President Biden added to his list of gaffes Monday by misidentifying Karen Narasaki, a former member of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, as “Karen Nagasaki.”
Ms. Narasaki was on hand for the president’s flub, which came at a White House signing ceremony for a bill to study the creation of a National Museum of Asian American and Pacific Islander History and Culture.
“And all of it’s an embodiment of so many of you here today, leaders in civil rights like Karen Nagasaki and Karen Korematsu,” said Mr. Biden, as shown in a video posted on YouTube. “Where are you? Where are the Karens? There you go.”
The White House transcript of the event acknowledged the flub, but did not mention any reaction by Ms. Narasaki.
Nagasaki was the second Japanese city hit by U.S. atomic bombs at the end of World War II in 1945.
Ms. Narasaki, the former president and executive director of Asian Americans Advancing Justice, served as a USCCR commissioner after being appointed by President Barack Obama in 2014.
“Prior to that she was the Washington Representative for the Japanese American Citizens League (JACL),” according to her commission biography. “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.”
Those flagging the president’s mistake included the Republican National Committee, which posted a video on social media.
Biden introduces civil rights activist Karen Narasaki as “Karen Nagasaki” pic.twitter.com/3atrl7oIUT
— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) June 13, 2022