Is it in my head or is it really out there in the world: I have noticed that many white children have the amazing honor of calling their parent by his/her first name. I've certainly never seen this sort of thing in black African homes and can't recall it happening in black American ones. I bring this up because I have a white American niece who is in the habit of calling me by my first name. But I'm not her friend or anywhere near her age. I'm something distant and ineffable, something her mind cannot grasp and handle: I'm her uncle. And she should call me that because I'm this distant and cloudy thing. Her mind is too fuzzy, thoughts too fluid to appreciate the substance of my actual name. Children must not say my first name. It's rude and spooky.