Reader Kyle S. e-mailed me this weekend:
I’m a liberal who passes through your blog from time to time and although I disagree with you often (not always), I wanted to bring something to your attention that, though you might be aware of but I haven’t seen on your blog (sorry if I missed it), has been enraging me from the ultra-PC wing of the left.
State Rep. Betty Brown (R) from Texas suggested that a way to reduce the disenfranchisement of Asian-Americans was to suggest a uniform transliteration (most East Asian languages have several “official” transliteration schemes) or some single name to use to make sure that a missing letter in their names or a misplaced hyphen doesn’t knock them off the voting rolls.
Upon *hearing* this report, I was outraged. Upon actually seeing the YouTube clip, I was offended that my ideological colleagues would smear this woman for racism as she is clear that she is not expecting every Mr. Chang and Ms. Liu to change their names to Chuck and Mary, but rather is looking for a way to make sure minor spelling errors or one document that uses their “real” name while, say, a work pay stub uses their “American” name, doesn’t cause beureaucratic headaches for them. As a white Anglo-American, I have had my name butchered while both traveling and living overseas, and I have had the common courtesy to either 1) not throw a fit and call everyone a racist for saying my name incorrectly, or 2) adopted a “foreign” name that was easier on their tongues out of respect and ease while outside of English-speaking lands.
Rep. Brown explicitly stated she is NOT asking anyone to change their names, but everyone on the left is predictably saying she asked them to “change their names.” Rep. Brown unfortunately apologized (I’m sure she was mobbed) and now politicians are saying it’s “not enough.” I see people commenting on online blogs now, all of them rushing up to claim how victimized and hated and stereotyped, etc., they have had been and expressing “outrage” at this woman who is being virtually tarred and feathered.
As a side note, I have traveled and lived abroad a lot. Although all very enriching experiences, they only reenforced my view that the USA really is the greatest country out there.
Here’s a link to her speaking.
Here’s a link to the apology.
Thank you, Kyle, for the refreshing rejection of P.C. hysteria.