On Tuesday, Texas State Rep. Betty Brown (R) caused a firestorm during House testimony on voter identification legislation when she said that Asian-Americans should get new 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?”
Brown initially insisted that she didn’t say anything wrong. However, she has now put out a statement apologizing, saying that she “understands the ‘diversity of Texas’ and the ‘enrichment’ that Asian-Americans have brought to the state.”