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Chamber skips Trump golf course over comments

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The African American Chamber of Commerce of New Jersey continues to search for a course for its first golf classic after recently pulling out from Trump National Golf Club Philadelphia as an objection to Donald Trump’s demands to see President Barack Obama’s birth certificate.

“We pulled a team together and talked about it, and we felt at the end of the day, that Mr. Trump had been very, very disrespectful with his comments as related to our constituency, and we didn’t feel comfortable going forward with the event based on that,” said chamber CEO and President John Harmon. “He made comments that many of our members did not like the tone … and spirit of his comments as it related to African-Americans in general. I think that’s what was the tipping point.”

Harmon said the decision to pull the June 27 event from the Trump course in Pine Hill was not a difficult one for AACCNJ. Ten sponsors and nearly 60 golfers are still expecting to be on board for the event, and Harmon said he is in negotiations with several other golf courses, and should have a site selected by the end of this week.

Trump National Golf Club-Philadelphia did not respond to an e-mail asking for comment.

Harmon said it would be hypocritical for the chamber to funnel money to the golf course after Trump’s comments.

“The message we’re trying to send with this decision is that we are a viable component of New Jersey’s economy, and we’re willing to work with all sectors of the state to ensure equitable participation as well as reciprocity for the dollars that we spend and for the talent that we bring to the table to make this state a better state,” Harmon said.

E-mail Melinda Caliendo at mcaliendo@njbiz.com

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