New York’s Gov. Andrew Cuomo
Photo: Drew Angerer (Getty Images)

Perhaps New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo was talking about a particular man of the Hebrew faith when he joked that Jews have no rhythm. But still ...

Gif: Giphy

The 60-year-old governor, who is facing re-election this year, made his remarks before a packed, mostly African-American church in Harlem on Palm Sunday.

Most likely trying to find common ground with the parishioners of the Mount Neboh Baptist Church, Cuomo said that Catholics and Baptists have many of the same beliefs, but Catholics “do it without the rhythm.” And then he went further.

“I want you to know as a matter of full disclosure, I am a Catholic,” said Cuomo. “Catholics basically believe the same teachings that Baptists believe. We just do it without the rhythm. But we try. We are not as without rhythm as some of our Jewish brothers and sisters.”


Cuomo was apparently talking about his longtime friend Hank Sheinkopf, a Jewish Democratic operative who was making what Cuomo said were “ugly” moves as gospel music thundered throughout the church that morning.


As for Sheinkopf, he told the New York Post that the governor’s joke was meh: “There weren’t many people laughing, but I didn’t feel humiliated.”

Other media outlets have deemed Cuomo’s remarks “cringeworthy,” but frankly, they just seem off. Jews may not be able to dance, but they sure have played a large part in black music—from Leonard Chess to Clive Davis to Steve Rifkind.


Alas, not even all the blacks can dance.

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Ms. Bronner Helm is the Deputy Editorial Director at Colorlines. Mouthy Black Girl. Rosalynn Carter Mental Health Fellow. Shea Butter Feminist. Virgo Sun, Aries Moon.

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