by Alton H. Maddox, Jr.
Before Gov. Eliot Spitzer was apprehended for money-laundering, racketeering and engaging in prostitution, he had already patted his “assets” at the Black community. Rev. Al Sharpton used my legal plight to entice the Black community to vote for Spitzer as attorney general of New York State in 1998. Spitzer promised to Black voters that he would end my illegal suspension which had been procured by a predecessor in the attorney general’s office.
In public office, he not only breached his public promise to Black voters by snubbing his nose at the Code of Professional Responsibility but he also encouraged the state’s lawyers to file a false document in a federal lawsuit. The document claimed that I had been “disbarred”. I had only been illegally “barred” from the practice of law. I still have a license to practice law in New York.
This false claim was and is illegal. Federal courts used this false designation, absent due process of law, to dismiss my federal complaint since a disbarred, Black lawyer has “no rights that whites are bound to respect”. Sptizer lacks ethics. Once again, he violated the Code of Professional Responsibility.
I did not know until my appearance in late 1997 on Johnnie Cochran’s Court-TV program that Spitzer “co-owned” Sharpton. He told Sharpton in no uncertain terms that he had better stay away from his defamation trial in Dutchess County. Sharpton complied. I will show this interview with Spitzer, Sharpton, Cochran and myself at UAM’s weekly forum at the Brooklyn Christian Center on September 18. The interview was embarrassing for Sharpton.
Spitzer was incensed that some Blacks would challenge him on his decision to leave me out in the cold.
While Sptizer was the state’s attorney general, Dr. William A Jones, Bill Tatum, state Sen. Ada Smith and others demanded a meeting with him about his broken promise to the Black community. Spitzer was incensed that some Blacks would challenge him on his decision to leave me out in the cold. He made these Blacks stand out in the rain for several hours before he would meet with them.
Many of these leading politicians and preachers, endorsing Spitzer, had claimed to be friends of either Jones and/or Tatum. They saw nothing wrong with Spitzer mistreating their friends. Today, Jones and Tatum must be turning over in their graves. No white person would elevate a disgraced, Black person over a white victim. The lack of ethics is a serious problem in the Black community. Ethics is not a synonym for religion. Blacks are imbued with religion while lacking ethics.
There are other examples of what Spitzer has in store for Blacks after September 10. Kermit Eady sought to develop an infrastructure which would allow Blacks to finance their liberation and not their oppression. Spitzer used his executive powers to pull the plug on the Black United Fund.
When Spitzer decided to do his victory dance for the Black vote after he became governor, he decided to use a fledgling, white business in Harlem which is across the street from the Cotton Club. Harlem’s landmark nightclub could have used Spitzer’s business. Instead, Spitzer invited leading Blacks and Black selected officials to Dinosaur Bar-B-Que for some pork to kill two birds with one stone; that is, Blacks and the Cotton Club.
According to a political report on “Inside City Hall”, Blacks may be pivotal in electing Spitzer as comptroller of New York City even though he has no deference for the Black community and he has never lifted a finger to defend it. It is of no moment to Blacks that I spent four decades fighting for them in the most controversial cases in New York. All of this work was done pro bono.
It is true that the more you defend Blacks against whites, the more Blacks despise you. See Sharpton. Compare Spitzer. Today, you will not find a single Black person in New York who will step up to the plate, in “plain view” of whites, and demand that this illegal, state action against me must end forthwith “or else”.
The practice of a “white primary” being exercised against out ancestors started at the turn of the last century. In Smith v. Alwright in 1944, the U.S. Supreme Court nominally ended the practice of the “white primary”. Nevertheless, this practice has continued throughout the tenure of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
No one, who is living today, has fought harder than I have for the right of Blacks to form and enjoy the benefits of an independent, political organization in the United States. Most Blacks have stopped protesting at the right to vote. This is the red line. These Blacks have been stumped by this year’s Supreme Court decision in Shelby Co v. Holder which gutted the Voting Rights Act of 1965 instead of them answering our revered ancestor, Cong. Adam Clayton Powell, Jr: What’s in your hand?
An independent, political voice like the Freedom Party will not help Blacks unless and until they embrace and employ the building materials which are essential to the formation of an independent, political body. They are philosophy, ethics and logic. The leading proponents in these respective disciplines are Hon. Marcus Garvey, Dr. Carter G. Woodson and Prof. Melvin Tolson.
No one has given Blacks a better answer for our plight than Dr. Woodson. He expressed this answer in Miseducation of the Negro. No Black voter should go to the polls without first reading it. In pertinent part, he said:
The lack of confidence of the Negro in himself and in his possibilities is what has kept him down… If the Negro would be as fair to his own as he has been to others, this would be all that is necessary to give him a new lease on life and start the trend upward. p. 109.
Too honest for the White Press and too black for much of today’s Black Press; bullet columnist Alton Maddox upsets the same people and status quo as he did as an uncompromising Defense Attorney. He is also a founding member of the Freedom Party. Please support the movement to Reinstate him. Contact him at c/o UAM P.O. BOX 35 BRONX, NY 10471