and everything will be just fine…that’s one interpretation of a survey conducted by researchers seeking to quantify discrimination based on something as inocuous as a name. Then again, if you saw the movie, Roots, you know that a name is not a little thing. Not every African in America seeks to have an African name. Some have embraced the names of their former slave masters. It seems as though many, many employers are still applying this litmus test to “runaways” as a test of loyalty.
Economists Marianne Bertrand and Sendhil Mullainathan recently conducted a large study along these lines in the U.S., mailing out nearly 5,000 résumés after randomly assigning them black-sounding names like Jamal or Ebony or white-sounding names like Kristen or Brendan.
Not only did the “black” résumés get fewer callbacks, but employers didn’t even seem to notice whether the résumés were any good or not. They just stopped reading at “Jamal.”
Imagine the audacity of some Blacks to want African names – in America.
Imagine weighing the choice between a good Jewish name and a good German name.
That’s too easy.