Hochul Regrets Comments Offensive Comments About Black Children

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) is facing criticism and expressing regret after suggesting that some Black children in the Bronx don’t know what the word “computer” means. Hochul made the comments Monday while speaking at a forum in California about her efforts to create a diverse workforce in areas like artificial intelligence.

“Right now we have you know young black kids growing up in the Bronx who don’t even know what the word ‘computer’ is” Hochul said. “They don’t know they don’t know these things. And I want the world opened up to all of them.”

The governor’s remarks drew swift condemnation from Bronx lawmakers. Assemblywoman Karines Reyes (D-Bronx) said she was “deeply disturbed” by Hochul’s comments while Assemblyman John Zaccaro (D-Bronx) called her portrayal of Bronx children “disheartening.”

In a statement to the Post Hochul acknowledged that she misspoke and expressed regret for her comments. “Of course Black children in the Bronx know what computers are — the problem is that they too often lack access to the technology needed to get on track to high-paying jobs in emerging industries like AI” she said.

Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie (D-Bronx) called Hochul’s words “inartful and hurtful” but said he believes she wants to see all students excel. He expressed hope of working with Hochul to bring greater access to technology to Bronx children.

Hochul’s comments came as she discussed her $400 million Empire AI initiative which recently passed as part of the state budget.