Texas lawmaker: Asians should change their names to make them ‘easier for Americans to deal with.’

From Think Progress:

On Tuesday, State Rep. Betty Brown (R) caused a firestorm during House testimony on voter identification legislation when she said that Asian-Americans should change their names because they’re too hard to pronounce:

“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.


  1. I was hoping this was legit, but the video of it shows that it was definitely taken out of context. If you search on YouTube for “Rep. Betty Brown makes statement on Asian-American names” you can see the video.

    She was actually asking a good question about having a standard way to transliterate names not written in Roman Script.

    Damn, I really wanted to hate her!

  2. But why stop with Asian names? Who can pronounce them funny Ay-rab names? Ooh, and let’s make them Poles all change to something decent…like, maybe, Smith. I mean, Zbigniew? Brzinski? Be serious! In the words of the sages, “Say it, don’t spray it!”.

    (Insert rolling-eyed tongue-in-cheeked smiley)

  3. Wow, talk about an overreaction – even if the story was true. Heaven forbid someone suggest immigrants try to assimilate!

  4. One irony here is that many Chinese do take on western names when they come here. I worked with a Kevin and an Eric from China, and unsurprisingly those weren’t their native names.

    We did have to tease him for choosing Kevin 🙂

  5. A lot of asian people do actually change their names already. At least chinese immigrants used to change their kid’s first names to westernized names. Anyway, terrible argument. Asian names are easy. There are no more difficult names to pronounce than polish names. Europeans know how to tie a tongue.

  6. Pfft. Why doesn’t everyone just use a number or serial code? It would be so much simpler. It would really streamline the secret psychological experiments the CIA is conducting, too. Just process people by number!

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