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

Pauline Gross
December 8, 2017

Both men released a joint statement Thursday, December 7.

At the invitation of Gov. Phil Bryant, President Donald Trump, will attend at the ceremony, an invitation that has drawn sharp criticism from civil rights groups and others who believe Trump's views and actions on race diminish the ceremonies.

"America can't really turn a corner with regards to its racist and violent past and present until the South, and particularly a state like MS, confronts it - and confronts it unflinchingly", Glaude said.

In particular, Lewis pointed to the president's "disparaging comments about women, the disabled, immigrants, and National Football League players". The almost 100-year-old civil rights organisation called Mr Trump's visit an "affront to the veterans of the civil rights movement" in a statement.

"After careful consideration and conversations with church leaders, elected officials, civil right 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". White House officials confirmed this week that he had accepted the invitation.

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

The year-long observance of the state's bi-centennial will culminate Saturday with the opening of not one, but two museums dedicated to the state's long, often troubled, history.

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Saturday's ceremony will also feature speeches from former NAACP chairman Myrlie Evers and Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.).

"Is this place worthy of a presidential visit? No", Moak said. He added that though the opening is meant to be a "special event", "Trump's visit will tamp that down". "It kind of feels like that's the card the governor has deal at this time", he said.

The NAACP also criticized the president's proposed attendance at the opening.

"President Trump's statements and policies regarding the protection and enforcement of civil rights have been abysmal, and his attendance is an affront to the veterans of the civil rights movement".

Several prominent Mississippi Democrats say they won't attend.

According to The Republic, two museums, The Museum of Mississippi History and The Mississippi Civil Rights Museum, will share one building and will not shy away from the perils of the state's history, including slave chains, graphic lynching, firebombing photos and KKK robes.

Lewis, a civil rights icon and Georgia Democrat, was arrested in Jackson in 1961 with Freedom Riders who were protesting segregated bus travel.

Other reports by GizPress

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