Hochul Faces Backlash Over Comments About Bronx Children’s Computer Knowledge

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) is facing criticism from Bronx politicians after suggesting that some Black children in the borough don’t know what the word “computer” means.

Hochul made the remarks Monday while speaking at an on-stage 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.”

Assemblywoman Karines Reyes (D-Bronx) said she was “deeply disturbed” by Hochul’s comments and urged the governor to “do better.” Assemblyman John Zaccaro (D-Bronx) called Hochul’s portrayal of Bronx children “disheartening” saying they are “the epitome of brilliance resilience and untapped potential.”

Hochul later 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 in a statement to the Post.

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

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