Phoenix Area NAACP Chairman Chastises McCain

A group from McCain’s home stomping grounds is now coming out to chastise him nationally. The head of the Phoenix area National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) is bringing to light the fact that McCain has never spoken to the group during his entire time as an Arizona senator.

Here’s the story from the Politico:

Oscar Tillman heads the Phoenix area branch of the NAACP and is a former statewide president of the group. He has been a leader of Arizona’s small, tight-knit African-American community for decades.

So it comes as something of a surprise to learn the name of one person, over all those years, with whom he has never spoken. It is the state’s senior senator better known these days as the presumptive Republican presidential nominee.

John McCain, said Tillman, “has pretty well zero relationship with the African-American community that I know of.”

“I don’t recall him ever attending any function with the NAACP,” Tillman added. “Each year we send them an invitation [to an annual banquet], and each year they say no.”

Interviews with black civic and business leaders in Arizona found no one who suggested that McCain holds racial animus. And McCain can point to some warm personal and political associations with blacks, some of whom cited his responsiveness to their concerns when they approached him on official business.

One can assume this criticism will hold more weight if Obama eventually becomes the Democratic nominee. Truth be told, however, the NAACP is not usually very friendly to Republican politicians and it doesn’t surprise me McCain never spoke before them.

My question would be asking how many invitations McCain turned down throughout the year. For example, did he attend many events at all or was this one venue he specifically singled-out and chose to not attend?

I’m guessing that’s going to change fairly soon and we’ll be seeing a “major” speech delivered on race sometime in the next couple months from McCain.