Dec 7, 2017, 7:18 PM ET

Civil rights icon skipping museum opening because President Trump is expected to attend

#

President Trump’s expected attendance at the opening of a civil rights museum in Jackson, Mississippi this weekend has led one of the country’s top civil rights heroes to boycott the event.

Georgia Democratic Rep. John Lewis, an organizer in the 1963 March on Washington who has served 16 terms in the House of Representatives, said he will skip the event on Saturday – unless the president backs out beforehand.

Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Mississippi, joined Lewis in announcing they won't attending the museum's opening because the president is expected to be there, contending his attendance and "hurtful policies" would be an "insult" to civil rights leaders.

“After careful consideration and conversations with church leaders, elected officials, civil rights activists, and many citizens of our congressional districts, we have decided not to attend or participate in the opening of the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum,” Lewis and Thompson stated. “President Trump’s attendance and his hurtful policies are an insult to the people portrayed in this civil rights museum.”

The duo said that the civil rights struggles represented in the new museum “exemplify the truth of what really happened in Mississippi” but President Trump’s “disparaging comments about women, the disabled, immigrants and National Football League players disrespect the efforts” of Mississippi’s greatest civil rights champions.

“After President Trump departs, we encourage all Mississippians and Americans to visit this historic civil rights museum,” Lewis and Thompson stated.

The White House expressed disappointment in their decision.

“We think it’s unfortunate that these members of Congress wouldn’t join the President in honoring the incredible sacrifice civil rights leaders made to right the injustices in our history," White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said. "The President hopes others will join him in recognizing that the movement was about removing barriers and unifying Americans of all backgrounds.”

Responding to the White House, the chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus, Rep. Cedric Richmond, D-Louisiana, called the criticism "laughable."

“It’s laughable that the White House is criticizing John Lewis and Bennie Thompson for not attending the opening of a civil rights museum that honors the sacrifice of ....wait..... John Lewis, Bennie Thompson, and many others. This White House is not serious about civil rights," Richmond said in a statement. "From dismantling the civil rights division in DOJ to equating peaceful people who protested racism to Neo-nazi’s and White Supremacists, they just don’t get it.”

This isn’t the first time President Trump’s presence at a museum has upset some African-Americans.

Just before the inauguration last January, then President-elect Trump pulled out of plans to tour the National Museum of African American History and Culture in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, citing “scheduling issues.”

Trump ultimately visited the museum more than a month later on Feb. 21.

News - Civil rights icon skipping museum opening because President Trump is expected to attend

RRelated Posts

CComments

  • AF-22

    President Trump was invited, he attended, his comments were appropriate! Get over your elect Loss!

  • Titus

    I'm not a trump supporter, but if trump declined to attend, you people would say he was racist for not coming.

  • Richard Johnson

    Who? If he was really an "icon" they could put his name in the headline.

  • Jeanne Pauli

    Trump never disparaged the disabled. The reporter said there were no arabs or israelis dancing on roof tops on 9/11 when his own paper has headlined that they had. When that was pointed out to the disabled reporter he stuttered and flapped his arms. Trump disparaged the guy's poor reporting not his disability. Trump was against immigrants from hot beds of terrorism and against ILLEGAL immigrants. Trump didn't say anything regarding women that men all over the place have joked about ... all of you are bad for that. And football players can protest any other time they want but not during the national anthem. This country is great, better than any other.

  • H Ruth

    I think it's ironic that SHS attacks John Lewis saying that he needs to learn about the civil rights movement. Congressman Lewis was one of the marchers in Selma Alabama who was beaten while trying to cross the Edmund Pettus Bridge & he was on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial during the march on Washington, Sarah Huckster Sanders it's you who needs to learn your history & learn what John Lewis sacrificed in the fight for civil rights. I don't blame Congressman Lewis for cancelling his trip to Jackson Mississippi to be on stage with Don the Con who has proven time & again that he is a bigot & a prime example of the proof is his response to the Charlottesville Virginia incident & the retweeting racist videos

  • caliento

    Just like his Jerusalem stance & now this appearance...it is all about Trump grandstanding. Lewis probably would find it revolting to stand with this con./photo-op character.

  • Snorlaxation

    i don't have any issue with anyone that doesn't want to be around trump. his presence taints most events, and i have no doubt that there's going to a smaller number of people then expected because of him here too.

  • Puddin' Twain

    After Trump and his fellow bigots leave, they'll have to air out the museum to get his 'stink' out so regular folks can feel comfortable there.

  • Verity Pendelton

    Who invited the Nazi to this opening? That's like inviting Hitler to the opening of a Holocaust Museum.

  • Striker10

    These are the kinds of children who couldn't play with others well in the sandbox.

  • duckkdownn

    "We think it’s unfortunate that these members of Congress wouldn’t join the President in honoring the incredible sacrifice civil rights leaders made to right the injustices in our history."

    Notice that Sarah can never look anyone in the eye when she makes these statements.

  • smarterthanyou

    Hey, that'll teach em. Better yet, take a knee

  • Truth-B-Me

    Once again the WH just doesn't get it. Hey Trump, you are NOT welcome, stay home. You are a total embarrassment to this nation, your support of a child predator, your hatred of black people and your mistreatment of women make you the most hated president in American history!

  • YellowParrott

    John Lewis has been one of the big contributors, to the failings, of Black people today!

  • been there

    What would these comments look like if Trump refused the invitation? As stated in the article: "This isn’t the first time President Trump’s presence at a museum has upset some African-Americans. Just before the inauguration last January, then President-elect Trump pulled out of plans to tour the National Museum of African American History and Culture in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, citing “scheduling issues.”

  • Mack B

    Martin Luther the King was a womanizer.

  • KCBforme

    Trump incites the Middle East to riots. Now he will incite riots in the South. Right before Hitler declared himself ruler of Germany he created chaos. Hmm, just a thought.