During a community conversation on Wednesday, New York City Mayor Eric Adams (D) compared a white woman to a plantation owner because she was complaining about rent increases in the city.
During a community town hall hosted by Adams at a high school in Washington Heights, a woman interrupted Adams to complain that he “raised the rent.”
Adams asked her to stand up, then insisted that he “does not control the [Rent Guidelines Board].”
The elderly woman continued to push for an answer about the rising rent, saying, “You said before and after that, you supported those rent increases!”
This caused Adams to snap, and he began to berate the woman for speaking in a frustrated tone and pointing at him.
“First, if you’re going to ask a question, don’t point at me and don’t be disrespectful to me,” said Adams. “I’m the mayor of this city and treat me with the respect that I would deserve to be treated [with]. I’m speaking to you as an adult.”
“Don’t stand in front like you treated someone that’s on the plantation that you own.”
“Give me the respect I deserve… Treat me with the same level of respect I treat you [with],” Adams continued. “I’m a grown man. I walked into this room as a grown man, and I’m gonna walk out of this room as a grown man.”
NYC Mayor Eric Adams puts a white woman in her place for having the audacity to ask him about the rising costs of rent.
“I'm the mayor of this city and treat me with the respect that would deserve to be treated. I'm speaking to you as an adult. Don't stand in front like you… pic.twitter.com/iHfbEn1lRF
— Ian Miles Cheong (@stillgray) June 29, 2023
Adams’ remarks were met with both praise and criticism.
Some people applauded the mayor for standing up for himself.
“Good on my Mayor,” wrote a Twitter user. “This isn’t 1950’s Alabama. It’s New York City in 2023 and you don’t cop an attitude like that with a prominent Black man. Ask your question respectfully and you’ll get a respectful answer.”
Others condemned him for avoiding the question by bringing race into the equation, accusing the woman of acting like a “plantation owner.”
One Twitter user said, “She wasn’t disrespectful. She is a disgruntled citizen to speak down to her like that is very very concerning.”
Others commented on Adams acting like he is above the citizens that he is supposed to be serving.
“He forgot that he’s *literally* a public servant, not a king,” wrote one Twitter user.
Another commented, “He’s a race baiting crook who still didn’t answer her questions or answer FOR his ineptitude. He works for HER, not the other way around.”