Former Mass. Gov. Patrick Wishes President-Elect Trump Success, Calls For Vigilance Against Bigotry

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Former Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick in a 2014 interview. (Jesse Costa/WBUR file photo)
Former Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick in a 2014 interview. (Jesse Costa/WBUR file photo)

In the wake of last week's elections, former Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick is wishing Republican President-elect Donald Trump the best, but calling for citizens to be vigilant in the face of bigotry.

Patrick supported Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton for president, but the Democrat said he wants to focus on being a good citizen. Unlike the congressional Republicans who vowed to thwart Barack Obama in 2008, Patrick said he wants success for Trump.

"I think we owe him a chance," he said. "He's not just the president of those who voted for him, he's the president of all of us.

"But he's also unleashed something dark. That's very worrisome to me — frightening to many. And we can't give an inch to bigotry and hate."

Since Election Day, there have been reports across the country of bias-based attacks.

Patrick spoke to reporters in South Boston Monday night before being honored by the American Jewish Committee of New England. AJC's Robert Leikind said in a time when people are losing the ability to converse, the group wanted to recognize someone committed to open conversation.

"Deval Patrick really embodies these kinds of values," he said. "He's worked throughout his life to bring communities together."

Patrick was given the AJC's Co-Existence Award. Now the first African-American governor of Massachusetts wonders what co-existence will be like under President Trump.

New FBI statistics show hate crimes against blacks rose 8 percent in 2015. They were up 67 percent against Muslims.

"I'm very conscious of the fact that, I might come out of a building some day," Patrick said, "and someone rolls down their window and calls me a name because they think it's OK now, and it's not OK."

Asked if he's considering a return to politics, Patrick said he's focused on ways he can contribute from the private sector. After leaving office, Patrick took a director position at Bain Capital, where he manages a fund focused on social problems.

This article was originally published on November 15, 2016.

This segment aired on November 15, 2016.


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Simón Rios Reporter
Simón Rios is an award-winning bilingual reporter in WBUR's newsroom.



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