The headline “Lunar-tics” on the New York Post’s cover Saturday drew heavy criticism for mocking the Asian community and its cultures.
“Though it is a tabloid paper, I feel they are a hopeless media, seeing them condemn supporters of the Lunar New Year holiday as insane. They showed no sense of human dignity for the deceased Korean man in a malicious accident earlier,” a resident in Plushing surnamed Park was quoted as saying.
Over the years, the Korean and Chinese communities have been pushing to make the traditional communal event a holiday for New York City public schools. Many students in the predominantly Asian-American area of Plushing are reported to be skipping school on the first day of the Chinese calendar year.
Mayor de Blasio and City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito said the Asian holiday should also be honored with a day off, after endorsing a plan to shut schools for two Muslim holidays. Advocates called for fair representation for the 15 percent of Asian-American students in the city’s public-school population.
The president of the Korean-American Parents Association of Greater New York has also written a letter to the tabloid, demanding an apology. “The Lunar New Year holiday is as important as Christmas for Asians. The New York Post made a ridicule out of us without showing any respect to our culture. What kind of message would it send out to our children?”
The newspaper is a widely known tabloid known for being provocative. It shocked readers in 2012 by publishing a picture of a Korean man on the verge of death before being hit by a subway train after a deliberate push. The tabloid also garnered attention for reporting on an unnamed woman’s “selfie” -- a self-portrait of oneself -- in front of a man appearing to be just about to jump off the Brooklyn Bridge last December.
By Yoon Ha-youn, Intern reporter (firstname.lastname@example.org)