Rep. John Lewis boycotting MS civil rights museum due to Trump's attendance

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Rep. Bernie Thompson, a Mississippi Democrat, also will not attend, and released a joint statement with Lewis on Thursday.

The congressional Democrats say they won't attend the opening because Trump's attendance and "hurtful policies" are an insult to the people portrayed in the 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.

Numerous seminal moments of the movement - the stories of Emmet Till, of Chaney, Goodman and Schwerner, of Medgar Evers, of James Meredith, of Fannie Lou Hamer and the Freedom Riders and Freedom Summer - all happened on MS soil.

Ricky Cole, the former Mississippi Democratic Party chairman, expressed his objection to Trump's participation in Saturday's event on a social media post: "Bringing (Trump) to the Civil Rights Museum is like bringing Jane Fonda to the (American) Legion Hut".

Gov. Phil Bryant invited Trump to attend the opening of the civil rights museum and to celebrate the state's 200th anniversary. Mr Trump plans to participate in the opening as part of his tour through the American South, White House officials confirmed on Tuesday.

Princeton University chair of African American Studies and, Eddie S. Glaude Jr noted that "Mississippi was ground zero" for the civil rights movement.

The national NAACP also disapproved of the invitation.

He said he planned to boycott the inauguration for the first time in three decades, which he did.

The White House later issued a statement calling it "unfortunate" that Lewis and Thompson won't join the president in honouring the "incredible sacrifice civil rights leaders made to right the injustices in our history".

Lewis said Mr. Trump's attendance would "make a mockery of everything that people tried to do to redeem the soul of America and make this country better".

"He has created a commission to reinforce voter suppression, refused to denounce white supremacists, and overall, has created a racially hostile climate in this nation", Mr. Johnson said.

"For me, it is not political, it is about this person in particular, who is divisive and I think has many, many racial tendencies", Steinberg said.

The 77-year-old civil rights icon was arrested in Jackson in 1961 with Freedom Riders who were protesting segregated bus travel and was held at the infamous Mississippi State Penitentiary at Parchman.



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