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

Rep. John Lewis thanks anti-gun violence supporters following a rally with fellow Democrats on the East Front steps of the U.S. House of Representatives

But the Atlanta Democrat said Thursday afternoon that we would reconsider if Trump chooses not to attend the event.

Two black congressmen say they will not attend the opening of the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum Saturday because President Donald Trump is set to attend.

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders expressed disappointment over the NAACP's protest but said the organization has every right to object Trump's visit.

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

"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, a hero of the civil rights movement, said in a statement.

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.

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Some plan protests, saying Trump's record on racial issues makes his presence offensive. Bryant said the president's appearance brings importance to the event. "We are kinder and more tolerant here in MS than I think perhaps other places". The Georgia Democrat and civil rights icon helped organize the 1964 Freedom Summer targeting segregation in Mississippi. He was held at the infamous Mississippi State Penitentiary at Parchman.

"If God gives me the breath and the strength, I will address his attendance when I stand to speak", she told The New York Times. The Rev. C.J. Rhodes, a prominent African American clergyman, tweeted Thursday morning that Lewis' "voice is needed here now more than ever".

Reuben Anderson, the first black state Supreme Court justice, has said he won't abandon the platform after helping to lead private fundraising efforts for the museum.

Decades later, as MS marks its bicentennial, the state is getting an unflinching look at its complex, often brutal past in two history museums, complete with displays of slave chains, Ku Klux Klan robes and graphic photos of lynchings and firebombings.

Both museums tell the story of Mississippi, and in the case of the Museum of Mississippi History, the story reaches back as far as 15,000 years.

Ellie Dahmer, the 92-year-old widow of slain civil rights leader Vernon Dahmer, said the flag represents an unabashed defense of slavery.

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