July 13, 2016
Donald Trump NAACP: Candidate Refuses Invitation To Speak At Event [Video]

Donald Trump, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, has reportedly declined to speak at the upcoming NAACP Annual Convention. The NAACP convention will begin in Cincinnati just days before the former-reality TV star is slated to attend the Republican National Convention in Cleveland; it is at the RNC that Donald Trump is expected to become the official Republican presidential nominee.

As CNN reports, Cornell William Brooks, a spokesperson for the NAACP, has announced that Donald Trump refused the group's sincere invitation to speak at the annual conference, which begins this coming weekend. In stark contrast, Hillary Clinton is on the schedule to address the NAACP members attending the event.

Hillary is the Democratic presumptive presidential nominee, and has just secured the long-awaited endorsement of rival Bernie Sanders on Tuesday.

According to Brooks, the reason given by the Donald Trump campaign for refusing the NAACP's invitation is that he will be busy with the RNC at the time of the NAACP event. However, the NAACP had remained hopeful that the presumptive Republican nominee would be willing to travel the short distance between the two Ohio cities in order to address the NAACP attendees, as Mrs. Clinton has been willing to do. Hillary Clinton's Democratic National Convention will be taking place in Philadelphia beginning on July 25.

"Mr. Trump has declined our invitation, so we will hear from Sec. Clinton," Brooks said. "Namely, the explanation given was that (the Republicans) are holding their convention at the same time. We are, of course, in Cincinnati, they are in Cleveland. We were hoping he would make the short trip from Cleveland to Cincinnati."

Donald Trump's campaign has yet to comment on its candidate's refusal to speak at the NAACP convention. However, it is worth noting that past Republican candidates have made time in their admittedly busy campaign schedules to address the NAACP.

Most recently, Mitt Romney spoke to the 103rd annual NAACP conference in Texas back in 2012, a memorable experience for both the former presidential candidate and the NAACP attendees alike.

NAACP spokesman Brooks has expressed severe disappointment regarding Donald Trump's refusal to speak at the event. He has said that he was looking forward to hearing Donald Trump's words to the African-American community regarding recent tensions between the community and law enforcement, particularly in the wake of the recent deadly Dallas police shootings.

According to Brooks, Donald Trump's refusal to address the NAACP could impact the African-American community's support for the presumptive Republican presidential nominee. Especially at this critical moment in the history of race relations, particularly between law enforcement and the African-American community.

"You can't run for president and not talk about police misconduct and police brutality. You can't run for president and not talk about this country's civil rights agenda..."
Donald Trump has been asked point-blank in media interviews, particularly on Fox News, as Donald Trump has reportedly stopped giving TV interviews on less conservative networks, whether or not he is capable of relating to the "black community." One such query took place on The O'Reilly Factor, when host Bill O'Reilly asked the novice politician his thoughts on the matter.
"Well, I'd like to say yes but you really can't unless you're African-American. Because I do understand what goes on in life, and I do understand that the economics of our country are not the same... that our educational system stinks, it's absolutely horrible."
In the same interview, Donald Trump accused African-American president Obama of being "a divider." He accused Black Lives Matter, a social movement that has sprung up in response to the disproportionate number of police shootings involving black suspects, of "dividing America" as well.
Donald Trump's refusal to speak at the NAACP event comes at a critical time in his campaign, and may not bode well for his future according to one new poll. As AP reports, most young people in America have an unfavorable opinion of Donald Trump, with many of them citing his perceived racism as the primary reason for their feelings.
"Clearly, from what Trump has said he can be categorized as racist."
The GenForward poll surveyed young American adults ranging in age from 18 to 30. Among those questioned, only 39 percent have a favorable opinion of Trump, compared to 54 percent with a favorable opinion of Clinton.
Among those polled, two-thirds believe Donald Trump is racist, including almost 60 percent of the white people polled and over 75 percent of the Hispanics, Asians, and African-Americans.

What do you think? Was Trump's decision to decline the NAACP invitation the right one? Was it politically incorrect or politically motivated? Do you think that Donald Trump will suffer in the general election as a result of his refusal to address the NAACP at this critical juncture?

[Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images]