- Derrick Johnson, the president of the NAACP, called President Donald Trump “a racist” as he bashed his administration in an interview published Friday.
- Johnson said Trump has “demonstrated both in words and in deeds and in policy implementations racist tendencies.”
- The NAACP president also slammed Trump for not addressing his organization, with which every single US president has met since 1947.
Derrick Johnson, the president of the NAACP, said President Donald Trump “is a racist” and bashed his administration for its racially charged rhetoric and policies in an interview with Politico published Friday.
Johnson said Trump has “demonstrated both in words and in deeds and in policy implementations racist tendencies.” He cited Trump’s reported reference to African nations, El Salvador, and Haiti as “s—thole countries” and his role in perpetuating a conspiracy theory regarding former President Barack Obama’s place of birth.
“I have no other conclusion but to say he is a racist,” Johnson said of Trump, adding he doubts the president’s administration has “any interest in expanding its reach outside of a small set of individuals who all look alike.”
The NAACP president also slammed Trump for not addressing his organization, with which every single US president has met since 1947. Johnson said the NAACP has repeatedly invited Trump to speak to the group and its members, even when he was still a candidate.
“We have not seen this White House engage with any African-American organization,” Johnson said. “For their part, I’m not aware of any true engagement with any Latino or other communities of colors outside of seeking basic photo opportunities.”
The White House didn’t respond to a request for comment on Johnson’s remarks.
Johnson’s sharply worded comments about the president and his views on race come on the eve of the anniversary of the white supremacist “Unite the Right” rally that took place in Charlottesville, Virginia, last August.
The rally ultimately turned deadly when Heather Heyer, a counterprotester, who was killed when a man plowed his car into a crowd of people.
Trump was widely criticized for his response to the events in Charlottesville after he blamed “many sides” for the violence. Critics on both sides of the political aisle said the president had wrongly established moral equivalency between the white nationalists and neo-Nazis who participated in the rally and those who came to protest them.
Though the ire surrounding Trump’s reaction to Charlottesville was particularly strong, the president has routinely faced backlash over his approach to race-related topics. He currently has a 13% approval rating among black Americans, according to Gallup.