Racist Asshat Remark of the Day


In a House testimony over voter registration legislation on Wednesday, Texas Representative Betty Brown (R-Terrell) suggested that maybe Asian Americans of Chinese, Korean and Japanese descent should adopt names that are “easier for Americans to deal with.”
Gee, Betty, how do you mean? After all, they’re Americans too. Oh, you mean real Americans like yourself! Via the Houston Chronicle:

The exchange occurred late Tuesday as the House Elections Committee heard testimony from Ramey Ko, a representative of the Organization of Chinese Americans.
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.
Brown suggested that Asian-Americans should find a way to make their names more accessible.
“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?”

What’s worse is the her spokesperson says Brown won’t apologize for the comments, claiming that Democrats (who asked for an apology) are merely using racial rhetoric to push back against the bill.
“Racial rhetoric.” Heh. I say Ms. Brown should change her name to something that’s easier for us to deal with. Any suggestions?
Racialicious has more.

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62 Comments

  1. sarahkz
    Posted April 11, 2009 at 2:59 pm | Permalink

    …God forbid Americans acknowledge that an entire world exists outside of this country! People around the world are fluent in multiple languages. I think the LEAST we can do as Americans is learn how to properly pronounce names.
    It’s sad, we are “supposed to be” some kind of world leader, shining example, you’d think the American population would be more internationally savvy (including conservatives).

  2. SociologicalMe
    Posted April 11, 2009 at 8:09 pm | Permalink

    I have to disagree- if we limit what we consider to be racism to only the most severe degree, a LOT will get apologized away. Brown’s ignorance is a kind of racism- namely, the privilege to ignore other groups that comes with belonging to the majority. She does not have to have an active personal hatred for all Asians in order to be a racist. She can (and did) accomplish that simply by failing to stop and think about her own privilege before she speaks.

  3. TxnPride
    Posted April 12, 2009 at 1:18 am | Permalink

    Oh wow. Hey Betty,thanks for representing our state in the national and world media SOOOOOO well! You make Texas PROUD! Thanks for pointing out that people should change their names to convienence you rather than you take two seconds to ask someone their name. Thanks for telling Ms. Ko to her face tht she should change her name to something easier. That’s really sweet!
    >

  4. parangaricutirimicuaro
    Posted April 12, 2009 at 2:17 am | Permalink

    Thanks for explaining, SociologicalMe. You got me curious, so I just downloaded the book (will buy it and/or others from him later) and will spend the night reading it. :)

  5. thecheesegirl
    Posted April 12, 2009 at 3:30 am | Permalink

    The funny part in this context is that the brother became President. So!

  6. Joart
    Posted April 12, 2009 at 11:57 am | Permalink

    Jeez. It is really hard to live in Texas sometimes. I am constantly explaining to people that Texas isn’t as bad as it seems and then something like this happens. I’m so proud of our legislature for wasting time on voter id bills and legislation to allow people to carry concealed weapons on college campuses. Its not like Texas ranks near the bottom on issues like healthcare, education, domestic violence etc.
    I’m going to change my name so that no one knows that I live here.
    Ugh.

  7. WriterGirl
    Posted April 12, 2009 at 2:58 pm | Permalink

    Yeesh. Did you guys check out the YouTube vid on Racialicious? That shizz should carry a trigger warning or something, because I seriously wanted to throw something. Brown’s actions are just so indicative of this truly effed up sense of entitlement that some of us “real” Americans have when it comes to appreciating the changing nature of our country.
    Oh, wait… I’m not a “real” American because I’m too ethnic-looking. Oh well… j/k
    Did anybody write to this crazy ding-bat? I sent her a very civil email attempting to explain that even people with names from “difficult languages” are oftentimes American citizens if they reside here and are allowed to vote.
    I also asked her when she would be making similar suggestions to Americans of European descent with names from such “difficult languages” as German or Czech. Otherwise, you know, it seems like she’s majorly racist asshat. I’m really hoping for a reply, but frankly I don’t expect it.

  8. John Pieret
    Posted April 12, 2009 at 9:04 pm | Permalink

    Given that Betty is a politician, Larson E. Whipsnade might be appropriate … except it might cause confusion with all the other politicians.

  9. mightybigcar
    Posted April 12, 2009 at 11:33 pm | Permalink

    Your subject line says it best. Let her change her name to “Racist Asshat”, that way people will know exactly what they’re dealing with from the start.

  10. Zardoz
    Posted April 13, 2009 at 11:43 am | Permalink

    Grandpa Simpson (to nursing home worker): Thank you Ping-Pong.
    Nursing home worker: My name is Craig.

  11. ravenite
    Posted April 22, 2009 at 12:08 pm | Permalink

    Let’s see, what’s in a name? Hmmm..how about a whole lot of things. For starters, a name is an identity and is what makes each person unique. I think that it is crazy to make someone change their name just so that it is easier on someone else. This is America, the land of the opportunity and equality or so we were taught. Reality is that America doesn’t want to change. All I have to say to that is too bad America is changing whether people like it or not so they should just embrace the diversity that is occurring.

  12. GREGORYABUTLER
    Posted April 28, 2009 at 9:57 am | Permalink

    Telling Americans that their names aren’t “American” just because they have surnames that originate in East Asia is pretty racist (in a KKK/David Duke/Tom Metzger sense of the term).
    Because she’s saying that only European Americans are ‘real Americans’ and everybody else is not.
    And yeah, that’s kinda racist!

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