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'Asian Trapped in a White Body': Hawaii Rep's Remark Stirs Public Outrage

© AP Photo / Marco GarciaRep. elect Ed Case, D-Hawaii, right, and his wife Audrey Nakamura Case, greet supporters Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2018, in Honolulu
Rep. elect Ed Case, D-Hawaii, right, and his wife Audrey Nakamura Case, greet supporters Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2018, in Honolulu - Sputnik International
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A spokesman for Ed Case explained that the newly sworn-in congressman was referencing something that his Japanese-American wife says about him, but some accused him of trying to score political points by playing the race card.

Democratic Representative for Hawaii's first district Ed Case faced public backlash criticism for his comments on racial identity, prompting him to apologise. 

"I'm an Asian trapped in a white body," Case claimed on Tuesday at a Washington, D.C. event dedicated to newly minted members of Congress with Asian American and Pacific Islander roots.

Case's remarks immediately splashed across social media, with some people claiming they were a publicity stunt, given that his state is home to the largest share of Asian Americans in the US.

"All he had to do was not say that," wrote a user.

Another commenter accused Ed Case of being a "creepy Asiaphile".

Some leapt to his defence, however, claiming that one can identify as whoever he or she wants to be.

In response to the outcry, the 66-year-old congressman said that he was "fiercely proud" to represent his district and meant to pay due respect to Hawaiian multicultural heritage.

"I regret if my specific remarks to the national API community on my full absorption of their concerns caused any offence", he added.

READ MORE: Miss USA Apologizes After Mocking Asian Miss Universe Contestants

Ed Case represented Hawaii in the House between 2002 and 2007. He announced the end of his political career in 2013, confirming that he was joining the Outrigger Enterprises Group, a Hawaii-based company operating beach resorts worldwide.

In 2018, however, he made a successful comeback to politics, defeating half a dozen Democratic rivals in the primary and went on to win the general election for Hawaii's 1st Congressional District with 73.1 per cent of the vote.

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