Friday, February 18, 2011

At Least This One's Not From Texas

There's Rep. Louie Gohmert of Texas complaining that sending China money to protect endangered species would go instead into Moo Goo Dog Pan or Moo Goo Cat Pan.  And then there's Rep. Betty Brown of Texas suggesting to Asian-Americans that they adopt names that are “easier for Americans to deal with.”

At least this one is from Kansas instead of my home state:
One week ago, the Kansas House Federal and State Committee held a hearing about in-state tuition being granted to the children of undocumented immigrants, which has been the policy in the state since 2004.

Speaking in favor of repealing the law, Rep. Connie O’Brien (R-KS) began telling an anecdote at the hearing about how her son had difficulty in getting financial assistance to attend college.

* * *

REP. O’BRIEN: My son who’s a Kansas resident, born here, raised here, didn’t qualify for any financial aid. Yet this girl was going to get financial aid. My son was kinda upset about it because he works and pays for his own schooling and his books and everything and he didn’t think that was fair. We didn’t ask the girl what nationality she was, we didn’t think that was proper. But we could tell by looking at her that she was not originally from this country. [...]

REP. GATEWOOD: Can you expand on how you could tell that they were illegal?

REP. O’BRIEN: Well she wasn’t black, she wasn’t Asian, and she had the olive complexion.
 Well, isn't that special?!   You can tell by looking at people that they are "not originally from this country." And everyone with "the olive complexion" is here illegally, except for Asians -- whom I'm sure Rep. O'Brien can tell are "not originally from this country" even if she can't tell whether or not they're here legally. 


Walking to China said...

Ai ya! Time to vote out of office!

JBH said...

Wow! My coworker has a very olive complexion, has more 'color' than me as an Asian American and she is definitely an American citizen(and identifies as "White"). Lucky for here she doesn't live in Kansas at the moment...

Thanks for finding and posting these little 'gems'! It's good to remember why I go out and educate...

Melissa said...

Uh, my husband has an olive complexion...but my guess is that it's due to his Greek heritage, not because he's here illegally (ya think?)...oh the willful ignorance of people, even in the 21st century!

LisaLew said...

A little off the subject, but not really:

We were in Justice yesterday, and a young African American girl (very sweet) was talking about different clothes that would fit Syd's "olive complexion." She paused before she decided what color to call Syd's skin.

I found it endearing, actually. Perhaps I am projecting, but I think she may understand the sensitivity that surrounds people getting your skin tone "wrong" and was trying to figure out what to say. After all, you never know who wants to be called what. Even though the color looks obvious to the viewer.

Are you tan, brown, black (?or are you called African American),white, olive, what??

And with discrimination alive and well, many are sensitive to "color calling"! (Including me, it seems, because I was taken aback by the olive complexion remark initially, since I think my daughter is tan or brown skinned. My Lebanese MOM is olive....)