It’s another rage post! If you’re not white and don’t have a white name, you have experienced this issue. I am black, but I have a Hispanic-sounding name. No seriously, my roommates my freshman year of university argued whether I was black or Hispanic due to my first name. Once they saw me, they knew I wasn’t Hispanic (though people mistake me for Puerto Rican based on appearance). People will mispronounce your name, whether they butcher it badly, call you a completely different name, or drop letters. I’ve experienced the dropping of letters or being called a completely different name.
At kickboxing, people have called me Martika or Marcella (being called Marcella recently is why I’m writing this blog). It’s neither. I thank the people who get my name right. At the dentist, a receptionist called me Martine. I had to correct her, and I was snippy about it. I’m not sorry about that. You can only take so much incorrectness before you stop being nice. I’ve been called the wrong name by people’s family and by a bus driver in first grade (with my bus driver, she would say the wrong name when doing bus evacuation. At some point, I refused to say I was here until she got my name right). You know what all these people have in common? They are white.
Tell me, white people. Why do you feel like it’s okay to butcher non-white names? Do you like the power to piss people of color off? Do you not have the capability of getting names right? And tell me, people of color. Are you also pissed off when people get your name wrong? Do you want to change your name to an easier name?
I will not be nice about people getting my name wrong anymore! I’m even considering having white people call me a different name (possibly Cara) while people of color can use my real name. If you can’t say my name right at all, don’t say my name.