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Should Asians change their names so it's easy for an "American" to pronounce?

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.

Brown later told [Organization of Chinese Americans representative Ramey] 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?”

Yesterday, Brown continued to resist calls to apologize. Her spokesman said that Democrats “want this to just be about race.”


Asked by StifflersMom82 at 11:31 PM on Apr. 9, 2009 in Politics & Current Events

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Answers (40)
  • This has got to be one of the most asinine comments I have heard. Chinese names are hard to pronounce?
    Try Polish names. Half of my dad's family is Polish and I probably couldn't pronounce any of their last names. He doesn't even know how to spell their names.
    Maybe it would be to her liking if everyone with hard to pronounce names or longer then 5 letters just change them to something easy like Smith or Jones. That would simplify things...

    Answer by justanotherjen at 12:39 PM on Apr. 10, 2009

  • no

    Answer by Anonymous at 11:33 PM on Apr. 9, 2009

  • And I thought politicians couldnt get any more stupid.. I was wrong!


    Answer by BEXi at 11:35 PM on Apr. 9, 2009

  • I don't agree with it at all, I was just wondering what other's opinions were. I think Texas should be real proud of her! lol

    Answer by StifflersMom82 at 11:35 PM on Apr. 9, 2009

  • Hell, some of the Chinese names are easier to pronounce than some of the "uniquely" spelled names/made up names that are out there these days! That has to be the most absurd thing I've ever heard.

    Answer by beadingmom17 at 11:38 PM on Apr. 9, 2009

  • i had a "simple" maiden name, and no one ever pronounced it right. no my last name is french and it took me 2 years to get it right. so i don't think its got anything to do with race, unless your last name is one or two letters its gonna get mispronounced

    Answer by vabchmommy at 11:40 PM on Apr. 9, 2009

  • Oh, my. I would guess we all had better use words no longer than 5 letters long, too, so Ms. Brown can understand what we all are saying.

    Answer by stacymomof2 at 11:42 PM on Apr. 9, 2009

  • No.

    Answer by JackalsWife at 11:44 PM on Apr. 9, 2009

  • Wtf??? That's the craziest, most asinine thing I've ever heard in my life. Actually, many Asian names are quite easy to pronounce if you understand just a little about how things are pronounced. It's different from what we are used to I guess, but it's not difficult at all.


    Answer by anime_mom619 at 11:48 PM on Apr. 9, 2009

  • Had to read that twice. Was sure it was the glass (or two) of wine. Oh my good lord on a stick, her PR person is getting some OT (ha ha) today!

    Answer by Fiveofakind2 at 11:51 PM on Apr. 9, 2009