New York governor sorry for saying black children in the Bronx ‘don’t know what computers are’

Ms Hochul, who was elected governor in 2021, has previously apologised for a ham-fisted analogy of the conflict in Gaza
Ms Hochul, who was elected governor in 2021, has previously apologised for a ham-fisted analogy of the conflict in Gaza - SGSAN
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The Democrat governor of New York has been forced to apologise after suggesting that black children in the city do not know what a computer is.

In an attempt to highlight the difference between poor and rich backgrounds, Kathy Hochul suggested to the Milken Institute Global Conference in California on Monday that some children in her own state were not even aware of the devices.

“Right now we have young black kids growing up in the Bronx who don’t even know what the word ‘computer’ is,” she said. “They don’t know, they don’t know these things.”

She added: “I want the world to open up to all of them, because when you have their diverse voices innovating solutions through technology, then you’re really addressing society’s broader challenges.”

Ms Hochul’s comments were condemned in her own state, forcing a speedy apology.

Amanda Septimo, a Democratic member of the New York state assembly for the south Bronx, said the comments were “harmful, deeply misinformed and genuinely appalling”.

Harmful stereotypes

“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,” she said.

Karines Reyes, another Democrat assembly member for the Bronx, said her words were “inartful and hurtful”.

Addressing the criticism, Ms Hochul claimed she had misspoken at the conference.

“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.

Ms Hochul, who was elected governor in 2021, has previously apologised for a ham-fisted analogy of the conflict in Gaza, where she suggested she would annihilate Canada if it invaded the city of Buffalo in New York state.

“I’m sorry, my friends, there would be no Canada the next day,” she said.

She later apologised for a “poor choice of words”.

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