President Trump on Saturday attended the grand opening of the first state sponsored Civil Rights museum in Jackson, Mississippi, resulting in backlash and protests from activists who condemn how Mr. Trump has responded to racially motivated topics like police brutality and immigration while he has held office. The largest controversy that plagued the Trump Administration during early on in his presidency was the Charlottesville, Virginia protest that ended in violence last summer, where Mr. Trump claimed that both sides were to blame.
As Mr. Trump spoke, he praised leaders and victims affected by civil rights oppression in the Southern United States who faced brutal challenges gaining equality because of the color of their skin. The President, who is better known to fuel racial divisive topics rather than mend, claimed that the museum “records the oppression, cruelty, and injustice inflicted on the African American community, and the fight to end slavery, to break down Jim Crow, to end segregation, to gain the right to vote, and to achieve the sacred birthright of equality — that’s big stuff,”
The President also took to his favorite social platform, Twitter, to reiterate his experience viewing the museum.
African-American and Civil Rights leaders, according to NPR, publicly announced that they wouldn’t attend the grand opening due to Trumps tendency to divide the country on racial issues. Despite the rejection of his presence just days before the scheduled appearance, the President toured the museum that displayed presentations of civil rights history anyway and delivered a pre-written 9 minute speech.
The New York Times reported that significant individuals such as John Lewis, the civil rights leader and Georgian Democratic congressman, as well as Jackson state Senator Sollie Norwood declined to attend the opening. Senator Norwood commented that “Today may be a grand opening, but there will be a grander opening,” also claiming “That will be the day that all of us will walk in.”