How Quickly Paterson Forgets

Also, has Paterson forgotten his promise to hold legislative hearings against Spitzer for his total destruction of The Black United Fund of New York?

(Lt. Gov. Paterson, shown with Gov. Spitzer—remember BUFNY?)

In the November 2-8 issue of The Amsterdam News there is an article by Nayaba Arinde, under the headline “Paterson’s mission possible; Giving post muscle.”

The writer speaks to how State Senator David Paterson’s team unveiled his plan to revamp New York State’s alleged investment in minority and women owned businesses (WMBE). “If you don’t have shoes, it doesn’t matter if the playing field is level. If you are not allowed on the field, it doesn’t matter if the game starts on time,” said Paterson.

As a matter of fact, Paterson wrote these words and others in an article he published in The Amsterdam News on September 21 – 27 titled: “Let’s truly level the playing field.” Paterson also states that: “We all admire the American ideal of pulling ourselves up by the bootstraps and working hard to make a better future for our children. Yet, when it comes down to actually making that happen, ignoring the role discrimination plays in affording opportunity in our society is both unrealistic and irresponsible, especially of our business and political leadership.”

He further tells us that “A January 2005 study showed that from 1997 to 2002 New York City issued a total of 18.8 billion in contracts, with 6 billion alone in construction contracts.” In a city where minorities comprise 65 percent of the population, nearly 86 percent of the money for all prime construction contracts was awarded to firms owned by white males.

Paterson goes on to tell us that he and Eliot Spitzer are going to make the playing field level and empower women and minority owned businesses. I think we can assume that he also means Blacks are a part of his minority group. Poor David, he should stop telling lies to Black people. As we observe Attorney General Eliot Spitzer’s behavior towards Blacks, one would have to be completely out of his mind to believe that Blacks will experience any kind of empowerment under Spitzer’s leadership. Also, has Paterson forgotten his promise to hold legislative hearings against Spitzer for his total destruction of The Black United Fund of New York, then disappeared and surfaced a year later – in bed with Spitzer as his running mate?

In Arinde’s article she speaks about those that believe that the Attorney General has been responsible for an all-out attack on Black institutions, such as the Apollo Theatre, Hale House and the Black United Fund of New York. She further states that the supporters of Kermit Eady’s defunct BUFNY and especially, the supporters of long suspended Alton Maddox will not be supporting Spitzer. Now, what did Paterson say to all of this? “The Apollo was about a contract, but if you read the Daily News, I think it was a criminal issue.” As for Hale House, Paterson replied that Hale House had been given an unwarranted “free pass” and objected to the “automatic sympathy for Hale House.” He charged: “I didn’t ever (hear) of the board and people of Hale helping this neighborhood.”

Regarding Alton Maddox, Paterson said: “Spitzer said that if he applied for his license he wouldn’t oppose it. Alton Maddox has chosen not to.” 

“Maddox has maintained for the better part of twenty years that he was punished for simply refusing to break attorney-client privilege regarding a Rev. Al Sharpton case. Maddox does not feel that he needs to apply for the license, maintaining that he was subjected to judicial persecution.�

It is interesting to note that Paterson had no comments about Kermit Eady or BUFNY. What was BUFNY’s crime? Why was it destroyed? Who stood to gain? Where were our Black Politicians?

It seems that his memory failed regarding his expressed outrage and his promise. Paterson is without shame as he stood by and watched, if not participated in, the demise of a true self -help organization. You can rest assured that after this election, Paterson and Spitzer will try to smear me and Larry Barton, who worked with me at BUFNY. As stated by Tom Donohue, head of the US. Chamber of Commerce, Attorney General Eliot Spitzer is one of the most dangerous men in America: “Spitzer is the investigator, the prosecutor, the judge, the jury and the executioner.”

New Yorkers of all ethnicities, this new Governor is out of control and power hungry. He and Paterson seem to feel that they are accountable to no one. The Black community has never been given an explanation of exactly why they destroyed BUFNY. However, I must point out that every Black economic development movement in this country has been squashed by the system. Having said that, we must continue to build in spite of the system.

Kermit Eady is the Founder & Former President of the Black United Fund of New York and Founder & President of Eady Associates (

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