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Why is Andrew Yang silent on Atlanta shootings? NYC mayoral candidate dubbed 'model whitewashed Asian'

Yang is the favorite to win the mayoral elections for New York City, lading among white voters with 50 percent of support and among Asian residents with 60 percent of support
UPDATED MAR 17, 2021
Andrew Yang's silence about the shooting is not received well by people (Getty Images)
Andrew Yang's silence about the shooting is not received well by people (Getty Images)

Robert Aaron Long from Georgia was arrested on Tuesday, March 16, after a string of shootings that appeared to target Asian women at massage parlors in Acworth, a suburb north of Atlanta. The attack left eight people dead. No motive has been established, however, many have taken to social media to call out the shootings which came as Asian communities in the country faced a rise in racially-motivated attacks in the aftermath of the Covid-19 pandemic. However, the silence of Andrew Yang, who ran against President Joe Biden in the 2020 presidential primaries, and is now running in the 2021 New York City mayoral campaign is garnering outrage.

Long's killing spree began shortly before 5 pm local time on March 16 when four people were shot and killed. At least one other person was injured at Young's Asian Massage Parlor in Acworth. Police also said that video footage showing Long's vehicle in the area of the Atlanta spas around the time of the attacks and other video evidence "suggests it is extremely likely our suspect is the same as Cherokee County’s, who is in custody." Three Asian women were shot and killed at Gold Spa and one Asian woman was shot and killed at Aromatherapy Spa within hours. 


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In the aftermath of the shootings, many took to social media condemning the attacks on Asian Americans, which have spiked in the past few months and prompted President Biden to condemn the “vicious” hate crimes against Asian-Americans, who he said have been “attacked, harassed, blamed and scapegoated” during the coronavirus pandemic.

Former democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang gives a thumbs up during the Democratic Presidential Debate at Tyler Perry Studios on November 20, 2019, in Atlanta, Georgia (Getty Images)

Celebrities like Padma Lakshmi and Mindy Kaling, and Representative Ted Lieu (D-Calif) also condemned the attacks. However, Andrew Yang's silence has rubbed many the wrong way. At the time of reporting, Yang's last tweet, which came after the shootings were responded, and merely stated referring to St Patrick's Day, "I need a green scarf for tomorrow".


Yang's silence on the attacks has led many to wonder why he has not responded and called him out for it. One user tweeted, "new york please defeat this man. last tweet. rendered 2 hours after the killings. he does not represent us." Another noted, "hey @AndrewYang. How’s it going, man? Sincerely hope that you and your family are well. As one of the 8133 people you follow, I’d like to know why you/your team have made the time for a cute St. Patrick’s Day tweet and haven’t tweeted a word about what happened today in Atlanta." Another wrote, "I’m sad Asians don’t have civil rights leaders who can lend a voice and spotlight to today’s violence against Asians. It’s frustrating there are few examples who encourage the community to get in good, necessary trouble. The voices today are mostly Asian journalists, not leaders."




Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang speaks during a campaign event at Hopkinton Town Hall on February 9, 2020, in Hopkinton, New Hampshire. The first in the nation primary is on Tuesday, February 11 (Getty Images)

One user tweeted, "middle aged asian american men, was this the man you wanted to vote for to represent the AAPI community? lmfao ridiculous," and another opined, "6 asian women (mostly korean) were murdered by a white supremacist tonight, and this clown is talking about st patrick’s day. the most visible asian men in this movement are hindering our attempts at racial justice." A user tweeted, "Lol look at their model whitewashed Asian." Another wrote, "the man who wants to run new york city, who spent his failed presidential campaign regurgitating d-grade asian jokes, has tweeted about st. patrick's day but not about today's anti-asian murders."





According to Newsweek, Yang is the favorite to win the mayoral elections for New York City, lading among white voters with 50 percent of support and among Asian residents with 60 percent of support. Yang's policies favor lower and working-class voters, with a focus on minority residents. Yang was closely followed in the polls by Eric Adams, former New York Police Department Captain.