As if he’s not having enough trouble already, New Jersey governor Chris Christie is getting a lot of heat for referring to a black man as “boy” during a recent townhall meeting. Speaking to an audience that appeared to be mostly black, the man stood up and told Christie to fix the public schools. That’s when Christie’s unfortunate remarks came spewing from his lips.
The remarks have gone viral on the Internet, since the word “boy” has long been used as a substitute for the n-word among those who disrespect African Americans. Even worse for Governor Christie is that he was just criticized this week for referring to the race and gender of a black female political rival. Democratic rival Sheila Oliver has been a critic of the governor’s plans for public schools and he wasn’t too happy about that either.
The exchange in the church was videotaped by NJToday. The man that Christie was speaking to was Mike Henry.
Here is what Christie said in response to Henry standing up and yelling at him: “You can yell all you want about ‘fix the public schools.’ Yeah, I hear ya, boy, I hear ya. I hear what you’re saying, but let me tell you something else. What I hear is the despair, I hear the despair of folks all over this state.”
When some people in the room asked for Henry to be put out for interrupting the governor, Christie defended his right to stay in the room. The debate was a heated exchange about the difference between promoting school choice or fixing deteriorating public schools.
“We can yell and scream at each other, or we can try to answer the questions. Listen, sir, I’m not asking you to leave. Guess who’s running the show? Me, not them. I don’t want you leaving. You want to yell and scream? Yell and scream. That’s the way it goes. Everybody gets their chance to do something, but you’ve got to give me the chance to answer the question, okay? And I don’t want people yelling to kick somebody out. It wouldn’t be the way I’d act, but you know what? I invited everybody here, so I’m going to let everybody stay until we’re done,” he said.