She’s running for Congress, despite the anti-Asian attacks against her
On July Fourth, while much of the country was attending cookouts and celebrating with fireworks, Yuh-Line Niou was dealing with something far less pleasant: She took to Twitter to post about the harassment she said she’s faced as a Taiwanese American New York State assemblywoman.
“The attacks on me have been and are getting more and more dangerous to my life. I am a human being too. I hope when people write things they think about what can happen as a consequence,” she tweeted.
The tweet wasn’t necessarily new information to her followers; she has opened up before, both in interviews and on social media, about the death threats and sexual harassment she said she receives regularly online. Niou, 38, knows it comes with the territory, she said: “A lot of women of color who run for office get that.”
Still, “some of the things have gotten really extreme. When people send you pictures of their penises and their guns, it’s a very strange message,” she recently told The Washington Post.
A day after her July 4 post, Niou talked more about that type of harassment in a virtual discussion with comedian and actor Ronny Chieng. The event capped off a long day of campaigning for what she hopes is her next role — in the U.S. House of Representatives.
“My mom and my dad were very concerned for the more elevated scrutiny and the more disturbing commentary towards me,” Niou told Chieng of her profile as an outspoken state legislator during a time of increased harassment and violence against Asian Americans. “They did not feel like I was always going to be safe. But they also recognized the fact that the only way to stop the terrorism, the hatred, the hate, is to be more visible.”