PHOENIX (CBS5) - Arizona is already taking a lot of heat for its reputation regarding illegal immigration, and for Gov. Jan Brewer's finger-wagging at President Barack Obama during a recent visit, and a state lawmaker isn't exactly helping the state's image.
Rep. Cecil Ash, a Republican from Mesa, is suggesting Arizona needs a holiday for white people.
"I wanted to speak to you all about Latino Americans here in Arizona," said state Rep. Richard Miranda on the House floor Monday, starting the conversation that sparked the controversy.
Miranda said Arizona should have a Latino American day in Arizona.
After some heated debate, Rep. Cecil Ash stepped up to the mic.
"I'm supportive of this proposition. I just want them to assure me that when we do become in the minority you'll have a day for us," Ash said.
Reaction on the streets is mixed.
"Crazy idea," one person said.
"Good idea. Like they have Cinco de Mayo for Mexicans. We need something for whites," another commented.
Ash never thought his comment would cause such a stir.
"There was a little contention there so I was just really trying to lighten things up a little bit," Ash said.
He did get some laughs that day.
But he said he's not backing down from his statement.
"Yes, I think it was appropriate. It was appropriate for the mood that was in the House and I think that if and when the Caucasian population becomes a minority, they may want to celebrate the accomplishments and the contributions of the Caucasian population the same way," Ash said.
Ash went on to say the state should acknowledge the accomplishments of great people, no matter their ethnic background.