A protester interrupted a Boston Common press conference to heckle an Asian American woman he mistook for the city’s mayor, Michelle Wu.
The unidentified protester attended Monday’s Boston Common press conference that was held to boost support for election-day voter registration as a way to help raise turnout among Black and Latino communities in Massachusetts, reported MassLive.
The protester, who wore a mask and sunglasses, claimed the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) does not care about minorities while ranting about the criminal cases of Annie Dookhan, a former chemist for the Massachusetts Department of Public Health Drug Abuse lab who admitted to falsifying evidence in tens of thousands of cases.
“You’re a political puppet… Why don’t you look into it, Mayor Wu?” the protester said at the conference. “Look into that — you’ll find the truth, Mayor Wu.”
He apparently directed his remark towards Beth Huang, the executive director of the Massachusetts Voter Table, however, who he mistook for Wu. Huang then clarified to the crowd that she was not Wu.
Huang lightheartedly acknowledged the incident on Twitter later on.
Massachusetts State Representative Tram T. Nguyen also joined in and said, “If I get a nickel for every time I get mistaken for @mariarobinsonMA & @wutrain …We often say that the AAPI community is not a monolith. Didn’t think we have to remind folks that not all AAPI women leaders are the same but here we are…”
The incident highlights the racism and misogyny that Wu has experienced as the city’s first Asian American mayor after taking office in November. Following her announcement of vaccine requirements for Boston, she was flooded with threats of violence and racist comments.
“Every time I open my phone it’s another dozen hateful messages… from folks outside the city and all across the country who feel enraged at Boston taking a leadership role here,” Wu told GBH News in an interview in December.
“I know I can count on more than one hand the number of women of color, elected officials, in Massachusetts who have experienced similar hatred, similar protests at events,” she added, according to Insider. “We won’t be intimidated from doing the right thing.”