Democratic Rep. John Lewis of Georgia is refusing to attend the Thursday opening of the Mississippi Civil Rights museum since President Donald Trump will be there.
Lewis, who played a crucial role in ushering in civil rights for black Americans, will not be speaking at the opening because Trump’s presence is an insult to the men and women represented in the museum, Time reported.
The ceremony is planned for Saturday to celebrate the 200-year anniversary of Mississippi entering the union. Republican Gov. Phil Bryant extended an invitation to the president to attend, sparking a wave of outrage from various civil rights organizations.
“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. The President hopes others will join him in recognizing that the movement was about removing barriers and unifying Americans of all backgrounds,” Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Thursday during the White House Press briefing.
The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People called on Trump not to attend the opening ceremony due to his divisive policies.
“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,” NAACP President and CEO Derrick Johnson said Tuesday. “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.”
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