A Brooklyn state senator apologized Tuesday for remarks invoking the subject of race in a discussion about a Clinton Hill grocery store set to close – and the possibility that a “boutique” grocery store that could replace it.
State Sen. Velmanette Montgomery (D-Brooklyn) was quoted in The Brooklyn Paper as saying the soon-to-close Key Food store should be replaced with a similar store, because communities of color have eat differently than white communities.
“Supermarkets are an important part of the community. It’s an important amenity, especially for black and brown communities,” Montgomery was quoted in the newspaper. “When you’re talking about a white community, it can be a little boutique, because white people don’t eat the way we do.”
Speaking to CBS2 Tuesday night, Montgomery confirmed that she made the comments, saying, “It was an unfortunate statement and I didn’t mean to offend anyone.”
Montgomery told CBS2 her intention was to imply that the supermarket planned to replace the Key Foods wasn’t right for the neighborhood. She said the Key Food store could be replaced with a “boutique” supermarket with higher prices and a smaller size.
She said this does not make sense for the people in the neighborhood, because they are lower-income and have larger families.