*It probably won’t come as a surprise that President Trump has rejected an invitation to speak at the annual convention of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People/NAACP in Baltimore, according to White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders.
You most likely have your own ideas on why he declined, but as far as an official answer from the White House, don’t hold your breath waiting. So far, the administration hasn’t offered any details on why Trump would not speak to the 108-year-old civil rights group.
“My understanding is that the invitation has been declined for this year,” Sanders told reporters at a briefing.
On the other hand, she offered that while Trump would not speak at the conference, the White House would be happy to have a dialog with the group.
“We would certainly like to be able to continue to do that,” Sanders said.
So far there’s been no comment from the NAACP. This year’s convention begins Saturday.
This isn’t the first time Trump has declined to speak at the NAACP convention. Last year, ironically it coincided with the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, where he was formally nominated as the party’s presidential candidate. P History will note that previous Republican presidential nominees regularly attended the annual meetings of the oldest U.S. civil rights organization.
Bloomberg points out that Trump’s most recent predecessors in the White House, Barack Obama, a Democrat, and George W. Bush, a Republican, both delivered speeches to the NAACP during their time in office.
During his campaign, Trump pledged to improve the lives of African Americans and implored them to vote for him because, in his words, “what do you have to lose?!” The bottom line is that black voters weren’t swayed and voted overwhelmingly in favor of his Democratic opponent, Hillary Clinton, in the 2016 presidential election.
Since he’s been in office, Trump has been criticized by some groups, including the Congressional Black Caucus, for not doing enough to address issues in the African-American community.