I’ll Change My Name When You Change Yours
Betty Brown, prominent Republican lawmaker from beautiful Texas, says this:
“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 [Organization of Chinese Americans representative Ramey] 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?”
Betty Brown has so far resisted all calls for apology.
OH HELL NO.
When I registered for elementary in small-town America, my principal kept nudging me to go for a more ‘American’ first name. (It didn’t work.) My mom’s boss actually assigned her a name, and then printed out the nametag without consulting her, so she couldn’t really insist on changing back without a fuss. (She quit after a few months.)
And let’s not go into the intentionally and sometimes sneeringly mangled name pronunciation. (Oh, schoolyards. How I love thee.)
I have not, cannot, and will not whitewash myself to make a bunch of lazy white asshats more self-satisfied. I will not give them more cause than the smallness of their own minds to sneer at us and say, “See? Those yellowfaces are only trying to ape us.”
Learning Chinese is hard. Learning common courtesy to your fellow human beings may also be hard, but it is absolutely necessary. Regardless of what language you and I speak, should you not at least respect the sanctity of my name?