President Trump’s visit to Mississippi Civil Rights Museum underscores national tension

Photo: The White House
Photo: The White House
Published: Dec. 9, 2017 at 2:38 PM CST
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President Donald Trump's 40-minute visit to the Museum of Mississippi History and Mississippi Civil Rights Museum concluded a days-long controversy over his presence at an event that commemorated a milestone in the state's difficult racial history.

Civil rights icon John Lewis, Jackson Mayor Chokwe Lumumba, and Rep. Bennie Thompson, as well as other noteworthy Mississippians, said they would boycott the event after the president accepted the invitation earlier this week. They claimed the president did not support the spirit of the new institution and would only distract from the ceremony.

The growing criticism of his visit led the Mississippi Department of Archives and History and the White House to create a separate private program for Trump as a compromise, and the public event occurred without the president.

In the end, Trump, who was delayed due to the snow dusting the region, addressed approximately 200 people after a brief tour of the museums and appeared to largely stick to a prepared speech that lasted no more than 10 minutes.

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