NY governor slammed for saying black children don't know what computers are

New York Governor Kathy Hochul is facing backlash for saying that black children in the Bronx don't know the word "computer".

"Right now, we have young black kids growing up in the Bronx who don't even know what the word 'computer' is," she said. "They don't know these things."

The Democrat made the comments while speaking to a technology panel in Beverly Hills, Los Angeles.

Ms Hochul later said that she misspoke and regrets it.

She was at the Milken Institute Global Conference on Monday to discuss New York's artificial intelligence initiative.

During a fireside chat, Ms Hochul spoke of a new AI consortium involving universities and state schools.

She said funds raised by the state would help build a supercomputer that will be accessible to researchers.

The governor then said that black children in the Bronx don't know what the word "computer" is.

"I want the world to open up to all of them," she added, "because when you have their diverse voices innovating solutions through technology, then you're really addressing society's broader challenges."

Ms Hochul released a statement to media later on Monday amid criticism of her comments, saying she "misspoke and I regret it".

"Of course black children in the Bronx know what computers are - 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," she said.

Bronx elected officials condemned the governor.

New York assembly member Karines Reyes, who is Afro-Latina, said she was "deeply disturbed" by Ms Hochul's remarks.

South Bronx assembly member Amanda Septimo, who is black, called the comments "harmful, deeply misinformed and genuinely appalling".