White House criticizes John Lewis for not honoring civil rights leaders

Bennie Thompson

"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", Lewis and Thompson stated. The Mississippi Civil Rights Museum concentrates on a far shorter, but intense span, from 1945 to 1976. Republican Gov. Phil Bryant, a Trump supporter, invited the president. 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.

"President Trump's attendance and his hurtful policies are an insult to the people portrayed in this civil rights museum".

"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.

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Numerous seminal moments of the movement - the stories of Emmet Till, of Chaney, Goodman and Schwerner, of Medgar Evers, of James Meredith, of Fannie Lou Hamer and the Freedom Riders and Freedom Summer - all happened on MS soil.

The Mississippi museum joins several others focused on civil rights: the Center for Civil and Human Rights in Atlanta; the National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis, Tennessee; the Rosa Parks Museum in Montgomery, Alabama; Birmingham Civil Rights Institute in Alabama. "It kind of feels like that's the card the governor has deal at this time", he said.

State Rep. Sonya Williams Barnes, D-Gulfport, who chairs the Black Caucus, said she is staying away Saturday because of the president's "disrespect" for African Americans and others, but plans to attend the museum later with her family.

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"I'm the same age as Trump".

"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". The Mississippi NAACP president is asking Bryant to rescind the invitation, with state chapter president Charles Hampton saying "an invitation to a president that has aimed to divide this nation is not becoming of this historic moment". "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", President Derrick Johnson said.

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