The NAACP issued the following statement regarding President Trump’s State of the Union Address:
2/6/2019, 5:06 p.m.
President Trump’s address tonight was political theater at its best. In an attempt to reset the nation and Congress after two years of bitter partisanship and deeply personal attacks, that Trump himself initiated, it is evident that his address tonight was nothing but a hollow call for unity.
Once again, the President used the State of the Union as an opportunity to spew the same racist rhetoric, that does nothing but bolster his detachment and disinterest towards the real issues that plague our nation. While President Trump rallied for a wall on the border and credited his presidency for lowering unemployment numbers, which he touted after the longest government shutdown in our nation’s history, he conveniently overlooked the voter suppression, over policing, gun violence, and detrimental and xenophobic immigration policies that his administration has instituted that disproportionately affect communities of color.
As racism continues to permeate through every level of our society, it’s clear from his failure to protect the right to vote and civil rights for ALL, that this President’s agenda represents nothing but pain and suffering for communities of color, the poor, the LGBT community, women and immigrants. Because of this, the state of our union is not strong.
If Trump really wants to “choose greatness” he should commit to offering plausible solutions and data based policies that will truly help bring this nation together and not rhetoric that further tears us apart. However, we challenge him to match his call for unity with real actions that demonstrate his new commitment to such a task.
Although we applaud the efforts behind the First Step Act, this is one a small step in the right direction to opportunity to help undue years of crucial corrections to our criminal justice system, we must not forget that this legislation still falls short of providing the meaningful change that is required to make the system genuinely fair. The NAACP will do all it takes to ensure that Congress and this administration pushes for transformational change that will end mass incarceration and racial and ethnic minority disparities in prisons throughout America.
What we do know is that the issues that Trump neglected to discuss tonight will play a major role in 2020. We know climate justice is an issue disproportionately impacting communities of color and Trump said nothing about this. Neither did he speak to the state of race relations which have deteriorated under his watch, aided by his policies of division and support of white supremacy.
As we look forward, the NAACP will continue to urge people to wield their power at the polls as a means to steer the country back on the course towards freedom and equality for all. Our democracy depends on it.