Governor Cuomo is being called out by black leaders and members of his own party for his lack of respect toward Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie. Heastie recently made history as the Assembly’s first black speaker, but Cuomo has been dismissing him as nothing more than a puppet of the recently indicted ex-Speaker Sheldon Silver.
Sources recently told the Daily News that Cuomo believes Silver is still running operations in the Assembly, referring to Heastie as Silver’s “instrumentality” in keeping power.
The insinuation that Heastie serves as little more than Silver’s puppet led Al Sharpton to label Cuomo’s comments as “very disturbing.”
Another legislator claims that Cuomo is “developing a real blind spot on race issues.”
State Assemblyman Steve McLaughlin recently stated that if Cuomo were a Democrat “he’d be getting called a racist right now” for his comments.
Making matters worse, was an incredibly ill-advised photo of Governor Cuomo engaging Heastie in a bear hug which some of insisted was meant to demean the Speaker.
— Steve McLaughlin (@SteveMcNY) March 22, 2015
It’s not simply Republicans that have noticed either. Deborah Glick, a Manhattan Democrat accused the Governor of “inappropriately lift(ing) the speaker off his feet in a show of dominance.”
McLaughlin called the photo a “weird and over the top show of fake joy.”
Regardless, Cuomo has clearly upset some prominent black legislative and community leaders with his comments and demeaning actions toward the first black Assembly Speaker.