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Trump at Jamestown Ceremony, VA Black Caucus Boycotts


RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - President Donald Trump is set to visit historic Jamestown as Virginia commemorates the 400th anniversary of the rise of American democracy. But black Virginia state lawmakers are boycotting Tuesday's celebration in part over what they call Trump's disparaging comments toward minority leaders.

The president's planned participation in commemorations of the first representative assembly in the Western Hemisphere has been shadowed by the political tensions, with Virginia's entire Legislative Black Caucus pledging to stay away from Tuesday's ceremony in protest.

The Caucus  said in a statement that Trump's participation is "antithetical to the principles" the caucus stands for.

Caucus members have instead planned alternative commemorative events Tuesday in Richmond.

The first legislative assembly in Jamestown in 1619 formed the basis of today's representative system of government in the U.S.

The caucus says Trump tarnishes the celebration because of his "degrading comments toward minority leaders" and "policies that harm marginalized communities."

White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham responds that the caucus is pushing "a political agenda."

Don Rush is the News Director at Delmarva Public Media. An award-winning journalist, Don reports major local issues of the day, from sea level rise, to urban development, to the changing demographics of Delmarva.