Ed Case, the representative congressman for Hawaii’s first district sparked controversy when he said he is “an Asian trapped in a white man’s body” during a speech in Washington DC.
The Democratic politician’s words left people both bewildered and annoyed. National Journal fellow Nicholas Wu chronicled the moment and also noted how Case represents a majority Asian district. In fact, Case’s district has the largest percentage of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in the United States.
Congressman Ed Case, who represents a majority Asian district in Honolulu – “I’m an Asian trapped in a white body” pic.twitter.com/Roro6Yk8CW
— Nicholas Wu (@nicholaswu12) January 16, 2019
Rep Case’s comments quickly reminded people of other racial incidents, such as whitewashing in Hollywood or Rachel Dolezal’s claim that she is a transracial black woman despite her caucasian heritage.
I wonder if Tilda or Scarlett will play the Asian trapped in Ed Case’s body https://t.co/hoVLxbi41z
— Rekha PRANKar (@rekhalshankar) January 16, 2019
Rachel Dolezal gonna have a fit if he gets away with this. https://t.co/7kBODAuWWb
— Frederick Joseph (@FredTJoseph) January 16, 2019
Case later apologized for his insensitive statement, but tried to play it off as coming for his fierce passion for the “multicultural” state of Hawaii.
The 66-year-old also added, “Like so many others from Hawaii who treasure our multicultural heritage, I have absorbed and live the values of our many cultures.”
While he disavowed that particular statement, Case made a point of explaining that he is a qualified champion of his Asian and Pacific Islander constituents.
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 API community. I regret if my specific remarks to the national API community on my full absorption of their concerns caused any offense.
Perhaps most aggravating of all was Case’s attempt to pin it all on his Asian wife. Case later claimed that the statement is based on what his Japanese-American wife says about him.
In essence, he can’t really be faulted for what he said because it was his Asian wife who inspired him to say it. And if there’s one thing Asian people KNOW they can trust, it’s a white guy with an Asian wife who blames her instead of actually apologizing.