Kathy Hochul, NY Governor, Bronx

NY Governor Kathy Hochul Regrets Suggesting Black Kids In The Bronx Don’t Know What ‘Computer’ Means

Who doesn't know what a computer is?

Democratic New York Governor Kathy Hochul alleged she misspoke when suggesting “Black kids from the Bronx dont know what a computer is.”

The comment was made on May 6 while Hochul was being interviewed at a business conference in California while discussing the expansion of economic opportunities in AI for low-income communities. “Right now, we have young Black kids growing up in the Bronx who don’t even know what the word computer is. They don’t know, they don’t know these things,” Hochul said. 

As the comment has gone viral on social media, the governor said “I misspoke, and I regret it. 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,” Hochul said. 

“That’s why I’ve been focused on increasing economic opportunity since Day One of my Administration and will continue that fight to ensure every New Yorker has a shot at a good-paying job.”

Social media users jumped to defend those mentioned kids. “We have children in the Bronx that can build a computer with their eyes closed. We also don’t have STEM programs accessible for them. We have been advocating for more programs, but Miss Kathy isn’t funding them,” @urbanmodernis tweeted. 

Another spoke on being frustrated with people constantly being able to apologize for “misspeaking” about Black people. “So, everyone just gets to apologize for “misspeaking” about Black people without ever having to answer why they constantly *choose* to demean and disrespect Black people with their words (and actions) time and time again,” @GJonesWright said.

State legislators were also taken aback by the comment. Assemblywoman Amanda Septimo, a Bronx Democrat, called the governor’s words “harmful, deeply misinformed, and genuinely appalling.” “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. 

“I would invite Gov. Hochul to visit us in the Bronx to experience first-hand the intelligence, resilience, and joy that radiate from Bronx children and residents each day.”

However, other lawmakers are looking past them. 

According to The New York Daily News, Mayor Eric Adams gave Hochul a pass, saying he knows she meant no harm and he knows the governor’s “heart.” “When you make thousands of speeches, when you’re in front of the cameras all the time, when you’re trying to be authentic and say the things that you’re really feeling, one can sit back and do a critical analysis of every sentence you say,” the mayor said. 

“I know her heart. I know what she was intending to say, and she was not trying to be disrespectful to the people of the Bronx.” Fellow Bronx representative, Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie, also defended his governor, saying he believes Hochul “wants to see all of our students excel.”