President Joe Biden congratulated Hideki Matsuyama for winning the Masters Tournament but called him a “Japanese boy” in front of his country’s prime minister.
Matsuyama, 29, won the major golf tournament, which ended April 11, becoming the first-ever Japanese-born man to do so.
“I know how proud you are of the people of Japan, and you’ve got a Japanese boy coming over here, and guess what? He won the Masters,” Biden said during a press conference to Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga.
Biden started the Rose Garden press conference by addressing the American-Japanese relationship and how the two countries were continuing to stand against the spread of the coronavirus and the Chinese government. He and Suga spoke on a recent string of gun violence in the United States and the movement to combat racism against Asian Americans.
“I discussed the increase of discrimination and violence again Asian people across the U.S. with President Biden and agreed that discrimination by race cannot be permitted by any societies,” Suga said through an English translator. “We agreed on this regard.”
“President Biden’s comment [that] discrimination or violence cannot [be] allowed and that he firmly opposes [discrimination and violence] was extremely encouraging for me, and I have renewed my confidence in American democracy once again,” the prime minister added.
Suga also agreed with Biden “on the necessity for each of us to engage in frank dialogue with China.”
“We also had serious talks on China’s influence over the peace and prosperity over the Indo-Pacific and the world at large,” he said.
In 2019, Biden apologized after using the term “boy” to describe his relationship with a fellow senator.
“I was in a caucus with James O. Eastland. He never called me ‘boy,'” Biden said of the late segregationist senator. “He always called me ‘son.’”
“I do understand the consequence of the word ‘boy,’” he later said in June 2019. “But it wasn’t said in any of that context at all.”
“To the extent that anybody thought that I meant something different, that is not what I intended it,” he added at the time. “It’d be wrong for anybody to intend that.”
The term was perceived as racially divisive, and then-presidential candidate Sen. Cory Booker said he found the remark offensive.
“This is about him invoking a terrible power dynamic that he showed a lack of understanding or insensitivity to by invoking this idea that he was called ‘son’ by white segregationists who, yeah, they see in him their son,” Booker said on ABC News. “These are the kind of things that do cause hurt and harm.”
Source: Washington Examiner : Biden calls 29-year-old Masters winner Hideki Matsuyama a ‘Japanese boy’