Since his confirmation, Yang has consistently placed at the top of polls, the latest of which shows 22% of likely Democratic voters favoring him the most. At second place was Brooklyn borough president Eric Adams with 13%, followed by city comptroller Scott Stringer (11%) and former counsel to Mayor Bill de Blasio, Maya Wiley (7%).
On Wednesday, 403 Asian and Pacific Islander American (APIA) community members, organizers and activists in the city launched a website called “Asians Against Yang” and signed a letter declaring their opposition. The group argued that representation alone is “simply not enough,” accusing Yang of perpetuating racism himself and associating with racists in the past.
The letter cites Yang’s Washington Post op-ed “urging” Asian Americans to show their “American-ness” amid the COVID-19 pandemic, his “anti-Black comments” about applicants to his nonprofit Venture for America, and his recent absence in a progressive Muslim forum to appear in a conservative podcast. The group also criticizes the candidate for his pro-policing stances, including his call for increased funding for the Asian Hate Crimes Task Force instead of community-based alternatives.
Yang’s critics also claim that he lacked vision on the issue of housing and homelessness, espoused “harmful education policies,” promoted regressive policies as “progressive” campaign promises, allied with “reactionary forces and big business,” exhibited “discriminatory practices and workplace toxicity,” and took “harmful stances” against the Palestinian-led Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement.
“In 2022, New York City needs a leader who can truly grapple with the complex racial and economic injustices and the needs of Asian and Pacific Islander New Yorkers in the pandemic’s aftermath,” the signatories wrote. “There are candidates more aligned with social and racial justice values, with deeper commitments to APIA and BIPOC communities, whose mayoralty would actually benefit our communities, and they are not getting the attention they deserve.
“We, our loved ones, and our neighbors deserve better. Our communities deserve better. New York City deserves better.”
Yang has so far secured endorsements from the New York City Asian American Democratic Club and some Asian American lawmakers in office, including Queens Assembly Member Ron Kim and Manhattan Council Member Margaret Chin.
However, the 46-year-old entrepreneur has not received endorsements from Rep. Grace Meng, New York’s first and only Asian American elected to Congress, and State Sen. John Liu.
Liu agreed that the letter’s points are “legitimate” and have been “mounting over the past few months,” according to City and State NY.
NextShark has reached out to Yang’s campaign office for comment.
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