New York Governor Andrew Cuomo had a major misfire during a recent interview with WAMC radio where he was discussing the controversy regarding Columbus Day and Indigenous Peoples’ Day. Cuomo was trying to showcase racism against Italian-Americans when he started throwing around racial slurs as examples.
At one point, when it came to derogatory terms, Cuomo decided to clearly and casually drop the n-word.
“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 and pardon my language, but I’m just quoting the Times: ‘n—r wops.’ N-word wops, as a derogatory comment,” Cuomo said.”When I said that ‘wop’ was a derogatory comment, that was when the Times Union told me, no, you should look in Wikipedia, ‘wop’ really meant a dandy.
“I’m sure that’s what they were saying to me back in Queens — ‘you’re a dandy’ — when they looked at me with scorn and gave me a hand gesture and called me a ‘wop.'”
The New York Post shared audio from the interview.
Cuomo should have been smarter.
While there didn’t seem to be any ill-intent behind Cuomo’s use of the word — which was a direct quote from the New York Times — you have to use your head during moments like these. It’s a sensitive issue that should always be handled with care and not casually dismissed.
As of the time of this posting, Cuomo and his reps have not responded to the controversial comments.
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