U.S. Representative Colleen Hanabusa (D-HI) condemned Fox News host Bill O'Reilly, describing his recent comments on Asian-Americans as "insulting" and calling for an apology.
On Thursday, O'Reilly devoted a segment of his Fox News show, The O'Reilly Factor, to Hawaii. After playing a pre-recorded video of producer Jesse Watters doing man-on-the-street interviews in Hawaii, O'Reilly said that the state is one of his "favorite places in the world," but that it has "a lot of social problems." He went on to say that "35 percent of the Hawaiian population is Asian," and added: "Asian people are not liberal, you know, by nature. They're usually more industrious and hard-working."
In response, Hanabusa criticized O'Reilly for "thoughtlessly insult[ing] 1.3 million people with one sweeping misstatement," and said that "O'Reilly's attempt to characterize Hawaii's Asian-American population is most insulting of all." She characterized his comments as "the kind of one dimensional and paternalistic attitude that we should have gotten past decades ago."
From the Honolulu Star-Advertiser:
"Leave it to Bill O'Reilly to thoughtlessly insult 1.3 million people with one sweeping misstatement," Hanabusa said in a statement.
"However, I think O'Reilly's attempt to characterize Hawaii's Asian-American population is most insulting of all," she said. "Claiming that Asian-Americans are not liberal by nature because they are 'hard working and industrious' is the kind of one dimensional and paternalistic attitude that we should have gotten past decades ago.
"Hawaii's -- and America's -- Asian-American communities are as rich and diverse as any in our nation. Attributing any broad set of characteristics to any large group only serves to encourage attitudes that 'they' are somehow different from 'us.'"
She said there was "absolutely no justification" to his claim that being hard working and industrious is incompatible with holding liberal political views.