Romneys Choose Unfortunate Name for Adopted Son
On Mitt Romney’s twitter feed today, he announced the adoption of his 22nd* grandchild, Kieran James. Kieran is black and of course the entire internet said a collective “oh no they didn’t!” and is throwing bombs left and right.
Here’s the thing: this photo is adorable with all its puppies and privilege; and I don’t want to begrudge this family their happy moment. But they named their kid Kieran.
The name “Kieran” is fairly popular as far as anglicized gaelic names go. What makes it HIGHLY PROBLEMATIC in this case is that it comes from Ciarán meaning “blacky” or “little dark one.” Now, that’s not to say that the name is racist, it originally isn’t. The name comes from 6th century A.D. when any semblance of modern racism was nonexistent. The root word “ciar” means dark, which does, in fact, later earn the racial definition of “swarthy” and “dusky.”**
Regardless, when your dad and dad-in-law is a very public figure, known for losing a presidential election in part because he simply didn’t know how to talk to or about black people, well, you’d think you’d reconsider what you decide to name your child.
That is unless, every time someone says, “Kieran is a beautiful name, what does it mean?” you a pull Butch from Pulp Fiction:
* The number of grandchildren is disputed because apparently their previous grandchild was also number 22.
** Seriously, I learned this after about 6 minutes on Google. Either these folks are stupid or they’re trolling America.