Sarah Rankin, Associated Press, July 29, 2019
Virginia’s black state lawmakers announced Monday they will boycott an event this week commemorating the beginnings of American democracy because President Donald Trump is scheduled to attend.
The Virginia Legislative Black Caucus said its members would not attend a ceremony in Jamestown on Tuesday marking the 400th anniversary of the first representative assembly in the Western Hemisphere.
“The commemoration of the birth of this nation and its democracy will be tarnished unduly with the participation of the President, who continues to make degrading comments toward minority leaders, promulgate policies that harm marginalized communities, and use racist and xenophobic rhetoric,” the caucus said in a statement.
Caucus members said they will also boycott other parts of a weeklong series of events and have instead planned alternative commemorations Tuesday in Richmond.
The move by the caucus comes after Trump’s weekend comments referring to Rep. Elijah Cummings’ majority-black Baltimore district as a “disgusting, rat and rodent infested mess.”