Wednesday, May 30, 2007

What's in a name...part 2---repost!

Ok...after a couple of private emails on "what's in a name"..I am compelled to do a short follow up based on my hidden comments. Man...I wish I could repost those emails...but I won't to protect the privacy of my peeps.

Anywhoooo...here's something else to chew on and I'm sure that "reader x's" will find this just as interesting. This is my damn blog..I write what I want to!!!! LOL!!!

Stepping up on my soapbox now,...and exhaling!!

Nicknames.....and calling your kids by their middle names..WTF!!! If the name is Jamariolificus, why the hell are you calling him"lil pimp" at the ripe old age of 2? He's probably going to catch hell from his first name anyway! If her name is Carolyn, why are you calling her "applebottom shorty"...WHY WHY WHY! Do we think it's cute to associate children with clothing lines and what we believe they look precious in?

And the thing with calling children by their whole name only when they are in trouble is whack! Let's just teach them that hearing their name should be associated with negativity by the age of 3 or 4.

I think everyone has a junebug, dunebug(I had one of those), sleepy, rockhead, Ray Ray, Stinky-butt, shorty, big man, little man, or something that will come to mind they can relate to. Please don't get me wrong, I use nicknames all the time...my blog was about "CHILDREN"...not grown a$$ people!!!

If the shoe fits...wear it! If it doesn't....get a laugh and keep on reading!

23 comments:

mark said...

DC I think what your talking about stems from a cultural dysfunction of the black community.

Now black folks arent the only ones who do it but you are correct some of these names that people address thier children by are ridicilous.

I think the answer to your questions in this case is a group enlightment on the part of black folks. How we get thier or how long it will take is something I couldnt tell you.

Now nothing is wrong with giving kids nicknames in fact I think its natural, but some of the really negative nicknames I have heard children and babies addressed by only continues the promotion of negative and ignorance in the that is way to prevelant in the black community.

I have heard young black boys bieng addressed as "gangsta" specifically for doing something negative.

The fact that adults who should know better are annointing children and babies with ignorant and negative names, and think its alright tells how far we have to go.

nikki said...

cultural dysfunction? how come something always gotta be 'wrong wit da niggas'?

why can't it just be that in a society where black folk actually live with their oppressors and desegregation has distilled communities into sections based on income level and education, some black folk have made choices in the nicknaming of their children based on the values perpetuated by society as a whole?

you said it mark, black folk ain't the only ones doing it, so it ain't about the dysfunction of the black community, it's the priorities as established by a capitalistic society, and that don't have jack to do with black or white.

also, calling a kid 'gangsta' isn't just about calling him a criminal. gangstas are seen by folk who don't feel empowered as folk who ARE empowered, who have found a way to survive and thrive despite the oppression, while also sticking it to 'the man'. in that context, a parent might be wishing his or her child exhibits those characteristics that won't make the child a victim in american society.

now this doesn't mean that some folk don't use it as a manifestation of self-hatred. some folk use the nicknames cuz they DO revere criminals for the wrong reasons, but that ain't most or all.

i hate the assumptions that go with a statement like "stems from a cultural dysfunction of the black community", cuz really, there ain't no such thing as a black community. never has been, even during times of segregation and the civil rights movement. there has never been hive-thinking with us. folk have always had different agendas based on life experiences and not necessarily skin color.

frankly, the only time i have a problem with a nickname is when it makes a person feel bad about him or herself. nicknames are endearments between folk who care for each other (for the most part) so it ain't for none of us who ain't privy to the relationship to understand.

and besides, no one has to accept the nickname given to them by someone else. nobody has the power to define us but us.

Sojourner G said...

Definitely laughing!

dc_speaks said...

thanks for the early comments mark and nikki:

this is my reply for both of you...especially a talented writier like you nikki---Words carry much power!!! There is a responsibilty factor for all of us.

dc_speaks said...

sorry soj...we posted at the same time.

what up brah?

nikki said...

you're right, dc, but get this...they're only as powerful as the one receiving it makes it. i could wax poetic about whatever is on my mind and if a person ain't open, ain't willing or desiring to be moved by it, then it ain't happening.

sure, i wanna move folk with my words, but at this point it has become clear that words mean nothing if action don't follow it, so i could call that kid a gangsta but if i'm not showing that kid love and assisting him in becoming empowered, that name should be the least of my worries.

responsibility to whom? that's the question. as a creative person, am i responsible to my readers and must censor what i say so that i don't offend their sensibilities? or am i responsible to myself in making sure i communicate as truly as i can?

dc_speaks said...

"responsibility to whom? that's the question. as a creative person, am i responsible to my readers and must censor what i say so that i don't offend their sensibilities? or am i responsible to myself in making sure i communicate as truly as i can?"

both parties have responsibility. reader: receive it or not.
creator: censor or not.

I love the question though. I don't agree with it, but I know that artists are being sued for content that their music may have incited some crime. im from the school of not making a horse drink.

cool question though. thanks nikki.

Lo said...

Great post! Er, repost.

Wow, Mark.

Nikki, you REALLY should run for office, or, at the very least, start a new movement or socio-political party.

I love the intensity and depth of thought that takes place over here...real people getting real about real issues.

Nicknames seem to have run amok. They were already doing so during my childhood---Ray-Rays and Junebugs were being slapped on kids almost as rites of passage or as the equivalent of a "Jr." Practically every generation of my family has a Junebug, Man, and a smattering of Skeeters (thank goodness Skeeter---a bastardization of "mosquito"---meant something much more harmless than it would probably mean now).

Fortunately, "Lo", a variation of my given (first) name remained in active use in my household, although my father did, as a term of endearment, call me "Skuffcat" (I still don't know what a Skuffcat is) and sometimes "Droopy Drawers" (the latter is kinda self-explanatory).

Alas, my brother has one of those age-old nicknames. (I won't say it's a black thing because there are plenty of white Junebugs, Ray-Ray, Skeeters, et al, in the South.) As a result, I have an extremely difficult time referring to him by his given name, as I have only called him by the familial pet name he was assigned. Our entire family, immediate and extended, calls him by this nickname. Everyone in my brother's world outside of family, however, only knows my brother by his given name, and my brother would SMASH ME if I ever called him his family nickname in public...

...which puts me in a very uncomfortable position when I introduce him to people, as I am not at ease saying his given name (even though it's something really simple---"Arthur"). It almost sounds corny and forced when I say it. I don't know whether to call him "Art" or "Arthur," because I've never called him either. If I'm in an extended conversation with him and an outsider (someone not in my family), I sometimes become too comfortable and accidentally call him the nickname, and he gives me a look that would melt steel. So I do my best to stay inside the lines and honor his given name in public. It's not his fault his Southern parents saddled him with an in-house nickname that the whole family ended up using forever.

mark said...

"why can't it just be that in a society where black folk actually live with their oppressors and desegregation has distilled communities into sections based on income level and education"

mark bey: As far as income goes it aint just about what you take in its also about what you spend and everyone knows that as a group we spend way to much money on clothes and cars when we should be saving that very money to buy property and on tutoring and education for our kids.

As far as bieng segregated because of education no one can make black parents take the education of thier kids seriously except black parents themselves. Not all black parents reflect this attitude but thier are enough parents out thier who are not engaged in the education of their kids to be more than obvious to me. I dont need reports in the news I can see it the behavior and languaged that the youth use. Our dysfunctins are obvious we dont try to hide them, blaming america will not change that.

" also, calling a kid 'gangsta' isn't just about calling him a criminal. gangstas are seen by folk who don't feel empowered as folk who ARE empowered, who have found a way to survive and thrive despite the oppression, while also sticking it to 'the man"

mark bey: Nikki gangstas kill people also black gangsta's have been terrorizing the black community for long long time and because of the no snitch BS getting away with it. The gangsta culture is responsible for the disgusting murder rate amongst black men and for hundreds of thousands of young black men bieng locked in cages all behind trying to perputrate these gangsta values. Yeah thier is unfair sentencing and the laws governing cocain vs crack are obviously rigged against black people but that still is no justicfication for selling crack to a pregnant lady or killing another human bieng(which these wannabe gangstas do quiete frequently).

As far as sticking it to the man goes exactly how are these wanna be gangsta's who are in fact terrorising black people all over america sticking it to the man?

I think a more accurate statement is that these young brothas are sticking it to black people and as far as Im concerned Nikki black people in the 07 are no more opressed than black people during the civil rights movement.


" so it ain't about the dysfunction of the black community, it's the priorities as established by a capitalistic" society, and that don't have jack to do with black or white"

mark bey: Nikki blaming america is not going to do a thing to bring down the murder rate or rate of black children who are born out of wedlock or the inncarceration rate of young black men. Lastly as far a the capitlistic priorities of america bieng the problem what do you suggest we do about, because whats going on currently is agonzing and unacceptable.

mark said...

Nikki said:
" you're right, dc, but get this...they're only as powerful as the one receiving it makes it."

mark bey: You are right Nikki but what happens if the person recieving some of these negative names is a child or just past bieng a baby?

KIKI said...

I'm sure it's obvious that Kiki is a nickname, one I've had since birth. I rarely introduce myself to others using my given name, but not because I'm ashamed of my name. I've just become so accustomed to being Kiki, it's automatic. The only time I've ever heard S'kytha used was in school, at work, or yes when I was in trouble at home.

I agree that it has gotten a little out of control with the nicknames today, but I also agree with nikki...usually a nickname is used to show endearment, even if it may be perceived as inappropriate by others.

I have a cousin who I'm very close to & we have our own private nicknames for each other...I call her "hooker", she calls me "trix-anne". Now don't ask me how these names came about because again we've been calling each other these names since fo'eva. But needless to say, that as we've gotten older, we've had to confine using these "term of endearment" to when we're only around family or close friends because when we're out in public, the looks we get aren't ones of approval. And that's what has always puzzled me...why does someone who doesn't know us get offended because I call my cousin a hooker...I know she's not really a hooker, she knows she's not really a hooker, we know that it's being said out of nothin but love.

I am also guilty of using the full name of my child when I'm bout to get in that ass. Normally I use shorter variations of their names when addressing them...Angelo is Lo...Aundre is Dre. But when they've misbehaved, I'm quick to call out full first, middle, and last name...not because I want them to associate it with negativity, though. It's because I want them to know that mommy's not playing right now and I mean business!

Good post, homie!

dc_speaks said...

heyyyy lo..I got a good nickname for your brotha from me..

I shall name him "brah-in-law"...LOL

I witnessed your confusion in the introductions...hi-lar-ious. ok i'll stop.

Mark and Nikki...I love the interactions. I just want to make sure that we are sharing opinions and we do not have them escalate into comments that won't help the next generation our generation reach acceptable change in our culture.

nikki said...

"mark bey: As far as income goes it aint just about what you take in its also about what you spend and everyone knows that as a group we spend way to much money on clothes and cars when we should be saving that very money to buy property and on tutoring and education for our kids."

as a group? who said this? for real, where'd this info come from? this sounds too obscure for me to address.

"As far as bieng segregated because of education no one can make black parents take the education of thier kids seriously except black parents themselves. Not all black parents reflect this attitude but thier are enough parents out thier who are not engaged in the education of their kids to be more than obvious to me. I dont need reports in the news I can see it the behavior and languaged that the youth use. Our dysfunctins are obvious we dont try to hide them, blaming america will not change that."

how come many of them aren't engaged? ever wonder why? socioeconomic inequality has created an inability by many black parents to have the time or the knowledge to be an active participant in the educating of their children. and frankly, given the fact that schools in the underserved (re: predominantly black and poor) communities are crap anyway, what is a parent who is a part of that community supposed to do, make a teacher care? i bring these things up to point out that it ain't just black parents, it's EVERYBODY who is responsible for this. the fact is that we don't live in utopia where every black parent has time or self-awareness to do what he or she gotta do to raise his child to be empowered. so given this fact, wouldn't it make sense to address the problem not just from the standpoint of how black parents are 'failing' but how the community at large can be improved so that children in this situation aren't so vulnerable to the negative aspects of society?

also, i wasn't blaming america in order to point the finger at someone else and say 'fix it'. i'm saying the root wasn't in our communities so we're not dysfunctional. dysfunctional implies that there is something inherently wrong with us and i just don't buy it. there are certain aspects of our culture that have proven to be detrimental to the empowerment of many of us, but that don't make us dysfunctional overall. it's just like with any other folk...we got problems inhouse we need to address.

"mark bey: Nikki gangstas kill people also black gangsta's have been terrorizing the black community for long long time and because of the no snitch BS getting away with it. The gangsta culture is responsible for the disgusting murder rate amongst black men and for hundreds of thousands of young black men bieng locked in cages all behind trying to perputrate these gangsta values. Yeah thier is unfair sentencing and the laws governing cocain vs crack are obviously rigged against black people but that still is no justicfication for selling crack to a pregnant lady or killing another human bieng(which these wannabe gangstas do quiete frequently)."

don't get it twisted, mark. gangsta culture ain't responsible for that. the belief that a man's worth is based upon his acquirement of financial and material posessions is the cause for that. the belief that a man is defined by what he's got instead of who he is is responsible for that. gangstas are just the manifestation of that belief. they seek those things by any means necessary because that's what makes folk respect a brotha in a society that does much to strip a brotha of the ability to provide for his own.

black men who killing each other ain't necessarily gangstas. a cat feel like he's being slighted could kill and not be a part of any affiliation or drug activity. my uncle killed the cat who killed his son, and my uncle wasn't a gangsta. he was a man who felt as though he'd failed his son and because of it, was unable to live with the fact that he didn't protect him and therefore, he took the other cat out. now i don't bring this up to say what he did was right. to the contrary, he and i were on the outs as a result of it. however, his behavior and the behavior of those engaged in black on black crime goes way deeper than just some gangster biz.

"As far as sticking it to the man goes exactly how are these wanna be gangsta's who are in fact terrorising black people all over america sticking it to the man?"

they're making money on their own terms and not adopting the route as dictated to them by the majority, i.e. get the education and THEN get the money. again, i don't say whether this is right or wrong, but when a person lives in a neighborhood where the tools for gaining the american dream based on the majority's principles are seen as impossible, seeing a cat do it without having to adopt those beliefs makes folk feel as though they have a chance.

"I think a more accurate statement is that these young brothas are sticking it to black people and as far as Im concerned Nikki black people in the 07 are no more opressed than black people during the civil rights movement."

many of them are sticking it to black people. i wonder why that is? maybe it has something to do with folk saying stuff like "black folk are dysfunctional". i mean, there has to be something to explain why these cats find it aiight to take out their own.

as for us being more or less oppressed than we were during the civil rights movement, that was a different era. there was a more common enemy at play then than there is now. folk of all classes and educational backgrounds were in the same neighborhoods so yeah, you could feasibly get folk together on the same platform of beliefs. that ain't the case now, so the idea of 'unity' on a large scale ain't gonna happen.

"mark bey: Nikki blaming america is not going to do a thing to bring down the murder rate or rate of black children who are born out of wedlock or the inncarceration rate of young black men. Lastly as far a the capitlistic priorities of america bieng the problem what do you suggest we do about, because whats going on currently is agonzing and unacceptable."

neither is blaming black folk. the blame game ain't helping no matter where the finger is pointed. we've been doing that dance for decades and it ain't changed jack. so why not try a new approach? why not quit with the blaming, acknowledge the challenges, reinforce the belief we have the abilities to address those challenges, and then have it?

i mean really, folk ain't stupid. many folk know what they do ain't helping people, so pointing and saying "you fucking it up" don't change jack if you don't have something in place to address why they feel the need to fuck it up in the first place.

dc_speaks said...

you guys are fantastic on stating your views...

If I can sum up what both of you are saying---as you are basically agreeing to disagree on some issues but in total agreement on the fact that there are issues is this.

Change is needed...It will take Love to do it...Love is an action word...Let's just do it!

I never thought of this post as forum to have brought forth so much social impacting views, though I'm glad that it has.

Let's focus on being results oriented, so that true change can happen.

Thank you so much for sharing what's on your minds so eloquently and passionately.

Shai said...

My nickname is Shai(Shay) and it feels funny to hear my full first name Shai Lynn. It sounds proper. My fam calls me Shai Lynn. Some fam friends call me Shai. Folks I work with call me Shai.

I love Shai best. I hate to hear someone correct me when I introduce myself as Shai. Like hello I will be called what I want. SMH. I have had that happen a few times.


I hate to hear us talk about ourselves(blacks) using the societal measures(mainly causcasian) to determine if we are acting right. That is a whole nother post for me.

I am tired of hearing, ghetto and gansta thrown at us when these words originated in other communities. SMH. Do some folks really know where these words came from and what they mean? SMH.

mark said...

" so why not try a new approach? why not quit with the blaming, acknowledge the challenges, reinforce the belief we have the abilities to address those challenges"

mark bey: Nikki Im sorry but I do blame people who committ murder and crime and make life harder for me and the people (black folks) I live around.

Also I am very serious about working to change what's going on with us currently you can go on my blog and you will see a lot of what I blog about is how to bring about change.

" what is a parent who is a part of that community supposed to do, make a teacher care?"

mark bey: We do need better teachers and schools but on the other hand a lot of teachers dont care because to them it seems like the parents dont care and how can you expect teachers to have success with kids when the parents cant even control the kids. Teachers in these schools you mentioned have to do to much baby sitting to teach effectively.

" they're making money on their own terms and not adopting the route as dictated to them by the majority"

mark bey: Exactly what route has the MAJORITY dictacted to these guys I do not agree with this.

You may think that selling crack to poor black people is sticking it to the man but I dont see it that way. If anything whoever is selling crack to black people is STICKING it to black people if that is blamming people then so be it.

" Change is needed...It will take Love to do it...Love is an action word...Let's just do it"

mark bey: I agree with this statement DC and your observation that we should be solution oriented is one I agree with.

We should always start from the things we agree on and then work our way out from their

dc_speaks said...

excellent comments here today...I need to exhale.

I'm surrounded by very intelligent, talented, creative, and results oriented people.

I thank you all for your contributions to making the society better.

Ray said...

That was helarious hommie, as for me I actually got the name RayRay in college. Everyone kept calling me that and it stuck with me...

Horray for my junebuggie lmfao!!

dc_speaks said...

how ironic to have met and befriended a ray ray...you make the 3rd one thus far.

thanks for the input dude.

mark said...

Hooray for my boys knuckles. Who was a very, very skinny dude but the cat would fight in less 1 second.

He got his respect.

dc_speaks said...

knuckles? hahahahaha...thats funny.

Lance said...

what the hell are y'all talkin' about?...

y'all takin' simple shit and makin'it seem like it's an ill for all black folk.

white peeples as well as hispanic/asians/europeans got nicknames for themselves, 'cept we really don't know what the hell they they're talkin' 'bout. we'll give them nicknames like a preppy white boy/gurl... biff/buffy....hispanic guy/manny. a chinese/hop sing or bruce lee (if he can kick ass!)...but overall ain't no dysfucktion comin' frum nicknames or anything else. be proud you got that honor, a nickname. hell, i carry the nickname "asshole" on these blogs with pride.....lol

and i haven't robbed nobody, takin' their lunch money or copp'd a feel on a sly (okay, maybe once a twice in high school) but the point is we need stop tryin' to make chik'n salad outta chik'n shit and move on.

a lot of the bullshit that's happenin' in the black community is shit we put on ourselves. paying rent and/or WANTING to live in the gov't subsidized projects, cause it's home? fuck dat. buying $800 pitbulls puppies to raise and try to sell to who....the same poe asses in the hood? it's different if you're breeding like cortney, mass marketing via the net, but dese negroes around here are posting signs on the telephone pole. damn. just stupid shit.

what does a nickname has to do with you NOT taking care of your lawn? NOT removing that piece of shit, non-working car outta the driveway, NOT taking care of your child support or takin' care of your OWN parents.

WE BLACKS always seem to blame something or someone, when we really should "individually" blame ourselves for our shortcomings. pull ourselves by our bootstraps and go fer yurs. if we all do dat and "individually" respect each other, whether your nickname is "goo-goo" or "skank" (yeah, that's my Godmother's nickname and it's all love too!) we'll probably be on the road to true prosperity.

seem like all the other nationalities in this country are on that road and haulin' ass down the highway. we're still on the side of the road complaining about whose gonna drive.

go figure....

nikki said...

hehehe...this is ultimately where i was headed, but lance was way more eloquent with it.