New York Governor Andrew Cuomo embarrassed himself after honoring the death of a fellow politician.
The Republican mourned the loss of a Caribbean-American community leader’s death – turned out, she was alive.
“Una Clarke, God rest her soul,” Cuomo said during a speech at the West Indian Day parade.
“Every community that comes to this country has obstacles that they have to face. And every community has pathfinders and leaders who overcome those obstacles,” he said.
“West Indian community, Shirley Chisholm, God rests her soul. Una Clarke, God rest her soul,” the governor continued while honoring late leaders of the Caribbean-American community.
Una Clarka is a well-known Caribbean community leader. The 83-year-old served as New York City's first Caribbean councilwoman from 1992 to 2001. Her daughter, Brooklyn Representative Yvette Clarke, was in the audience when Cuomo pronounced the major community figure dead.
After hearing the governor’s ignorant comments, the members of the audience were naturally outraged as they called his mistake out. Soon, Cuomo corrected himself. “Una Clarke – who is with us here today. Sorry, sorry. Bill Howard, God rest his soul,” he said.
Yvette Clarke later made it clear to Cuomo that her mother was very much alive and healthy.
“I guess he was misinformed so we let him know unequivocally that Dr. Clarke is here kicking and strong as ever,” the congresswoman said.
After correcting his gaffe, Governor Cuomo announced plans of developing a community center in honor of an official who was killed three years ago during a Caribbean culture celebration three years ago. The state of New York has reportedly pledged up to $15 million to create the facility called the Carey Gabay Community Center in Brooklyn.
Thumbnail/Banner Image: J. Conrad Williams Jr., Pool via REUTERS