Let me start by saying that i don’t think that i am always right. I know that i am wrong half the time. However, a big deal in my community is reconciliation. But reconciliation means something different to those around me. Just being practical ill use my roommates for example. Tonight we were talking about how i intentionally make friends with the Brazilian students at my school. Now i joke a lot and talk about how hot they are but at my core i just want to make friends with them and show them that all Americans aren’t arrogant and simple minded. Now if you know an international student you probably know that they don’t go by their actual names most of the time because most people can’t pronounce them easily. Well this became the topic of discussion in my house tonight. My roommates think that it’s okay to not pronounce a hard name correctly just because it isn’t common in America. I disagree. I think that if their parents decided this is what the world is going to call them then that’s what they need to be called. So of course the point was brought up that black people with hard names have nicknames as well. My argument is still the same. When parents named their child it wasn’t with the intent that they would automatically be called a shorter and “easier” version of that name. My opinion is that nicknames and accepted mispronunciations are all a matter or conformity. If my name doesn’t fit your standards then maybe that’s because the standards by which i was named are different from yours. Nicknames were not meant to replace our actual names. My nickname is Reezie. It is the exact same amount of syllables as my first name. I got this nickname in high school. Long story short it was a reduction from Nyreezie from the 213zie. To this day i don’t know where 213 is. My point is that my nickname wasn’t given to me because i needed to conform. It was given as a description of my personality. I was different and and that rhymed. It upsets me that if your name is Shantraniqua people wanna call you Shan or Shannon. That’s not the name your mother gave you. Which brings me to the issue of respect. As we were having this discussion one of my roommates said something along the lines of “Oh i’m glad you’re passionate about what you’re learning.” I could have went straight up North Memphis on her but i didn’t. Instead i thought about her worldview. My worldview is completely different from hers. She will never have the problem with someone not liking or accepting her name. But for internationals and other minorities this is a constant struggle. I don’t have to study how to respect people. No professor has taught me that. I am just respectful of other peoples cultures. But when your culture is mainstream you don’t think about how you hold everyone else’s culture up to your standards. My culture is constantly held up to this bright lamp and criticized because it is dark. Why can’t we just have different cultures that are equal in value? I think they are. I joke a lot but i am serious about the way i treat people. I love the international kids because while i am american going to a predominantly white private christian college was a huge culture shock for me too. Our worldviews can either help us or they can hinder us. My hypothesis is the more privileged one is the more hindering their worldview will be to their pursuit of cultural and racial reconciliation. I haven’t tested anything but over the past year i can see this hypothesis has some kind of validity to it.