Professor Geoffrey Maujer is remarkable. A decorated professor of Ancient Greek History, with a PhD from Yale in Classics, Dr. Maujer can pronounce Agamemnon but is completely unable to pronounce any of his black students’ names.
We’re simply amazed by his incredibly selective efforts!
“It’s not personal—some of my students’ names are just very complicated,” says Professor Maujer, whose favorite philosopher is Aeschines of Sphettus. “They’re kind of ridiculous!”
We find it simply amazing that someone who has mastered some of the most complicated ancient dialects is overwhelmed by pronouncing only the names of his black students!
“It’s almost like he goes out of his way to mispronounce my name,” says LaKeisha Walton, one of Professor Maujer’s students. “There are only three syllables, and it’s phonetic. It’s really not that complex.”
Other black students, with equally easy-to-articulate names, share LaKeisha’s sentiments.
“One time, he tried and failed four times to say my name correctly in front of the whole lecture hall,” says DeAndre Phillips. “I eventually had to just pronounce it for him, and he just said, ‘Okay, whatever.’ It was rude.”
“It’s impossible for me to teach my lessons on Sisyphus, father of Glaucus, Ornytion, Almus and Thersander, when I’m spending all this time trying to learn several unfamiliar names,” explained Professor Maujer.
Despite having all of the linguistic capabilities to accurately pronounce unfamiliar names, when it comes to his black students, Professor Maujer simply refuses to try! Amazing!
“There are no black students with names that are out of the realm of common English language phonetics,” says student Quinta Benson. “So his inability to say any of our names feels a little racist, to be honest.”
Professor Maujer is sticking to his guns, though!
“There are cultural, identity-based reasons for complicated ancient Greek names,” he said. “But my black students’ names are completely made up! If parents want their children to be taken seriously, they need to stick with classics, like Oedipus or Archimedes.”
Okay Professor Maujer – if you say so!