Thursday, April 09, 2009

And for this week's news of racism, we have Ms. Betty Brown, Representative in the Texas state legislature, who kindly suggested that Asian Americans should change their names so as not to confuse the poll workers. Hey, it's working for Lucy Liu. (The parts she play often has completely Anglo names for some reason -- e.g. Nola Lyons, Mia Mason.)

Thank you to the good folks at Korea Beat for the link.


  1. what an ignorant thing to say.

    What about other Americans who have names like "Fernando" or "Giovanni" or "Gabrielle" - shouldn't those be changed to Frank, John and Gary to feel more comfortable to Ms. Brown?

    Here is my Flying Dutchman's Curse for her:

    From now until the day she dies, I hope every hyphenated asian Ms. Brown meets introduces themselves to her as Sue for females and Tom for males.

  2. The Korean's favorite curse on racists is borrowed from the Mexican: May your children all marry colored people and have beautiful mixed and tanned grandchildren!

  3. Somehow I'm not surprised that a comment that racist and ignorant would come from a Texan and even less surprised from a republican. I've heard comments such as, "How can you be a democrat? Lincoln freed the slaves!" as if Lincoln didn't want to send blacks back to africa or that the face of republicanism hasn't changed in nearly 150 years.

    That being said, republicans in general seem to focus on that us vs. them mentality. Ms. Brown proved that with her comment which is to say "If you're going to be here, then you might as well be like one of us otherwise you fit into that neat other category." (sarcasm)You know, those people with the funny names that no one wants to deal with.(/sarcasm)

    Maybe the old bat has a grandson I can flirt with and marry. That would put her knickers in a knot having tawny grandbabies and all.

  4. Yes, it's people like her that give the US some nice homegrown knuckleheadism.

    It's really too typical, isn't it, of what a red-stater would say?

  5. Shorter Betty Brown: Why do you have to play the race card just because I'm a racist?

  6. 1. Get your Betty Brown approved name here.

    2. Throw that Texan into the well after Tikki Tikki Tembo.

    3. Texas style, 'drive friendly' away.

    4. Pray there's only one of her.

  7. It's pretty stupid; Asian people are facing the same issue here in France. I know one who goes by the cute name of Warodom but people won't try to say it so now he's called Paul. Come on!!! Why sould they make any effort to pronounce our name correctly when we go to their country when we don't care about doing the same?? Really ticks me off!!!!!!

  8. LaVerne "Apple Pie" Brown
    Here is my approved name... Anyone calls me that and you're gonna get my fist somewhere!!!

  9. I suggest Betty Brown changes her name to 'Betty Boob', it'd be more appropriate.

  10. "do you think that it would behoove you and your citizens.."

    Who even uses the word 'behoove' anymore - shows what century she is living in..

    At least all non-American asians are allowed to keep their names - that's pretty liberal of her.

  11. As a Korean person, yes, I was scoffing at the news when I first read it on Angry Asian Man.

    But to play devil's advocate, is she saying "switch all yer hard Asian names to Joe or Bob!" or is she saying put a single (unified) name on all your ID?

    Say, if the guy's name is John Jong-Pil Kim, just put the whole sh'bang on ALL your ID, consistently, not sometimes John Kim and sometimes JP Kim, and so on.

    Just curious.

    My husband (American) couldn't buy a car here(europe) for a while because his Maryland birth certificate read S**k** (one name) as the middle name, and his passport S** K** (two separate middle names), and the guys in charge insisted these were two different people and WOULDN'T LET HIM PAY (snort). I had to pull out a whole arsenal of Chinese characters to convince them.

  12. I read this in my Korean Music and Entertainment forum. It made me curious about the names of the other members of the Texas House and Senate. I found a bunch of names that looked like they might be hard to remember or say for some people. Some names were of European origin, such as German, but many names were of Hispanic origin--more than just a couple of the members are of Mexican descent--some might have ancestors from South America. Imagine if this woman had said the same thing about that part of the population instead of the Chinese Texans. -__-

    It's one thing if someone wants to have a nickname because it may be easier for people to remember or pronounce (Most Thai people have nicknames), but it's a different thing if you're someone like her, targeting specific people. If she didn't mean to sound racist, she could/should have worded it differently.

  13. SenNim, I've others say the same thing. And having the same name on all your ID is a good thing. The problem here is that Ms. Brown's office only came up with that explanation for her remarks after the fact.

  14. I'm not a hypenated-American, but I ran the name generator anyway becuase I have an unusual WASP name.

    My Betty Brown approved name is Billy-Ray "Chicken and Dumplings" Brown.

    Sounds like a name from Tennessee or Alabama name to me.

    P.S. I'm in Korea. There are lots of Koreans who have name cards in English on one side and Korean on the other. Most of the time their name on the English side is Anglicized (such as "John Kim"), and on the Korean side it is their Korean name in Hangul (such as "Kim Han Sok").

    lol, my verification word is "dingle"

  15. In the post above I should have said "sometimes" instead of "most of the time". Could be most of the time, but I'm don't have enough information to say for sure.

  16. you guys and "ask a korean" blog master did not read the source. all the lady said was to suggest a standard name to appear in official documents... read before you unleash your dogs... you're just projecting your own racist prejudice on her, but actually it's just a projection. you are the real racists.

  17. I'm not sure how to read this Yos as it was printed in the Houston Chronicle as a direct quote. I think I had a pretty good interpretation.

    Ms. Brown's word quoted:
    “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?”All my fancy book learning let me draw the conclusion I like. Have a nice day.

  18. Again, you did not read the whole thing...
    "Ko told the committee that people of Chinese, Japanese and Korean descent often have problems voting and other forms of identification because they may have a legal transliterated name and then a common English name that is used on their driver’s license on school registrations."

    What she said was not racist... but racists usually see racism everywhere but themselves...

    have a good one

  19. Yos,

    Ok, that's what Ko said. Why must we assume that what Brown said is responsive to what Ko said, when the plain words of Brown speak for themselves?

  20. check this article and the video clip in which she says explicitly "I'm not talking about changing your name, I'm talking about transliteration..." etc. I hope this will finally convince you and your racist friends that it's better to listen to what people say before you jump into false conclusions...

  21. Yos,

    Please, the Korean saw that video a few times already, and he really does not have time to waste with someone who cannot see that statement to be self-evidently racist.

  22. That's just ignorant. And sad.

  23. I think the most troubling part of her comment wasn't the suggestion to change the way the name is spelled but the part where she states " and your citizens...". Since Ko represents Americans who are planning to vote, nonetheless, she is implicitly questioning the citizenship (or Americanness) of the assembly that Ko represents.


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