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President Joe Biden made another one of his infamous gaffes on Monday as he referred to a Japanese-American civil rights activist as “Karen Nagasaki” when her actual last name is “Narasaki.”
The president somehow made the unfortunate error despite reading from a teleprompter during a ceremony celebrating a law that will establish a commission to study the creation of a National Museum of Asian American and Pacific Islander History and Culture, according to CNN.
“You can’t even make this stuff up,” tweeted The Daily Wire’s Cabot Phillips. “Biden just called an Asian rights activist ‘Karen Nagasaki’ instead of Narasaki.”
You can’t even make this stuff up.
Biden just called an Asian rights activist “Karen Nagasaki” instead of Narasaki.
— Cabot Phillips (@cabot_phillips) June 13, 2022
Narasaki is the former Commissioner on the United States Commission on Civil Rights. President Barack Obama appointed her in 2014.
“She previously served as president and executive director of Asian Americans Advancing Justice … one of the nation’s premier civil rights organizations,” her biography also states. “Prior to that she was the Washington Representative for the Japanese American Citizens League (JACL). And before JACL, she was an attorney with Perkins Coie. Ms. Narasaki began her career as a law clerk for Judge Harry Pregerson of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit from 1985 to 1986.”
Narasaki has stated that she became inspired to become a civil rights activist working on behalf of Asian Americans after the U.S. federal government interned her parents for being of Japanese descent during World War II.
“My parents were imprisoned in internment camps during WWII with their families as teenagers. Both were born in the US, but my father said it was because there were not enough Americans willing to speak out against this clear violation of our Constitution and their human rights. After they were married, they faced housing discrimination as people of color were not allowed to buy homes in many neighborhoods,” she explained in 2019.
Nagasaki is the city in Japan where the U.S. military dropped the second atomic bomb during WWII. The deadly blast killed “an estimated 40,000 people” and led to the end of the war, as noted by History.com. Shortly after, “Japan’s Emperor Hirohito announced his country’s unconditional surrender in World War II in a radio address on August 15, citing the devastating power of ‘a new and most cruel bomb.'”
Biden did not appear to catch his faux pas.