Buffalo School Board Member Apologizes For Calling Asian Students ‘Damn Asians,’ Other Racially Charged Remarks

Carl Paladino, a member of the Buffalo School Board, has been forced to apologize for making racially-charged remarks, including referring to Asian college students at New York’s public universities as “damn Asians,” WKBW (Buffalo) is reporting.

“Unfortunately, I put that Asian thing in there. I have no problem with Asians whatsoever. My comments were not directed solely at them. I sincerely apologize to them for taking that and putting into the breath of my statement.”

Paladino was referring to remarks he had made on Saturday, that were recorded in the Olean Time Herald. The outspoken Republican, and former candidate for Governor of New York, was hosting a rally at a park in Olean, a city of about 14,000 people, some 75 miles south of Buffalo. During his speech, Paladino mentioned the issue of educational opportunities at public colleges for residents of New York (State), referring to the large number of “non-Americans walking around” campus at the University of New York, Buffalo.

“Why do we have this huge population of foreigners? While they pay higher out-of-state tuition their first year, they soon declare themselves residents, and pay the lower tuition.”

Speaking to reporters who asked him to clarify his remarks, the school board member then said “[Those] damn Asians keep coming here to go to school,” taking up spots at public universities that should go to residents of New York.

At a school board meeting Wednesday night, an unidentified woman, whose daughter is Asian, called out the school board member for his remarks.

“Our Asian children come from all walks of life. Some are adopted like my daughter, some are refugees, some were born and raised in Buffalo, some speak limited English, some have never spoken anything but English. It’s about time the children of this population are given some respect.”

This is not the first time Paladino has been accused of being racially insensitive. According to the New York Times, Paladino has consistently referred to a group of African American women — his colleagues on the Buffalo School Board — as the “Black Sisterhood.” He continues to insist that this term is not racially insensitive.

Speaking to reporters after Wednesday night’s school board meeting, Paladino insisted that his “damn Asians” remark was taken out of context. He claims he was trying to make the point that residents of New York should be given priority spots at public universities in New York, ahead of non-residents.

Do you believe this school board member’s remarks were truly racist? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

[Image courtesy of: Shutterstock / karenfoleyphotography]