The only time I’ve ever even heard of a mass act as suspiciously Tom-like as the group of Black leaders that got together last night to discuss New York Governor David Paterson’s political future was the effrontery that took place when some fool decided to gather together a gang of Black athletes to “weigh in” on the mind state of one Muhammad Ali whom everyone had assumed was insane because he had refused induction into the United States Military.
Ali’s group included, among others, Jim Brown, Bill Russell and Lew Alcindor– ne Kareem Abdul Jabar, dudes that had to go extra heavy on their Blackness over the course of the next few years just to make up for this debacle.
David Paterson’s own group got together at Sylvia’s restaurant in Harlem last night to discuss whether or not Paterson should resign as governor of New York. Get this straight: David Paterson shouldn’t go anywhere.
And this isn’t even a case of Paterson doing what white politicians would have done. If Paterson had done what New York’s most recent white politicians had done, Manhattan’s skyline would probably be missing a few more tall buildings right now and more former street-walkers would be sex columnists for the New York Post.
The big deal(s) in David Paterson’s case are that he is accused of accepting free tickets to a New York Yankees game and he supposedly used his political influence to try to resolve a domestic violence accusation between David Johnson, who is one of Paterson’s aides and Sherr-una Booker, Johnson’s former live-in girlfriend.
If accepting Yankee tickets were anywhere near a punishable crime, former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani would be currently under a jail.
And as for Paterson stepping in and trying to resolve things between his aide and the aide’s former girlfriend, this isn’t at all like the case where current New York mayor Mike Bloomberg intervened and prevented a criminal investigation in the aftermath of the Deutsche Bank fire— a fire that killed two firemen.
Using your polticial influence to attempt to resolve an issue that might have been blown out of proportion while emotions were still running high and at the same time, trying to protect one of those in your employ and therefore, one of your own, isn’t doing anything unethical at all.
As a matter of fact, in politics, that’s called leadership.