NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Some of Governor Andrew Cuomo‘s supporters are requesting an apology after he used the n-word during a radio interview.
The term was a direct quote from an article Cuomo was referencing, CBS2’s Aundrea Cline-Thomas reports.
The New York Times wrote the term in an editorial that was published this weekend. Gov. Cuomo repeated it. The question is if there is ever an acceptable medium for the term to be used at all?
“They used an expression that southern Italians were called, I believe they were saying southern Italians, Sicilians, I’m half Sicilian were called quote/unquote – pardon my language- but I’m just quoting the times. ‘(expletive) (expletive)’ n-word (expletive). As a derogatory comment”
During a WAMU radio interview Gov. Cuomo was referencing the editorial that discusses the historical attacks on Italian immigrants when he referenced a direct quote that used the n-word.
The interview began with Cuomo discussing his thoughts on Monday’s Columbus Day observance, his pledge to fund a statue of Mother Cabrini, and the continued prevalence of anti-Italian sentiments and overall hate that he urged all cultures to denounce.
“I think when the New York Post put my family as the mafia godfather after Christopher was called ‘Fredo’ that was an ugly Italian American stereotype,” Cuomo continued.
The conversation had reportedly moved past that topic. Cuomo was being pressed about Medicaid payments when he veered back to talking about Italian Americans and unexpectedly brought up the Times article and repeated the quote with the n-word.
Maurice Mitchell, the national director of the Working Families Party tweeted, “that word is a stain on this country’s soul. No white person should use it in any context, for any reason.”
In a statement, New York City Public Advocate Jumaane Williams said the governor should apologize.
Williams said in part, “the flippant and unnecessary use of the word on live radio gives people further permission to use this racist term. The governor should understand that regardless of what community he was referencing, the misguided use of the word still rings with hundreds of years of pain.”
Many others were not offended, saying the governor was directly quoting the Times article and speaking in the context of denouncing hate.
CBS2 called the governor’s office to get a better understanding of why he chose to repeat what he read. The governor’s office has not given a response.