NEW YORK (WROC) — Gov. Andrew Cuomo addressed his use of the n-word in a radio interview for the first time Sunday, and he is blaming the press for the situation.
“That was the point of the article, and I directly quoted the New York Times,” Cuomo said Sunday at an an announcement at the Albany International Airport, the New York Post says. “You should ask the New York Times if they think it was appropriate.”
Cuomo used the n-word during a WAMC radio interview on Tuesday while discussing discrimination against Italian-Americans.
“They used an expression that southern Italians were called quote-unquote, and pardon my language, but I’m just quoting the New York Times, n****r w**s,” Governor Cuomo told WAMC host Alan Chartock in reference to the op-ed.
Gov. Cuomo also said that Italian-Americans are not immune from attack and that stereotyping is still alive and well.
Listen to the clip here where the governor makes the comments around 18:48.
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.