Hawaii congressman under fire for ‘Asian’ comment at DC event

Hawaii congressman under fire for ‘Asian’ comment at DC event
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of Calif., administers the House oath of office to Rep. Ed Case, D-Hawaii, during ceremonial swearing-in on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Jan. 3, 2019, during the opening session of the 116th Congress. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana) (Jose Luis Magana)

WASHINGTON, D.C. (HawaiiNewsNow) - Just two weeks after being sworn into office, U.S. Rep. Ed Case is already receiving backlash for a comment he made at an event celebrating Asian-American and Pacific Islander advances in Congress.

Case reportedly said, “I’m an Asian trapped in a white body,” according to a tweet from Nicholas Wu, a National Journal fellow.

The comment drew outrage and disbelief over social media, with one user tweeting, “Alexa, what’s the worst possible thing Ed Case could say?” and another saying, “We can respect the diversity that wonderful Hawaii has to offer, but not when you stay stuff like this. Do better.”

Several national publications wrote about the comment — and its response — including the Washington Post and Huffington Post.

Case, who represents Hawaii’s 1st Congressional district, sent Hawaii News Now the following statement:

I am fiercely proud of representing the state with the highest percentage of many ethnic groups in our country including Asian and Pacific Islanders, a state where no ethnic group has been in the majority for generations. Like so many others from Hawaii who treasure our multicultural heritage, I have absorbed and live the values of our many cultures.

His spokesman Nestor Garcia said that Case’s comments included things that his Japanese-American wife sometimes says about him.

The event was sponsored by an organization called the Asian Pacific Islander Vote.

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