New York Gubernatorial Candidate Cynthia Nixon is facing controversy after saying that a legalized pot industry in the state could serve as a form of reparations in the Black community.
Nixon was at the NYC Cannabis Parade on Saturday when she made the comments, according to Forbes.
“Now that cannabis is exploding as an industry, we have to make sure that those communities that have been harmed and devastated by marijuana arrests get the first shot at this industry,” she said. “We [must] prioritize them in terms of licenses. It’s a form of reparations.”
Local New York City politicians called out Nixon for her remarks for being “ill-informed” and lacking “understanding of the greatest crime in history,” said Keith Write, chairman of Manhattan’s Democratic Party.
“Reparations is a repayment for the free labor that built this country,” said Wright, who once served as chairman of New York State’s Democratic Part under Nixon’s political opponent and incumbent governor Andrew Cuomo. “Ms. Nixon should relegate her comments to legalization, pro or con.”
The former Sex and the City actress spoke last month about how weed being illegal unfairly targets Blacks and Latinos.
“We have to stop putting people of color in jail for something that white people do with impunity,” Nixon said in a video she posted on Twitter at the time.
A lot of you have been asking about my position on marijuana. Here it is. pic.twitter.com/iEKLHgClFN
— Cynthia Nixon (@CynthiaNixon) April 11, 2018
New York’s chapter of Black Lives Matter criticized her statements saying they were offensive.
“It does a disservice to our community for her to play into harmful stereotypes of African-Americans as drug users and dealers,” the group said in a statement obtained by the New York Daily News.
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Teddy is a multimedia journalist who serves as the culture and political writer for EBONY. His work has appeared in NBC's Owned and Operated stations, as well as DNAInfo, which covered local neighborhood news in New York City. He received his Masters in Journalism from the Craig Newmark School of Journalism at CUNY in 2017.