ASIAN VOICES

Hawaii Congressman Claims He's An 'Asian Trapped In A White Body'

Rep. Ed Case (D-Hawaii) made the remark an event celebrating the Asian-American and Pacific Islander members of Congress.

Oh... oh, no.

Rep. Ed Case (D-Hawaii) told attendees at an event celebrating the Asian-American and Pacific Islander members of Congress on Tuesday that he is an “Asian trapped in a white body.”

Case’s comment was shared in a tweet by National Journal data and visualization fellow Nicholas Wu, who was present at the event in Washington, D.C.

The comments, unsurprisingly, did not go over well with many in the Asian-American community, drawing comparisons to actors who have whitewashed Asian characters.

Case spokesman Nestor Garcia said the congressman had been commenting “on what his Japanese-American wife sometimes says about him.” The Democrat, whose state boasts the largest percentage of Asian-Americans in the U.S., told HuffPost in a statement that he has “absorbed and lives the values of our many cultures.”

“They and not my specific ethnicity are who I am, and I believe that this makes me an effective advocate on national issues affecting our [Asian and Pacific Islander] community,” the statement said. “I regret if my specific remarks to the national API community on my full absorption of their concerns caused any offense.”

Many have likened Case’s comments to those of Rachel Dolezal, a white woman who claimed to be black. 

When will people learn... 

Carla Herreria contributed reporting. 

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