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08 December 2017, 05:54 | Opal Carroll
John Lewis Not Going to Opening of Mississippi Civil Rights Museum Because Trump Will Attend
The two said all Mississippians and Americans should visit the museum, but only after Trump leaves.
John Lewis will not be in attendance for the opening of the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum on Saturday because Donald Trump will be there. "We support the people that are being honored and we're very happy about the civil rights museum opening and we're acknowledging all the hard work that went into the creation of the museum".
Lewis and Thompson said in their statement that Trump had shown "disrespect" for people who fought for civil rights in Mississippi.
Its displays include a charred cross burned by the Ku Klux Klan, the places and dates of MS lynchings, and the rifle used to murder the civil rights activist Medgar Evers.
The announcement comes days after the NAACP released its own statement criticizing Trump's visit. "He has never been a supporter of civil rights or equal opportunity or justice". John Lewis and Bennie G. Thompson said that after "conversations with church leaders, elected officials, civil right activists and many citizens of our congressional districts", they have decided not to attend the opening.
On Wednesday, Lewis hinted that he would be skipping the event due to the president; however, the White House pushed back against the reported boycott.
Lewis, a civil rights icon, has been a frequent critic of the president and previously sparred with him over Twitter after saying he didn't feel Trump was a "legitimate president". And would I hope that those individuals would join in that celebration instead of protesting it.
Mr Trump has been criticised by civil rights leaders for his defence of Confederate monuments, and for his response to a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.
Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson, who will accompany Trump on Saturday, has been encouraging the President to attend the opening, a source with knowledge of the trip told CNN's Rene Marsh. The congressman also refused to attend Trump's inauguration and first congressional address.
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