Liu Recalls a Different Era in Flushing

Here’s John Liu’s five-minute biopic video, which was posted online last week and forwarded to supporters this morning.

In it, Liu speaks about discrimination faced by Asian-Americans that he says led him to run for office the first time.

At about the 1:40 mark, Liu says, “So, I was on a subway and I was reading a paper and on the front page of The New York Times I see this article about my council member talking about how Asians are always looking to invade, not assimilate, that Asians are nothing more than food merchants, illegal aliens and criminal smugglers. I was thinking, ‘I’m Asian and I’m none of those things.’”

And: “So, the following year I ran against my council member."

Liu first ran for City Council in 1997, and was referring to this May 3, 1996, article about the incumbent, Julia Harrison, apologizing for her comments cited  in an earlier article, here.

From the earlier article:


When Mrs. Harrison, 75, describes what Asian immigrants have meant to Flushing over the last decade, she talks about criminal smugglers and Asian robbers. ("I don't know if they're Korean or Chinese," she said. "I can't tell by the name.") She talks about rude merchants and illegal aliens who depress the wages of American working people.

Seems like a lot more than 13 years ago, somehow.

  Liu Recalls a Different Era in Flushing