MSNBC and other mainstream media outlets are flooding the airwaves with Asian-American voices as they cover the rise in anti-Asian violence across the country.
"At the core of the issue of what we are seeing is systematic oppression," said Amanda Nguyen, CEO of the civil rights group RISE, in an interview with MSNBC. "Systematic oppression in the form of systematic erasure."
Come to think of it, "systematic erasure" is a fitting description of how MSNBC covered Asian-American candidate Andrew Yang during the 2020 Democratic primary. Yang, who is running for mayor of New York City, is treated far more favorably these days, but he once accused MSNBC of exhibiting a "systemic bias" against him during his run for president and briefly boycotted the network.
"MSNBC is trying to suppress and minimize my campaign because there are certain other candidates that they might favor," Yang told Politico in 2019.
During the primary, Yang was routinely omitted from MSNBC graphics depicting the latest poll results, even though he often polled higher than such rivals as Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand (D., N.Y.) and Amy Klobuchar (D., Minn.) and managed to stay in the race longer than then-senator Kamala Harris (D., Calif.).
When MSNBC did cover Yang, he was repeatedly misidentified, once as "John Yang" and once when the network appeared to mistake him for a Japanese billionaire. (Yang's parents emigrated from Taiwan, and his net worth is estimated at between $1 million and $4 million.) He accused NBC of muting his microphone during a June 2019 primary debate, preventing him from speaking unless called upon.