Identification is a Power Play

Cross Training

What is it about knowing a person’s name?  I feel at a disadvantage when I run into someone who knows my name but I don’t know his or her name.  It is not just feeling bad about not remembering the person but it often gives me a start to hear my name spoken by a person in a public space.  Knowing a person’s name can be a source of power.  I won’t respond to someone yelling, “hey you!”  But when I hear “Walter,” even when the person is not talking to me I respond.

Now, labels are not the same as a name but putting a label on someone identifying a person with a label is a power play.  Labeling someone something other than a human being is to make him or her less than.  Labels of all types make it possible to treat people in ways that would otherwise…

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