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Republican Lawmaker to Asian-Americans: I’m Not Gonna Learn Chinese, So Can’t You Change Your Funny Names? April 9, 2009

Posted by rogerhollander in Electoral Fraud, Race, Racism.
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Posted by Tana Ganeva, AlterNet at 12:44 PM on April 9, 2009.

During a hearing on voter ID legislation, Texas Republican Betty Brown said Americans of Asian descent should “simplify” their names
On Tuesday, the Texas legislature heard arguments on voter ID legislation that would require photo ID — or two non-photo IDs — at the polls. An obvious necessity, of course, since everyone in the U.S. loves voting so much that there are scores of people clamoring to do it illegally. (In fact, there is no evidence of voter ID fraud in Texas).



Democratic lawmakers and several voting experts brought up the good — and oft-repeated — points that a) voter ID laws are a fake solution to a non-existent problem, and b) they disenfranchise poor, minority voters. (You know, the ones that tend to NOT vote Republican.)



Republicans, in turn, kept pushing the möbius strip argument that while there is a) no evidence of voter fraud b)voter fraud is a serious problem that needs to be addressed. 



Then, Rep. Betty Brown from Terrell, Texas turned the Republican position from absurd and subtly racist to really absurd and overtly racist. Following a presentation on the voting difficulties faced by Americans of Asian descent, whose legal names don’t always match their everyday names, Brown said the following:





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?





Yep. That’s what she said. You know what’s fun? Thinking of Brown’s statement as one of those “What’s Wrong With This Picture” puzzles. I have this so far: 1) “learn Chinese” — actually, at issue are Americans of Asian — not just Chinese — descent 2) “you and your citizens” — in fact, the people under discussion are American citizens 3) The assumption that descendants of immigrants should accommodate the ignorance of some Americans by changing their names!



Asked to issue an apology by Democrats excited that Republicans are doing their work for them, Brown responded by … saying something else that was racially insensitive. A spokesperson for the Rep. grumbled that Democrats are making too big a deal of the issue and the Rep. was merely trying to resolve an ID problem. “They want this to just be about race,” the flack said, according to the Houston Chronicle.


Mormons Mobilize to Deprive Gays of More Rights March 4, 2009

Posted by rogerhollander in Human Rights, Religion, Uncategorized.
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 Posted by Tana Ganeva, AlterNet at 2:28 PM on March 4, 2009.

Apparently not satisfied with merely screwing over gays and lesbians in California, the Mormon Church is currently mobilizing its extremely productive, teetotaling followers to block civil unions for same-sex couples in Illinois.

 On Tuesday the Church sent out an email alerting LDS faithful to a civil unions bill set to go before the Illinois legislature tomorrow. The letter calls on followers to blast legislators with calls and letters opposing the measure.

 Why is the Mormon Church so deeply alarmed by civil unions legislation in Illinois? Because it will shatter social mores and crush the innocence of children. Duh.

 According to the letter:

 This bill will legalize civil unions in the state of Illinois, and will treat such civil unions with the same legal obligations, responsibilities, protections and benefits as are afforded within marriage. In other words, civil unions will be different in name only from marriage. As has already been seen in Massachusetts, this will empower the public schools to begin teaching this lifestyle to our young children regardless of parental requests otherwise. It will also create grounds for rewriting all social mores; the current push in Massachusetts is to recognize and legalize all transgender rights (An individual in Massachusetts can now change their drivers license to the gender they believe themselves to be, regardless of actual gender, which means that confused men and women are now legally entering one another’s bathrooms and locker rooms. What kind of a safety issue is this for our children?). Furthermore, while the bill legalizes civil unions, it will be used in the courts to show discrimination and will ultimately lead to court mandated same-sex marriages.


 The Mormon church recently attracted controversy for spending hundreds of thousands of dollars in its push to pass California’s discriminatory Prop. 8. Critics argued that the Church had overstepped its legal bounds by directly interfering in the legislative process (in a state other than Utah, no less). But I guess depriving minorities of fundamental civil rights is too important to leave to the government.

 p.s. It needs to be said that not all Mormons support the Church’s bigoted stance towards gays. For example, the group Feminist Mormon Housewives took on the Church on their blog over Prop. 8. There are also gay Mormon groups, such as Affirmation, whose members identify with LDS teachings but reject the Church’s attitude towards LGBT people. Affirmation writes in its about page: “We rejoice in life. We reject the tyranny that would have us believe that who we are — gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender — is evil or wrong. We affirm that we are all children of loving Heavenly Parents.”