“Yes mentally ill people have rights but do you know who else have rights? We do, the people and families of the city. We have the right to walk the street and not fear for our safety because a mentally ill person is going to lash out at us.”
Yang was talking about the rise in hate crimes perpetrated against Asian Americans and claimed that mentally ill people are more likely to commit these crimes. While he said mentally ill people should be supported, and pledged to make more beds in psychiatric wards available if elected as mayor, many found his language distasteful.
Here’s a taste of the backlash:
I am an Asian person living in NYC who cannot vote in the municipal election. I also have anxiety. Andrew Yang's co… https://t.co/OIihIlANJo
Yang is a businessman who briefly ran in the 2020 presidential election. He is a Democrat and believes in a universal basic income policy to support people. He has said he wants to be an ‘anti-poverty’ mayor.
And responding to the criticism, after the clip of his poor taste of words went viral, Yang attempted to justify himself:
Agree. Have been an advocate for mental health and will continue. Went to counseling as a young person. Full conte… https://t.co/h2x6f1PzWB