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Former Democratic New York Gov. David Paterson expressed disappointment that his own party has not stood up to communism and socialism, especially in Black communities.
“As an African American, socialists and communists have been working on the African American community going back to the ‘30s, ‘40s and ‘50s. They almost wrecked the civil rights campaign of Dr. Martin Luther King,” Paterson said Sunday on radio show, “The Cats Roundtable.”
NEW YORK – MARCH 08: New York Governor David Paterson sits during a town hall meeting at Borough Hall March 8, 2010 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. The embattled governor took questions on the sputtering economy and the 2010-2011 state budget. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)
“He finally had to throw some people who had communist affiliations out of his movement. And yet, if you ever read the book ‘Invisible Man’ by Ralph Ellison, it’s about an African American who joins one of these groups and then finds out that they are even more racist than the racist he thought he was fighting, I’ve been somewhat surprised that they have made inroads in communities [of color] that certainly need what they’re talking about, but there’s no record that they’ve ever delivered it. Not in this country or anywhere else,” he continued.
He agreed with the host John Catsimatidis that he was “disappointed” that Democrats “don’t have the courage” to stand up to such ideologies.
Paterson served as New York’s 55th governor from 2008 to 2010, after Eliot Spitzer stepped down as governor amid his prostitution scandal.
Paterson’s comments came during a discussion on various local elections in New York that will be held Tuesday, including the Buffalo mayoral election.
A self-described Democratic socialist, India Walton, won the Democratic primary in the city against the current mayor, Byron Brown. She is the only name on the ballot for Tuesday, and if she wins, she would become the first socialist to lead a major U.S. city since the 1960s, the New York Post previously reported.
Democratic Buffalo mayoral primary candidate India Walton delivers her victory speech after defeating incumbent Byron Brown, on Tuesday, June 22, 2021 in Buffalo, N.Y. (Robert Kirkham/Buffalo News)
Walton, however, is facing competition from Brown, who is running a write-in campaign and has gained support from Republicans who don’t want to see a socialist in the office.
“I don’t see Ms. Walton as a Democrat … she’s described as a socialist and I think her ideas for the city of Buffalo are bad at best, and unworkable,” Brown said at a mayoral debate last week.
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“I think it’s important to know that the activities of my opponent, Miss Walton, made it more difficult for the police to do their job because they had to respond to protests. They had to respond to things being lit on fire. They had to respond to things being broken,” he added.
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