Mayor Adams likens woman asking him question on rising rents to plantation owner

New York City Mayor Eric Adams accused a woman of speaking to him like he was "someone that's on the plantation that you own," during a town hall on Wednesday.

During the town hall, an elderly white woman asked Adams why New Yorkers had been dealing with rent increases at rent-stabilized apartments.

"Why in New York City, where real estate controls you, Mr. Mayor, why are we having these horrible rent increases this year and last year?" the woman asked Adams.

"First if you're going to ask a question don't point at me and don't be disrespectful to me. I'm the mayor of this city and treat me with the respect [which] I deserve to be treated. 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," Adams responded. "Give me the respect I deserve and engage in a conversation…treat me with the same level of respect I treat you. So don't be pointing at me, don't be disrespectful to me, speak to me as an adult because I'm a grown man."

A report in the New York Times identified the woman as Jeanie Dubnau, a molecular biologist and holocaust survivor whose family fled Nazi Germany to New York City. 

She accused the Mayor of deflecting, instead of answering the question.

"It was a complete deflection from what I was saying, because he has no answer," Dubnau told the Times

Adams' response drew some applause at the meeting, but online, the response was more critical, with social media users criticizing Adams for his response.

"Someone should tell the mayor respect is earned," one person wrote.

"She was 100% correct, and he deflected," another wrote.


NYC rent increase approved for rent-stabilized apartments: What to know

Millions of New Yorkers living in rent stabilized apartments will now have to dish out more money each month.

The New York City Rent Guidelines Board voted last week to approve rent increases on 1 and 2-year leases for rent-stabilized units across the city, in the face of fierce opposition from renters advocates.