A commissioner on the Buffalo Municipal Housing Authority who is also a candidate for the city council was recorded going on a racist, slur-filled rant but says he won’t step down and won’t pull out of the council race because it was “out of character” for him to do that.
In an audio recording obtained by The Buffalo News, Joseph A. Mascia can be heard complaining to a former employee about Mayor Byron Brown, Council President Darius Pridgen, Assemblywoman Crystal Peoples-Stokes, and Dawn Sanders-Garrett, who was Mascia’s boss at at the Buffalo Municipal Housing Authority.
During the one-minute profanity-laced recording, Mascia manages to use the N-word eight times.
“The f*cking n*****s, man,” he tells the employee as the recording ends. “Once they get in power, forget about it. Forget it. They want it all.”
On Wednesday, Mayor Brown called on Mascia to step down as resident commissioner of the Buffalo Municipal Housing Authority.
But Mascia refuses to do so, saying that what he said was “out of character” for him:
“The statement was totally out of character,” Mascia wrote in an email apology. “I have deep regard and respect for the individuals mentioned in the recording and apologize to them personally and profusely. It is my hope that they will accept my sincerest apologies and forgive me for my weakness in that moment.”
“Regardless of my frustration at the time, there is no excuse for the language that I used. I will continue to fight for neighborhoods that have been neglected and people who have been ignored,” he continued. “I have no intention of interrupting my progressive, inclusive vision for our city and the Fillmore district. As always, I will make myself available to the community to discuss this or any other issue related to the Fillmore district or my candidacy.”
Mascia is the Erie County Conservative Party’s endorsed candidate for the Buffalo Common Council candidate. He has also entered a three-way Democratic Party primary for the post.
No, see, if it was out of character for you, you would not have said it. The simple fact that you said it proves that it is, in fact, within your character, or lack thereof, to say it. Here’s the audio, with the slurs edited out, unfortunately.