Alvin Chambliss, a retired law professor at Texas Southern University and lifelong members of the NAACP, blamed Obama’s advisers — particularly Valerie Jarrett — for his decision not to show up, echoing a common complaint here about the people in the president’s inner circle. Chambliss, who called the president’s absence “a downer,” said Jarrett is too afraid of Obama becoming defined by his race, and has led him to take his African-American supporters for granted.
“I don’t think there’s anyone around the president who’s really, truly from the black community,” Chambliss said. “We have to re-elect him, but I pray that his second term will be different from his first term.”
Chambliss went on to say he “long[ed] for the day when the NAACP will be an organization where every president, whether Republican or Democrat, would come because there would be punitive damages for not coming. But today is obviously not that day.”
“We can give him a pass,” Chambliss concluded. “But to say it was a scheduling conflict, that’s bull. At the end of the day, it’s the NAACP; you schedule stuff around them. You’re supposed to know when there’s a convention, and you’re supposed to come.”