by Jack Davis | Western Journalism
On the same week the NAACP sued the Trump administration over its voter fraud commission, NAACP Board Chairman Leon Russell criticized President Donald Trump for not speaking at this year’s NAACP convention, which kicks off this weekend in Baltimore.
On Wednesday, White House deputy press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders announced that Trump was invited to speak but is not attending the event.
“My understanding is that the invitation has been declined for this year, but certainly the invitation for dialogue with that group would happily take place, and we would certainly like to be able to continue to do that,” Sanders said.
Russell considered the action a slap in the face.
“During his campaign, President Trump asked us ‘what do you have to lose?’” Russell said. “We get the message loud and clear. The president’s decision today underscores the harsh fact: We have lost — we’ve lost the will of the current administration to listen to issues facing the black community.”
Russell labeled Trump’s decision a “historic departure from past presidents’ engagements with the association” because during their terms, former Presidents Barack Obama, George W. Bush, Bill Clinton and Ronald Reagan addressed the NAACP.
“When President Trump is ready to listen to us and the people we serve, we will be here,” Russell said. “Until then, the NAACP will continue to strive for an America free from racism and continue to speak truth to power.”
Trump broke with precedent as a candidate and did not speak to the NAACP, which has taken sides against the president on the issue of voter fraud. This week, the NAACP filed suit to stop the activities of the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity.
“President Trump has not appointed a commission for the purpose of consulting with fair-and-balanced advisors; rather, he has appointed a commission stacked with biased members to undertake an investigation into unfounded allegations of voter fraud, even though Congress has specifically delegated the authority to ensure the accuracy of voter rolls to the Election Assistance Commission and state election officials, not the president,” the suit said.
The lawsuit said the actions of the commission “have already had a chilling effect on black and Latino voters. Some voters have taken the extraordinary step of unregistering, and black and Latino voters in particular have reported well-founded fears of being targeted for false allegations of voter fraud and of being retaliated against for their political affiliation.”
In January, when Trump unveiled his idea for the commission, Cornell William Brooks, president and CEO of the NAACP, attacked Trump.
“The president has claimed millions of fraudulent ballots were cast. The only place you will find millions of fraudulent ballots are right beside that fake birth certificate for Barack Obama, inside the imagination of President Trump. They don’t exist,” Brooks said.
“We have seen our rights denied as Americans, particularly seniors, African-Americans, Latinos and younger people,” Brooks said. “So, if the president insists upon conducting an investigation into voter fraud as a pretext for voter suppression, the NAACP, along with millions of Americans of every human heritage, will resist. We will push back.”
Via Western Journalism | http://www.westernjournalism.com/days-after-it-filed-suit-against-his-administration-trump-to-skip-naacp-speech/?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=romulus&utm_campaign=can&utm_content=2017-07-21
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