Civil rights icon Rep. John Lewis and NAACP president Derrick Johnson said they would not attend Saturday’s opening of the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum over opposition to President Donald Trump being there.
But it was the president, who was invited by Republican Governor Phil Bryant, who showed a little class amid the hypersensitive reaction to his scheduled appearance.
In a show of who has real privilege in America, Trump will accommodate the critics threatening to boycott the event by not speaking publicly, deciding to participate in a separate private event at the museum instead, NBC News reported.
The White House event will be separate from the scheduled public ceremony by the Mississippi Department of Archives and History. The president will tour the museum and speak at a private program and the public event will begin afterward, according to NBC News.
Mike Espy, the secretary of agriculture under former President Bill Clinton and a former Mississippi congressman who served on a state committee to establish the museum, said it was a “diplomatic” decision.
“I think this was a diplomatic effort that will help solve this issue,” Espy said.
“The fact that the governor of Mississippi invited him was sort of a surprise to us on the committee,” he added. “We didn’t find out that the president had agreed to come until two or three days ago.”
Lewis released a joint statement with Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., on Thursday saying they will boycott the opening because the president of the United States had agreed to participate, according to NBC News.
The Georgia Democrat is no stranger to boycotting events including Trump, having skipped the president’s inauguration earlier this year and saying Trump isn’t a “legitimate president.”
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