A Cringe-Worthy Reminder That The U.S. Has Brown People, Too

A bit of advice: listen first, then speak.

We all make mistakes. But when freshman Republican Florida Congressman Curt Clawson put his foot in his mouth last week, the results were not just embarrassing, but also a classic microagression. Just one month into his new gig, Clawson thought he had a moment to shine during a mostly boring House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing on Thursday when he expressed his undying love for India and its people.

Which would be all good, except the two people he was addressing were American citizens Nisha Biswal (assistant secretary of state for South and Central Asian Affairs) and Arun Kumar (assistant secretary and director general of the U.S. and Foreign Commercial Service).

"I'm enthusiastic about working with you all and anything I can do to make the relationship with India better," he said to a pair of special guests at the hearing, both of whom were introduced as U.S. officials by the chairman of the Asia and Pacific subcommittee.


Related: Click Here To Find Out About Racial Microaggressions

Clawson, who won a special election last month to replace Rep. Troy Radel following Radel's bust on cocaine charges, apologized for his error on Friday in a statement that read, "I made a mistake in speaking before being fully briefed and I apologize. I’m a quick study, but in this case I shot an air ball."