Is It Racist?: The Pressure on David Paterson

Welcome back to the super fun game show sweeping the Internet: "Is It Racist?"! Last episode, we judged a British movie poster. Tonight, our panel must decide whether the political pressure placed on David Paterson to resign is racist!

Racism aside, things do not look good for Paterson. He's already announced he will not seek election this year. A new Times piece today strengthens the case that Paterson took an active role in silencing the woman allegedly beaten by his BFF David W. Johnson . He is, as Alex pointed out, done. (Though Paterson still says he's not resigning.)

But another Times article raises a question that has been actually a surprisingly long time coming in this particular Paterson scandal: Does the pressure on Paterson to resign have a racial component? This is where our contestants come in: Before you lie two buttons—one marked "Racist," one marked "Not Racist." Once we begin, you may hit either of these buttons to declare the Paterson political pressure racist or not. Alright, contestants. Are you ready? Let's play! Is! It! Racist!

Is It Racist?: The Pressure on David Paterson

Racist! Why is everyone calling for Paterson's head—his administration resigning and everything—before all the facts are in? A number of black Democrats told the Times today that the pressure on Paterson was in part inspired by a "racial double standard" which signals black politicians out for extra scrutiny. Said Brooklyn senator Eric Adams,

This is not the first time a governor has been under scrutiny. This is not the first time a governor has been investigated. To prematurely call for him to have his powers circumvented or have him removed, I think it's unfair.

Not Racist! Far from unfair pressure, the calls for Paterson to step down have been notably muted considering the allegations against him—helping hush up a woman his confidant brutally beat—makes most New Yorkers wistful for a time when their governor's main vice was getting overcharged for sex with a singer-prostitute. Compared to Spitzer, Paterson has it easy. Democrats didn't just pressure Spitzer once reports of his hooker habit came in: They gave him a 48 hour deadline resign or face impeachment.

The Pressure Might Not Be, But the Media Sure Is! The media has played a crucial role in making Paterson appear unfit for office, what with the crazy ghost scandals and New York Post smear campaigns. And the media is stacked against minorities. It's no coincidence that Paterson's most vocal critic—if you can call the New York Post's shotgun splatter of unsubstantiated sex rumors "criticism"—is a seething pit of racism and bigotry. How can anyone succeed when the media just pulls made-up shit out of thin air then uses it as proof you are "incompetent," and to feed further allegations?

Who Cares, Paterson is a Godawful Governor! Incompetence is color-blind. Paterson is a bumbling slacker who deserves what he's getting. He's played the race card before when things got tough for him, so it's hard to take these new allegations seriously. Plus, can you even be racist against a racist? Last year, the state reached a $300,000 settlement against a photographer who claimed Paterson fired him in order to hire a black guy.