Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Two questions

Photo courtesy of New York Times

About once a week I remind Mrs. T that Eliot Spitzer said he was sorry and ask her if she believes that his wife and daughters have forgiven him yet?

She is of the opinion that it may take a bit longer than the 21st. century.

So I'm curious, what power on earth gets a grieving wife onto that stage? I'd like to synthesize it, bottle it and make it available for sale. I'd be vilified like no body's business, but probably very rich.


In spite of my basic apolitical nature, I posit that there is a better than 50-50 shot of a black man being elected President of the United States next month. That got me thinking about race and politics in America.

African Americans, tend to name their children with more enthusiasm than whites. For example, let me offer this tidbit from Freakenomics:

"Today, more than 40 percent of the black girls born in California in a given year receive a name that not one of the roughly 100,000 baby white girls received that year. Even more remarkably, nearly 30 percent of the black girls are given a name that is unique among every baby, white and black, born that year in California."

So here's my question. If Mrs. Obama, instead of being named Michelle, had a distinctly black first name, would her husband have a snowballs chance in hell of being elected President of the free world?
Fire away.


Mom on the Run said...

I think that AA women my age (40's) tend to still have Anglo names. I live in a very mixed race area, and while the kids may have the names like those mentioned in Freakonomics, most of the their mothers (unless they are very young) don't. There is also a different perception to true African names, like a female equivalent to the nominee's name (although I believe I read somewhere that he always went by Barry until he got into politics), rather than the made up nature of the DeXxxx and LaXxxxx names. So would people be less likely to vote for him if his wife's name was DeShequia? No clue. We'll have to wait another 20 years, I think, until that generation grows up.

I believe it has a lot to do with economic status as well. We have several AA families who are close friends and their kids are named Brian, Justin, Austin, and Brandon, etc. These boys have about the same chance of marrying a "Sheniqua" as mine do marrying a "Crystal".

And now that I've offended all the world and their choice of baby names, I'll stop. ;-}

Pigtown-Design said...

read the website "baby's named a bad bad thing" if you want to see names of kids who will never be president.