April 9, 2009Betty Brown (R-Terrell, in North Texas) caused a ruckus on Tuesday by saying, during testimony about voter ID legislation, that Asians would have an easier time of getting along if they simply changed their 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?" She also told a representative of the Organization of Chinese Americans who was there to testify, "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?" Now Texas Dems are demanding an apology for "her disrespectful remarks," and state Republicans are accusing the Democrats of making too much of the statements and using race to make voting IDs a partisan issue. I don't think Brown is a racist -- at least, I hope not. But I think that she spoke without thinking, and her true feelings about Asians' names came out.