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Mayoral candidate Andrew Yang’s wife broke down in tears Tuesday over a cartoon that portrayed her husband as a tourist visiting Times Square.
An original version of the political cartoon, posted online by its artist, portrayed Yang with nothing but slits for eyes, an old anti-Asian stereotype.
“It’s not funny. It’s racist. It’s toxic,” Evelyn Yang said during a press conference with her husband in Queens.
She said the cartoon, which was later published by the New York Daily News with the candidates’ eyes added in, “perpetuates the trope of the Asian foreigner.”
“Not only does this dehumanize Asians, it promotes racism against them,” she said. “What message does this send to all the Asians who are afraid to go outside?”
Evelyn Yang — the mother of two young boys — also choked up with emotion while saying, “It’s very hard to explain this to our children.”
“Words matter, art matters, representation matters — so let’s be better than this,” she said.
“Every time you make a joke about Andrew not being a New Yorker, you are telling Asian-Americans that they don’t belong.”
The cartoon at issue was first posted Monday afternoon on Twitter by Bill Bramhall, the editorial cartoonist for the Daily News, apparently in response to Andrew Yang’s assertion that Times Square was his favorite subway stop.
The Daily News then published a slightly modified version on Tuesday that added eyes to Andrew Yang’s face.
Earlier, Evelyn Yang — who was born and raised in Queens — tweeted the cartoon side by side with another featuring a crude stereotype of a person with slits for eyes, buck teeth and wearing traditional Chinese garb while saying, “HARRO AMELLICA!” next to a hotel bellhop carrying a stack of oversized Chinese food take-out boxes with wire handles.
“Which one is from 2021,” she wrote.
During Tuesday’s news conference, Assemblyman Ron Kim (D-Queens) displayed a copy of the original version and called on the Daily News to apologize and remove the cartoon from its website.
Andrew Yang also said, “Some of my opponents in the race have characterized us as more New York than others.”
“That is wrong,” he said.
“This is a city for everyone.”
The Daily News didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
A phone number listed in Bramhall’s name was not in service Tuesday and emails seeking comment that were sent to four accounts tied to him all bounced back as undeliverable.
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