U.S. Representatives Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS) and John Lewis (D-GA) released a statement Thursday announcing that they will not be attending the opening of the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum on Saturday.
In the statement, the Congressmen said that their absence is due to the announcement of President Donald Trump's attendance earlier this week stating his "hurtful policies are an insult to the people portrayed in the civil rights museum."
Both Thompson and Lewis encourage all Mississippians and Americans to visit the museum after the President departs.
The statement reads:
“After careful consideration and conversations with church leaders, elected officials, civil right activists and many citizens of our congressional districts, we have decided not to attend or participate in the opening of the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum.
“President Trump’s attendance and his hurtful policies are an insult to the people portrayed in this civil rights museum. The struggles represented in this museum exemplify the truth of what really happened in Mississippi. President Trump’s disparaging comments about women, the disabled, immigrants and National Football League players disrespect the efforts of Fannie Lou Hamer, Aaron Henry, Medgar Evers, Robert Clark, James Chaney, Andrew Goodman, Michael Schwerner and countless others who have given their all for Mississippi to be a better place.
“After President Trump departs, we encourage all Mississippians and Americans to visit this historic civil rights museum.”
According to Associated Press, the White House says it is "unfortunate" that congressmen Lewis and Thompson won't be joining President Trump at the opening honoring the "incredible sacrifice civil rights leaders made to right the injustices in our history."
The White House says Trump hopes others will join him in recognizing "that the movement was about removing barriers and unifying Americans of all backgrounds."
Other Mississippi lawmakers continue to voice their opinions about the museum opening and the controversy concerning the President's upcoming visit.
Rep. Greg Snowden, the Speaker Pro Tempore for the Mississippi House of Representatives, tweeted this statement Thursday afternoon:
Black Mississippians who think the Civil Rights Museum is ”their” museum are wrong. White Mississippians who believe the Museum of Mississippi History is “their” museum are wrong. ALL of our history belongs to ALL of us. That is the fundamental truth we must all understand.