N.Y. Gov. Hochul: ‘Black Kids’ in Bronx Don’t Know Word ‘Computer’

New York Democrat Gov. Kathy Hochul expressed “regret” Monday night for asserting “Black kids” in the borough of the Bronx “don’t even know what the word ‘computer is'” hours earlier at a conference in California.

Hochul’s “inartful” comments came at the Milken Institute Global Conference in Beverly Hills, California. She was discussing her $400 million artificial intelligence initiative with conference moderator Jonathan Capehart.

“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 told the audience of billionaires and business leaders. “They don’t know, they don’t know these things. And I want the world opened up to all of them.”

After taking flak from her own side in the state Legislature, Hochul walked back her comments, saying she “misspoke and I regret it.”

“Of course Black children in the Bronx know what computers are,” she said in a statement. “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 got a free pass from New York Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie, who is Black, and Rev. Al Sharpton.

“While the governor’s words were inartful and hurtful, I don’t believe that is where her heart is,” Heastie said in a statement. “I firmly believe she wants to see all of our students excel. Working with Gov. Hochul, I hope we can redouble our efforts to bring greater access to technology to our kids in the Bronx.”

Sharpton said Hochul “might have not said it artfully, but a lot of our community is robbed of using social media because we are racially excluded from access. That’s a good point for her to raise,” according to The New York Times.

Democrats representing the Bronx were not as swift with their pardons.

Assemblywoman Karines Reyes was “deeply disturbed,” Assemblyman John Zaccaro Jr. was “deeply troubled,” and Assemblywoman Amanda Septimo said Hochul was “deeply misinformed.”

“Do better,” Reyes posted to X.

“The underlying perception conveyed about Black and brown children from the Bronx is not only disheartening but also deeply concerning,” Zaccaro said in his statement.