AP NEWS

The Latest: Spokesman says Cuomo was quoting New York Times

October 16, 2019

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — The Latest on New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo using a racial slur (all times local):

10:25 p.m.

A spokesman for New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo says the governor prefaced his comment in which he used a racial slur by saying he was quoting a New York Times article.

Cuomo used the slur Tuesday in an interview on WAMC radio while speaking about Columbus Day and a recent Times article about how Italians overcame bigotry in the U.S.

Spokesman Richard Azzopardi says that the Democrat was using language that was printed in the Times.

Cuomo said “pardon my language” before he used the N-word followed by a derogatory slur once commonly lobbed against Italians.

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5:55 p.m.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is being criticized for using a racial slur for African Americans while discussing historical discrimination toward dark-skinned Italian immigrants.

Cuomo used the slur Tuesday in an interview on WAMC radio while speaking about Columbus Day and a recent New York Times article about how Italians overcame bigotry in the U.S.

The Democrat seemed to realize the word might bother people. He said “pardon my language” before he used the N-word followed by a derogatory slur once commonly lobbed against Italians.

Some people were offended anyway.

Black Institute founder Bertha Lewis said Cuomo appears to think he has so much privilege he can say anything.

New York Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie said he didn’t take offense at Cuomo’s comments. Heastie is the assembly’s first African American leader.

Cuomo’s office declined to comment.

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4:11 p.m.

New York’s Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo has used a racial slur while he quoted a newspaper opinion article about racism toward darker-skinned Italian immigrants.

Cuomo in a radio interview Tuesday said the name of a slur that combined the N-word with an insulting term for Italian immigrants.

His office didn’t offer further comment.

Democratic Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie said he didn’t take offense at Cuomo’s comments. Heastie, the first African-American speaker, said Cuomo was quoting a New York Times editorial about racist language once used to describe Italian immigrants.

But Bertha Lewis, founder and president of the Black Institute, a public policy think tank, said Cuomo appears to think he has so much privilege he can say anything. She said there’s no comparison between oppression against Italian immigrants and black people.