Protester Kept Heckling Mayor Wu. Except It Wasn't Her

Protester was actually mistakenly jeering at a different Asian American woman
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 19, 2022 7:00 AM CST
Protester Kept Heckling Mayor Wu. Except It Wasn't Her
Michelle Wu is seen at her swearing-in ceremony at Boston City Hall on Nov. 16, 2021, in Boston.   (AP Photo/Charles Krupa, File)

A voting rights presser on the Boston Common this week drew not only locals rallying support for get-out-the-vote efforts, but also one man who really wanted to criticize Mayor Michelle Wu. reports the protester, decked out in a mask and sunglasses, showed up at the Monday news conference and started heckling who he thought was the mayor about a case unrelated to voter rights. "You're a political puppet," he shouted out. "Why don't you look into it, Mayor Wu? Look into that—you'll find the truth, Mayor Wu." There was one problem, however: The Asian American woman the man was jeering at wasn't Wu, but Beth Huang, a Chinese American who heads up the Massachusetts Voter Table.

Huang tells NBC Asian America it took her about 30 seconds before she caught on that the man was addressing her. "At some point I realized someone was trying to heckle Michelle Wu, and it's very clear that I'm not Michelle Wu," she says. Insider notes that, since her swearing-in in November, Wu, Boston's first woman and person of color to be elected as mayor, has been the object of "racist" and "hateful" language that's been especially focused on some of her COVID-tied policy decisions. notes that protesters have even descended upon the neighborhood where Wu lives, demonstrating outside the home she shares with her husband and two young sons.

Huang tells NBC that even though she's been mistaken for Wu before, and felt threatened when she was by herself, she felt safe with so many colleagues, journalists, and other attendees around on the Common. She even joked about the incident afterward on Twitter, noting, "If only being a 5'4" Asian woman imbued in me the powers of being mayor of Boston." Wu responded to Huang's tweet with her own: "We should make some good trouble with this." (More Michelle Wu stories.)

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