Thursday, April 9, 2009

A "No Nguyen" Situation: Fukayomama!

The Tubez today are humming with news that yet another Texas official has revealed depths of stupidity, insensitivity, and racism normally thought well beyond the scope of normal USer stupidity, insensitivity, and racism, with reports that one Ms. Betty Brown, of Terrel TX, trailer-trash Browns, and a Republican (!) member of the State Lege, recommended in testimony yesterday that immigrants--especially Asians--should change their names when the immigrate so as not to cause any undue difficulty or linguistic/pronunciation embarrassment to mono-lingual USers with whom they would share citizenship.

No, really. Via C&L and the Houston Chronicle (but it was everywhere; since the Chimperor, understandably, nobody can turn down a "dumb-ass-Texan story anymore:
A North Texas legislator during House testimony on voter identification legislation said Asian-descent voters should adopt names that are “easier for Americans to deal with.”

The comments caused the Texas Democratic Party on Wednesday to demand an apology from state Rep. Betty Brown, R-Terrell. But a spokesman for Brown said her comments were only an attempt to overcome problems with identifying Asian names for voting purposes.

The exchange occurred late Tuesday as the House Elections Committee heard testimony from Ramey Ko, a representative of the Organization of Chinese Americans.
"Ko"? Yeah, that's a hard one. Roh's really tough, cuz in Korea it's said "Noh." But I doubt the gringo lady from suburban Houston would know or even care about that. "They have it so much better here," as one of her neighbors once remarked, imperiously, on the plights of those fleeing Hurricane Katrina.

And who noticed the difference, rhetorically, between "Asians" with funny/difficult names, and (presumably "good") "Americans" (presumably those with 'normal names')? Oh, GOOD on ya!

It's all very innocent, of course. Ms. Brown was merely harkening back to the good old days, when arriving immigrants at Ellis Island (probably Galveston, too) were shriven of their ethnic names arbitrarily, if the Immigration officials were puzzled as to how some concatenation of Eastern or Southern European syllables should be spelled or pronounced. The inspectors were, you might sat, the first practical exponents of 'Hukt awn fonix" as a tool of control.

And Texas? Well, perhaps the less said the better...Here in New Mexico, we bewail our fate: "Poor New Mexico! So far from Heaven! So close to Texas..."

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