John Lewis re-evaluates civil rights museum visit after Donald Trump’s RSVP

U.S. Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga., in January 2017. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

WASHINGTON — U.S. Rep. John Lewis, D-Atlanta, said he will re-evaluate his plans to speak at the ribbon-cutting of the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum this weekend amid reports that he would be sharing a stage with President Donald Trump.

“It’s going to be very difficult for me to be there and be on the same platform with him,” the civil rights leader and 30-year congressman said of the president in an interview Wednesday.

Lewis had been planning to attend a reception at the Jackson, Miss.-based museum on Friday and speak at the facility’s opening ceremony on Saturday. But he said Trump’s presence at the event would be inappropriate given the commander-in-chief’s response to white supremacist rallies in Charlottesville, Va., this summer.

“I think his presence would make a mockery of everything that people tried to do to redeem the soul of America and to make this country better,” Lewis said.

The Democrat’s comments came a day after the NAACP said Trump should skip the museum’s opening ceremony because of his “abysmal” record on civil rights issues.

“His attendance is an affront to the veterans of the civil rights movement,” NAACP President Derrick Johnson said Tuesday.

The White House confirmed Trump’s visit to Jackson on Tuesday at the invitation of Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant, a Republican.

Asked about potential protesters at the event, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said, “that would be honestly very sad.”

“This should be something that brings the country together,” she said.

Trump and Lewis have had an acrimonious relationship for the better part of a year. Trump called Lewis’ Atlanta-based 5th Congressional District “crime infested” and “in horrible shape” after Lewis, a high-profile Hillary Clinton supporter, said he didn’t see Trump as a “legitimate president.” Lewis later boycotted Trump’s inauguration and first congressional address in protest.

Lewis said Wednesday he would need to decide “whether I can live with myself” if he goes to the new museum while Trump is in Mississippi, where Lewis was arrested jailed in 1961 for participating in the Freedom Rides. He said he’ll visit the museum later if he skips this weekend’s events.

The Mississippi Civil Rights Museum did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Lewis’ comments came hours after he joined 57 other Democrats to begin impeachment proceedings against Trump.  He was the only Georgia Democrat to vote for the proposal.

“I think you have to send a signal,” Lewis said. “You have to send a sign that it’s time for him to go.”

Read more: NAACP invites Trump to stay away from Mississippi museum opening

Reader Comments 17

71 comments
larietta
larietta

The Atlanta motto should be changed to "The City Too Busy To Hate, Except For John Lewis, Who Continues to Hate and Promotes Hatred of White People, Regardless of Our Racial Progress"

fairviewfarm
fairviewfarm

Who cares if this mean spirited troublemaker, cast in the image of Sharpton and Jackson, attends ANYTHING?  He IS a racist pig and the call on him the last time for this was the correct one.  Lewis doesn't give a damn about anything except himself and his hatemongering.  He deeply hates whites and just looks for media opportunities to tell everyone about this yet again.  Lewis, you are old news.  Crawl back in the hole you came from.

Sceptical
Sceptical

If Lewis doesn't come, Lewis will be disrespecting Rosa Parks; and that's a very sad thing. Her actions paved the way for Lewis to be in Congress. He should be ashamed of himself if he doesn't come to pay his respects to her. Without her, he would be nothing. Shame on him for even thinking of not paying his respects.  He may hate the President, but he should love Rosa Parks more. 

c130a
c130a

@Sceptical  - Rosa Parks........now there is a lady who did more for America in one day than John Lewis has accomplished in over 50 years.  That lady is a hero.

weetamoe
weetamoe

Comparing Trump to Hitler---wait a minute --that's what Kerry supporters and Gore supporters called Bush;  oh, and that's what Obama supporters called Romney. And expressing hatred of fellow citizens based on the candidate they voted for really demeans all those who marched for the right to vote. 

jezel-dog / Coach - me
jezel-dog / Coach - me

One of the reasons so many Americans won't vote Democrat is they don't respect us. They see we won't fight for ourselves and they rightly doubt whether we will fight for them as leaders.

And you know what? They are absolutely right about that.

jezel-dog / Coach - me
jezel-dog / Coach - me

The Greatest Generation is gone.....my generation stinks.....the young folks have yet to find a voice.....John Lewis and others who led the civil rights movement have aged......


So right now we are stuck.......


Let's find and support a person....who will lead the 70 percent of us. Many are tired and have no fight......but I am sure there is someone out there....Who will step up......Where are YOU ?

c130a
c130a

@jezel-dog / Coach - me  -  I don't know who will "hear the bell" and step up but I do know it won't be Kasim Reed or Keisha Bottoms.  Those greedy bums think only of themselves.

COL1HYATT
COL1HYATT

Lewis has been redundant for many years and contributes little to the legislative process other than obstructing progress. Time for him to do the State of Georgia a large favor and move on. He would do much better working with the likes of Jesse Jackson or Al Sharpton...all of the same ilk.

c130a
c130a

@COL1HYATT  - I don't think Lewis has the brains or the stamina to join that club of racists.

Sanitsyrest
Sanitsyrest

How do you change hearts if you don't even show up? I'm very disappointed in Rep. Lewis.

Dailydale
Dailydale

Changing hearts is a pipedream; we want equal rights and JUSTICE.  Action speaks...are you disappointed in your presidents abysmal civil rights record, starting with his selection of Jeff Sessions as Attorney General???

larietta
larietta

@Dailydale It must be exhausting living the life of the perpetually offended.  

PaperbakWriter
PaperbakWriter

John Lewis shouldn't back down. He needs to use that stage as an opportunity to delivery one of his fiery speeches against the Clown in Chief. This museum is part of Lewis's legacy, one he shares with all Civil Rights vets; it would be a great disservice to this country if Lewis didn't take this as an opportunity to bring the man down a rung or five.

c130a
c130a

@PaperbakWriter  - What legacy?  Sure he was beaten by a bunch of stupid white troopers 6 decades ago.  And he parlayed that into a career representing uneducated blacks who think he still is doing something.  All he has done since his days with ML King is become a proponent of the racism that he and King fought. And he has grown fat and wealthy promoting racial disharmony.  Truly, a racist pig.

Dailydale
Dailydale

@c130a @PaperbakWriter Such ignorance and disrespect...those "stupid white troopers" were sanctioned by the government and they didn't lose one dime for their savage behavior. In fact, they did exactly what they were paid to do; which is the reason he was able to parlay that into a career??  I won't even dignify your "uneducated blacks" statement, as I can infer  from your comments that you're highly educated...promoting racial disharmony.  LOL!

c130a
c130a

@Dailydale -  Maybe you're a cop or some other type of fool who thinks (erroneously) that actions sanctioned by the government are righteous.  Since you believe in condoning such "sanctioned acts" I guess you also approve of the extermination of 12 million people in the concentration camps by Hitler's government.  Or the torture and murder of civilians by Hussein's regime, or etc., etc., etc.  Yeah, you're a real piece of work, Dailydale. Good thinking.

larietta
larietta

@PaperbakWriter Your ignorance and racism highlight to the rest of the world that you are incapable of being a civilized human being.  What a classless loser you are.  

bigdoggie1
bigdoggie1

Don't go anywhere near that bigoted, mangled apricot c*cksplat!

It's like having Hitler at Auchwitz!

jezel-dog / Coach - me
jezel-dog / Coach - me

On Moore....the new face of the GOP


What Roy Moore’s spokeswoman could not answer in her CNN interview: -Whether he thinks Muslims should not be allowed to serve in Congress -Whether he thinks homosexuality should be outlawed -Whether 9/11 happened because the US distanced itself from God

Martin-C
Martin-C

Oh so now Trump pretends to be all-into Civil Rights?

He - the Emperor of Incivility.

Get real, all you DEPLORABLE Trumpers.

GrandaddyJerry
GrandaddyJerry

Ask yourself, what would you think had any Congress person not attended and event when Obama was president!?  Your fellow Rep. or Sen. would have had a "Hizzy Fit".  Give me a break. You are the bigot, not President Trump.  You need to call it quits John!

randyrogers
randyrogers

Don't go Lewis, you are more of a bigot than Trump.  If you go, I'm staying home!!!

jezel-dog / Coach - me
jezel-dog / Coach - me

Do not go John...


trump should be banned from every thing ....with the word...CIVIL....attached to it.

c130a
c130a

@jezel-dog / Coach - me  - and that racist pig, John Lewis, should be banned from anything using the words "equality", "inclusion" and "diversity".  If his feeble mind had been born in a white head he would have been one of those racist Alabama troopers at the Edmund Pettis bridge.

Common Man
Common Man

What exactly has this guy ever done for the citizens of georgia or the United States as an elected official. That "I marched with King" stuff is getting old. Both he and Trump are always angry so I figure they would be good friends. Actually, Trump smiles more that John Lewis.

Jwade
Jwade

What a hypocrite!!!

OH:IO
OH:IO

So much for inclusion and diversity. 


Hypocrite Libs

OH:IO
OH:IO

Lewis has only one card up his sleeve. 


The race card


One trick pony


Term Limits anyone?

Mack Plymale
Mack Plymale

Lewis is a loser who put the USA on food stamps. 

Annabeth Balance
Annabeth Balance

Hooray, Congressman John Lewis!  You can (and I think you should) simply reschedule your appearance at the new museum, and let that date be widely known.  That can come to be recognized as the "real" opening celebration for the museum, much like the Freedom Democrats took over the position  of the so-called regular Democrats in 1964.

drewmeister
drewmeister

This tantrum surely reflects the Atlanta that is left from the current administration and the results of the so called runoff. What an endorsement! Hey Amazon, move here!

bendedknee
bendedknee

John should sit down in protest and block Trump's entrance. Dragging him off the stage would make Bannon and Trumpsters happy.

joeintucker
joeintucker

what a load of crap, Ol' Mumbles Lewis is just playing his worn out race card...

72DCSD99
72DCSD99

Maybe someone should ask the King family what they think of John Lewis and Jesse Jackson.

larietta
larietta

Lewis is the poster child for racism. 

Madasshatter
Madasshatter

If there exists a poster-child for term limits it's this moron, what a joke.

Ralph-43
Ralph-43

Take the stage John Lewis.  Tell Trump he is a failed white bigot about to be jailed along with his sons and the rest of the outdated fascist movement.  Chuckle and walk away.  Tell him to watch out for the dogs.

RonHughes
RonHughes

Stay home! You won’t be misssed.

LifeScanner1967
LifeScanner1967

Time for John Lewis to give up his seat in Congress.....He's been in office like Forever! What about Term Limits? Don't they apply to him also? He was my "Congressman" for 17 Long years.....but he did not represent me or my values. Thank God I now live in Cobb County.

cswayt
cswayt

Unforgiveness is a sin.

PappyHappy
PappyHappy

Unlike some in his caucus, John is a pretty honorable man, but he does need to get over Trump, and set an example of 'NOT BEING A VICTIM'.

That ploy no longer gets attention from the masses.  The Great Society Programs are 52 years old.  JOhn and his caucus should be asking the question: "WHAT HAS BE THE RETURN ON INVESTMENT, and why have we not seen more improvement?"

philjessup
philjessup

Poor John. Ever take the time to listen to any of his speeches? Takes forever to say nothing and make zero points pertinent to today’s world. All he can do is live in the past and believe nothing has changed. He has become pathetic and very representative of our ‘do nothing’ Congress. He has only one characteristic that gets him re-elected

almmanduane75
almmanduane75

I look at it like this. How many trillions of dollars is the US Government in?

And, who has been in D C for years and years helping drive that debt up? 

Let's see?   Hmmm. maybe Lewis, maybe Mitch McConnell maybe Chuck Schumer, maybe Pelosi, maybe Paul Ryan.

So, the bottom line is Mr. Lewis. Do you really think we care if you go to Mississippi or not?  Have a good one.  Chow!!

Trackbacks

  1. […] Civil Rights icon and Congressman John Lewis (D–GA) may not attend the opening of the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum if President Donald Trump is there, he told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. […]

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  2. […] John Lewis re-evaluates civil rights museum visit after Donald Trump’s RSVP  MyAJC (blog) […]

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  3. […] comments came less than a day after he expressed doubts about whether he could “live with myself” if he appeared on the same program as his political nemesis at this weekend’s ribbon-cutting […]

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  4. […] comments came less than a day after he expressed doubts about whether he could “live with myself” if he appeared on the same program as his political nemesis at this weekend’s ribbon-cutting […]

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  5. […] 76, had previously told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that it would be “very difficult for me to be there and be on the same platform […]

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  6. […] comments came less than a day after he expressed doubts about whether he could “live with myself” if he appeared on the same program as his political nemesis at this weekend’s […]

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  7. […] 76, had previously told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that it would be “very difficult for me to be there and be on the same platform […]

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  8. […] 76, had previously told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that it would be “very difficult for me to be there and be on the same platform […]

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  9. […] 76, had previously told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that it would be “very difficult for me to be there and be on the same platform […]

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  10. […] 76, had previously told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that it would be “very difficult for me to be there and be on the same platform […]

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  11. […] “It’s going to be very difficult for me to be there and be on the same platform with him,” Lewis told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. […]

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  12. […] “It’s going to be very difficult for me to be there and be on the same platform with him,” Lewis told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. […]

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  13. […] 76, had previously told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that it would be “very difficult for me to be there and be on the same platform […]

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  14. […] 76, had previously told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that it would be “very difficult for me to be there and be on the same platform […]

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  15. […] the same platform with [Trump].”” data-reactid=”22″>Lewis, 76, had previously told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that it would be “very difficult for me to be there and be on the same platform with […]

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  16. […] 76, had previously told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that it would be “very difficult for me to be there and be on the same platform […]

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