Soledad O’Brien Corrects Roger Ailes: I Wasn’t Named After A Prison, I Was Named After Virgin Mary
CNN’s Soledad O’Brien fired back at Fox News president Roger Ailes over his comments to North Carolina journalism students in which he referred to the Starting Point host as “that girl that’s named after a prison.” Ailes appeared to be referencing the Soledad Correctional Facility in Monterey County, California. “Um. I wasn’t named after a prison.” O’Brien tweeted. “Ailes is mistaken. I was named after the virgin mary.”
O’Brien explained the origin of her name in an article for CNN in 2009, where she lamented the frequent confusion that many Americans have with it:
“When you have a name like María de la Soledad Teresa O’Brien, you have a lot of explaining to do. My mother is black and also Latina, more specifically Cuban. She is a devout Catholic who credits the Virgin Mary with any success she’s had in this country. But it was my father, a man who spoke no Spanish, who chose the name María de la Soledad to honor the Blessed Virgin Mary of Solitude (“solitude” in Spanish is soledad).
My name is altogether too long for Americans, who’ve always struggled with it. It’s even too long for a driver’s license. African-Americans assume I’m named after the notorious Soledad prison or Mount Soledad in California. Latinos want to know if I’m lonely. That doesn’t fit because I grew up with five siblings and I have four kids of my own, so I’m not lonely at all, though I do often seek solitude, the actual meaning of my name.”
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