Donald Trump visits the Jamestown settlement in East Virginia on Tuesday at an event celebrating the 400th anniversary of the continent's first representative legislature.
The event comes as increasing racial tensions swirl around the White House, with Trump making some African Americans angry by the majority-black city of Baltimore, Maryland a & # 39; disgusting, rats and rodent-damaged mess & # 39; to name.
Trump blames Rep. Elijah Cummings, one of the most powerful black members of Congress, for much of the steady decline of the city. Cummings and other Democrats call the president a racist for the attacks, both verbally and tweeted.
Members of the Virginia Legislative Black Caucus (VLBC) boycott the Tuesday event because the president was invited to speak.
The group said in a statement that & # 39; Trump's repeated attacks on black lawmakers and comments about black communities make him unsuitable to honor & commemorate a & # 39; monumental period in history & # 39 ;.
Living History: Donald Trump visited the Jamestown settlement to mark 400 years since the continent's first representative legislature – the House of Burgesses, from which the Virginia assembly descends
Living History: The Jamestown Settlement reconstructs the appearance of the James Fort as it was shortly after the arrival of English settlers
Ancient meets modern: Jamestown Settlement is a living historical museum commemorating the first successful English colony in North America, where the first Africans also arrived to be enslaved
As it was: in 1619, Jamestown established the first legislative assembly in what is now the United States. A colonial color guard led the current Virginia speaker, Kirk Cox, to the reconstructed House of Burgesses
Virginia History: The House of Burgesses was founded in 1619 – the same year that the first enslaved Africans arrived
The president told reporters when he left the White House on Tuesday that the boycotters & # 39; act against their own people & # 39 ;.
He claimed that African Americans are fond of work & # 39; that he does and & # 39; be happy & # 39; with his conviction of Baltimore and his main representative in Washington.
Trump speaks in the Jamestown Settlement, a living historical museum next to the location of the original settlement.
His visit is on the site of the first successful English settlement in what is now the United States, named after the then King James I of England, who was also James VI of Scotland.
But it is also the settlement where Indian princess Pocahontas rescued John Smith and married John Rolfe before he was brought to England and died there.
And black leaders in ancient rule have pointed out that 2019 is also the 400th year since the first African slaves were brought to Virginia – another event that took place in the Jamestown settlement.
White House Secretary Stephanie Grisham said in a statement to reporters that & # 39; a political agenda & # 39; directed the decision of the black legislator.
& # 39; President Trump has adopted criminal justice reform, has developed opportunity zones to secure record investments in distressed communities, and has implemented policies that have created the lowest unemployment rates ever for African Americans, & # 39; said Grisham, & # 39; so it's a little confusing and a pity that the VLBC choose to push a political agenda instead of celebrating this milestone for our nation. & # 39;
Other state and national leader are present, including the African-American lieutenant governor of Virginia, Justin Fairfax. He comes despite rape allegations that have hung him since the spring.
Past from Virginia: a painting that suggests what Jamestown was like in the early 1600s when it was the first successful English settlement
Contested history: a woodcut with the abduction of Pocahontas, the Indian princess who married John Smith in Jamestown before being brought to England and died
The white Democratic state governor attended a morning event at a church in Jamestown before Trump left the White House.
Ralph Northam has continued his work despite the fact that he appeared in a university yearbook in Blackface, alongside a person dressed in Ku Klux Klan robes.
Northam and Republican state leaders invited the president and president of the Nancy Pelosi home last year. Pelosi declined and Trump's presence was confirmed just a few days ago.
Attorney General Mark Herring, also a democrat, has had to resign after he acknowledged that he was dressed in black decades ago.
Kirk Cox, the Republican speaker at the Virginia House of Delegates, said in a statement that & # 39; the Commonwealth is honored to have the President of the United States join for this historic occasion, as the General Assembly meets on the same ground where the seeds of our system of democratic government were sown four centuries ago. & # 39;
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