Sunday, 17 December, 2017

John Lewis to Boycott Civil Rights Museum Opening Due to Trump's Attendance

Mississippi museums explore slavery, Klan era John Lewis cancels trip to civil rights museum, citing Trump's attendance
Dexter Carr | 08 December, 2017, 01:29

U.S. Representatives Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS) and John Lewis (D-GA) released a statement Thursday announcing that they will not be attending the opening of the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum on Saturday.

Lewis concluded his statement on Thursday by urging "all Mississippians and Americans to visit this historic civil rights museum" once President Trump departs. Brice said the protesters are expected to come from all over the state for Saturday's 11 a.m. event to celebrate Mississippi's bicentennial and the opening of the Museum of Mississippi History and Mississippi Civil Rights Museum.

"We are telling a much longer story in the Museum of Mississippi History, a much deeper story in the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum", noted Katie Blount, director of the Mississippi Department of Archives and History.

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders expressed disappointment over the NAACP's protest but said the organization has every right to object Trump's visit. "The President hopes others will join him in recognizing that the movement was about removing barriers and unifying Americans of all backgrounds".

Earlier this week, Lewis expressed doubts as to whether he could "live with myself" if he was on the program with the president at the ribbon-cutting event in Mississippi.

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

The NAACP has also voiced opposition to Trump's attendance at the museum opening.

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In the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum, columns list about 600 documented lynchings - majority of black men.

"I will await a time to visit the museum with my family without the president disrespecting the men and women who sacrificed their lives for the freedoms I am privileged to have today", Barnes said Wednesday. "It kind of feels like that's the card the governor has deal at this time", he said.

There are civil rights veterans here, by no means supporters of Trump, who see protests or boycotts similarly, suggesting that they would only take away from what should be a moment of celebration.

"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.

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

Those were ways of defiantly pushing back against African-Americans who dared challenge racial oppression, and taking a jab at journalists covering the civil rights movement.

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