The head of the NAACP and two black congressmen, including John Lewis, leader of the US Civil Rights Movement. UU., They said they will not be present at the opening of the country's newest civil rights museum because President Donald Trump will be there.
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NAACP President Derrick Johnson announced in a press release that instead of attending the opening of the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum in Jackson, he will join with local leaders to hold a "separate event" at the Smith Museum Robertson in the capital to "pay tribute to those who have dedicated their lives to the civil rights of the Mississippi, without the presence of President Donald Trump."
"We took this position out of respect for our heroes and ancestors who, often at the cost of their lives, paved the way for an end to segregation and racial discrimination in Mississippi," Johnson said in a statement on Saturday. . "We honor that legacy by telling the truth to power and calling for the divisive policies of this administration and its backsliding from the application of civil rights."
Lewis, a Democratic congressman from Georgia, and Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., Issued a joint statement on Thursday announcing their decision to skip the opening of Saturday's museum, also citing Trump's attendance as motive. of his absence.
"After careful consideration and discussions with church leaders, elected officials, civil rights activists and many citizens of our constituencies, we have decided not to attend or participate in the opening of the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum" , the congressmen said in the statement.
"The badistance of President Trump and his hurtful policies are an insult to the people portrayed in this civil rights museum, and the struggles represented in this museum exemplify the truth of what really happened in Mississippi." President Trump's derogatory remarks about women, disabled people, immigrants and players do not respect the efforts of Fannie Lou Hamer, Aaron Henry, Medgar Evers, Robert Clark, James Chaney, Andrew Goodman, Michael Schwerner and many others who have given everything for Mississippi to be a better place. "
"After the departure of President Trump, we encourage all residents of Mississippi and Americans to visit this historic civil rights museum," the congressmen added.
Jackson Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba was one of the elected officials who attended the press conference during Trump's visit to the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum.
"It is my appreciation for both known and unknown martyrs that will not allow me to share the stage with a president who has no commitment to civil rights," Lumumba said at the press conference. "Once again, Mr. President, we do not want you to tell us what civil rights mean in Mississippi."
Dozens of demonstrators, some holding placards that read "Love Trumps Hate" and "Trump Trounces on Civil Rights," gathered in front of the new museum while the president arrived in Jackson for a private tour of the facility's exhibits. Trump addressed a group of people inside the museum after his tour.