NY Gov. Hochul faces backlash over remarks about black children's tech illiteracy

The New York governor's comments about Bronx kids not knowing the word 'computer' has drawn criticism.

NY Gov. Hochul faces backlash over remarks about black children's tech illiteracy
AP Photo/Evan Vucci
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Gov. Kathy Hochul of New York is facing backlash after making comments implying that black children in the Bronx lack basic technological literacy. The controversial remarks came during a conversation with MSNBC host Jonathan Capehart at the Milken Institute Global Conference in California on Monday.

"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 stated during the discussion which has since gone viral online. "They don't know, they don't know these things. And I want the world opened up to all of them."

The comments drew swift condemnation from fellow politicians, including Democrats from the Bronx itself. Bronx Assembly Member Amanda Septimo called Hochul's words "harmful, deeply misinformed, and genuinely appalling."

She added, “Repeating harmful stereotypes about one of our most underserved communities, while failing to acknowledge the state’s consistent institutional neglect, only perpetuates systems of abuse.”

Colleague Karine Reyes said she was "deeply disturbed," asserting that Bronx children are "bright, brilliant, extremely capable, and more than deserving of any opportunities."

Republicans also voiced criticism. Former GOP congressman Lee Zeldin, Hochul's opponent in 2022, shared a post calling the remarks evidence of Democrats' racism. Sen. Ted Cruz questioned why "white liberals think so little of African-Americans."

Amid the fierce backlash, Hochul later released a statement expressing regret. "I misspoke and I regret it," she said, claiming the real issue is lack of access to technology rather than knowledge.

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