BALTIMORE, Oct. 28 (UPI) -- A Maryland chapter of the NAACP is drawing criticism for selecting President Barack Obama's former pastor to speak at its awards dinner, a recipient says.
Perry Ealim, a black businessman who is being honored by the Anne Arundel County NAACP, says many of his friends and associates refuse to attend the Nov. 20 dinner, the Baltimore Sun reported Wednesday.
Ealim, a Republican, says he has been told they are boycotting the dinner because Rev. Jeremiah Wright is going to be the speaker.
"I am happy for your honor, however, I cannot support an organization that would have a racist/bigot such as Mr. Wright as (its) speaker," one of Ealim's friends wrote to him.
The Rev. Wright is the former minister of Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago where Obama was a longtime parishioner.
Internet videos of his sermons showed him condemning the United States and saying that the attacks of Sept. 11 were "chickens coming home to roost."