Twitter Reacts to Ed Case Being an “Asian Trapped in a White Body”
Case is a returning member of the executive committee of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus.
Ed Case’s statement would probably have elicited groans, eyerolls and a news ripple in a local setting. But when he told a Washington, D.C. audience that he has been called an “Asian trapped in a white body,” the national audience was not amused.
The representative was at a meeting of Asian and Pacific Islander American Vote, held to celebrate significant advances in the number of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in Congress on Tuesday. Nicholas Wu, a fellow for the National Journal (with just 760 followers on Twitter, by the way) posted the quote.
In response to requests about the social media dust-up that followed the remark, Case said he was referring to “what his Japanese-American wife sometimes says about him.”
“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 Hawai‘i who treasure our multicultural heritage, I have absorbed and live the values of our many cultures.”
Case said he was pointing proudly to Hawai‘i’s diversity: “I regret if my specific remarks to the national API community on my full absorption of their concerns caused any offense.”
Wu first announced the comment:
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
Much of the Mainland reaction compared the comment to white actors playing Asian characters:
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
Some responses were snarky:
Ed Case probably eats Saimin with a fork.— JJ Niles (@jjniles) January 16, 2019
Report: Rep. Ed Case of Hawaii tells audience he’s ‘an Asian trapped in a white body’ https://t.co/pw4rMMw0lJ— Twitchy Team (@TwitchyTeam) January 16, 2019
Same people who would applaud if he was trans can't understand when I 'white guy' doesn't inwardly connect with being white. I support Ed Case being whoever he feels like and if he wants to use the Asian bathroom, it's okay with me. https://t.co/bQp3FdoqGd— Vagobond🍍🏄🏽🤙 (@vagobond) January 16, 2019
Alexa, what's the worst possible thing Ed Case could say?— It is Happening Here (@jrrogersjr) January 16, 2019
While others pointed out the comment isnʻt deemed so outrageous in Hawai‘i:
I'm an Asian American and Ed Case is my representative. Where there is no majority race in Hawaii, everyone here is a minority with many cultures that cross and intersect with each other. Having said that, I don't find Ed's statement offensive. It wouldn't cause headlines in https://t.co/eENJNrpz8F— Francis Duran (@808HawaiianEye) January 16, 2019
Yeah, you have to understand Ed Case and what it's like being a politician in Hawai'i. Note though, that the people who are going to make a fuss about this are primarily going to be from OUTSIDE Hawai'i. https://t.co/08IlI62RKD via @HPAsianVoices— Brad Baumgardner (@bradbaumgardner) January 16, 2019
Others were just playful: