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Andrew Yang. Photo: Lev Radin/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images

New York City mayoral candidate Andrew Yang called a New York Daily News cartoon of him a "racialized caricature" in a CNN interview on Thursday, adding it could cause further harm to the Asian American community.

Why it matters: The cartoon drew immediate backlash after being published on Monday. Critics say it plays on dangerous anti-Asian stereotypes amid a yearlong spike in racism-fueled violence against Asian Americans that has led to several deaths.

The state of play: The cartoon by Bill Bramhall depicts Yang walking out of the Times Square subway station as a nearby shopkeeper says, "The tourists are back!"

A tweet previously embedded here has been deleted or was tweeted from an account that has been suspended or deleted.
  • "I think that anyone objective looking at that cartoon knows that it's playing on an idea of Asian Americans as permanent tourists and outsiders," Yang, who has lived in New York City for 25 years, told CNN.
  • "And we're at a point in our history, unfortunately, when Asian Americans are getting beaten on the streets of New York and told to go back where we came from, or that we don't belong."

The Daily News' editorial page editor Josh Greenman has defended the cartoon, arguing it alludes to Yang's record of not voting in past mayoral races and his departure from the city during the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • Yang denounced Greenman's statement on Thursday, telling CNN "the cartoon does not work if it's a person of a different race."

The image has faced further criticism for depicting Yang with slanted eyes, buck teeth and big ears — centuries-old caricatures first used to demonize early Chinese immigrants.

What they're saying: "@BillBramhall wanted to criticize @AndrewYang’s knowledge of NYC issues. Not a racist point. To make this criticism, he drew the slim, nearly 6’ tall Asian man as a short, round tourist with buck teeth & eyes drawn with single lines. Racist as hell," tweeted Yvonne Reeves Chong, a Democrat running for a seat in the Missouri House.

  • "You can criticize candidates ... without being racist or Xenophobic," tweeted New York Assembly Member Yuh-Line Niou, who has been a frequent critic of Yang. "As a first and only, I have also been the subject of racist and xenophobic comments and images. It is harmful and hurtful and dangerous."
  • "This is disgusting and wrong. ... Do better @NYDailyNews," AAPI Victory Alliance weighed in.

Bramhall changed the online cartoon for the print edition after "people reacted badly to how Yang's eyes were drawn," Greenman told CNN. "Bill altered the drawing out of sensitivity to those concerns, without changing the concept of the cartoon, which he and we stand by," he said.

The big picture: Yang is one of several candidates running to replace Mayor Bill de Blasio, and he's raised millions in direct donations for his bid.

Go deeper

School principals are not OK

Principal Alice Hom (purple jacket) of New York's Yung Wing School P.S. 124 near a vaccination van in November. Photo: Michael Loccisano/Getty Images

The overwhelming majority of secondary school principals experienced frequent stress last school year, according to a RAND Corporation report out Wednesday.

The big picture: The stress levels among female principals and principals of color were especially stark, with nearly 40% in these groups reporting constant job-related stress, compared to about 24% of male principals and 26% of white principals.

It's official: Stock market having worst start to year ever

Data: FactSet; Chart: Axios Visuals

It's been a decidedly ugly start to the year for the stock market, with particular pain in the tech trade.

State of play: As of the end of trading Tuesday — the 16th session of the year — 2022 is now, officially, the worst-ever start in the history of the S&P 500, according to data from Ned Davis Research, a stock market research shop.

Surprising pandemic side effect: Soaring trade deficits

Source: Census Bureau and Bureau of Economic Analysis; Chart: Axios Visuals

Inflation and jobs may get all the economic headlines, but meanwhile a big shift is taking place in the underpinnings of the world economy: The U.S. trade deficit is soaring.

What's happening: Americans' spending on imported physical goods has gone through the roof, while exports are growing slowly, making the U.S. the world's consumer of last resort.