‘Leaders’ Abdicate To Spitzer

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The blatant disrespect and disregard for the lives of Black people by Black politicians is at an all-time high here in New York City.  With our Black politicians supporting the biggest destroyer of Black people and Black institutions in the last century, no wonder Black New Yorkers are experiencing racism, as overt as it has ever been. For Black people to support Attorney General Eliot Spitzer for Governor is outright insanity. He has never said or done anything positive for or towards Black people in his entire political career. In fact, he has been just the opposite.

As a demonstration was taking place at the ESPN Zone in Times Square at Spitzer's Birthday Party, around June 15, 2004, against his policies towards Black leaders and Black Institutions, yours truly and Elombe Brath, chairman of the Patrice Lumumba Coalition and host of his own public affairs program, "Afrikaleidoscope" on WBAI-FM, as well as many of the demonstrators, explained at length the AG's attack on the Black United Fund of New York, and his destruction of the Northeastern Urban League. Also explained was Spitzer’s lying to the Black Community regarding Attorney Alton Maddox getting his license to practice law back, in order to get the Black vote.  An earful of history of abuse and destruction was explained to former Mayor David Dinkins, as he claimed ignorance about Spitzer's deleterious behavior. A clear example of See no evil! Hear no evil! Speak no —or better said, not against— evil! 

Of course, this is the same Mayor that refused to implement a solid plan that BUFNY presented to him that would have put every welfare hotel resident in affordable two-family homes within five years. The plan was deemed sound and workable by then Human Resources Commissioner, Barbara Sable, as well as Dinkins’ chief of staff, Bill Lynch, and a number of others that were close to the Mayor. As a matter of fact, the city would have saved over $25 million in the first year; and within five years, the entire Welfare Hotel System would have been closed.

In 1998, the North Eastern Urban League in Albany, under the leadership of a man named Aaron Dare, had begin to turn the floundering organization around, and had moved the League upward from $350,000 in assets to over $40 million in development  projects —from shopping centers to housing. 

He was then attacked by Spitzer. In an article published in the New York Amsterdam News, Oct. 2, 2003, entitled “BUFNY, the latest case in Eliot Spitzer’s war against Black leadership and independence,â€? Dr. James McIntosh, MD, the writer, says: “Spitzer went after Dare for mismanagement and charged him with using money he should have paid to the IRS to pay off the organization’s debts.â€? But the real problem Spitzer has with Dare is revealed in the first line of a report from Spitzer’s office. According to the report, “The mismanagement of the League started in 1997, when the League’s mission was expanded from community-based educational and job training programs to include urban, residential and commercial construction.â€?  Knowing all this, Mr. Dinkins still chose to support evil. No wonder the Black community turned him out for a second term.

The most despicable of them all, up to this point, in this writer's opinion, is State Senator David Paterson, who would not return phone calls during the takeover and dismantling of BUFNY, yet after its destruction, the Senator used Professor James Smalls as an intermediary to request a meeting with me. I agreed to meet only if I could bring others with me. Mr. Paterson agreed and two meetings were held, all at the request of the Senator. At the second meeting, with Attorney Michael Harding, Larry Barton, Professor James Smalls and me, the Senator expressed his outrage and anger at Mr. Spitzer to the extent that he said he was going “to hold Legislative Hearings against Spitzer� for his blatant destruction of BUFNY.

As a matter of fact, he said at a meeting with Spitzer himself and other Black Politicians from Harlem, that “the AG was mean, nasty, arrogant and disrespectful.� Assemblyman Keith Wright said the same thing regarding Spitzer's behavior. After the meeting a year and a half ago, I have been unable to talk with the Senator, as he, again, would not return my phone calls. Now he shows up as Spitzer's running mate for a position traditionally without power, especially compared to his potentially being the State Senate Majority Leader!

Brothers and Sisters, our Black political leadership is as corrupt as the Nixon White House and the Bush Administration combined! They will lie to you while they are kissing their “Massa's� backside. They have no principles, ethics or morals. What makes these people desire to be a good puppet Democrat? Why would Carl McCall support Spitzer for Governor? When McCall ran for Governor, neither Spitzer nor most of the other white politicians supported him.

As for poor Dinkins, a former Mayor, they don’t even have enough respect to help him now save the Boys’ Choir of Harlem, with a measly four million dollars. I wonder what Dinkins thought about BUFNY building and developing self-reliance in the community. We could sure use BUFNY now Mr. Dinkins! Why, with Spitzer giving away the State's collected bounty to his favorite charities, none that I know of being Black-owned, didn't he give some money to the Boys’ Choir of Harlem? After all, he gave some to Covenant House, a charity reported by Forbes Magazine as only contributing 15% to program cost and 85% to administration.  The answer is:  RACISM and a blatant agenda to use Black people! 

At the Paterson-Spitzer press conference February 1st at City College’s Great Hall, Assemblyman Keith Wright said,â€? When I saw Eliot get into a Malcolm X Cab Service, I knew he was the right man for the job.â€?  Ironically, the cab service is named the Malcolm Cab Company, not Malcolm X. Mr. Wright had to stretch to make that comparison. How does one compare Spitzer to Malcolm X? Then we heard David Paterson refer to Spitzer as the “Peoples Lawyerâ€?. A person that has always been a destroyer of our people and institutions, including his statement, “Black children only need an eighth grade education…â€? definitely is no friend of Black people.

How can Black politicians support Spitzer, when the unemployment rate for Black men in Harlem is over 50% and climbing; the reading scores in School District 5 are the lowest in the country, and the death rate of Black men in Harlem is higher than men in Bangladesh?  As a matter of fact, the Black community must rise up and demand accountability from our politicians for their lack of protection for our people. Our people are dying, and they are busy selling us out and kissing rear ends for their own personal gain!

The destruction of the Black United Fund of New York was a deliberate act by Spitzer and the Black political establishment to keep Black people powerless and dependent. There was absolutely no logical reason for this destruction, except to make sure we don't do for ourselves. For the first time in our history here in this country, Black people at the work place, were systematically giving to empower themselves. The country says to bootstrap, then they take the boots and the straps, and our so-called leadership is in bed with the oppressor.

To all concerned people of conscience, regardless of skin color, the election of Eliot Spitzer to the Governorship will guarantee you your worst nightmare. McCarthyism and the terrorizing policies of J. Edgar Hoover will be in full force. 

Kermit Eady is the founder and former president and chief executive officer of Black United Fund of New York, and is also the founder and chief executive officer of Eady Associates. He is a contributing writer to The New Freedom’s Journal column in The Black Star News and can be contacted by email at
[email protected].

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