Il New York mayoral candidate Andrew Yang, who has drawn fire for not voting in city elections and for having a second home upstate, was mocked as a “tourist” by some on Monday after naming Times Square as his favorite subway station.
One political cartoon published by the New York Daily News showed Yang emerging from the station while a bystander quipped “the tourists are back”. Evelyn Yang, the candidate’s wife, was outraged.
“I can’t believe my eyes," she said on Twitter. “To publish this racist disfiguration of Andrew Yang as a tourist, in NYC where I was born, where Andrew has lived for 25 anni, where our boys were born, where 16% of us are Asian and anti-Asian hate is up 900%.”
She also posted a racist cartoon next to the cartoon from the Daily News and asked: “Which one is from 2021?"
Yang’s campaign also fired back.
“It’s hard to tell what offends [his critics] more – that his family has lived near that subway stop for 25 years or that he’s an Asian American,” said Yang’s communications director, Alyssa Cass.
To Yang, the choice was a simple one. That’s the stop closest to his Manhattan home.
“It’s my stop, so Times Square,” he told the comedian Ziwe on her Showtime program.
The comic reacted with disbelief.
Yang replied: “It’s big. It’s cavernous. There are entertainers there. Sicuro, what’s not to like?"
Some on social media questioned how much of a New Yorker Yang could really be. Real New Yorkers, loro hanno detto, stay away from tourist-choked Times Square if they can.
The tech entrepreneur and former presidential candidate is among the leading candidates in the Democratic primary. Voting ends on 22 giugno. Unlike most of the other leading contenders, Yang has never held a job in city government and isn’t part of the city’s political establishment.
That status as an outsider has helped Yang with some voters but he has also been criticised for his lack of experience, for spending time at his house in the Hudson River Valley village of New Paltz after the pandemic struck, and for failing to vote in the last four mayoral elections.
Being a native New Yorker hasn’t counted for much in those elections. Huge numbers of voters weren’t born in the city. The most recent holders of the job, Bill de Blasio and Michael Bloomberg, grew up in the Boston area.