Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams made comments at a Martin Luther King Day event Monday at the National Action Network in Harlem that is raising eyebrows. 

During his impassioned speech, Adams called on those from other places in the country viewed as a gentrifying force.

"Go back to Iowa, you go back to Ohio," Adams said. "New York City belongs to the people that were here and made New York City what it is."

Naturally, some took issue with the statement. 

Others found nothing but substance and truth. 

Then there was just this: 

Backlash over the comments may have been heightened because the former cop is currently a leading contender in the ongoing 2021 mayoral race. After criticism for the statements, Adams took to Twitter to offer clarification.

"Anyone can be a New Yorker, but not everyone comes to our city with the spirit of being part of our city," the Brownsville native explained in a Twitter reply. "I have a problem with that and I'm unapologetic in asking more of our new arrivals to communities who were once waking up to gunshots and not alarm clocks."

The comments even got a response from New York Mayor Bill de Blasio, who weighed in through a spokesperson in the New York Post. Telling the paper the city is welcoming, though they need to work on affordability issues and largely agreeing with the borough president's larger point.

"The mayor doesn't agree with how it was said, but the borough president voiced a very real frustration," the statement said. "We need to improve affordability in this city to ensure New Yorkers can stay in the city they love, but New York City will always be a city for everyone."

The 2021 election is to be the first in New York with ranked-choice voting — which allows voters to place candidates in order of preference.