At the heart of this story was a debate held on Tuesday, April 7th, inside the Texas Legislature, about whether or not to implement voter identification rules that would require you to produce one photo ID (or two non–photo ones) when you go to the polls.
At one point in the debate, Ramey Ko, who is with the Organization of Chinese Americans, tried to explain how the proposed legislation would impact Chinese, Japanese, Koreans, and others within Texas' Asian American community, where it's not unusual to have two different names (one official name, and another one you use everyday).
Then spake Mme. Brown:
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?…
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?
As one TV sportscaster once said trademark–style, let's go to the videotape:
Special thanks to AlterNet.
Words fail me, save one, not in Chinese (Mandarin or Cantonese) but in Japanese: AHO. (The Kansai dialect word for "idiot.")
Later, when Democrats demanded an apology for the outburst, her response (according to the Houston Chronicle) was reportedly:
They want this to just be about race.
I repeat: AHO.