Четверг, 14 Декабря, 2017

Rep. John Lewis: Trump is an 'insult' to civil rights event

Bennie Thompson Bennie Thompson
Kenny Thornton | 08 Декабря, 2017, 00:57

Rep. Bernie Thompson, a Mississippi Democrat, also will not attend, and released a joint statement with Lewis on Thursday.

The Representatives added: "After President Trump departs, we encourage all Mississippians and Americans to visit this historic civil rights museum". "The struggles represented in this museum exemplify the truth of what really happened in Mississippi".

In particular, Lewis pointed to the president's "disparaging comments about women, the disabled, immigrants, and National Football League players".

The Mississippi Civil Rights Museum event will begin Saturday with a ribbon-cutting ceremony and will feature speeches from civil rights leaders, elected officials, and Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant (R), who extended the invitation to President Trump.

Lewis is the latest in a growing number of politicians, civil rights groups and activists who have said they will boycott Saturday's opening ceremony in Jackson, Miss., or have called on Trump to skip it. Mr Trump plans to participate in the opening as part of his tour through the American South, White House officials confirmed on Tuesday. The museum, which has been under construction since 2014, features eight galleries that focus on the years 1945 to 1976 "when MS was ground zero for the national Civil Rights Movement", the website says.

"We are better than that", Bryant said Wednesday of those who oppose Trump.

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He said he planned to boycott the inauguration for the first time in three decades, which he did.

A display in the civil rights museum tells of the 1966 KKK firebombing of the Dahmer home outside Hattiesburg after Vernon Dahmer, the local NAACP leader, announced he would pay poll taxes for black people registering to vote.

The NAACP also criticized the president's proposed attendance at the opening. "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". "I don't know anyone who thinks this is a smart move".

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.

"Why should I protest something that I worked so hard for?" asked Hezekiah Watkins, 70, who lost count of how many times he was arrested for civil rights protests and at one point even shared a cell with the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

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