NewsOne Featured Video

Derrick Johnson, President and CEO of the NAACP, pictured in 2018 in Washington, D.C. | Source: BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI / Getty

Among the many questions that have arisen since the historic criminal conviction of Donald Trump is what the guilty verdict means for the prospects of his presidential campaign, including whether he will go to prison.

But even as Trump has announced that “the real verdict” will be on Election Day when voters decide who the next president will be, the NAACP has a completely different proposition – for Trump to drop out of the race altogether.

MORE: NAACP Releases Its ‘Black Policy Agenda’ For Biden To Still Fulfill

In case you missed it, a New York City jury on Thursday found that Trump was guilty of all 34 counts in a criminal trial in which he was accused of paying hush money to porn star Stormy Daniels via illegal means for political purposes. It was and still is the first time a former president of the United States has even been convicted of a felony crime.

Trump predictably blamed President Joe Biden and called the verdict “a disgrace” that was the result of “a rigged trial by a conflicted judge who was corrupt.”

But what’s harder to predict is whether Trump’s conviction will derail his status of being the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, what with prison time being entirely plausible, though not likely.

In the meantime, nothing in the U.S. Constitution prevents a convicted felon from running for president, something with which the NAACP found some racial irony.

Calling Trump’s conviction “a monumental step toward justice for the American people,” NAACP President and CEO Derrick Johnson said the verdict reinforced one truth, in particular: “Donald Trump is unfit to represent American democracy.”

Suggesting that Trump remains in the race is a prospect that flirts with white privilege if not all-out white supremacy, Johnson suggested.

“The NAACP strongly believes that anyone who has been found guilty of criminal offenses of this magnitude is unfit to occupy the Oval Office,” Johnson continued. “As Black Americans have been denied basic human rights due to less offensive crimes, any attempt to advance Donald Trump’s nomination for Presidency would be a gross advancement of white supremacist policy.”

Johnson is correct in that there is an element of racial hypocrisy considering how an untold number of Black people have been disqualified from holding certain positions of employment because of their criminal backgrounds. His question is clear: Why should Trump be held to a different standard, especially when the position in question is the American presidency, the most powerful post in the world?

To be sure, the NAACP is far from alone in calling for Trump to quit running for president after being found guilty of dozens of felonies.

A Washington Monthly article published shortly after Trump was convicted also makes the case for the Republican to drop out of the race:

We know that the Constitution allows a convicted felon to serve as President, but it also decrees that a president “shall be removed” upon “Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.” A felony is literally a high crime. Trump would be subject to impeachment and conviction the second after his inauguration. A two-thirds Senate vote for conviction is extremely unlikely, but to have a president who unquestionably qualifies for impeachment and conviction would wrack America with divisions more intense than we suffered in the last Trump presidency, perhaps more intense than any since the Civil War.

Trump still has the opportunity to commit an uncharacteristically decent act and spare America from having a felon on the ballot. To refuse to step aside–in favor of someone who shares his policy positions but not his criminal record–would further reveal Trump is far more interested in his personal ambitions than his policy positions.

Though it’s unlikely Trump will drop out of the race, his criminal conviction could still affect his standing within the Republican Party, which is set to hold its national convention just days after Trump’s sentencing hearing on July 11. It is at the Republican National Convention where the Party’s presidential nomination takes place in a process that determines who will represent that GOP on the presidential ballot.

The Biden Campaign, for its part, is preparing as if Trump will still be in the race.

“There is still only one way to keep Donald Trump out of the Oval Office: at the ballot box,” Biden Campaign communications director Michael Tyler said in a statement following Thursday’s verdict. “Convicted felon or not, Trump will be the Republican nominee for president.”

This is America.


Donald Trump Hush Money Trial: Black Woman Among Jurors Selected

Stormy Daniels’ Testimony About Trump’s Lewd Behavior Is Exactly As Cringey As You Think

Trump Indictment Mugshots Go Viral As ‘The Big Lie’ Suspects Surrender In Fulton County, Georgia
Former President Donald Trump Surrenders To Fulton County Jail In Election Case
19 photos