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U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye says he is not surprised by offensive comments about Asian-Americans that have followed the basketball exploits of New York Knicks point guard Jeremy Lin, an American-born descendant of Chinese ancestry whose parents once lived in Taiwan.
Inouye, (D, Hawaii), who suffered prejudice after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, also told Star-Advertiser reporters and editors today that racially insensitive sentiments are "common place" in U.S. politics.
Asked by a Star-Advertiser reporter, who is Japanese-American, whether he was surprised by a string of offensive comments that have surrounded Lin’s rise in the NBA, Inouye said: "No, I’m not surprised because my eyes look like yours. And I’ve gone through this lifestyle for many years. And I would say that the vast, vast majority of Americans try their best. But it takes just one comment and you people print it. If you didn’t print it, no one would know about it. But it makes the paper saleable, I suppose. But I don’t think that some of these insensitive remarks represent the majority, far from it."
"In the political world, the one I live in most of my time, it’s common place," Inouye continued. "Sure the days of lynching are gone. But there are many different ways to lynch people."
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