Better Wright Than Wong: Texas Legislator Wants Asian-Americans to Adopt Names That Are Easier to Pronounce

bettybrownTexas State Rep. Betty Brown (R) finally hit on the problem that she has with Asian people: they are just a bit too . . . well . . . Asian — at least in terms of their names. Brown has caused a firestorm in suggesting that Asian-Americans change their names so that “Americans” can pronounce them.

Brown’s made her suggestion at a house hearing on voter identification legislation: “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?” She reportedly later told an official at the Organization of Chinese Americans: “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?”

This may explain President Bush’s insistence on calling everyone by a nickname like “Congressman Kickass.” Much easier to pronounce them those Anglo names like Sweeney.

Ironically, when confronted over the obvious slight, Brown accused others of introducing race in her suggestion that a particular race needs to drop their ethnic names. She accused the Democrats of wanting “this to just be about race.”

It is clear that you cannot get much easier that Betty Brown. However, an examination of the good Americans in the Texas legislators seems to show the problem is far greater than the Asian descendants. People like Deshotel, Gonzalez Toureilles, Kleinschmidt, Kolkhorst, Laubenberg, Naishtat, Quintanilla, and others may need Brown’s intervention. Perhaps we could go with just colors (though I expect Manderin Orange is out). Yet, now that I think of it, there is Fred Brown and Betty Brown in the Texas House -creating endless confusion. Why not just go with numbers? That would certainly simplify the problems with the name proliferation with people like Billy Bob or Betty Lou who string cite three or even four names.

Rep. Brown may be interested in an ancient Chinese proverb: “The beginning of wisdom is to call things by their right names.”

For the story, click here.

30 thoughts on “Better Wright Than Wong: Texas Legislator Wants Asian-Americans to Adopt Names That Are Easier to Pronounce”

  1. “…. easier for Americans to deal with?”

    “…. you and your citizens to adopt a name that we could deal with more readily here”

    Operative words: “easier for Americans” and “your citizens”.

    Are Ramey Ko and the people who are members of the Organization of Chinese Americans from the planet Mars.


    bdaman, you need to do more work on whatever the argument is you are attempting to make against PRESIDENT OBAMA.

    Don’t you just love examples of the product of the educational system in this country?

  2. Reply To MIKE AlPETDUM, I do that sometimes to see if people read my comments, then I can engage. In this case it was a joke. Speaking of such, the two most common names in China are Wing and Wong, so be careful if you ever call over there cus you might Wing da Wong numba.

  3. Two Wongs don’t make a White. No matter how hard they try in Texas.

  4. Vince:

    On behalf of the entire Mac Toirdealbhaigh clan, I give you thunderous thanks.


  5. Mike A,
    Well said. Why do all of the nutcases and racists live in Texas? This lady needs to read her American History and look at all of the “foreign” names that were and are important to our Country.

  6. bdaman, your understanding of what happened with immigrants is incorrect. In fact, the name changes that occurred were typically inadvertent because customs officials were often not adept at either pronunciation or spelling. For a recent example, in your post you have attempted to change the spelling of Staten Island. In addition, you have confused Staten Island with Ellis Island. You get the picture. Why don’t we just agree that Rep. Brown, and her ardent defenders on this thread, are stupid. Then we can move on to something else.

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