From the moment parents-to-be announce they’re expecting, many are bombarded with possible names for their unborn offspring.
Some are common, some unique, but one thing is clear: everyone’s got an opinion — even famous advice columnists.
Earlier this week, a tweet about a “Dear Abby” advice column from September made waves on social media, pointing out that the column advised a reader not to give their child a “foreign” name. The column elicited sharp rebuke from users online who said “Abby” was encouraging “white washing.”
Dear Twitter,— Simran Jeet Singh (@SikhProf) October 16, 2018
A famous advice columnist is telling people to whitewash their kid’s names if they want to be accepted. How should I tell her that’s wrong and racist?
Simran Jeet Singh pic.twitter.com/URNbMT5LZ7
If people can learn how to say Tchaikovsky, then they can learn how to pronounce a South Asian name.— Jhumka Gupta, ScD, MPH (@jhumkagupta) October 16, 2018
@dearabby Your advice about “saddling” a child w/ an Indian name is archaic & quite frankly racist. Learning a person’s name affirms their dignity. Understanding the history behind the name enriches understanding and connection. I am named after a ruler of India-won’t change it!— Razia Kosi (@RaziaKosi1) October 17, 2018
GUESTS: Simran Jeet Singh, scholar, activist and Senior Religion Fellow for the Sikh Coalition
Wajahat Ali, New York Times Op-Ed contributor
LEARN MORE: Actually, “Dear Abby,” I Like My “Foreign Name” Just Fine, Thanks (Vogue 10/17/10)
For Muslim-Americans, Baby Aidan or Baby Muhammad? (New York Times 10/3/15)