At Least 5 People Raven-Symoné Would Not Hire
Trill or Not Trill?


Judging people by a name given to them by their parents, is simply wrong. It gets worse when you use someone’s name as a tool of discrimination. Insert, everyone’s favorite SuckaMC, Raven-Symoné. On a recent episode of The View while discussing a study about the perception of “black” names, Symoné stated, I’m not about to hire you, if your name is Watermelondrea. It’s just not gonna happen. I’m not gonna hire you.” Well, there are certainly some lessons in leadership we could learn from this whole thing.

Don’t be a Hypocrite.
Let’s move past the fact that her name is Raven (like the bird) and Symoné (non traditionally spelled). Oh and there’s a hyphen and decorative accent in there too. Let’s also by bypass the lovely red roosteresque hairdo, she rocked on air, that would often be described as an unhireable look. Now that we’ve traveled through the land of irony and hypocrisy, I’d like to land in a place called leadership. The moment you become a hypocritical leader is also the moment you’ve lost the people. You can’t expect people to act in a particular way when you are practicing what you preach.For my college students, as an RA, asking your residents to not drink underage while you do the same is a no-no.  Demonstrative leadership should be the goal. Not only do you talk the talk but walk the walk in every direction.

Don’t Discriminate
Raven openly stated that she would discriminate. Had someone discriminated against a young lady with a hyphen placed between her first and last name, she might not have made it to television and we might not be having this conversation. In a place of leadership when you judge and discriminate, you aren’t defining anyone but yourself. There is no possible way to elevate others if your busy clipping wings.

Don’t Kick while Someone’s Down
True leaders don’t take down those who are marginalized and already discriminated against. Leaders exist to assist that community. The report from The View addressing this topic spoke about how people were being wrongfully perceived. It is your job to step up and not only be the bigger person but be the voice of reason. Raven-Symoné did the absolute opposite. Truth be told, I don’t know anyone else named Raven and have never met another person who spells their name Symoné. Come to think of it, that hyphen is something I’ve never really seen either. But guess what, I find it to be a really cool unique name.

You’ll Likely Miss Out
By not giving people a fair chance to succeed on merit, we run the terrible risk of missing out on potential greatness. A name has nothing to do with skill sets. I’ve met many a SuckaMCs named. John or Sarah. Watermelondrea could be our next great talent, so hopefully Raven-Symoné is not hiring. But if she was indeed running the show, here are at least 5 people we’d be missing out on, because their non traditional names would’ve held them back. Thankfully they didn’t have to rely on Raven-Symoné.

We wouldn’t have had the Trillest mother to ever appear on television and Vanessa claireHuxtable would have went to see The Wretched with no repercussion. Young Raven-Symoné would have no step Grandmama to hold her down as Denise went roaming in the streets. Sidenote, I’m not sure anyone in the history of TV, made better facial expressions. Phylicia Rashad is a treasure and to think that someone would potentially not hire her simply because her name was unfamiliar is a travesty.

If Raven-Symoné were running things, we would have been robbed of Viola Davis’ amazing Emmy award winning speech because there would be no How to Get Awayshonda with Murder or Scandal for that matter. You could take my TV but you cannot take my Annalise Keating. Not to mention, No Grey’s Anatomy. No Greys?! You must be kidding me. Granted, I’ve never watched the show, but I imagine the outrage. Shondaland is not for the taking.

IMG_5652If Raven-Symoné ran things we’d have 1 less Educational Doctorate recipient, 4 less studio rap albums, 1 less reserve officer and honorary U.S. Deputy Marshall, 2 less broken basketball hoops and the Lakers would have had a 3 less NBA Championships. The film Kazam would be gone too, so maybe not all is bad in this case.

We might have been deprived of one of the twelve people to have won an Emmy, Whoopi-Goldberg-in-Ghost-you-in-danger-girl-GIFGrammy, Oscar and Tony. The movie Ghost would have been far less trill and watchable. Potentially losing Sister Act 2 is an offense punishable by caning. Raven-Symoné also wouldn’t have a co host to spout her SuckaMC comments to.

i hate you

No Yvette from Baby Boy. No Shug from Hustle and Flow, No Lauren from Think Like a Man and the other Think Like a Man. No Cookie Lyon. No bloody, Cookie Lyon! Sidenote, the name Taraji is one of my all time favorites That last one is where it goes too far, Raven-Symoné.

Who else and what else would we have lost?
Can you think of some other non traditional names that would have taken an L from Raven-Symoné?

Since writing this, I’ve seen that Raven-Symoné has issued an apology.

A true sign of leadership is noticing when you’re wrong; so that’s one step. A truer sign is to learn how to avoid these SuckaMC moments in the first place.

Stay trill, folks.

MrJeffDess is a writer, professor, public speaker and emcee of Haitian descent. He is an author of 4 books of poetry, including his latest, Deconstructing Ratchet. With over ten years of performing and student affairs experience under his belt MrJeffDess continues to strive towards helping students reach their highest potential. For booking information, contact MrJeffDess at