Thursday, April 09, 2009

Call Me Al

This story cheesed me off

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.” [...]

Brown suggested that Asian-Americans should find a way to make their names more accessible.
“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 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?”


Ridonkulous, though this story -- a favorite of mine as a child and now a growing favorite for young Mace -- might give Brown motivation.




SD

9 comments:

bigWOWO said...

That's some crazy lawmaker down in Texas.

By the way, thanks for the video. I'd heard the title Tikki Tikki Tembo before, but this was the first time I'd actually heard the story itself.

thisislarry said...

speaking of video, the video of the conngressional session is on youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v9hdVUzMeDw.

Mama Nabi said...

So Al... I suppose if you fell into a well, you'd be rescued quite speedily.

It IS Texas. My ex in-laws, who happen to live in TX, have told me that people who want to be considered Americans should have "Anglo" names. Of course, the irony that even THEY don't know how to pronounce their East European last name is completely lost on them.

Soccer Dad said...

I remember being fascinated that the two boys would be eating rice cakes and playing around the well at the same time.

Anglo names are kinda crazy, too. Like Acwellen, Quenna, Rexanne...


SD

The First Carol said...

Throw that Texan into the well after Tikki Tikki Tembo, then Texas style 'drive friendly' away.

Vincent said...

Are only Asians upset about this? Does the rest of America realize that this type of thinking impacts everyone? Put it this way, the Vietnamese sandwich craze got more press than this.

I really can't talk though. I have an "English" name as do my boys. Like me they also have Chinese names but no one uses them. In the end my grandma who named me didn't even use my Chinese name. I don't think my wife (who has an ethnic name)and I even considered ethnic names for our kids.

But then again, it is a choice we made and not something we had to do.

I can't believe that something like this isn't getting more press.

carosgram said...

Everyone is entitled to their own name, pronounced the way they say it is. I am always amazed at how little respect people show each other. By the by, Tikki Tikki Tembo has been a favorite story of mine for at least 8 years now. Thanks for sharing it with the net. When we knew my Chinese grand daughter's name we had a Chinese woman pronounce it correctly and we taped it. Then everyone in the family practiced saying it until we could say it properly. It was her name then and is her name now and we insist that the school call her by her correct name also. It is a piece of her that no one can ever take from her.

Xiaolung said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Xiaolung said...

I am a third generation Canadian Chinese-Japanese mix.

When my Chinese grandfather came to Canada, the border officials could not pronounce his last name. As a result, my last name is JIM (the closest they could get).

Now, three generations later, we have all but lost the real pronounciation of my family name. We are lucky enough to have the Chinese writing of it, but the pronounciation is lost to us.

If the border officials would have shown more respect, maybe this would not have been a problem (and don't get me started on the Head Tax either).

My two boys (aged 3 and 1) have names that represent their heritage. I really want them to know where their ancestors came from and their names are an important part of their identity.