"What's in a name? That which we call a rose. By any other name would smell as sweet."
When William Shakespeare wrote that classic line in the late 16th century, he was basically discussing the central theme of the play (other than love of course). The two title characters were born with the wrong last names to be lovers.
For those of you that were born in a cave and are unfamiliar with the bard's famous tale, Romeo Montague and Juliet Capulet meet and fall in love in Shakespeare's lyrical tale of "star-cross'd" lovers. They are doomed from the start as members of two warring families. In this classic line Juliet is telling Romeo that a name is an artificial and meaningless convention, and that she loves the person who is called "Montague", not the Montague name and not the Montague family. Romeo, out of his passion for Juliet, rejects his family name and vows, as Juliet asks, to "deny (his) father" and instead be "new baptized" as Juliet's lover. This one short line encapsulates the central struggle and tragedy of the play. The simple fact of the matter is that sometimes love doesn't conquer all. Sometimes life sucks. Sometimes forces outside of our control have our destiny within their hands.........and there isn't a damned thing that we can do about it.
I'm sure that you're asking yourself........why in the hell is Reggie talking about Shakespeare?!?
Well today while I was at work, I listened to a couple of women talk about their children, little Shadicka and little Dyquon; and lest I forget, little Loquiesha. Look I couldn't possibly care less what someone names their child. After all, it's their crumbsnatcher, not mine. But I wonder if people of color ever stop to think about the possible ramifications of naming your child something like this?!? How so?!? Twenty years from now those children will go out and look for a job, they'll probably have a resume online or they'll apply to an online site; and as soon as they type their name into the system they may be stereotyped on the spot.
Is it right?!? No, but that doesn't mean it won't or doesn't happen. I've worked with people in the past that have eyeballed a resume' and dropped it in the "rejection pile" based on what I believe to be "name discrimination". Resume's that based on merit, should have been considered for the positions that we were interviewing for. Since I'd prefer not to get sued, I won't go into it in detail. But trust me when I say, this does happen.