The Be Like Me Party: Brown's Comments on Asian-American Names Translates to Bigotry in All Languages

In the Texas House this week, it was Take Your Bigoted Representative to Work Day. For North Texas residents, that resulted in the softly-coiffed and loudly-talkin' Republican Betty Brown once again putting the proverbial Chico's pump in her mouth. This time it was on the issue of voter ID, also known as "voter suppression legislation" to anyone with a conscience and a calculator (after all, Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott spent $1.4 million chasing voter fraud butterflies and -- surprise -- found nothing).

On Tuesday, Ramey Ko, a representative of the Organization of Chinese Americans, found himself testifying against the legislation in front of the House Elections Committee. That's when Brown felt compelled to state that Asian-Americans should find a way to make their names, well, more like Republicans' names.

"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.

Now, I happened to meet Ko on a couple of occasions in Austin, and the last time I checked, he wasn't a nation. Or even a governing body. Nice guy, well-spoken, but certainly not a sovereign leader of a nation.

However, Brown seems to think that Ko and his "citizens" should see things her way, later saying, "I see a need here for young people like you, who are obviously very bright, to come up with something that would work for you and then let us see if we can't make it work for us." For those of you who don't speak Bigot, I'll decipher that for you (I live in Texas -- I've had ample time to study the language). In this instance, "like you" is loosely translated "minorities." And "us" is loosely translated to "the Republican party that is trying to disenfranchise voters." You're welcome.

After eight years of the same, this "Why don't you make it work for us" message continues to be the GOP battle cry. The continuing selfishness of the Republican party astounds even the most cynical of Texans, while we watch our Governor, elected by mere 2.5 million people in a state of 24 million, reject unemployment benefits and the Texas GOP plots their tax-day "Tea Party."

But, then again, I could see how Brown could get confused by difficult words like "Ko." She's a Republican from the Texas House of Representatives, after all. Not every name can be as straightforward and puritan as Bristol, Trig, and Trip, don'cha know.

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