01:15 - Source: CNN
NAACP President: Trump demonstrates insulting ignorance

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"(It) demonstrates a profound ignorance of history," he said

Trump has tried to reach out to the black community

Washington CNN —  

NAACP President Cornell William Brooks derided Donald Trump Wednesday, saying his recent comments about African-Americans were “an insulting degree of ignorance and/or insensitivity.”

On Tuesday, the Republican presidential nominee said African-American communities in the US are “absolutely in the worst shape that they’ve ever been in before.”

“We’re going to rebuild our inner cities because our African-American communities are absolutely in the worst shape that they’ve ever been in before. Ever. Ever. Ever,” Trump told a nearly all-white crowd during a rally in North Carolina.

Brooks said Trump’s assertion ignores “the fact that African-Americans were lynched, African-Americans were forced to drink out of colored water fountains, ride the back of the bus, were enslaved in this country … demonstrates a profound ignorance of history and insensitivity to what we are going through at this very moment.”

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“Mr. Trump, for anyone to assert that the African-American community is in the worst shape ever, ever, ever, to say that, to assert that with a semi-straight face is to demonstrate an insulting degree of ignorance and/or insensitivity,” Brooks told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer on “The Situation Room.”

Brooks, who represents the nonpartisan NAACP, added, “We expect more from our presidential candidates.”

Trump campaigned Wednesday in Ohio alongside former boxing promoter Don King, who used the N-word while introducing the businessman during an event at a church.

King, who is black, said the word as he argued that African-Americans cannot achieve success by emulating white people, as they will remain “negroes.”

“If you’re poor, you are a poor negro – I would use the n-word – but if you’re rich, you are a rich negro. If you are intelligent, intellectual, you are intellectual negro. If you are a dancing and sliding and gliding n***** – I mean negro – you are a dancing and sliding and gliding negro,” King said, laughing along with the crowd after the slip-up. “You’re going to be a negro ‘til you die.”

Trump, who was already smirking as he listened to King, didn’t change the expression on his face, but turned slightly uncomfortably to his special counsel Michael Cohen and the church’s pastor, Darrell Scott, who head up Trump’s diversity coalition.

This story has been updated.