New York Democratic President Jay Jacobs slammed for KKK remark
New York Democrat President faces condemnation and calls for resignations from members of his own party after invoking the Ku Klux Klan and its former leader while explaining why he did not support a mayoral candidate Democrat of New York.
Democratic state president Jay Jacobs, who is white, apologized on Monday evening for his comments on why he had not supported India Walton, a black woman and socialist community activist who is the Democratic candidate at Buffalo City Hall.
“My statement today on the Buffalo mayoral race clearly caused an uproar that I had no intention of making,” Jacobs said in a statement released by the party.
Walton’s campaign spokesman Jesse Myerson did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Tuesday.
Jacobs told a reporter earlier Monday that it was not necessary for the president to endorse the Democratic candidate and suggested a “very different” hypothetical scenario in which former KKK chief David Duke would move to New York , would become a Democrat and run for mayor of Rochester.
“Do I have to approve David Duke?” I do not think so. Now of course India Walton is not in the same category but that’s right, that just brings you to this question – is it a must? It’s not a must, âsaid Jacobs. âIt’s something you choose to do. That’s why it’s an approval.
Jacobs said in his apology statement hours later that he was “using an extreme example” but that was wrong.
“I should have used a different example, and for that I apologize,” he said.
Jacobs said he maintains his view that party leaders don’t have to approve every member of their party.
Governor Kathy Hochul, US Senator Chuck Schumer, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio and other Democrats have condemned the comments. U.S. Representative Jamal Bowman and State Senator Alessandra Biaggi, Democrats who represent parts of the Bronx and Westchester County, have issued statements calling for Jacobs to step down.
âIt makes no sense to equate India Walton, a black woman, with David Duke, someone who supports the legacy of lynching blacks and raping black women. It is the malignant narcissism of far too many white men. Jay Jacobs must resign or be removed from office, âBowman said.
Hochul described Jacobs’ comments as disturbing and hurtful, but did not ask for his resignation.
âI asked him to apologize. I think he apologized. And I am ready to assess the situation in the future, âthe governor said during a press briefing on Tuesday.
Biaggi, in a Tweet, said Jacobs should step down, calling his statement “outrageously racist.”
The state Democratic Party did not respond to messages Tuesday requesting a response to calls for Jacobs to resign.
Walton in June defeated the mayor of Buffalo to four terms in a Democratic primary, which saw her potentially become the first woman to lead Buffalo, New York’s second largest city. Mayor Byron Brown stayed the course with a vigorous campaign in writing.