebrities or the 9 year old around the corner words used to crudely describe female genitals is bad business and out of line.

I’m getting tired of the coarseness of pop culture and the mindset that anything goes and you can’t tell folks shit cause they can do what they want. Unbeknownst to them there ARE boundaries and there are folks who still believe in common decency.

I took the time to drop a few sentences to the good, fine upstanding folks at the Onion and I hope you will too. Here’s how to get at them:

Please send all press inquiries to: press@Theonion.com

Chairman David Schafer (davidkschafer@gmail.com)

President and CEO Steve Hannah (shannah@Theonion.com)

COO Mike McAvoy (mmcavoy@Theonion.com)

Update: The Onion apologized. Yeah, no. The comments on the status are a mixed bag. Read at your own risk.

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4 thoughts on “What’s In A Name?

  1. Twitter is just another outlet for PUNKS!

  2. So many of us accept and embrace language that degrades us. We bounce while rappers call us b*s and whores, and make up new ways to demean us. Now filthy adults feel its acceptable to call our girl children c* and publicize the comment. Things always get worse. I am amazed that there are people willing to put their name next to comments defending the behavior. So called entertainers have to dig dipper to push the envelope.

    I am trying to figure out if he is sexualing the child. Does he see her and think genitalia? That girl’s father should get to hunting.

  3. So this stemmed from her giving people the correct pronunciation of her name? That makes it even worse….as if she’s supposed to just sit back, keep her mouth shut and just be happy to be there. How ridiculous. They crossed the line.

  4. People tend to play these name games with Blacks but if an Indian person decided not to go by John/Mary, people figure out how to pronounce their names. I’m sensitive to this because I have been on the receiving end of the ‘I’m just gonna call you Sue’ comments. I was taught that I should only answer to the name my parents gave me. It’s arrogant and lazy for anyone, especially an adult, to think they can call her something other than her given name.

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