A proud member of Portland's NAACP, my response to the Tribune article of Nov. 14 ("Misconduct charges throw local chapter of NAACP into turmoil") was to wonder, why this?
Why would the Tribune want to participate in a campaign of rumor and innuendo against the NAACP? I am sure the paper ignored its reincarnation of the myth that we, African Americans, cannot manage our own affairs? You might respond that the article was "newsworthy." I do not agree. In case I missed something, here are questions, the answers to which might help me reconsider the real "newsworthiness" of the article.
One of the complaining people in the Tribune article has a long history of launching ugly public, vitriolic, unsubstantiated and unwarranted attacks upon African American leaders in Portland. Did you find this out as you researched the story? Did you determine whether they contacted the regional/national NAACP offices and any outcome of that contact? Was the alleged boycott of the NAACP dinner successful? Given the potential harm this article might do to individuals and to an honored organization, did the Tribune practice quality journalistic ethics and adequately research/vet the information you printed?
I attended the September meeting referred to in the article. It was chaotic because two people featured in your article were actively disrupting the meeting. They were disrespectful to the people working on NAACP business. If those two people are still NAACP members, I hope they will step down. If not, I hope the chapter will expel them.
The NAACP bylaws read: (Grounds for Suspension or Other Disciplinary Action) "When an individual becomes a member of the NAACP, that individual pledges to abide by the rules and policies of the Association and the decisions of the Board of Directors. The Board of Directors, upon satisfactory evidence that an officer or member of the Association, or of a subsidiary Unit of the Association is guilty of conduct not in accord with the principles, aims and purposes of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, as set forth in its Constitution, and as defined by the Board or Convention, or guilty of conduct inimical to the best interests of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, may order suspension, expulsion or other disciplinary action against such officer or member, after a full hearing if requested by the respondent in accord with the provisions of this Constitution. Any member of the Association who files litigation against the National NAACP or against any of its units without having pursued the remedies within the framework of the Association, shall be deemed as exhibiting behavior not in accord with the principles, aims and purposes of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, meriting suspension, expulsion, or other disciplinary actions."
In the future I hope you will require more from your journalists than a thirst for controversy and/or the perpetuation of bigoted myths. Write a story on the good work the NAACP has been doing.
Kathleen D. Saadat is a member of the local NAACP branch and lives in Northeast Portland.
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