You should know that in March 2008 I was in Albany, NY when we received news of the then-Governor Eliot Spitzer’s prostitution scandal.
As you well know; Spitzer was forced to resign and the Hon. David Paterson, who until then served as lieutenant governor, made history by being the first African-American governor in New York State.
It is important for you to know that from the moment Lieutenant Governor David Paterson, stepped into his role as Governor he was stamped with the seal being called “The Accidental Governor”. The news media, the written and televised press, commentators, writers, and the mainstream media in general, never took the glove off Governor David Paterson’s face, always calling him “The Accidental Governor.”
I don’t know if it was because he was the first African American governor, a minority, a male, or because he is legally blind. All I know is that he was constantly belittled when he was continuously identified as “The Accidental Governor.”
It is important for you to note that today the Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul, as David Paterson will make history as the first female governor of the State, for which we are proud and congratulate her. Nonetheless, there is a big difference in that no one has referred to her as “The Accidental Governor.”
The same reporters, the same commentators, the same news programs, and all those who disparaged and mocked Paterson by calling him “The Accidental Governor” not once have bestowed the same title of the “Accidental Governor” to Kathy Hochul. Why is that?
Kathy Hochul will be governed under the same circumstances as David Paterson. Neither of them was elected by the people. Both became governors of this great state because the actual governor was forced to resign due to scandal. It just so happens that both were in the right place at the right time.
Why then the different treatment? Kathy Hochul is being treated with silk gloves and with the utmost respect, while David Paterson was treated as nothing more than “The Accidental Governor”. Why is it?
To all those people who sealed Paterson as “The Accidental Governor” I encourage you to use the same measure that you used back then when referring to Governor David Paterson, it’s only fair.
I’m Councilman Rev. Ruben Diaz and this is What You Should Know.