Hawaii Rep. Ed Case raised eyebrows Tuesday when he declared himself an “Asian trapped in a white body.”
Case was speaking at an event for Asian-American and Pacific Islander voters in Washington DC that was billed as a “celebration of Asian American and Pacific Islander members of the 116th Congress.”
“I am an Asian trapped in a white body,” Case told the group in a video posted to Twitter without context.
Case gets immediate backlash:
“I just oof’d so hard I blacked out for a sec,” one Twitter user wrote in response to the quote.
“I wonder if Tilda [Swinton] or Scarlett [Johannson] will play the Asian trapped in Ed Case’s body,” another user quipped.
“Like so many others from Hawaii who treasure our multicultural heritage, I have absorbed and live the values of our many cultures,” Case said in a statement to The Washington Post. “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,” he added.
In the statement to the Post, spokesman Nestor Garcia clarified that Case was commenting on “what his Japanese-American wife sometimes says about him.”