For Immediate Release
NAACP Statement on President's Refusal to Attend Annual Convention
BALTIMORE - The NAACP issued the following statement after President Trump announced that he will not attend the NAACP’s 108th Annual Convention in Baltimore, Maryland.
"It's extremely unfortunate that during these pressing and urgent times, the President has chosen to turn his back on the nation's oldest and largest civil rights organization—though I must admit, his refusal to attend our convention is not totally unexpected," said Leon Russell, Board Chairman of the NAACP. "As a nonpartisan civil rights organization, we've hosted President Obama, Clinton, Bush Jr., and Reagan, to name a few. This is a historic departure from past presidents’ engagements with the Association.
"During his campaign, President Trump asked us 'what do you have to lose?' This is the second time President Trump has refused an offer to speak at our annual convention. 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.
"The NAACP fights to make sure democracy is real for all communities. We fight to end racism, hatred and discrimination in the United States. Our branches fight for real issues like access to healthcare, a fair justice system, equal opportunity to education, an end to police brutality and the right to vote. When President Trump is ready to listen to us and the people we serve, we will be here. Until then, the NAACP will continue to strive for an America free from racism and continue to speak truth to power."
Founded Feb. 12. 1909, the NAACP is the nation's oldest, largest and most widely recognized grassroots–based civil rights organization. Its more than half-million members and supporters throughout the United States and the world are the premier advocates for civil rights in their communities, conducting voter mobilization and monitoring equal opportunity in the public and private sectors.