TX Republican asks APAs to have "easier" names

Via Angry Asian Man, I see that a Texas Republican is putting the burden of voter ID on Asian Americans to have easier names, whatever that means.

Similar to laws that passed in Indiana, Georgia, and Florida, the voter ID bill under discussion would create more restrictions on the types of identification a voter would need to produce at a polling place — a government-issued photo ID or two forms of non-photo ID from a designated list. This isn’t particularly good news for the poor, elderly, college students, and minority groups.

Ramey Ko was testifying on behalf of the local OCA chapter when Rep. Betty Brown said:

“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?”

Sorry that our names are difficult for you to understand and pronounce, but that doesn’t mean that people should be denied voting rights. Besides which, Texas has a rather substantial APA voting population, including a fair number of Republicans. Not to mention, current and previous elected officials including AAA-Fund Honorary Board member Rep. Hubert Vo, ex-Rep. Martha Wong and sitting Rep. Angie Chen Button.

— Caroline

Note: The AAA-Fund welcomes a diversity of views and voices. In that spirit, the views expressed in this article are the author's own. Unless an article states that it was written by the AAA-Fund or its Board of Directors, it does not necessarily reflect the views of the AAA-Fund.


  1. Helen says:
  2. Sarah Kang says:

    Wow, this is incredibly offensive–a new low! Rep. Betty Brown should apologize immediately.

  3. Subrata says:

    “I see that a Texas Republican is putting the burden of voter ID on Asian Americans to have easier names, whatever that means.”

    Why do you say, “whatever that means?” In the video, she made it pretty clear that she’s talking about transliteration and such.

    I’m a bit annoyed that sites like this (which I usually enjoy) are going all Fox News-ish on this whole story i.e. not giving the full quotations out and not really talking about what all was actually discussed in that session.

    I also think its presumptuous to say it’s so horrible, racist, etc. I understand that you haven’t said as much, but I wanted to point that out.

  4. Justin says:

    I have said it’s “horrible, stupid, and racist.” John Liu said it’s “Un-American. Watch the video embedded in my link roundup. I’m not sure Brown even understood her own idea. The problem is multiple names not matching each other, but she wants yet another name. How does that make any sense?

  5. Angelina Carmen Richards says:

    Well, thanks for the suggestion to me to think up a couple of cute new names for myself now…i had not thought of that before….why not, with all the identity theft going on these days, it might really be useful to have some additional names. But I would have to tell Ms. Brown that if she does not want to take the time to learn some Chinese names, maybe she should not take money from people with those names….considering that it is Chinese money mostly that is keeping this country afloat in these difficult times…it is only decent to try to know the name of your creditor.

  6. H.T. Fujita says:

    Gee, let’s all adopt the “easier” name Blagojevich! As somebody who was born in Texas I find Ms. Brown an embarrassment to the Lone Star State.

  7. Quan says:

    I am aghast! Are you sure Betty Brown is a State Representative? Sounds like a comment from the cartoon character Betty Boobs !!! Not only does she give Texans a bum rap, she gives all thinking men and women a bad name!!!

    What were people thinking when they elect her to represent them?

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