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Old 12-09-2005, 03:30 PM  
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McNabb attacked by NAACP for acting too white

http://www.philly.com/mld/dailynews/sports/13365786.htm

John Smallwood | FOLDING THE RACE CARD
CRITICS ARE OUT OF LINE DEBATING McNABB'S 'BLACKNESS'



THAT I DISAGREE with the negative assessment Philadelphia NAACP head Jerry Mondesire made of Donovan McNabb in the Philadelphia Sun is irrelevant.

Mondesire, like everyone else, is entitled to his opinions, and more power to him for having a forum like the Sun to express them.

I guess what I'd really like to know is how or why the quarterback's performance, Terrell Owens' self-created banishment and the Eagles' fall from Super Bowl to the cellar of the NFC East has evolved into a referendum on "blackness" in some segments of Philadelphia's African-American community.

In his column, Mondesire blasted McNabb as an average quarterback who played the race card. If McNabb were Caucasian, would Mondesire have been moved to go against his normal policy of not commenting on sports because "the games that grown men play pale in comparison to the great issues of racism, politics, social calamities, health crisis's, war, peace, etc... . "?

If McNabb were Caucasian, I am positive white people would not have been motivated to call into talk radio shows and debate whether the quarterback was a true white man.

But debating Donovan McNabb as a true black man is exactly what a good number of African-Americans in Philadelphia are doing since the Owens-McNabb flap became the focal point of the Eagles' demise.

It's fascinating that this has spiraled way beyond the confines of a football debate. And don't tell me it hasn't, when terms such as sellout, token, company man, Uncle Tom and other racially charged ones have been thrown into the debate.

What this black-on-black verbal violence has caused me to wonder is: Who gets to determine who is truly African-American and what is or isn't a part of African-American culture?

Is McNabb only sort of black because his parents, Sam and Wilma, stayed together and raised him to act like an adult when confronted with something such as Owens' repeated criticism?

When did handling a difficult situation with class and dignity become a negative in the black community?

Is Owens a full-fledged brother now because he stood up to the man while minstrel-acting his way out of millions of dollars?

Does T.O. lose some of his street credibility because he dropped his "hard-ass brotha" act and basically begged "Massa" to take him back as soon as he realized he really was getting kicked out of the house and off the plantation?

So what is the criteria for being black?

Allen Iverson "keeps it real" because he remembers his roots growing up in the ghettos of Hampton, Va.

Kobe Bryant is labeled as fraud because he grew up in Italy and Lower Merion.

So does that mean Iverson's children eventually will be branded similarly to Bryant because they will have grown up in a wealthy lifestyle of the Main Line?

Who gets to make those determinations?

Is it Mondesire? The fellas on the corner in North Philly? The black lawyer or doctor living in Chestnut Hill?

If my father left the streets of Baltimore to serve for more than 20 years in the Army because he wanted his children to have it better than he had, does it make me less of a black man because I grew up on military bases and in the suburbs of Baltimore?

If I got scholarships for having good grades and worked a job every day so that I could afford to go to the University of Maryland, am I less black than the man who pulled himself up through the school of hard knocks?

I get e-mails all the time questioning my blackness because I work for the Daily News, because I sometimes criticize black athletes, because I don't always say what some black people want or expect me to say.

So is growing up impoverished in the inner city an absolute must to be considered "truly" black?

I grew up in a school district that was only 6 percent black and was called a "******." Would it have been more accurate had they called me "little kind-of-a-black boy lost in suburbia?"

Damn, it sure hurt like I was being called "******."

If I don't subscribe to the "thug life," does that mean I don't subscribe to the black life?

Sorry, folks, but I'm not buying that. My roots are what they are. I am what I am, African-American.

As black people, the fact that we come from so many different segments of society should be our greatest strength.

Instead, we often let our diversity and the accompanying ability to bring varying perspectives to the table be manipulated into divisive tools that we readily use against ourselves.

So maybe McNabb really is just a mediocre quarterback with a penchant for choking in big games. But how does that make him less of an African-American?

And on whose authority does someone get to decide that?
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Old 12-09-2005, 09:13 PM   #16
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Old 12-09-2005, 10:34 PM   #17
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Old 12-09-2005, 11:58 PM   #18
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Old 12-10-2005, 12:09 AM   #19
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Old 12-10-2005, 12:17 AM   #20
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Old 12-10-2005, 12:21 AM   #21
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