“The tourists are back!”
Criticism for racism, again
Yet another case of accusations of racism. Bramhall, editorial cartoonist for the Daily News, has been criticised for this cartoon. The scene depicts Andrew Yang, a Democratic candidate for mayor of New York. He is wearing a T-shirt with his name on it (sic) and is leaving the Times Square underground station. A shopkeeper, as he opens his souvenir shop, comments,“The tourists are back!”
“This is disgusting and wrong. Every day Asian Americans have to fight the notion that we are foreigners. We are here and we are not going anywhere. That’s why APPI Asian American representation like Andrew Yang is so important. Do better @NYDailyNews.”
Everlyng Yang reacted like this the vignette:
“I can’t believe my eyes. To publish this racist defacement of Andrew Yang as a tourist, in New York, where I was born, where Andrew has lived for 25 years, where our children were born, where 16% of us are Asian and anti-Asian hate has increased 900%.#StopAsianHate.
Andrew Yang, released this statement in which, in addition to branding the cartoon as racist, he criticises the media’s insistence on portraying him as an eternal foreigner, something he considers a mistake.
My thoughts on the racist cartoon of me published by the Daily News. pic.twitter.com/Z9F9O2bNXP
— Andrew Yang🧢⬆️🇺🇸 (@AndrewYang) May 25, 2021
Context of the joke
The cartoon was supposed to refer to an interview broadcast on Sunday in which Yang told Showtime host Ziwe Fumudoh that his favourite underground stop in the Big Apple is Times Square.
The cartoon referred to recent criticism that Yang is out of touch with New York politics, which was exposed in a Daily News editorial over the weekend.
“Andrew Yang may be a quick study, but whatever he’s studied since he jumped into the mayoral race can’t make up for years of inattention to New York politics, as evidenced by the fact that he’s never bothered to vote in a local election,” the editorial read editorial. – (Capture).
Controversy in other media
Yang, a candidate for mayor of New York, had come under fire after saying that his favourite underground stop was Times Square, which he said was the closest station to his home. AAPI Victory Alliance, a progressive Asian American and Pacific Islander advocacy group, also criticised the cartoon on Monday, calling it “disgusting and wrong”. Politico
The tech entrepreneur and former presidential candidate is among the leading candidates in the Democratic primary. Voting ends on 22 June. Unlike most of the other contenders, Yang has never held a seat in city government and is not part of the city’s political establishment.
That outsider status has helped Yang with some voters, but he has also been criticised for his lack of experience, for spending his time at home in the post-pandemic Hudson River Valley town of New Paltz and for not voting in the last four mayoral elections. The Guardian.
In a statement, Yang campaign spokeswoman Alyssa Cass said of the reaction to Yang’s underground comment, including the cartoon: “It’s hard to know what offends them more: that his family has lived near that underground stop for 25 years or that he is an Asian American.
A spokesman for Tribune Publishing, the parent company of the Daily News, did not immediately respond to USA TODAY’s request for comment. USA Today.
Evelyn Yang, the wife of New York City mayoral candidate Andrew Yang, lashed out at the New York Daily News for a cartoon depicting her husband as a tourist, calling it a “racist defacement” . The Hill.
My first impression is that the cartoonist most likely had no intention of slipping in a racist message. The “tourist” joke in politics is a recurring classic, regardless of where it comes from.
It is often used, as in this case, when the candidate has little or no connection with the territory in which he or she chooses to stand for election. On the other hand, the absurd obsession with the purity of “Americanism” in much of US society does little to dispel doubts about the joke’s possible ulterior motives.
Josh Greenman, editor of the editorial page of The News, also expressed himself in this sense, defending the cartoon with these arguments:
“Andrew Yang is a leading contender for New York City mayor and, as commentators, his opponents and The News editorial board have recently pointed out, has been revealed to have major gaps in his knowledge of New York City politics. He has also never voted in a mayoral election”.
“Bill Bramhall’s cartoon is a commentary on that, full stop, end of story. It is not a racial stereotype or a racist caricature.”
Although the Daily News did admit to having made corrections to the graphic aspect of the cartoon following complaints. Greenman said the original version published online had been altered. That is, his eyes were “westernised a bit” for the paper’s print run after the controversy arose.
“After Bill tweeted his cartoon yesterday, people reacted badly to how Yang’s eyes were drawn,” he said. “Bill modified the drawing out of sensitivity to those concerns, without changing the concept of the cartoon, which both he and we stand by.”
Everling Yang also replied to this.
Perhaps this modification of the eyes is the most absurd part of the whole story.
On the left the original version published on Twitter, on the right the modified version for the newspaper’s website and its print version.
Cases of cartoonists who have had problems of some importance because of their cartoons or satirical illustrations. There are also some stories of other people who, without being cartoonists, have got into trouble for sharing them.