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Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Folks, Either I'm Right or Wrong, More on the Ghetto Name Debate-Black H.S. Students Smeared by Fake Lower Tier Monikers!

Courtesy of UrbanDictionary.com:

1. ghetto name
An African-American sounding name like Shaniqua, Laquisha, Ebony, Latrelle, Rashida, etc.

While many African-Americans with these names have succeeded, as long as racism] exists, people with ghetto names on their resumes will have an uphill battle.
Condoleeza is NOT a ghetto name (no matter how nasty she may scowl). Had she been named Dr. Laquisha Rice, the Bush crime family would have never even heard of her.
african-american racism ebonics black discrimination

2. ghetto name
Popularized in Skee-lo's 1995 hit single "I Wish", a ghetto name is something Skee "wishes" he could give to his kids. Skee's ultimate goal is to get wit leoshi. Good luck. She's fly.
we could play ghetto games, name our kids ghetto names like lil mookie, big al, lorraine

Covina HS Yearbook-Ghetto Name joke goes awry (video)

Riddle me this, Blackman……is the Afronerd right or wrong with what appears to be an ongoing debate over the connotations that stereotypically ghetto names engender? If our readers can remember, I received my fair share of support (and detraction) stemming from a NPR appearance a few months ago concerning a connection between criminality and lower tier African-American names. My statement was not meant to embrace wholesale eurocentrism nor was it a jab at researched and/or authentic African names. But, of course, I received the virtual desk appearance ticket from the PC police for my troubles, along with the inevitable and false allusions that names like Barack and Condoleezza should be seen in the same vein. Now we have a recent case involving a HS yearbook prank that was definitely not viewed as humorous amongst the students of color who were the subjects of the goof. The “joke” was that a picture of the members of the school’s Black Student Union contained phony and “ghetto” names meant to humiliate and deride the graduates’ ethnicity.

I applaud these maligned students for taking action; however the irony is that in some high school in this country, there are probably students that possess names similar to the ones used in this prank. And even going further into this, was it wrong for the students to get mad, if we’re led to believe that these names should possess benign implications? If these names truly did not possess negative allusions, then the students just would have chalked up the name issue as a mistake. But even they knew this was meant as a racial swipe based on stereotypes. But let’s take a closer look at this matter; check out the story in question from the KNBC.com website:

Yearbook Captions Black Students With Racially Charged Names

COVINA, Calif. --
Students and administrators at a Covina school are upset after members of the Black Student Union were captioned in the school's yearbook with racially charged fake names.

A yearbook staff member at Charter Oak High School caption nine members of the group with such names as "Laquan White" and "Crisphy Nanos."

"I thought it was stupid. They gave us all ghetto names," said student Star Esparza.

Esparza, who was correctly named in her senior photo, was captioned in the Black Student Union photo as "D'angelo Green."
Click here to find out more!

"That kind of stuff is not acceptable," said student Jordan Smith, who was captioned as "Tay Tay Shaniqua."

"It's our yearbook. We have to look at it. I'll show my kids and they'll ask why my name is 'Tay Tay' in the yearbook," Smith said.

Assistant Principal Joe Mitchell said this was the bad judgment of one student and not indicative of the entire school, KNBC's Kim Baldonado reported.

"We have two issues here. One, is someone thought it was funny to do a prank, and two, how it got through," Mitchell said.

Mitchell said the yearbook staffer responsible has been identified and action will be taken.

Yearbook editor Gavin Kelton said the incorrect captions were not meant to be printed.

"I think it was one of those nights he was pulling an all-nighter and he didn't have the names correctly, so he put it in there as a place holder. Sadly they got printed," Kelton said.

The students who talked to KNBC said they have yet to receive an apology and they're still waiting, Baldonado reported.

School Board President Joseph M. Probst told the San Gabriel Valley Tribune on Wednesday that the incident was "atrocious."

"I am sure the students will be spoken to and given an apology if they haven't been already," Probst told the paper.

The 2,000-person student body is 46 percent Latino, 32 percent white, and 4 percent black, according to school officials.

The yearbook also included a page dedicated to doing away with stereotypes and labels.

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