Is My Name White Enough For You

People in the diaspora are not entirely new to the experience of having their names being mispronounced or being ridiculed. While I empathize with the stark difference in languages and pronunciations that lead to this unease, I do not sympathize with the mockery and the stereotyping.

I have often felt a systemic disinterest or lack of effort to understand how to pronounce certain non-Western names. Naturally, the effects are more than just an awkward moment. Often it leads to people feeling unseen, unheard, or at worst boycotted. It is a thankless gesture from a society which, no matter how much you try to integrate in while also keeping your heritage alive — will probably never entirely accept you as one of their own.

I think it is about time that we reconsidered which names are mainstream and which not.

Describe a time someone took the effort to pronounce your name properly and how it made you feel.


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