When I read Kathleen Saadat’s “Letter to the Editor”/chastisement of the Portland Tribune about their article published on November 14, 2019 entitled “Misconduct Charges Throw the Local Chapter of the NAACP into Turmoil,” I was not surprised. But I thought, how ironic that this person would have the audacity to criticize legitimate concerns of members who have done real work to make the organization successful. Outside of the specific meeting she cites in her letter, I will eat my hat if anyone can show where Ms. Sadaat has attended more than three meetings over the past year. I will eat two hats if they can show me where she has volunteered to do any work, to sit on any committee, or to perform any substantial work for the organization. Saadat has no skin in this matter other than to run her damn mouth. Most folks who agree with her assessment are truly uninformed or are among Mondaine’s minions, and don’t have a clue as to what happens in the monthly membership meetings of NAACP Portland Chapter 1120. Even worse, they have no idea of the flagrant lack of transparency as to what happens with the finances of 1120. A chapter member or concerned community person need only raise a single question, specifically about finances, to be bullied and maligned as a troublemaker or meeting disrupter. If anyone really wants to know about what goes on behind the scenes at 1120, FOLLOW THE MONEY.
I am truly puzzled by Saadat’s reference to researching/vetting any complaints against the organization. She needs to do a little research herself because if she did, she would know that formal complaints have been lodged against the local leadership and the regional leadership and that both have had to respond to a number of legitimate issues. Sadaat needs to do her homework before calling out the Tribune for not doing theirs.
And while Ms. Sadaat cuts and paste phrases from the NAACP bylaws regarding suspension and expulsion, she needs to apply those provisions first and foremost to the current leadership, starting with the local President. These are the persons clearly not following their moral oaths of office, let alone bylaws and organizational norms. Maybe then Sadaat would not really know that because she is, herself, just a casual disruptive observer, rather than a real functional, working volunteer member of the NAACP.
Regarding the boycott of the NAACP Freedom Fund Dinner, no one really knows the financial facts, or will likely ever be given access to legitimate financial statements, actual banking records. But for five consecutive monthly membership meetings, May through September 2019, Mondaine stated in his president’s oral and written reports to the membership, “Our goal for our Freedom Fund Dinner is $200,000.00.” Yet on October 26, 2019, he reported at the monthly membership meeting that the Dinner had raised $23,184.81, before accounting for expenditures. Simple math says these funds came in at $176,815.19 less than the projected goal. What Mondaine failed to tell to the membership was whether or not the $5,000.00, supposedly donated by the DoubleTree Hilton was written off as a business expense or a tax deduction to a 501c4. If Ms. Sadaat has access to financial records, “please share them” so that the 1120 membership and the community-at-large can all know the full extent of the success/failure of this major annual fundraiser.
I really do find it fascinating that in her Letter to the Editor, Sadaat expresses concerns about everything except the merits of the complaints in the news article. Accusations about misogyny from reputable, professional female members, to a threat of physical violence by a congressional candidate, all willing to swear to the same under oath, are serious matters. They are not trivial complaints to be dismissed as coming from “meeting disrupters.” Furthermore, I would like for Ms. Sadaat to cite specific incidents of the person in the article known to have a history of launching ugly public, vitriolic, unsubstantiated and unwarranted attacks upon African American leaders in Portland. Who could she be talking about, and how in the hell would the Tribune know this person unless she is willing to call him or her out with substantiated evidence?
Finally, the reason why this story is newsworthy is because the community at large cannot afford to host and tolerate nefarious, unscrupulous behavior on the part of any organization, but especially not one with the mission of eliminating discrimination, fostering equity, building community and demanding transparency. It diminishes us all to have this valued institution misrepresented. Some want to hide this dirt and maleficent behavior. I guess they think if they can keep it contained to the black community, they can get away with it. But not if I have anything to do with it.
The Tribune did not create the serious chaos and turmoil at the local NAACP. The leadership did and continues to do so. Sadly, Ms. Sadaat would not know because she is not consistently in attendance. I would possibly have respect for her opinion if she would show her ass up.
2 thoughts on “I will eat my Hat”
Well done, my brother. I agree with you and support your commentary 100%. Keep the faith.
I give two thumbs up to the commentary posted by James Posey, an active, engaged, present and “proud” NAACP member. I realize it also a fact-filled counter point to Kathleen Saadat’s response to the recent Portland Tribune article on our troubled local NAACP chapter.
I am one of a number of paid members – in good standing nationally – who were regularly in attendance at monthly membership meetings, who raised legitimate and appropriate concerns about leadership lacks, financial opaqueness, grandiose and unfounded fundraising claims that never materialized, and treasurer’s reports that raised more questions than they answered.
There are a number of us who regularly spoke up, asked pertinent questions, even stood our ground in the face of brutish retorts, virulent misogyny and dangerous anger on the part of current leadership.
When I realized the level of rising toxicity at the meetings was tied to increasing levels of scrutiny, and it was stressful and not beneficial to my spirit or health, I chose to remove myself from regular exposure to the leadership.
But I have continued to work to achieve a stronger, well-led branch that models what the NAACP has stood for since IU ts founding: the advancement of colored people; not merely self promotion of a few at the expense of many.
I thank James, Rosa, Noni, Daniel, younger people who came forward hoping for engagement, and a number of other members who have shown fearlessness in the face of constant malignment, threats and intimidation.
I do appreciate them for holding the line and reaching for truth and transparency.,
Though that goal may seem unattainable in these times, showing up, being present, speaking up, getting the facts and challenging wrongs has never been popular, yet it has always been necessary.
I continue to believe that’s how our African American community and its leaders should “manage our affairs” regardless of whether others are watching.