According to earlier today, "Allies of Donald Trump have begun holding events in Black communities where organizers lavish praise on the president as they hand out tens of thousands of dollars to lucky attendees." The news outlet also reported that the first event at which cash was given away took place in Cleveland last month; one scheduled in Virginia this month was postponed, but "more are said to be in the works."

In response to that report and others imparting the same information, the National Association of Colored People (NAACP), the country's oldest civil rights organization, today issued the following statement:

While some attempt to silence our vote with ridiculous voter ID laws, others distract by trying to purchase our votes.

There is no amount of money or price that can be paid for communities of color to receive access to clean drinking water, adequate education, and impartial policing. We know from the incredible Black voter turnout in the midterm and 2019 elections that African Americans are not only the most critical voting bloc but also powerful when we participate actively in the electoral process.

As we inch closer to the 2020 election, we must ensure issues affecting our communities—and our livelihoods—are brought to the table and that we have a real voice in moving this country forward.

If America is to become a democracy reflective of its ideals of liberty, opportunity, and justice for all, it cannot do so without embracing, engaging, and valuing Black voters and voters of color.

As the NAACP moves forward in its efforts to empower the Black community through increased voter participation, our ultimate aim is to continuously elect greater numbers of representatives who understand the needs of our communities and are committed to making the American dream accessible for everyone, regardless of race or ethnicity.