When most people go to BabyNames.com, they expect to see a catalogue of names that they can choose from or gather inspiration from when choosing the name of their baby-to-be. But today, (if the website hasn’t gone down due to overloaded servers), visitors of BabyNames.com will actually see the names of dozens of black Americans killed by police in the United States. From Emmett Till, to Michael Brown, to Laquan McDonald, all the way to Keith Childress, Jr., Philando Castile, and more. Instead of the typical popular baby names list, instead, users will confront the names of people killed by police or at the hands of other civilians (as is the case with Ahmaud Arbery) that were all ‘somebody’s baby.’
— Esther Choo, MD MPH (@choo_ek) June 9, 2020
Users can of course collapse the message on the website and continue to look at baby names, but the pop-up is a stunning reminder of how many folks have been killed or died way too young, often before their parents, with little to no accountability from the police. However, the website has been so inundated with visitors that it’s actually crashed — suggesting that the symbolic gesture has gotten the notice of many people online.
BabyNames’s stand against police violence and their symbolic recognition of the names of those who have died is just one of a number of many corporations who have released statements over the past few weeks s protests across the country continue and citizens clamor for police reform and defunding of police departments.