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A 2019 video of Mayor Eric Adams speaking about the New York Police Department shows him calling white people “crackers.” This occurred at a speaking engagement early in his run for mayor. It should be noted that Mayor Adams is Black.
Adams was speaking before a Harlem business group when he boasted:
Every day in the police department, I kicked those crackers’ ass, man! I was unbelievable in the police department with 100 Blacks in Law Enforcement.
Mayor Adams Apologizes
The mayor was confronted about the video Friday during a news conference. This was his reply:
Inappropriate comments, should not have been used. Someone asked me a question using that comment and playing on that word. I responded in that comment. But clearly, it’s a comment that should not be used and I apologize not only to those who heard it but to New Yorkers because they should expect more from me, and that was inappropriate.
A History of the Derogatory Term
The origin of the term “cracker” is not known, however, it is often used as a derogatory word to describe Southern poor white people. NPR released a report in 2013 that stated the word was used as an insult as early as the 17th century. Later, the term was used to describe Scots-Irish immigrants settling in the Southern U.S.
Mayor Adams says he has been fighting against racism for his “entire journey.” His goal is to continue the battle against racism. Additionally, he asserts that his comment was a direct response to a question he was asked.
Police Benevolent Association President Patrick Lynch, who is white, defended Adams and reminded people of all the time they have spent in the emergency room due to shootings. He asserted that “a few seconds of video will not define our relationship.”
This video was discovered on the heels of the deaths of two New York police officers and a visit from President Joe Biden. The president was in New York to discuss plans to curb gun violence in cities.
The Career of Mayor Adams
Before becoming mayor, Adams served on the New York City Police Force. He had risen to captain before deciding to run for public office. As a member of the police department, he advocated for criminal justice reform. Adams was an outspoken arbiter of the department and co-founded an advocacy group called 100 Blacks in Law Enforcement Who Care. This faction was established to advocate against police brutality and for criminal justice reform.
Written by Jeanette Vietti
ABC: NYC Mayor Eric Adams apologizes for using racial slur; by MICHELLE L. PRICE Associated Press
Business Insider: NYC Mayor Eric Adams apologizes for referring to white NYPD officers as ‘crackers’ in a 2019 video; by Taiyler Simone Mitchell
NY Daily News: Mayor Adams apologizes for calling white NYPD officers ‘crackers’ in 2019: ‘That was inappropriate’; by ROCCO PARASCANDOLA and CHRIS SOMMERFELDT
Featured Image Courtesy of Andreas Komodromos’ Flickr Page – Creative Commons License
Inline Image by Krystalb97 Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons – Creative Commons License