Democrat presidential candidate Andrew Yang’s got jokes. Allegedly racist jokes, mind you.
As former Vice President Joe Biden and former Obama admin Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Julian Castro squabbled over healthcare at the Democrat presidential debate Thursday, Yang chose to butt in real quick to drop his own perspective on the topic.
And well, it was unusual, to the say the least.
“As someone who has run a business, I know that our current health care system makes it harder to hire people, makes it harder to give them benefits and treat them as full-time employees,” his perspective on the issue began.
So far, so good.
“You instead pretend they’re contractors. It’s harder to change jobs. It’s certainly harder to start a business. The pitch we have to make to the American people is, we will get the health care weight off of your backs and then unleash the hopes and dreams of the American people.”
And then came the awkward moment that he dropped an allegedly racist joke.
Source: ABC News
“Now, I am Asian, so I know a lot of doctors … and they tell me that they spend a lot of time on paperwork, avoiding being sued, and navigating the insurance bureaucracy,” he said. “We have to change the incentives so instead of revenue and activity, people are focused on our health in the health care system.”
The public responded with their own jokes:
Andrew Yang said “ I’m Asian so I know a lot of Doctors”
IN THAT CASE!
— Terrence K. Williams (@w_terrence) September 13, 2019
I’m Italian, So I know.a lot of Mafia members
— JeffinKennerbra (@inkennerbra) September 13, 2019
I am white and I make great fried chicken. Does that make me race non-conforming?
— Tamela Workman (@TamelaWV) September 13, 2019
I’m white, so I know a lot of white people.
— GrizzlyHemlock (@GrizzlyHemlock) September 13, 2019
I am Latina so I know a lot of landscapers.
— SueMeg (@SueMeg2) September 13, 2019
I’m Mexican and I know a lot of mechanics LOL
— David Basulto The Hispanic Conservative (@thc1776) September 13, 2019
It seems former Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal liked Yang’s joke as well:
My favorite line so far is from @AndrewYang :
— Gov. Bobby Jindal (@BobbyJindal) September 13, 2019
Despite Yang himself being a liberal Democrat, it was his fellow Democrats who erupted into outrage over his joke, going so far as to accuse him of being a “closet right-winger.”
FYI, someone who supports a Universal Basic Income isn’t a “ring wing” anything!
Look at the astonishing backlash below:
Yang: now I’m Asian, so I know a lot of doctors. I’m also a closet right winger, so I know making hacky racial jokes about myself puts conservative white people at ease
— Kumars Salehi (@KumarsSalehi) September 13, 2019
“I am Asian, I know a lot of doctors”. –@AndrewYang Every debate Yang manages to slip in a western Asian stereotype. Last debate he joked that he was pretty good at math because, Asian. It makes me a little uncomfy each time. #YangGang #DemDebate
— UBtheCURE (@UlyssesBurley) September 13, 2019
.@AndrewYang: Making a joke that reinforces the model minority myth and plugs into Asian stereotypes is disgusting.
It’s not funny, and you’re doing a disservice to a community you claim to identify so strongly with. #DemDebate
— 𝗮𝗹𝘁𝗼𝗻 𝘄𝗮𝗻𝗴 (@altonwang) September 13, 2019
Mr @AndrewYang I really regret you making a joke about stereotypes that happens to all people of color or religions.
I’m not sure what made you make such a slip up on national T.V. Many Asian Americans suffer through such stereotypes and it’s hurtful for them.
— Johnathan Ford (@FordJohnathan5) September 13, 2019
I Don’t Like @AndrewYang Using Racist Asian Stereotypes For Cheers From A Crowd.
He Keep Saying Asians Are Good At Math & Alot Of Doctors Are Asian & He Knows Them.
— TrentonHinkle_ (@TrentonHinkle_) September 13, 2019
Any other stereotypes you want to throw out there @AndrewYang do you want to do mickey rooneys Mr. Yunioshi while talking about affordable housing while you’re at it 🤬 please drop out NOW. I don’t like asking anyone to drop out. But you’ve made it ABUNDANTLY clear you need to
— McG 🏳️🌈 ✊🏽 🇺🇲 #PeteForAmerica (@Foxmental_X) September 13, 2019
I am an Asian American, I don’t know more doctors than anyone else. I am really sick of Andrew Yang and how he continuously hurts the AAPI community by using stereotypes that have harmed our community for centuries. It’s not cute. It’s not okay. #DemDebates https://t.co/DZyE4wiu30
— Roll with Mia 🔥🐉 (@SeeMiaRoll) September 13, 2019
To be fair, there were also some liberals who shrugged off the joke.
“Andrew Yang saying he’s Asian and knows a lot of doctors is a bit jarring,” noted left-winger Dr. Eugune Gu tweeted before going on to essentially say that he forgives Yang.
“As an Asian American doctor, I’ve seen my share of model minority stereotypes. But seeing an Asian guy on the presidential debate stage is the biggest source of pride I’ve felt in a long time.”
Gu is the former resident physician who became famous after he sued the president two years ago for having blocked him on Twitter. He and other litigants won the case the following year.
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