In late 2016, New York Republican congressional candidate Carl Paladino told a radio host that Black Americans were kept “dumb and hungry” in order to condition them to only vote for the Democratic Party, saying, “You can’t teach them differently.”
Paladino, a Buffalo school board member at the time, was defending himself against allegations that previous comments he made were racist, claiming that he cared about Black people but had been conditioned to be a Democratic base.
“I don’t think of myself as a racist,” Paldino said on local Buffalo radio station WBEN, adding that while on the Buffalo School Board, he fought for policies that aided Black children.
Paladino is running to fill the seat vacated by Republican Rep. Chris Jacobs, who announced he would not run for reelection after saying he supported a federal ban on so-called assault weapons. In the primary, he will face New York State Republican Chairman Nick Langworthy.
“Someday, someone like Donald Trump will come in and impose that stuff on them – OK.” And maybe then, OK, we’ll get some change because Black people deserve better,” he said of Buffalo public schools. “They should not be imprisoned in our inner cities.” They should not be kept hungry and dumb in order to provide a base for the Democratic Party, as has been the case. You can’t teach them differently because they’ve been so conditioned to think that way. And that is so, so wrong. And I’ll fight for that stuff until the day I die.”
Paladino made the remarks on a radio show in which he was defending himself for previous racist remarks he had made about then-President Barack Obama and then-First Lady Michelle Obama, for which he had been widely chastised. Paladino previously stated that he hoped Michelle Obama would “return to being a male and be let loose in the outback of Zimbabwe where she lives comfortably in a cave with Maxie, the gorilla,” and that Barack Obama would die of Mad Cow Disease after having sex with a cow.
He had made the remarks about the Obamas to ArtVoice.com, but later stated that he intended to send them to friends. On the radio show, he defended the comment before apologizing. Paladino’s now-deleted Twitter account, which he used until January 2021, also contains a slew of sexist and explicit comments.
On May 16, 2020, Paladino tweeted, “Get a life. At the time, you probably enjoyed the slap.” Another tweet from that day referred to the Buffalo News as a “shitbag newspaper.”
Paladino, a Buffalo-based real estate developer who ran for governor of New York in 2010, entered the congressional race in early June, shortly after Republican Rep. Chris Jacobs announced he would not run for reelection in the newly redrawn district due to intense political backlash for supporting a federal assault weapons ban in the aftermath of the Buffalo mass shooting.
Shortly after entering the race, the left-leaning Media Matters reported Paladino shared Facebook posts calling the mass shootings in Buffalo and Uvalde, Texas, “false flag” attacks designed to revoke the Second Amendment and take away guns in order to help Democrats. Paladino initially claimed he had no idea how the posts got there, but later admitted to “carelessly” sharing the post and deleting his Facebook account.
Last week, Media Matters reported that Paladino praised Adolf Hitler’s leadership for “how he aroused the crowds,” describing Hitler as “the kind of leader we need today.” We require someone motivating.” Paladino attempted to clarify his remarks, insisting that he was referring to Hitler’s popularity. According to Paladino, “invoking Hitler in any context is a serious mistake that rightfully upsets people.” I strongly condemn Hitler and the Nazis’ murderous atrocities against the Jewish people.
Paladino quickly gained the support of upstate New York Republican Rep. Elise Stefanik, the House’s third-ranking Republican, and has kept her support despite his recent controversies.