Trump's Planned Visit to Mississippi Civil Rights Museum Opening 'an Insult'

Trump's Planned Visit to Mississippi Civil Rights Museum Opening 'an Insult'

Lewis and Thompson, both Democratic leaders, had planned to attend Saturday. The Mississippi Civil Rights Museum concentrates on a shorter, but intense span, from 1945 to 1976.

Lewis concluded his statement on Thursday by urging "all Mississippians and Americans to visit this historic civil rights museum" once President Trump departs.

In particular, Lewis pointed to the president's "disparaging comments about women, the disabled, immigrants, and National Football League players".

Lewis was one of the original Freedom Riders, a primary organizer of the March on Washington, and famously had his skull fractured while leading a civil rights march in Selma, Alabama in 1965.

President Donald Trump is scheduled to attend the museums' opening, a White House official said Monday, speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss the trip before a formal announcement.

By contrast, Trump has defended violent white supremacists, embraced law enforcement practices and voting rights restrictions that disproportionately and negatively impact black communities, repeatedly picked fights with black athletes who he has accused of not showing him sufficient respect, and demanded apologies from prominent African-Americans who have criticized him. "The majority of the protesters Saturday are going to be the ones who know nothing about what took place back in the day", he said. "It has been a long night, Mississippi".

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The two distinct museums under a single roof are both funded by State tax dollars and private donations.

One of the nation's poorest States, with a population that's 59% white and 38% black, MS remains divided by one of its most visible symbols.

Speakers will include the widow of Medgar Evers, Myrlie Evers, as well as Gov. Phil Bryant and former governors Haley Barbour and William F. Winter.

In a written statement, civil rights leader Lewis and Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.), who is also boycotting the opening, said the president's appearance at the upcoming event will be "an insult to the people portrayed in this civil rights museum".

"We are very fortunate the president of the United States is coming to Mississippi", Bryant said.

The bishops said they hope Trump "will use his attendance at the opening of the museums and the Bicentennial Celebration to acknowledge the sacrifice and witness of countless individuals who offered themselves, their souls and bodies, to eliminate injustice and oppression in our state. May it also be an occasion for us to launch new and meaningful efforts of reconciliation and healing".

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