John Lewis cancels trip to civil rights museum, citing Trump’s attendance

Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga., in Washington on Nov. 29, 2017. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Correction appended. 

WASHINGTON — U.S. Rep. John Lewis cancelled his plans to attend the grand opening of the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum this weekend because he would have had to share a stage with President Donald Trump.

But the Atlanta Democrat said Thursday afternoon that he would reconsider if Trump chooses not to attend the event.

“Right now we’re not going,” Lewis told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “But there’s a possibility that the head man may not show up, may cancel.”

Lewis’ 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 of the museum in Jackson, Miss. The lawmaker said it was not appropriate for Trump to be invited given his 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 Wednesday.

Lewis’ House colleague Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., also announced Thursday he would not attend the museum’s opening event.

White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said it was “unfortunate that these members of Congress wouldn’t join the President in honoring the incredible sacrifice civil rights leaders made to right the injustices in our history.”

“The President hopes others will join him in recognizing that the movement was about removing barriers and unifying Americans of all backgrounds,” Sanders said in a written statement.

Lewis and Trump have traded barbs for the better part of the year after Lewis, a high-profile Hillary Clinton supporter, said he didn’t see Trump as a “legitimate president” in January. Trump then took to Twitter to call Lewis’ Atlanta-based 5th Congressional District “crime infested” and “in horrible shape.” Lewis later skipped Trump’s inauguration and first congressional address in protest.

The NAACP has also called on Trump to skip the event.

Not all black lawmakers shared Lewis and the NAACP’s view. U.S. Rep. David Scott, D-Atlanta, said it would benefit Trump to visit the civil rights museum.

“If anybody needs to go it’s Trump,” Scott said. “The president clearly needs to be educated and informed on racial policies. He has to begin to become more sensitive and understanding of the fact that much of what he’s done has given the NAACP and so many in the black community a negative impression of him.”

Correction: Your Insider initially misheard Lewis’ comment. He referred to Trump as ‘head man,’ not a ‘hit man.’ We regret this error. 

Read more: 

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

NAACP invites Trump to stay away from Mississippi museum opening

Reader Comments 15

77 comments
larietta
larietta

John Lewis is an embarrassment.  He is a racist by only representing blacks and not all of his constituents.  Even if he doesn't like our President, he's too ignorant to know to respect the rank, if not the man.

bb404
bb404

John Lewis is just a dumb racist pig

petride
petride

While lauding Rep. Scott's sentiments regarding exposing ignorance to real history - I don't think in the instance of Trump it would make one iota of difference to a man who thinks any opinion he has is what is real - and the rest of the "world" is fake.  And given his history of ignorance and prejudice, his presence would detract from the gravity of what this monument represents about a very dark chapter of our country's history.

walkthetalk60
walkthetalk60

good news!!!—and check his expense vouchers so he can’t claim it !!!!!!!

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

Excellent John !!!


Encourage ALL  minorities ......to boycott any event that trump participates in.

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

John is showing more fight than any Democrat half his age.


Shame on all Democrats....stop being lazy

bb404
bb404

It would make the events safer

KevinBrownnyc
KevinBrownnyc

How ungrateful considering the fact that he's never held a private sector job and has been living off this "racist" Government for 40 years. 

Hoo Mee?
Hoo Mee?

I think Sybil should have all her rights. John Lewis could have used a speech therapist when he was young...

Amelia..
Amelia..

r͎o͎o͎m͎-m͎a͎t͎e͎ m͎a͎r͎y͎ g͎e͎t͎t͎i͎n͎g͎ p͎a͎i͎d͎ o͎n͎ t͎h͎e͎ i͎n͎t͎e͎r͎n͎e͎t͎ $98/h͎''....!i͎l͎183r͎:t͎w͎o͎ d͎a͎y͎s͎ a͎g͎o͎ b͎l͎a͎c͎k͎ m͎.c͎l͎a͎r͎e͎n͎ p͎1 i͎ b͎o͎u͎g͎h͎t͎ a͎f͎t͎e͎r͎ e͎a͎r͎n͎l͎n͎g͎ 18,512 d͎o͎l͎l͎a͎r͎s͎..i͎t͎ w͎a͎s͎ m͎y͎ p͎r͎e͎v͎i͎o͎u͎s͎ m͎o͎n͎t͎h͎'s͎ p͎a͎y͎o͎u͎t͎..j͎u͎s͎t͎ a͎ l͎i͎t͎t͎l͎e͎ o͎v͎e͎r͎ 17k͎ .d͎o͎l͎l͎a͎r͎s͎ l͎a͎s͎t͎ m͎o͎n͎t͎h͎..3-5 h͎o͎u͎r͎s͎ j͎o͎b͎ a͎ d͎a͎y͎...w͎i͎t͎h͎ w͎e͎e͎k͎l͎y͎ p͎a͎y͎o͎u͎t͎s͎..i͎t͎'s͎ r͎e͎a͎l͎y͎ t͎h͎e͎ s͎i͎m͎p͎l͎e͎ j͎o͎b͎ i͎ h͎a͎v͎e͎ .e͎v͎e͎r͎ d͎o͎..i͎ j͎o͎i͎n͎e͎d͎ t͎h͎i͎s͎ 7 m͎o͎n͎t͎h͎s͎ a͎g͎o͎ a͎n͎d͎ n͎o͎w͎ m͎a͎k͎i͎n͎g͎ o͎v͎e͎r͎ h͎o͎u͎r͎l͎y͎ 87.d͎o͎l͎l͎a͎r͎s͎...l͎e͎a͎r͎n͎. m͎o͎r͎e͎ r͎i͎g͎h͎t͎ h͎e͎r͎e͎

        ░A░M░A░Z░I░N░G░ ░J░O░B░S░

°°°°°°http://ow.ly/pqaC30fgvnI 

LifeScanner1967
LifeScanner1967

Having Had Congressman John Lewis As My Congressman For 17 Long Arduous Years, I Can Safely Say That He Never Once Represented Me....Rather, He Represented Those Thugs On The Street Who Were Robbing Me And My Neighbors!

PatriciaMatthews
PatriciaMatthews

John Lewis, wake up.  Look around the lunch counter.  There are white people, black people and all cultures sitting there now because of Martin Luther King.You have been my representative in the House of Representatives for years and all you do is find racism.  Look at accomplishments.  We have all experienced inequality not just black people.  In democracy, we don't always have winners but we have the ability to make change.  We have the right to suceed.  Walk away from the counter.  Look at what these people have done.  You have to deal with change.  We don't all have winners but in a democracy, we accept who won.  We don't have to approve.  Walk away from the lunch counter and see where you can help others to succeed.  You got that right from Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King and many others.  Don't fail to honor those people.  To make change is more than gangs who tear up businesses and destroy the livelihood of those who worked for your freedom.

Merwinlee
Merwinlee

John Lewis is a racist and incapable in coherent thought.  He is just as bad as he thinks Trump is.  A once great man has become an irrelevant joke.

Liz Sherman
Liz Sherman

No coherent or capable thought has been used to make this claim about Congressman Lewis. He has never stopped being a great and heroic man.

ronaldtallon
ronaldtallon

@Liz Sherman Lewis was never a great man.  He was one who luckily caught on to the coat tails of a great man and by that virtue only has had a lifetime gravy train.  He sits in judgement of others, branding them racists if they commit the sin of not agreeing with him.

One Truth Now
One Truth Now

Things are changing in America and we're gaining new perspective.  NO...it's not right to treat women like objects and never has been. 20 Years ago when Christian Americans said Clinton was unfit to be President the Left argued 'his personal life is not relevant to his public life.'  Yes they did!  And Hillary attacked and threatened the women he raped and abused!!  And many years before that the NAACP formed and no one questioned the legitimacy of an organization devoted to helping only black people.  But this is racism none-the-less. Imagine a 'National Assn. for the advancement of White People'.  No one would tolerate that.. not even white people!  John Lewis is a racist and a bigot... plain and simple... but he's tolerated because he's black... that's BLACK PRIVILEGE people!  Racism doesn't end like that. Anyone that attempts to use a double standard is a hypocrite and a liar and is not an American.  You can dress a pig up and put lipstick on it but it's still a PIG!

Blackland
Blackland

Don't go away mad, just go away snowflake! Kasim is waiting for you to die so he can get your seat.

Jerry 47
Jerry 47

Just another example in a series of events that prove that Mr. Lewis has outlived his usefulness.  It's a shame that his constituents have no representation.

weetamoe
weetamoe

Mr Lewis, I do believe that cutting off your nose to spite your face might be a mite painful.

PappyHappy
PappyHappy

A few questions for Mr. Lewis: The numerous 'GREAT SOCIETY PROGRAMS' are 52 years old.

WHAT HAS BEEN ACCOMPLISHED?  

WHAT IS THE STATE OF THE BLACK FAMILY AND WHAT HAVE YOU PERSONALLY DONE TO IMPROVE IT?  

WHY ARE THE SCHOOLS OUR KIDS ATTEND NOT PRODUCING MORE HIGH SCHOOL GRADUATES, AND SKILLS TO CAUSE THEM TO BE SUCCESSFUL, AND NOT DROP OUTS? 

MG2
MG2

John Lewis is a civil rights hero and I am immensely proud to say that he is my Congressman. I would bet money that all these people in the comments with so much to say about him don't live in his district. The people of this district love John Lewis and he represents us with honor and integrity.


On the other hand, Trump is too stupid and childish to understand the content of a civil rights museum. He has no honor, and no integrity. For these reasons, he should not be considered a guest of honor at this opening.


More than anything, I am ashamed as a white man that it is two white men—Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant and Donald Trump—that will prevent John Lewis from being able to attend a museum that is supposed to honor the priceless gift of the civil rights movement, one that would not have been possible without people like John Lewis.

c130a
c130a

@MG2  -  Listen, MG2, .....NOBODY is preventing Lewis from going to that event.  It is Lewis's own stupidity and racism that stands in the way.  He's probably doing it just to garner media attention.  God knows he hasn't written any legislation to brag about.

One Truth Now
One Truth Now

@MG2 And you're as much a racist and bigot as he is. There's no legitimacy in your view and there's no legitimacy in any organization devoted to only helping one race.. doesn't matter if it's La Raza, the NAACP or the KKK... all the same thing... bigots pushing bigotry.  And you argue to yourself that's it's ok because of this or that.. but you probably voted for Hillary, a woman that attacked and threatened the women her husband raped and sexually abused.  Hypocrite.. take a look at yourself and leave Trump alone.  He's done more to help black people in the first year of his Presidency than Obama did in 8 years!!

larietta
larietta

@MG2 I have had the misfortune of sitting next to Mr. Lewis many times flying back and forth to DC and know firsthand of his inability to carry on an intelligent conversation. Add to this his racism and we have a dangerous combination that negatively impacts the residents of Georgia.  

JSnGa
JSnGa

John Lewis has never accomplished anything in Congress.  His main skill is screaming at people and telling them an  enhance story of Selma.

Blackland
Blackland

@JSnGa He is good at sit-ins, which are sort of old technology.

drewmeister
drewmeister

In reading all of these comments it’s plain to see that the heroes of yesteryear for the civil rights movement that are being put to the pedestal as well as scorned are exactly that, yesterday’s ‘heroes’. It should be also obvious that living in the past isn’t what this country needs right now to put an end to the divisiveness rampant in society. Instead of Mr. Lewis having his sophomoric little tantrum he should be using this event as an opportunity to greet The President of The United States with a hand shake and participate with him in the spirit of the occasion. If he was one tenth of the man his diehard fans believe him to be he would be on the phone to the NAACP encouraging them to immediately reverse their misguided statements.

RufusATL
RufusATL

@drewmeister "If he was one tenth of the man his diehard fans believe him to be"........If Donald Trump was one tenth of the man racists like yourself believe him to be, he would know he is not wanted at the opening of this museum.  His narcissistic, bloated ego, however, has never stopped him from any and all opportunities to "feel the love."  

One Truth Now
One Truth Now

@RufusATL @drewmeister Did you vote for Hillary hypocrite? If yes... please explain to us how you thought supporting a woman that attacked and threatened the women her husband raped and sexually abused was a good thing.  Please do that.

drewmeister
drewmeister

Rufus - You may be able to read, but you do not comprehend. The point is that it is a challenge to Mr. Lewis as HE is the one refusing to attend. That HE is the icon that should be capable of being the catalyst.

One Truth Now - what on earth are you talkin about? It’s past your bed time.

Joejts64011
Joejts64011

Good. Better off with one less race baiters

kutzukid
kutzukid

I ain't going cause I wont be the main attraction

E_FORD
E_FORD

Trump & his supporters have no clue how Trump's excusing white supremicists in Charlottesville insults people of color.  He is incapable of developing empathy or any semblance of understanding someone else's point of view, but hopefully some of his supporters can understand that - 

One Truth Now
One Truth Now

@E_FORD You have no idea what happened in Charlotsville because the Leftist journalists in America lied about it.  Marxist Communist ANTIFA attacked the people holding the rally, a small portion of which were White Nationalists, with baseball bats unprovoked!  You can go on YouTube and find video that shows that's EXACTLY what happened.  But you're not interested in the truth... you're interested in grandstanding and imagining yourself superior to those you don't understand.  And that makes you a hateful bigot!  Time for you Liberals to wake up to the truth of your own hypocrisy.

LifeScanner1967
LifeScanner1967

@E_FORD I'll Tell Ya What Insults Me and That Is Your Type of People Wanting to Tear Down Historical Monuments, That's What!!

southboy
southboy

Just imagine if a Republiican refused to attend an event because Obama was there.  There would be the predictable cries of racism.   John Lewis is unquestionably a brave man.  However,  he has done nothing while in Congress, he has done nothing--no major legislation.  His speech is a lot of mush.  Time for this man to retire.

Corey
Corey

When black folk make it known loud and clear that they do not plan to support a bigot, why the white southern outrage? In the words of Atticus Finch while addressing his kids in To Kill A Mockingbird, "Why reasonable people go stark raving mad when anything involving a Negro comes up, is something I don't pretend to understand..."

Mary
Mary

Remind, what maybe that was 60 years are so ago?

One Truth Now
One Truth Now

@Corey Because some of us can identify a racist when we see them.  And by the way... I named my son Atticus after Mr. Finch.  You self-righteous bigots think you are superior in your morality but you're really just ignorant dupes!! Why don't you stop pretending you have anything to do with righteousness and acknowledge your own immorality?  Did you vote for Hillary... the hag that attacked and threatened the women her husband raped and abused?  If so.. please explain to all of America how you think youre righteous.. please do that!

Mary
Mary

Just another day of playing the victim card. Geez, what it must be like to be that old and bitter.

RufusATL
RufusATL

@Mary If I were not white, you bet your life I would be bitter, regardless of my age.  Yet, you simply whisk it away with your "victim card" remark.  In the not too distant future, white people will be the minority in this country.  I sincerely hope, for your welfare and mine, that they treat us better than we have ever treated them.  

Sceptical
Sceptical

The Mississippi Civil Rights Museum has a section honoring Rosa Parks.  Without her, John Lewis would be nothing.  He dis-honors her memory by not showing up.  Lewis has been living high on the hog in DC and has forgotten what got him there.  He should be getting down on his knees praising Rosa Parks, instead of a B/S statement about Trump.  Lewis has been living high in DC because he worked with Martin Luther King.  But he has done little or nothing to further the civil rights struggle since he became a Congressman. And to dishonor Rosa Parks is a disgrace.  Shame on him.

knight490
knight490

@Sceptical This Mississippi Civil Rights Museum is about Mississippi's place in the civil rights movement. Rosa Parks was born in Alabama and is famous for the Montgomery (also in Alabama) bus boycott.  If there's an exhibit on Rosa Parks, it's just as likely that there's one on John Lewis himself.  


If we're worried about dishonoring the heroes of the civil rights movement, we should probably listen to what a literal hero of the civil rights movement finds disrespectful...

One Truth Now
One Truth Now

@knight490 @Sceptical Lewis is NOT a civil rights hero.. MLK was a civil rights hero and he NEVER would have behaved like Lewis.  I marched for civil rights in the late 60s and am ultimately familiar with Martin's writings and position on race.  Lewis is a racist bigot and profiteer riding on the coattails of that great man.  And fools imagine that because he was part of that movement that he has something to do with the nobleness of it.  He is like Sharpton and Jesse Jackson... black profiteers that have done nothing except benefit from their association.  And MLK is rolling in his grave at the shame these men have brought to the civil rights movement!  And too many young white and black people deluded by the narrative of what is nothing but Marxists in America imagine themselves righteous by association to these bigots.  The only bigger fools are those like Lewis!!  You should be ashamed of yourself.. you know nothing of MLK... absolutely NOTHING!

Trackbacks

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