New York Gov. Kathy Hochul Says ‘Black Kids’ In The Bronx Don’t Know The Word ‘Computer’


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Mary Lou Masters Contributor
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Democratic New York Gov. Kathy Hochul said during a California forum on Monday that black children from the Bronx neighborhood of New York City don’t know what a computer is.

Hochul was speaking about her desire to create diverse workforces in emerging sectors like artificial intelligence (AI) while speaking at the Milken Institute Global Conference, according to the New York Post. The governor’s remarks were quickly met with criticism from Democratic lawmakers in the Bronx, who defended the children in their borough.

“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 because when you have their diverse voices innovating solutions through technology, then you’re really addressing societies’ broader challenges.”

Democratic Assemblywoman Karines Reyes of the Bronx told Hochul to “do better” in a post on X, formerly Twitter.

“Deeply disturbed by [Hochul’s] recent remarks and the underlying perception that she has of Black & brown children from the BX,” Reyes wrote. “Our children are bright, brilliant, extremely capable, and more than deserving of any opportunities that are extended to other kids.”

Another Bronx Democrat, Assemblyman John Zaccaro, slammed Hochul’s remarks in a statement on X. (RELATED: Kathy Hochul Orders NYC Landmarks Lit Up Pink, White, And Blue On Easter To Celebrate ‘Transgender Day Of Visibility’)

“Our children, far from being underestimated, are the epitome of brilliance, resilience, and untapped potential,” said Zacarro. “They are not only capable but deserving of every opportunity that their counterparts are offered. It’s disheartening to witness such a portrayal that undermines their abilities and aspirations.”

Amanda Septimo, also a Democratic assembly member from the Bronx, invited Hochul to visit the area and “experience firsthand the intelligence, resilience, and joy that radiate from Bronx children and residents each day.”

The governor later expressed “regret” for the comment, and told the Post in a statement that she “misspoke.”

“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. That’s why I’ve been focused on increasing economic opportunity since Day One of my Administration,” said Hochul.

Democratic Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie defended Hochul’s remarks, and said he “firmly believe she wants to see all of our students excel,” according to the Post.

“While the Governor’s words were inartful and hurtful, I don’t believe that is where her heart is,” said Heastie. “Working with Governor Hochul, I hope we can redouble our efforts to bring greater access to technology to our kids in the Bronx. All our students deserve an equal chance to grow and thrive.”

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