President Declines NAACP Invite to Speak

Yahoo! News – President Declines NAACP Invite to Speak

CNN – Bush declines NAACP invitation

President Bush declined an invitation to speak at the NAACP’s annual convention, the group said. The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People expects more than 8,000 people to attend the convention, which opens on Saturday. Democratic challenger John Kerry accepted an invitation to speak next Thursday on the final day of the convention, the NAACP said. Bush spoke at the 2000 NAACP convention in Baltimore when he was running for president. NAACP spokesman John White said Wednesday that Bush has declined invitations in each year of his presidency — becoming the first president since Herbert Hoover not to attend an NAACP convention.

The NAACP received a letter from the White House three weeks ago declining the invitation because of scheduling conflicts and thanking them for understanding. The letter was signed by presidential scheduler Melissa Bennett. White House spokesman Jim Morrell said Wednesday that the president has spoken about “equal opportunity and equal rights for all Americans” in many public places.

This is hardly surprising, although Kevin Drum and Oliver Willis seem to find it outrageous. As Jon Henke (who also links some other stories on the controversy) notes, “African-Americans who will vote for Bush probably do not pay a great deal of attention to NAACP advocacy.”

Just because labels remain, it doesn’t mean the thing they describe are unchanged. The NCAAP has a distinguished history and long deserved the respect they garnered, including appearances by presidents of both parties. But the NAACP, its original objectives long achieved, has become an extremist group. This ad in the 2000 campaign was simply beyond the pale:

[Background sound: deep, eerie metallic; later fade in low clanking]
Renee Mullins (voice over): I’m Renee Mullins, James Byrd’s daughter.

On June 7, 1998 in Texas my father was killed. He was beaten, chained, and then dragged 3 miles to his death, all because he was black. So when Governor George W. Bush refused to support hate-crime legislation, it was like my father was killed all over again.

Call Governor George W. Bush and tell him to support hate-crime legislation.

We won’t be dragged away from our future.

Any group who airs ads like that should be greeted with a Cheney, preferably a deuce. They certainly shouldn’t be dignified by a presidential visit.

FILED UNDER: Iraq War
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. Bill K says:

    I don’t know how much “outrage” is being expressed by Drum or Willis. It is an easy post though, that has Bush against minority undertones and the ability to link Bush to Hoover. Which, obviously gives the poster another chance to bring up lost jobs.

    It is nothing more than an insiginificant fact being played up out of context and linked, non-sensically, to another fact that the poster wants to draw more attention to.

    In Drum’s post it was using this NAACP thing to point out jobs.

    In your recent “They Issued Him Credentials Before They Didn’t” it is using an overfilled arena to point out Kerry’s flip-flops.

    Anywho, if you want another stupid NAACP thing, how about this:
    Nothing better than putting R. Kelly up for an award
    .

  2. LaCondria Beckwith says:

    This whole situation is ridiculous. Bush thought it was very important to attend NAACP gatherings during his election year, but refused while in office. This is just one of his many broken bridges that he has created for himself. If you ask me I believe he is full of broken promises. Instead of refusing the invitiation he should have attended the convention to smooth things over to show the NAACP that he does care. Bush has resolved issues with many leaders who weren’t vey fond of his, so why can’t he do it now! Bush does not really care about the minority vote because he “became” president without a large percentage of their vote anyway. His nonchalant attitude may be his downfall in the end. (The R. Kelly comment was so inappropriate, let’s talk about the real issues here ok!)

  3. LaCondria Beckwith says:

    This whole situation is ridiculous. Bush thought it was very important to attend NAACP gatherings during his election year, but refused while in office. This is just one of his many broken bridges that he has created for himself. If you ask me I believe he is full of broken promises. Instead of refusing the invitiation he should have attended the convention to smooth things over to show the NAACP that he does care. Bush has resolved issues with many leaders who weren’t very fond of him, so why can’t he do it now! Bush does not really care about the minority vote because he “became” president without a large percentage of their vote anyway. His nonchalant attitude may be his downfall in the end. (The R. Kelly comment was so inappropriate, let’s talk about the real issues here ok!)

  4. Julie Klipsch says:

    Not only does the President not have a relationship with the leadership of the NAACP, but he has also ruined any chance he might have had to establish one. I will say the same thing I said back when Ross Perot made his infamous “you people” remark: AT BEST, he is oblivious and unaware of how he comes across to others – not the person we want to lead our country, particulary when the President is so much a part of our national identity in the minds of other world leaders. AT WORST, he is a racist at heart, his thinking the result of his concept of a division between himself and other human beings based on skin color. My own racial heritage is Caucasian and Native American, and I feel sure that I am not alone in being deeply offended by the President’s flippant attitude regarding the NAACP’s speaking invitation. Good people of all races should take note of Bush’s actions and vote for JOHN KERRY. Our nation’s character -with a celebration of diversity and individualism as a key component-and the integrity of our nation need to be restored. Let’s vote President Bush out in November!

  5. Dwayne Watson says:

    First off, like Bill Cosby said, you need to education yourself. Read these two books and further understand the real issues, not the ones that have blinded you for so many years.

    Books to read:

    Scam: How the Black Leadership Exploits Black America by Zell Miller

    First of all … I am black. Now that we have that out of the way… This book has the potential to change the lives of black Americans in a major way if we are willing to consider that there is a reality that is different from what our culture has been feeding us through our churches, our black schools and universities, our civil rights literature, Kwanza gatherings, rap music, etc.

    What Color Is a Conservative? : My Life and My Politics
    by J. C. Watts, Chriss Winston

    This is a challenging, eye opening look at one of the most tragic group think phenomanas in human history. It is time for black Americans to wake up and honestly look at their leadership. If you dare. I suspect you won’t. It is easier just to place blame and do what the rest do rather than form your opinion from knowledge and understanding.