“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.”
“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.