News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Tues. Sept. 4, 2018: New York Governor, Andrew Cuomo, committed a mega faux pas Monday at the kick-off breakfast of the West Indian American Day parade by mourning a well-known community leader and former politician who was very much alive and present at the event.
Many in the tent of Caribbean American and elected officials Monday were stunned after the governor mistakenly mourned the death of Jamaican American former New York City Councilmember, Una Clarke.
“Una Clarke, God rest her soul,” Cuomo said as many in the tent gasped loudly.
Cuomo was at the time paying homage to major figures of the community, including Bill Howard, the President of the West Indian Day Carnival Association, who passed away recently.
“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,” Cuomo said. “West Indian community, Shirley Chisholm, God rest her soul. Una Clarke, God rest her soul.”
Cuomo, however, quickly corrected the gaffe with: “Una Clarke, who is with us here today. Sorry, sorry. Bill Howard, God rest his soul.”
Clarke was the first-ever Caribbean-born woman to win a seat on New York City Council and is the mother of Congresswomen Yvette Clarke (D-NY).
In response to the gaffe, Rep. Clarke said Cuomo appeared to have been “misinformed” regarding the fact that her 83-year-old mother is “here kicking and strong as ever.”
Cuomo is campaigning for another term and is being challenged by former ‘Sex and the City’ actress Cynthia Nixon. He was an honorary grand marshal at the event Monday. The Parade,in its 51st year, culminated a weekend of events which included BrassFest, Panorama, the Junior Caribbean Carnival and Dimanche Gras.