Black lawmakers to snub Trump in Mississippi

10 December, 2017, 03:52 | Author: Laverne Higgins
  • 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

Mr. Trump accepted an invitation from Governor Phil Bryant to speak at the grand opening of the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum, but given his documented history of racial intolerance, several people who should be at the museum opening will stay away.

"To come and somehow give the impression that things are all right, that we're getting along, was absolutely the wrong message", Thompson told The Associated Press in a telephone interview, saying he views Trump's agenda as too destructive to paper over differences, even for just an hour or two.

City Councilman Kenneth Stokes stands outside City Hall in Jackson, Miss., on December 7.

"How do they come to MS and lock arms with the president and sing kumbaya, as though everything is all well in fine when in Washington you can't even pass a decent bill?" said activist Flonzie Brown Wright. "But it's hard because to have as the honored guest a gentleman who questioned the authenticity of the first African American president is insulting".

They encouraged people to visit the museum "after President Trump departs".

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Officially, the opening ceremony for the museum, which was built with $90 million in state money, is unchanged, with the civil rights movement veterans to be arrayed in the front row, at the center of attention.

A spokesman for the museum said, however, that no change had been made in the program. 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 had decided not to attend the opening if Trump was speaking there.

In response, Trump said the Democrat should "spend more time on fixing and helping his district, which is in disgusting shape and falling apart (not to mention crime infested) rather than falsely complaining about the election results".

"This institution and event should be a celebration of the hard-won progress in civil rights, but the main speaker, Donald Trump, is actively attacking that progress and turning us back to the dark days of hatred and division", Mabus said. MS is a Republican state.

Here's where I stand: It would be great if we had a President who could rise to such a solemn occasion. "So that is what I am trying to do".

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