The NAACP is protesting President Donald Trump’s proposed visit to the opening of a civil rights museum in Mississippi on Saturday, saying his appearance at the ceremony would be “an affront to the veterans of the civil rights movement.”
“President Trump’s statements and policies regarding the protection and enforcement of civil rights have been abysmal, and his attendance is an affront to the veterans of the civil rights movement,” Derrick Johnson, NAACP president and CEO, said in a statement released this week. “He has created a commission to reinforce voter suppression, refused to denounce white supremacists, and overall, has created a racially hostile climate in this nation.”
“He has created a commission to reinforce voter suppression, refused to denounce white supremacists, and overall, has created a racially hostile climate in this nation,” Johnson added.
Dr. Amos Brown, NAACP board member and San Francisco Branch President, said in the statement: “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.”
White House press secretary Sarah Sanders expressed disappointment over the NAACP’s protest but said the organization has every right to object Trump’s visit.
“I think this is something that should bring the country together to celebrate the opening of this museum and highlighting [the] civil rights movement and the progress that we’ve made,” she said this week. “And I would hope that those individuals would join in that celebration instead of protesting it. However, they have every right to protest it.”
The Mississippi Civil Rights Museum event will begin Saturday with a ribbon-cutting ceremony and will feature speeches from civil rights leaders, elected officials, and Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant (R), who extended the invitation to President Trump.
Some NAACP members, the Washington Post reports, plan to stage a protest during the event.
Saturday’s ceremony will also feature speeches from former NAACP chairman Myrlie Evers and Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.).