- NYC mayoral hopeful Andrew Yang held a press conference dedicated to anti-Asian hate on Tuesday.
- Yang responded to a New York Daily News cartoon of him in Times Square and a recent subway attack.
- He also warned campaign rivals over taking advantage of an “anti-Asian sentiment” in the city.
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In response to another recent subway attack and a widely-condemned New York Daily News cartoon depicting him as an Asian tourist, Democratic New York City mayoral hopeful Andrew Yang called out a rise in “anti-Asian sentiment” and hate crimes at a press conference Tuesday at the 21st Street-Queensbridge F train stop.
He was joined by his wife, Evelyn, a Queens native, who described the cartoon as a “racist disfiguration” of her husband’s face.
-Evelyn Yang (@EvelynYang) May 24, 2021
Yang also warned his campaign rivals not to take advantage of any anti-Asian sentiment in the city, saying he normally wants to give people “the benefit of the doubt,” but that in light of recent events, continued broadsides against him as a neophyte and fake New Yorker have made a connection “impossible to ignore.”
“I’m talking about statements that are over the course of a campaign that has been going on for months,” Yang said of rival campaigns either explicitly or implicitly saying that he is not a true New Yorker.
Yang specifically referenced a spokesman for City Comptroller Scott Stringer saying “We welcome Andrew Yang to the mayor’s race – and to New York City” back in January, but otherwise refrained from calling out any competitors directly.
Evelyn, who became visibly emotional when she spoke at the news conference, decried a “toxic narrative” of her husband being “not a real New Yorker … somehow more foreign, less of this place.”
Yang was joined by several prominent city and state lawmakers of Asian descent, several of whom spoke about their experiences with racism while out in public.
Through most of the crowded primary campaign, Yang has held off from attacking competitors, even heaping praise on some, such as former Sanitation Commissioner Kathryn Garcia, whom he said would be an ideal deputy mayor given her experience in city government.
However, Yang began a recent event about lowering the city voting age to 16 by criticizing Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams over alleged campaign finance violations in the Big Apple’s public funds matching system, which were unearthed in a New York Times investigation.
Adams, who has traded places with Yang for first and second in the limited public polling so far, has been more assertive in his attacks against Yang in recent weeks.
“Choose your side. The good side or the Yang side,” Adams told reporters the same day Yang went after him over the matching donations from developers who lobbied him over zoning changes.
The borough president’s campaign also released a statement earlier in the race, saying, “Eric doesn’t need a tour of Brownsville. He was born there.”