Bill Donohue

Few would regard New York Gov. Kathy Hochul to be a racist, yet her recent remark about how clueless black kids are smacks of racism. What she said was not intended to be racist, but her Freudian slip revealed the way she really thinks about blacks. And she is not alone: her patronizing attitude is shared by millions of white liberals.

On May 6, Hochul was interviewed while attending the Milken Institute Global Conference in California. The subject was making economic opportunities more available to low-income communities. “Right now,” she said, “we have young black kids growing up in the Bronx who don’t even know what the word computer is. They don’t know, they don’t know these things.”

After being publicly lambasted, she said, “I misspoke and I regret it.”

It would be instructive to learn why Hochul made her remark. How does she know that black kids in the Bronx “don’t even know what the word computer is”? Is it a result of her first-hand experience? Did she read this somewhere? Did some of her friends and associates tell her this?

It is not likely that any of these answers is correct. It is much more likely that she assumed this was true. But why? Many of those who think like her are convinced that blacks have been so beaten down and oppressed that they can’t make it on their own. Enter the white liberal. They are always there ready to rescue the unfortunates.

To put Hochul’s comment in perspective, let me recount a story I told in The War on Virtue.

When I was teaching in a Catholic elementary school in the 1970s, one of the remedial teachers sent there from the public schools criticized me for rejecting a homework assignment from a student because it was ripped sloppily from a spiral notebook. She told me that I should understand that the student came from a bad neighborhood and could not be expected to do otherwise. She was aghast when I told her that she was the problem. “You would never allow white middle-class students to get away with turning in such trash,” I told her.

Like so many white liberals, Hochul’s low expectations for poor blacks allows her to think that without her assistance, these kids can never make it. That makes her feel good. It gives her a sense of moral superiority. It also explains her policy choices. Consider the issue of crime.

Roving bands of mostly black young men have been looting retail stores in New York and in other cities for the past few years. About a year ago, an editorial in the New York Post asked, “When will Gov. Kathy Hochul and New York lawmakers realize they need to make attacks on retail workers an automatic felony—and see that the perps suffer real consequences—in order to stem the tide?”

Guess what? Now that the public, including blacks, are outraged about this situation, Hochul has changed her mind and is now taking a law and order stand. Similarly, when she assumed office after Andrew Cuomo crashed in 2021, she picked as her Lt. Gov. a man who supports “Defund the Police.” Now she distances herself from that stand.

Hochul still defends the no-bail law that allows thugs to be processed and immediately set free, but she does not wear it on her sleeve anymore. She alone has the power to fire New York District Attorney Alvin Bragg, who pioneered this “catch and release” madness, but she refuses to do so.

White liberals like Hochul are convinced that when young black males engage in violent crimes, it is a reflection of their oppressed conditions. Therefore, to crack down on crime is to further punish the victim (never mind that the typical victim of black crimes is a poor black). In fact, the black crime rate is high because the majority of blacks are raised in homes without a father, a condition largely driven by the welfare state created by white liberals!

Hochul doesn’t have a clue about poor blacks. Last year she and her husband posted an income of $2 million, up 100 percent from the previous year. She lives in a bubble, and her perception of reality is badly skewed by her limited experience with those outside her privileged circle.

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