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Betty Brown, Texas Republican, Asks Asian-Americans To Simplify Names

Houston Chronicle/Huffington Post   First Posted: 05/10/09 06:12 AM ET Updated: 05/25/11 02:15 PM ET

As the Houston Chronicle reported Thursday, Betty Brown, a Republican state representative, is facing numerous demands that she apologize for having said that voters of Asian descent should adopt names that are "easier for Americans to deal with."

From the Chronicle:

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 told the committee that people of Chinese, Japanese and Korean descent often have problems voting and other forms of identification because they may have a legal transliterated name and then a common English name that is used on their driver's license on school registrations.

Brown's spokesman has said she was not trying to make a racially motivated comment. Her comments did, however, cause politicians as far away as New York to call on her to apologize for her statements.

As Kristv.com reports, one such complaint came from New York City Councilman John Liu:

In a letter to Brown sent Thursday, Liu called on her to either apologize or resign.

"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," he said.

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