New York City mayoral candidate Andrew Yang on accused a New York Daily News cartoon of engaging in racist tropes and playing on an idea of Asian-Americans as permanent tourists and outsiders.
The cartoon, drawn by artist Bill Bramhall, depicts Yang exiting the Times Square subway station as a souvenir shop owner says, "The tourists are back!" The candidate has at times taken heat for not voting in past mayoral races and for leaving the city at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic, though he said that Times Square was his favorite subway station.
"I think that anyone objective looking at that cartoon knows that it's playing on an idea of Asian-Americans as permanent tourists and outsiders. And we're at a point in our history, unfortunately, when Asian-Americans are getting beaten on the streets of New York and told to go back where we came from, or that we don't belong," Yang told CNN's John Berman Thursday on "New Day," referencing the surge in reported hate crimes and discrimination against the Asian American community amid the pandemic.
Daily News' editorial page editor Josh Greenman has defended the cartoon against Yang's accusations.
"Andrew Yang is a leading contender to be mayor of New York City, and as commentators, his opponents and The News editorial board have recently pointed out, he's recently revealed there are major gaps in his knowledge of New York City politics and policy. Nor has he ever voted in a mayoral election," Greenman said. "Bill Bramhall's cartoon is a comment on that, period, end of story. This is not a racial stereotype or racist caricature."
Greenman said that Bramhall changed his original, online cartoon for the newspaper print edition after "people reacted badly to how Yang's eyes were drawn."
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