Susan C. alerted us to the recent news coverage of Texas Representative Betty Brown’s comments. Chinese American citizens, moreso than some groups, are being turned away at the polls for inconsistencies between the names on their I.D. and the voter roll. To attend to this, Brown remarks:
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?
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?
Her comments suggest that Chinese Americans aren’t real Americans (“easier for Americans to deal with”) and also that she is more interested in assimilation to U.S. culture than the idea of a melting pot.
In this clip, you hear Brown expressing these views:
According to this story, New York City Councilman John Liu said:
It’s outrageous and insulting for you to suggest it would ‘behoove’ us to adopt another name, to give up our birthright and a part of our own identity, in order to exercise our right to vote.