A number of organizations, chiefly the NAACP, are calling on the Mayor of Yonkers, Mike Spano, to apologize over remarks he made against Congressman Jamaal Bowman on a radio broadcast. There is fury over Mayor Spano’s joke about Bowman’s arrest two weeks ago after the congressman was detained in Washington, D.C. for rallying in favor of voting rights.
During an appearance with Phil Resiman, host of WVOX Radio 1460 AM, the US Representative’s arrest was discussed.
“Well, listen, they ought to have imprisoned him for casting a vote against the infrastructure package, but, you know, listen, I’m a pretty hard-core moderate, Phil, as you know. I find myself right in the centre. According to me, there is substance to both sides’ claims,” Spano remarked.
The NAACP branches in Yonkers and New Rochelle feel that Spano’s comment was excessive. First Vice President of the Yonkers NAACP Kisha Skipper stated, “To ask for the arrest of a congressman, the first Black one to represent us in the 16th Congressional District, was purposeful and we are upset.” The Westchester Black Women’s Political Caucus, the Black Democrats of Westchester County, and the NAACP are among the organizations that have demanded an apology.
Spano responded, “I have the utmost regard for the Yonkers NAACP and will always take their viewpoint carefully. Congressman Bowman was detained during demonstrations in favor of the voting rights bill. I hope he felt the same way about the infrastructure measure, for which he cast a negative vote. All I said in my remarks was political jargon.”
The NAACP says that it still desires the mayor’s apology and a meeting with him.