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Political divide over President Trump’s upcoming visit to civil rights museum

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In the wake of President Trump’s decision to attend the celebration of Mississippi’s bicentennial and the opening of the new Civil Rights Museum in Jackson, reactions have been split. Some have praised the decision and look forward to Trump’s visit, while others have not been as receptive.

Governor Bryant voiced his support for President Trump’s visit and urged everyone to come together for the ceremony.

“Mississippi should be proud that the president of the United States has agreed to speak at the opening of the Museum of Mississippi History and the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum. The world will be watching our Bicentennial celebration. Let us come together as one Mississippi,” Governor Bryant said.

The Mississippi Association of County Democratic Chairs and Hinds County Democratic Party Chairperson Jacqueline R. Amos have taken issue with President Trump attending the ceremony, citing that the President is a “divisive figure” among several other reasons. Amos went so far to say that any involvement from Trump should be canceled.

“As the direct political heirs to the Freedom Democratic Party and in the spirit of Mrs. Fannie Lou Hamer, we call upon all the authorities involved to cancel any appearance and remarks by President Donald Trump immediately,” Amos said. “Any reasonable person knows that the presence of such a hugely divisive and polarizing figure will pervert and diminish what could otherwise be a healing and teaching moment for our state.  Mr. Trump attained to the highest office in the land by appeals and tactics that do great and lasting violence to our civil rights heritage.  His campaign appealed to the very worst demons of the American soul.  He is a disgraceful president, a malicious influence, and an abominable human being.  He has no place at a celebration of the very values and aspirations his presidency is clearly committed to destroy. Mr. President, leave Mississippi alone.  We have had far too much experience with your kind already.”

Senator Roger Wicker (R) is in favor of the president’s trip to Jackson saying that it allows him to see what makes Mississippi special.

“The President of the United States is welcome in Mississippi. His visit to celebrate our bicentennial would give our state an incredible opportunity to showcase the people and stories that make our state so unique,” Wicker said.

The NAACP’s Dr. Amos Brown, a Jackson Native, called President Trump’s visit an insult.

“As a freedom fighter and contemporary of Emmett Till, Trump’s visit is an insult. He has never been a supporter of civil rights or equal opportunity or justice,” said Dr. Brown. “He’s been silent on civil rights issues, and his silence speaks volumes,” Brown said.

In a tweet, Speaker Pro Tempore of the Mississippi House of Representatives, Greg Snowden says that the President being in attendance is something that all should embrace, regardless of political affiliation.

“Nothing could bring more national attention to the opening of the Museum of Mississippi History and the Civil Rights Museum than an appearance of the President. Embrace it, Mississippians! Democrat, Republican, liberal, conservative . . . embrace it!” Snowden posted.

With protests reportedly planned for President Trump’s visit, press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said that while people have the right to do so, she hopes that the celebration can bring people together.

“This is something that should bring the country together and celebrate the opening of this museum and highlight the civil rights movement, and the progress that we’ve made. I would hope that those individuals would join in that celebration instead of protesting it. However, they have every right to protest it,” Sanders said.

The opening of the museums will take place on Saturday with the ceremony beginning at 11 a.m. in front of the two new museums. The ceremony is free and open for the public to attend. While tickets are sold out for the museums’ opening weekend, live music and food trucks will also be on the scene. Several other downtown attractions will be open on that day including the old and new Capitol Buildings, the Governor’s Mansion and more.

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