There have been countless examples of companies signaling their support for racial injustice after the murder of George Floyd. Some have been downright embarrassing, like the Washington Redskins attempt to support Black Lives Matter on Twitter.
Want to really stand for racial justice? Change your name. https://t.co/XTlIJrfNx4— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez) 1591132946.0
However, Babynames.com showed its support for the black community in a thought-provoking manner that shows how companies can show their solidarity with people of color without pandering.
The website that helps parents-to-be select a baby name added a black banner to the top of its homepage featuring the names of dozens of black people who have been killed by the police or—in a few cases— at the hands of civilians.
"Each one of these names was somebody's baby," it says above the box.
Showing that all of these people who've lost their lives due to racial injustice were once babies, just like everyone else, gives a personal touch to the names we've read in the headlines. it also helps bridge the racial divide by exposing the common bond we all share as humans.
The powerful sentiment created a rush of traffic to BabyNames.com, which eventually crashed the site.
Whoa. I'm so very not pregnant. Just want you to go to https://t.co/jcy5peRD1x and have a look and a cry.— amber ruffin (@amber ruffin) 1591724175.0
😮was not expecting that. That hit me hard.
— Linseigh✨ (@Linseigh) June 9, 2020
Holy shit that's powerful.
— Allison Steele demands justice for George Floyd (@trulyaliem) June 9, 2020
I don't know who at babynames thought this up, but it's very moving and profound. Too many companies trying to make these vaulted statements that just come out insincere and flat.
— Heather Wants Justice for Breonna (@exacademius) June 9, 2020
Babynames.com is where future mothers and fathers go to learn more about names and their origins. They can make lists of names they like and debate with their partners over which one will suit their baby.
The long list of African-American names at the top of the site such as Laquan, Darrius, LaMontez, Dominique, Breonna, Ahmaud, also calls attention to another unfortunate barrier faced by people of color: name discrimination.
Companies are twice as likely to to call applicants of color if they submit "whitened" resumes than candidates who reveal their race. When HR people read ethnic-sounding names on a resume they can either reject the application due to covert racism or subliminal discrimination.
"Discrimination still exists in the workplace," says Katherine A. DeCelles, the James M. Collins Visiting Associate Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School. "Organizations now have an opportunity to recognize this issue as a pinch point, so they can do something about it."
In one study performed in 16 metropolitan areas of the U.S., 25% of black candidates received callbacks from their whitened resumes, while only 10% got calls when they left ethnic details intact.
Twenty-one percent of Asian people got calls if they used whitened resumes, where's 11.5% received calls back if they used resumes that referenced their ethnicity.
Babynames.com understands that it's important for parents to find the perfect name for their child. But here they showed it's important for everyone to know the names of those who've lost their lives to racially-motivated violence.
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