In a joint statement released Thursday, Democratic representatives John Lewis and Bennie G. Thompson said that after "conversations with church leaders, elected officials, civil rights activists and many citizens of our constituencies," they have decided not to attend the opening.
"The assistance of President Trump and his hurtful policies are an insult to the people portrayed in this civil rights museum," the two congressmen said in a statement. "The struggles represented in this museum exemplify the truth of what really happened in Mississippi." President Trump's derogatory comments about women, 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 many others who have given everything for Mississippi to be a better place. "
Add: "After President Trump leaves, we encourage all residents of Mississippi and Americans to visit this historic civil rights museum."
The White House said it was "unfortunate" that the congressmen were will jump the event.
"We believe it is unfortunate that these members of Congress do not join the President to honor the incredible sacrifice that civil rights leaders made right injustices in our history," the White House press secretary said on Thursday. , Sarah Sanders. "The president hopes that others will join him to recognize that the movement was to eliminate barriers and unify Americans of all origins."
Sources told CNN that Miss Bryant Governor Phil Bryant invited Trump to attend the opening of the museum several months ago. White House officials confirmed this week that they had accepted the invitation. The museum, which has been under construction since 2014, features eight galleries that focus on the years 1945 to 1976 "when Mississippi was ground zero of the national civil rights movement," says the website.
Former state Rep. Robert Moak, who is now the president of the Mississippi Democratic Party, told CNN on Tuesday that the reaction to the news that Trump was attending was not positive.
"Is this place worthy of a presidential visit? Yes. Is it appropriate with this president at this particular time? No," Moak said. He added that although the inauguration should be a "special event," "Trump's visit will appease him."
"This is not a place for cheap political tricks, it seems that this is the letter that the governor has to deal with right now," he said.
The president of the Mississippi NAACP, Charles Hampton, said it was a "very inappropriate time to invite Trump."
"I'm the same age as Trump, Trump does not care about black people and poor people in particular," said Hampton. "If I could, it would erase us from the map."
The national NAACP also disapproved of the invitation.
"The statements and policies of President Trump regarding the protection and application of civil rights have been abysmal, and his assistance is an affront to veterans of the civil rights movement." He has created a commission to reinforce the suppression of civil rights. voters, refused to denounce whites, supremacists, and in general, has created a racially hostile climate in this nation, "said President Derrick Johnson.
Both the Mississippi Democratic Party and the NAACP chapter in Mississippi said they had not been informed that Trump had been invited by Bryant until it was published in the news reports.
Jeff Steinberg is the founder of Sojourn to the Past, a program that educates children about the civil rights movement, and will attend Saturday's opening. He told CNN that Trump attending the opening of the museum was "an affront to what the Civil Rights Movement really represented."
"For me, it's not political, it's about this particular person, who is divisive and I think he has many, many racial tendencies," Steinberg said. "I do not know anyone who thinks it's a smart move, I do not know anyone who agrees that this is a movement that honors people in the civil rights movement."