By MARINA VILLENEUVE Assocaited Press
ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — 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.