Reps. John Lewis and Bennie Thompson to Boycott Trump’s Civil Rights Museum Appearance

By Sameer Rao Dec 08, 2017

The Associated Press reports today (December 8) that President Donald Trump—who refuses to condemn White supremacists and called Colin Kaepernick a "son of a bitch" for protesting racism—will attend the opening of the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum tomorrow (December 9).

U.S. Representatives John Lewis (D-Ga.), who led voter registration drives in Mississippi during the Civil Rights Movement, and Bennie G. Thompson (D-Miss.) said they will skip the ceremony in protest of Trump’s presence. 

The congressmen posted this statement on Lewis’ website:

After careful consideration and conversations with church leaders, elected officials, civil rights 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.

President 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.

After President Trump departs, we encourage all Mississippians and Americans to visit this historic civil rights museum.

They aren’t the only Black leaders outraged over Trump’s attendance. “It’s unfortunate that this president, who has created a climate of racial insensitivity and has embraced White supremacists, would choose to use this celebration of civil rights heroes as a photo op,” Derrick Johnson, current national NAACP head and former leader of the organization’s Mississippi chapter, told The Washington Post.