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August 03, 2003

Is this inclusion?

From Open Secrets via Volokh Conspiracy:

Hurricane names raise a warning

The 2003 hurricane season is here, and that means a whole new list of names such as Larry, Sam and Wanda ready to make tropical-storm history.

Although Spanish and French names are included in this year’s lineup, among them Juan and Claudette, which struck Texas last week, popular African American names, like Keisha, Jamal and Deshawn, are nowhere to be found.

Some black lawmakers don’t seem to mind, but Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas) does. “All racial groups should be represented,” said Lee.

Courtesy of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric administration
Hurricane names have been too lily white for Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas). She says all ethnic groups should be represented.

The World Meteorological Organization began naming tropical storms after women in 1953. That made sense to scientists at the time who thought women and storms were both unpredictable. After feminist groups protested, men’s names were added in 1979.

The National Weather Service says hurricane names are derived from languages spoken in areas that border the Atlantic Ocean, where such storms occur. Yet that doesn’t explain why Gaston, Ernesto and Cindy were chosen and Antwon, Destiny and Latonya were passed over.

Lee said she hoped in the future the weather establishment “would try to be inclusive of African American names.”

If LeRoy and LeKeisha were added as hurricane names I'm sure the NAACP would protest that it was perpetuating negative stereotypes of destructive African-Americans....

Posted by razib at 08:59 PM

How about Condaleeza?

Posted by: Dick Thompson at August 4, 2003 06:13 AM


No other comment.

Posted by: Diana at August 4, 2003 07:00 AM

My brother-in-law is named Leroy, and he's a Jew. Whores like Sheila Jackson Lee will use any simulacrum of grist for their racist mill. Is your example of an alternative spelling for Antoine really an African-American name? From my experience, if each alternative spelling constitutes a new and different name, then I could pick five or six names, the different spellings of which I have seen in the African-American usage would get us through a couple of seasons at least.

Posted by: Michael Gersh at August 4, 2003 08:30 PM

I live southeast of Houston and there's a joke around here that the most dangerous place on Earth is between Ms. Jackson Lee and any nearby television camera.

I saw this story when it came out and was just flabbergasted by how absurd this is. What exactly is an African-American name? I mean puh-lease.

When is this madness going to end? What kind of country is my daughter going to be living in when she's my age in 30 years or so?

Posted by: Katy at August 5, 2003 09:00 AM

They should just name the next hurricane 'Lee' and that should appease blacks, poor southern whites, and asians. Of course spike lee would then sue them.

Posted by: scott at August 5, 2003 02:05 PM