His name is registering an 8.3 on the Blackometer

February 22, 2011

We found a link to an old story about how ABC’s news program 20/20 found that job resumes that have “black-sounding” names on them got less responses than ones with “white-sounding” names.  And while we were hoping the article had something more informative on the topic, especially in this time of economic fuckery, all it did after announcing its premise was list the 20-most whitest and blackest sounding names for men and women.  So with no discussion of prevailing racial attitudes and trends in America in this 20/20 story, your Renal Failure players were left to come up with their own.

“I think they cheated by listing four different spellings of Caitlin (five if you count Katie) and four different Jasmines,”  says Ninja Vicki, whose name sounds pretty white to our amateur ears.  “That would free up three or four more slots for names for these people to forcibly wedge into their preconceived cultural and societal expectations.”

“Now how did the Freakanomics guys go about determining what sounded like a white name or a black name?”  says Mikka, whose Scandinavian name is so white it’s translucent.  “What kind of focus groups did they use?  NASCAR fans on the white side and Tyler Perry fans on the black side?  I need to know which stereotypes to use here.”

“Strange that most of the white-sounding names sound Irish, especially considering back when the Irish swarmed into America all the Anglo-Saxon bastards here said that the Irish were actually black,”  says Bernie the Half-Cyborg Cat, who is more orange than black or white, and he bangs a white Irish woman.  “But I guess eventually they let the Irish into White Club and everything worked itself out.  But no one talks about it because the first rule of White Club is you do not talk about White Club.”doesn’t

“Well, the name Tyrone is Gaelic in nature,”  says Samurai Cathy,  her name being on the white-sounding list under the spelling of Katherine.  “And a good chunk of these black-sounding names are European-based.  I guess white people got tired of some of their names, like Reginald and Maurice, and black people picked the discarded names, like how they got all the discarded pieces of the pig during those centuries of slavery and turned it into soul food.”

“Or maybe too many blacks started using those Eurocentric names and whitey didn’t like that so they stopped naming their kids those names in a sort of racial protest,”  says Tina the Lesbian, who’s name only sounds black when use the “T. Lesbian” nickname for her.  “Like white flight, but with names.  A total reverse of what usually happens in our culture where black people have something and then white people appropriate the hell out of it, whether it’s music or language or fashion.”

“Is there something to black people putting ‘de’ in front of a name?”  says Anonymous Doug.  “Like DeShawn or DeAndre on that list?  Is it like something that denotes ‘son of’ or something else regarding lineage or tradition?  Or is it just something that they do to scare honkey-ass crackers?  Google won’t tell me the answer.”

“I don’t necessarily agree that Diamond is a black-sounding name, but it does make you sound like you’re a stripper or one of my hookers,”  says Avonia the Wiccan Pimp.  “And I disagree with Raven as a black-sounding name because half of the pale goth girls I’ve encountered in my life have gone by some form of the name Raven.  But I guess the whole ‘That’s So Raven‘ show was more popular than I thought.”

“Tag Larkin’s name transcends color!”  decrees Tag Larkin.  I want to tell him he’s rather mistaken in that assessment, that Tag Larkin sounds like a very white name, but I want to keep my teeth.  “Tag Larkin’s name sounds so awesome, it causes lesser beings to go blind upon hearing it!”

I’m just glad this discussion on race in America by a bunch of drunk white people and a half-cyborg cat sitting at bar didn’t dissolve into a cringe-worthy disaster of towering, ugly ignorance (or sword-fighting).  That’s promising.  So let’s double down with another  round or four of tequila and mercury shooters and solve that whole Mexican immigration kerfuffle while we’ve still got the hot hand.



  1. Tyrone Power would roll in his grave….

  2. D. Fae danced for a bit with a lovely young man named Octavius last night. Race? i’m not sure i can remember…

    • Octavius? Seize her!

  3. I think all those white names sound like douchebags.

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