NAACP recently extended an invitation to President Donald Trump to speak at its 108th Annual Convention in Baltimore. The White House responded on Wednesday, saying President Trump has declined the offer. NAACP, the oldest civil rights organization in the United States, is now questioning the president’s commitment to the African-American community.
“During his campaign, President Trump asked us ‘what do you have to lose?’” Leon Russell, NAACP Board Chairman, said in an interview. “We get the message loud and clear. The president’s decision today underscores the harsh face: we have lost – we’ve lost the will of the current administration to list to issues facing the black community.”
A similar invitation extended to Trump in 2016 was also declined, citing a scheduling conflict with the Republican National Convention, which was being held at the same time.
After Sanders made the announcement that Trump would not attend the convention, reporters relayed the news to the NAACP.
Sanders said even though Trump declined to appear at the NAACP’s annual convention, “certainly the invitation for dialogue with that group would happily take place and we’d certainly like to continue to do that.”
It has been years since a GOP presidential nominee refused to address the NAACP. John McCain and Mitt Romney attended a NAACP conference before losing to Obama.
The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People began on July 22 and will run through July 26.