Reps. John Lewis (D-GA) and Bennie Thompson (D-MS) announced they will no longer be attending the opening of the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum on Saturday because President Trump will be there.
The two African American congressmen issued a joint statement about their decision, arguing Trump’s presence ‘disrespects’ the efforts of Mississippi’s black civil rights leaders.
“Trump’s attendance and his hurtful policies are an insult to the people portrayed in this civil rights museum. The struggles represented in this museum exemplify the truth of what really happened in Mississippi. President Trump’s disparaging comments about women, the disabled, immigrants and National Football League players disrespect the efforts of Fannie Lou Hamer, Aaron Henry, Medgar Evers, Robert Clark, James Chaney, Andrew Goodman, Michael Schwerner and countless others who have given their all for Mississippi to be a better place.”
The two said all Mississippians and Americans should visit the museum, but only after Trump leaves.
Lewis and Thompson aren’t the only ones boycotting the opening because of Trump. Former Mississippi Gov. Ray Mabus and state Rep. Sonya Williams Barnes (D-Gulfport), who chairs the Black Caucus, also announced they’ll be staying away from the museum’s opening.
“This institution and event should be a celebration of the hard-won progress in civil rights, but the main speaker, Donald Trump, is actively attacking that progress and turning us back to the dark days of hatred and division,” Mabus said. “Donald Trump represents the exact opposite of what this museum is about — honoring the heroes who fought for, and often died for, the idea of equality of all.”
Lewis, a civil rights icon, has been a frequent critic of the president and previously sparred with him over Twitter after saying he didn’t feel Trump was a “legitimate president.”
In response, Trump said the Democrat should “spend more time on fixing and helping his district, which is in horrible shape and falling apart (not to mention crime infested) rather than falsely complaining about the election results.”
Not surprisingly, Lewis was one of the 58 Democrats who voted to begin the impeachment process against Trump.