Category Archives: Texas

Lawmaker suggests Asians change names to be easier to deal with

Asians in Texas were told this week by State Representative Betty Brown to change their names to ones that are “easier for Americans to deal with.”
Brown made a statement during House testimony on voter identification legislation that those of Asian-descent should change their names to ones that are “easier for Americans to deal with.”

Late Tuesday Brown made the comment. Later a spokesperson for Brown said that the comments were only an attempt to overcome problems with identifying Asian names for voting purposes.

The Houston Chronicle reports:

“Rather than everyone here having to learn Chinese — I understand it’s a rather difficult language — do you think that it would behoove you and your citizens to adopt a name that we could deal with more readily here?” Brown said.

Brown later told Ko: “Can’t you see that this is something that would make it a lot easier for you and the people who are poll workers if you could adopt a name just for identification purposes that’s easier for Americans to deal with?”

Ramey Ko, 28, was the man the comments were directed to Tuesday night. He is a Democrat and founder of Asian Americans for Obama.He was testifying that Asians often have problems at the voting polls because some IDS show phonetic spellings or family names while others show Americanized names.

After the comments about changing their Chinese name Brown had more for the court to heart.

The Star-Telegram reports:

Brown later asked, “Can’t you see that this is something that would make it a lot easier for you and the people who are poll workers if you could adopt a name just for identification purposes that’s easier for Americans to deal with?”

Mr. Ko found her comments not malicious but subtle racism.