Perspectives on Race

A Discussion about Events Concerning Race

Change your names

with 6 comments

http://www.boston.com/business/articles/2009/10/26/hotel_owner_tells_hispanic_workers_to_change_names/

This article talks about a man in New Mexico who took over ownership of a hotel and forced his Hispanic employees to stop speaking Spanish and change their names. The new names had to be more white sounding. Should this be allowed simply to improve business?

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Written by samhag

October 26, 2009 at 4:09 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

6 Responses

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  1. Wow this is something you don’t hear everyday. This is possibly one of the most ignorant and outrageous things I’ve read in a while. Learning English is one thing, but forcing people to change their name for job is ridiculous. That’s like basically stripping them of their culture and individually in an effort to forcibly (and illegally) assimilate these people. This is by no means lawful and this probably will not go unpunished. I can’t believe in this day and age that people will go to such an extent like this. I hope those workers get a huge settlement from this guy.

    zsayed

    October 26, 2009 at 10:22 pm

  2. This isn’t uncommon in places like India where there are large calling centers for American companies so the fact that this is happening in the US isn’t really surprising to me. It’s unfortunate that this is still happening.

    dannyramos4

    October 29, 2009 at 1:53 am

  3. I’m not surprised that something like this happened. Whiteness is and has always been associated with whats good and pretty much everything else is associated with things that are. I think its really dumb. But its the same reason why so many black women in Africa and America bleach their skina and relax their hair. What I wonder is if the man is Hispanic himself because if her is, that goes to show that he is not proud enough of where he is from to let his employess keep their names.

    laika305

    October 29, 2009 at 6:12 pm

  4. I definitely agree, this is just ridiculous. Still, it’s not surprising. In class we have talked about how whiteness is associated with being “American” and the belief that whites are somehow superior or more normal than other races. I’m assuming this man just wants the “normal American” with a “normal” (white) sounding name. This individual form of racism is certainly very harmful, but what is more detrimental is the widespread ideology that being American means being white.

    sranson08

    October 30, 2009 at 6:46 am

  5. This is crazy, in a place like America, the ‘melting pot’ of cultures from around the world, something like this should not be happening. Then again, racism is as equally unjust and it is still appearing in everyday modern life.

    alinak88

    November 6, 2009 at 1:19 am

  6. Although I’m also not surprised that this happened, I do find it morally wrong. I know several people from other countries who changed their original names in varying languages to simpler ones, not because they wanted to seem white, but because it made it easier for everyone around them in doing so, though I do think in this case it is an issue as the employees were forced to change their names.

    justinjayjones

    November 9, 2009 at 1:05 am


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