“I think his presence would make a mockery,” Congressman John Lewis said
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.
“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.
Lewis was scheduled to speak at the grand opening of the Jackson museum on Saturday morning, along with other Civil Rights leaders like Myrlie Evers-Williams, but that was before it was announced that Trump would be attending, too.
Lewis cited Trump’s words after white supremacists marched on Charlottesville, Virginia, killing one woman. Trump said there were “some very fine people” among the white supremacists, who came carrying torches, swastikas, and Confederate flag.
“It’s going to be very difficult for me to be there and be on the same platform with him,” Lewis said.
Trump was invited by Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant, a Republican who supported Trump in 2016.
Lewis told the Journal that he would have to decide “whether I can live with myself” before attending. He told the Journal he would still attend the museum at a later date if he decided to skip Saturday.
Lewis was arrested and jailed in Mississippi in 1961 due to his participation in the Freedom Rides. The NAACP has also said they will boycott the museum’s opening if Trump is there.