Posted by: Lisa Pampuch | April 10, 2009

Stupid, racist — take your pick

The Houston Chronicle reports that Texas state Rep. Betty Brown (R-Terrell) suggested — more than once — during a hearing that residents with Chinese names change them so that they are “easier for Americans to deal with.”

Here are the two full quotes that the Chronicle included in its report on Tuesday’s House Elections Committee hearing:

“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?”

“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?” [Addressed directly to Ramey Ko, who was attending the hearing as a representative of the Organization of Chinese Americans]

Where to begin, where to begin? How about just two quick thoughts:

  1. If I were a Texas poll worker, I’d be insulted that Rep. Brown has such a low opinion of my capabilities. I know that as an American, I’m insulted by her low opinion of Americans’ intelligence.
  2. If these Texans of Chinese descent that so bother Rep. Brown are voting, they are citizens, that is, Americans. Does Rep. Brown think that only white people are “real” Americans? That seems to be a logical conclusion based on her comment.

Shouldn’t it behoove Rep. Brown to think before she speaks?

Update 4/13/2009:

As usual, The Onion nails it:

Wouldn’t it be easier to teach Texans how to read?



  1. Throw that Texan into the well after Tikki Tikki Tembo, and Texas style ‘drive friendly’ away.
    Pretend she offered a real apology, and pray there’s only one of her.

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