Last week was a bad one for Raven-Symone, who sparked a debate on racism last week during an episode of “The View.” It backfired in her face.
It started when Raven was discussing a YouTube video that ranks the Top 60 “Ghetto Black Names,” which has over 31 million views.
“I’m not about to hire you if your name is Watermelondrea,” Raven-Symone said on “The View” during the episode earlier this month. She ended up apologizing for the comments, which came back to bite her during an interview with Ann Coulter.
A few days later, Raven, 29, attempted to get into an argument with guest and seasoned veteran journalist Ann Coulter, when she made her appearance on “The View.” Raven attempted to check Coulter, and lecture her over her political beliefs.
“My mom taught me when I was younger, if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything it all,” Raven Symone told Ann Coulter. “Why do you think that it’s important to mud sling, and have these words that obviously touch the hearts and of souls of so many people of America being said when we were taught something different as a child. Can you explain that to me and why you’re success is based off that?
Coulter, who is an award-winning author, commentator and no slouch, silenced Raven in a reply that his since gone viral.
“I’m at least talking about policy; you have a position on what people’s names should be. ‘Watermelondrea’,” Coulter replied. “You’ll insult people for their names I’m talking about a government policy that affects all Americans and immigrants and the people living here, and is harming our country. You don’t follow it.”
While it was funny to watch Raven get owned by Coulter, who made a noble point, Raven was the real winner of the argument. If Raven had read a recent study by UCLA, she might have been more prepared to handle Ann Coulter’s rebuttal.
Researchers at the University studied 1500 mostly white people aged 18 to 70, from all over the United States. The participants were asked to compare ethnically sounding names like “Jamal” and “Darnell” to White sounding names like “Wyatt” and “Garrett.”
“I’ve never been so disgusted by my own data,” said lead author Colin Holbrook, a research scientist in the anthropology department in the UCLA College. “The amount that our study participants assumed based only on a name was remarkable. A character with a black-sounding name was assumed to be physically larger, more prone to aggression, and lower in status than a character with a white-sounding name.”
The data revealed some key findings. The participants associated the names with larger, more muscular men in the lower class. The white-sounding names were associated with more affluence and a higher social status.
The same study was done with Hispanic names verse Asian names and the findings were no better. The Hispanic names were associated with more violence and being lower in status to their Asian counterparts.
So, the findings are in line with the Raven’s racist beliefs and most likely, the majority of Ann Coulter’s following too when it comes to name association and racism.
“I think our study participants, who were overall on the liberal end of the spectrum, would be dismayed to know this about themselves,” Holbrook said. “This study shows that, even among people who understand that racism is still very real, it’s important for them to acknowledge the possibility that they have not only prejudicial but really inaccurate stereotypes in their heads.”
Let comedian/YouTube star Tre Melvin who has an alter ego named Watermelondrea weigh in on the debate: