By Anthony McClean, Editor In Chief Emeritus NEW HAVEN (BASN) —...
NAACP Should Reach Out To McNabb And Remove Mondesire As Philly President
WARNING: Some of the language in this article may be offensive to readers. The language used is not to denigrate anyone in particular but to get a various point of view across on the issue.
Why would a NAACP chapter president malign Donovan McNabb in an editorial? The NAACP wants to know the answer to that question as well.
SAN ANTONIO– “ I can not respond strongly enough to how I feel about the controversy started by Mondesire’s article. Having spent the first 40 years of my life in the Philadelphia metropolitan area, I have followed the Eagles organization and its players for a long time. Donovan McNabb is one of the best that they have had. He is a great quarterback, an excellent role model and a class act. Whatever possessed Mondesire to take such a negative position on a positive person like McNabb is beyond me. The NAACP has many civil rights issues that require our attention. Criticizing Donovan McNabb is not one of them. However, in light of Mondesire’s criticism it has become a personal priority of mine to set the record straight. I intend to reach out to Mr. McNabb personally to offer my apology as well as my support.” — Bruce S. Gordon, National President of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) When a friend of mine from ESPN sent me an e-mail on whether I wrote a piece about the Donovan McNabb/J. Whyatt Mondesire story, I had to ask him what was this about? So I started reading everything I could about this storyline and the more I read it the more incensed I became as to why anyone in a position of Mr. Mondesire’s stature would even think that he had a right to pen something so vile in this day and age while representing the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People in the city of Brotherly Love. Let me clarify my position. I would like to see Mr. Mondesire removed as the president of that organization in that city and the members of the Philly NAACP chapter should be asking for his resignation immediately. What Mr. Mondesire did is something so ethically incomprehensible, that it is just down right flabbergasting as a member of the Black press.
Let me put this in a context that everyone can understand. What Mr. Mondesire did was slander a black man in his article. His words denigrated the persona of McNabb and challenged his basic manhood. It is one thing to come out and say that McNabb is a mediocre quarterback in a column but it is something totally different to basically call McNabb a house nigger. Yes I said the magic word because that is exactly what Mondesire has done. You cannot escape the tone in his writing nor in his subsequent statements and Mr. Mondesire believes he was right. Well Mr. Mondesire, this piece isn’t being written by one of the leading columnists for the national only African American sports website that has been in existence over five years. A national sports radio show contributor for Fox Sports Radio isn’t writing this column. Someone who makes frequent appearances on Sporting News Radio and ESPN is not writing it. This column is being written by the Managing Editor and part owner of the San Antonio Informer, an African American newspaper located in San Antonio, Texas and this writer is pissed off that you would have the nerve to try and analyze an individual’s performance on the field in a fashion that is so unprofessional as a journalist in your approach, so vile in its attempt and so disrespectful of the organization that you are a chapter president of. You, Mr. Mondesire, are nothing more than a figure that believes in the Willie Lynch theory of helping African Americans and you should be ashamed of yourself.
CRABS IN A BUCKET SYNDROME = BLACKS ‘STABBING’ BLACKS ONCE AGAIN For Mr. Mondesire to have the audacity to go on national and local television and defend his position validates my stance as to why he subscribes to what many call the Willie Lynch Syndrome. I look at what McNabb has endured in three years or so and I cannot understand how a NAACP chapter president would have the nerve to pen such a column. The very reason that I am writing about this story is the very reason why I do not run for office in any organization that I belong to. Many readers may think that my stance is a definite ‘sell out’ position but when you understand that as the Managing Editor of a weekly newspaper and that you do work for various national media outlets, sometimes you cannot pen something and expect it to just stand on the merits as it was written.
The Nov. 27th editorial did one thing that many in the African American community were afraid would always happen; it has pitted one Black man against another. Now in 2005 you would think that with many African Americans being able to get good educations at any school they choose, something like this would not happen. But it has. That something I am talking about is the old ‘crab in the bucket’ axiom and Mr. Mondesire’s Nov. 27th article shows exactly why so many Blacks are not trusting of an organization like the NAACP. When you read Mr.. Mondesire’s column, why would you want to join the local NAACP chapter, let alone the national organization. There are far too many individuals, both Black and other ethnic origins, who do not want to join this organization because of the cat fighting and back stabbing that goes on. Did Mr. Mondesire’s column galvanize anyone to help Donovan McNabb? Of course not. This article of his has polarized a community on a near national level and for someone in Mr. Mondesire’s position, you would think that he would have seen this coming. Evidently not and sometimes that is an unfortunate way of showcasing to the world just how great the organization you represent is.
Do I believe that Mr. Mondesire’s article stabbed McNabb in the back? Yes I do and I think he meant to do so. I think that it was Mr. Mondesire’s personal vendetta to go out and basically slander McNabb in the fashion that he did. Neither he nor any of his supporters can say otherwise. Nowhere in the Nov. 27th article is there a ‘professional’ sentence structure in which the words, while biting and maybe full of venom from the author, are written in a fashion to where there are no personal attacks. Calling a subject ‘soup boy’ because he is successful in making a life after football is a personal attack. Saying that McNabb is basically a house nigger because he didn’t go to management when Terrell Owens wanted more money shows the lack of understanding that Mr. Mondesire has in the sports world. If anything is correct.Mr. Mondesire who is a fan writing an opinion; albeit it is possibly one of the most uneducated opinions I have ever read in my years of being a fan myself. But nevertheless it is his opinion and he is more than welcome to write such a piece.
But I want to stand on what I feel is a grave injustice to the members of the Philly NAACP chapter and to the national organization at large. What Mr. Mondesire has done was put this organization in a negative light and if McNabb wants to write a scathing rebuttal to that editorial, he is more than entitled too. As a matter of fact I’m glad that he actually did write it. Now maybe other sports writers think that McNabb should have kept his mouth shut. I don’t think so. I think it’s the other way around for guys like Mondesire who need to quit trying to find a reason to hate McNabb for his success.
If Mr. Mondesire thinks that Donovan McNabb is mediocre as a quarterback then he needs to explain to the rest of us sports fans how he helped lead the Eagles to three prior NFC championships prior to winning last year’s game to go to this past year’s Super Bowl. If Mr. Mondesire honestly believes that McNabb is a sell out and a houseboy for Jeffrey Laurie then he needs to explain what Michael Jordan, Charles Barkley, LeBron James and Allen Iverson are to the rest of the Black community then. Are successful African American professional athletes all houseboys in his eyes and what if they do not meet his expectations of success, will Mr. Mondesire pen another article depicting them as failures both on and off the field like he did McNabb in this one? If Mr. Mondesire wants question McNabb’s loyalty to Terrell Owens then maybe Mr. Mondesire should be asking Owens why he went public with all of his accusations and basically disrespected the leader of the team? Where was Owens’ loyalty in all of this and his culpability? Why is he making excuses for a malcontent who set about disrupting the team chemistry from the very beginning of this season?
As I told my friend from ESPN I would love to be on camera and debate with Mr. Mondesire and find out why he figures that as a newspaper publisher who is also the local NAACP president, he has the right to question anything that McNabb does on or off the field in a situation that very few of us understand to begin with. I hope Mr. Gordon does reach out to Donovan and let him know that the organization does not feel this way and I hope that Mr. Gordon does everything he can do have Mr. Mondesire removed from office.
It may be hard for many to understand why I think that he should be removed but if you have ever represented an organization on any level, you will know that you do not want to embarrass that organization in any fashion. Mr. Mondesire, whether he knowingly or unknowingly did it, embarrassed the NAACP and the Philadelphia chapter and for that very reason an apology to the much-beleaguered quarterback of the Eagles isn’t going to suffice. In a time when this young man has been brutally attacked by many in the mainstream media, you would hope that the Black media would not join the fray in tearing away whatever professional dignity and character that Donovan has left. But one of the members of the Black press has done just that and the attacks were uncalled for. If Mr. Mondesire doesn’t resign then he needs to be forced out by the local members. He needs to be removed because the simple fact of the matter is that you do not want a leader of an organization that is about protecting civil rights and all the amenities that may go with that charge going out and lambasting private or public figures just because he doesn’t like how that person performs his job.
Maybe Mr. Mondesire thinks he did the right thing but this member of the Black press is begging to differ. If the statements were attributed to a white newspaper publisher, he and many others would be calling for a boycott of that publication. Well what’s the difference here? There is none. Mr. Gordon as an individual who is thinking about joining the NAACP on an individual membership, you will have to do a serious selling job in showing this writer that the NAACP does not allow its leadership to publicly chastise an individual in the fashion that Mr. Mondesire has done. To not do everything in your power to see that an appropriate apology has been issued to Donovan McNabb both on a national and local scope will only put myself and many others in the same boat that McNabb is already in; reservations of joining an organization that would be about fighting for me and not against me. Mr. Gordon, do what must be necessary to make sure that the NAACP reaches out to McNabb (and the rest of us in exponential fashion) but Mr. Mondesire needs to be removed from office or heavily censured in this case. You cannot have a loose cannon leading such an important organization. Not in this time and day where civil rights fights need to be fought with clarity of the issues. It’s a matter of principle as a leader of an organization and accepting that his actions were wrong.