Margaret Minnicks has been an online writer for many years. She writes articles that are interesting to her readers.
Derek Chauvin's name has been in the news for the last year, and it will probably be a headliner in the media and in history books for years to come. However, this is the first time this writer has written anything personal about him. The inspiration for this article came about when one of my sisters brought something to my attention about his last name. Then I remembered words, such as "chauvinism" and "chauvinistic." I had never associated those words with Derek Chauvin's surname until then.
To be chauvinistic is to think of yourself better than the opposite sex or group. The term chauvinism describes an attitude of superiority of men toward women. You have probably heard women describing some men as "male chauvinists" after they demonstrated superiority over them.
Former police officer Derek Chauvin murdered George Floyd by keeping his knee on the neck of George Floyd for 9 minutes and 29 seconds. Floyd died on Memorial Day, May 25, 2020. Therefore, people might forever be reminded of that act whenever they hear the name "Chauvin."
Ex-Wife Requested a Name Change
Derek Chauvin's beauty queen wife at the time was Kellie May Xiong Chauvin. She was so devastated by what her husband had done that she filed for a legal separation on May 28, 2020 three days after the murder of George Floyd.
The 46-year-old wife filed for a divorce on May 30. Court records show she gave the reason as "an irretrievable breakdown of the marriage that was beyond saving.” The divorce was finalized on February 2, 2021 a couple of months before a jury found the 45-year-old former Minnesota police officer guilty on three charges of murder. Derek and Kellie had been married since June 2010. He has no children, but she has two children from a previously arranged abusive marriage.
In the divorce, Kellie requested both of their houses as well as a request to change her last name from Chauvin.
It is very common for parents to name their babies after recent events in the news. They have the propensity to name their babies after hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, especially when they give birth during those happenings.
We know how much names mean and the connotation they evoke. We have seen recently how Confederate statues are being removed, and schools and streets are being renamed because of negative reminders.
To name a child Chauvin would be a negative reminder of the man who committed murder in broad daylight while witnesses looked on. The videotape has been seen around the world.
According to BabyNames.com, Chauvin is a gender-neutral name that could be more popular with males, but it could also be given to females. Parents should think twice before giving their child a name that they might cause them to be bullied throughout their lives. Hopefully, parents will spare their children by not giving them a name that might bring up bad memories. Today, if google Chauvin, Derek Chauvin's name will top the list along with a year's worth of articles surrounding his arrest, trial, and convictions.
Adverse Effect of Names
At the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, an 8-year-Australian boy was bullied because his name is "Corona DeVries." He says he knows he is not a virus, but his schoolmates are mean to him and bully him constantly. He likes his name, but he considered changing it so his schoolmates will stop bullying him. The famous actor Tom Hanks and his wife Rita Wilson were quarantined with COVID-19 in Australia. Therefore, the sad boy wrote Hanks a letter. The actor sent young Corona a letter of encouragement along with his Corona typewriter that he still used.
Before the pandemic, Corona Extra had been the top-selling imported beer in the United States since 1998. When the pandemic first broke out, the beer company noticed a significant loss in the millions of dollars in sales in the US alone. People stopped consuming it. They stated that it was in poor taste to sell, buy and consume Corona beer during the pandemic.
Those are just a couple of examples of how names can conjure up negative memories.
Photos of Derek Chauvin have deliberately been left out of this article. He has gotten enough publicity during the last year from every source imaginable.
James C Moore from Joliet, IL on April 24, 2021:
The song by Johnny Cash "A Boy Named Sue" came to mind while reading your article. So true.
Cheryl E Preston from Roanoke on April 23, 2021:
Why would any sensable parent do that?