Chokwe Antar Lumumba, Jackson, Miss.’s revolutionary mayor, will not be sharing the stage with President Donald Trump at the grand opening of the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum this Saturday, the Clarion Ledger reports.
“I believe that Trump’s presence is a distraction. His policies don’t reflect his statements that this is a movement that will bring people together. Trump has not demonstrated a continuing dedication to the ideals the civil rights movement upholds,” Lumumba told the Clarion Ledger.
Trump will no longer be speaking at the museum opening—since the announcement that he would was met with justifiable rage and disgust—but he will still be in attendance.
To add further insult to injury, Lumumba learned that he would also not have the opportunity to speak at the historic event.
“I had some words that I wanted to say,” Lumumba said, “but when I found out that I wasn’t going to have the opportunity to speak, I decided that I didn’t want to share the stage with Trump.”
Instead, Lumumba will hold a press conference with U.S. Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) and NAACP President Derrick Johnson. The conference will take place at the same time as the museum opening.
U.S. Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.), an icon of the civil rights movement, will also not be in attendance because of Trump’s toxic presence.
“President Trump’s attendance and his hurtful policies are an insult to the people portrayed in this civil rights museum,” Thompson and Lewis said in a joint statement.
Myrlie Evers-Williams, revered scholar, author, activist and widow of assassinated civil rights leader Medgar Evers, will be in attendance, and she may have a few words for Trump.
“If God gives me the breath and the strength, I will address his attendance when I stand to speak,” Evers-Williams told the New York Times.
The rifle that white supremacist Byron De La Beckwith used to assassinate Evers on June 12, 1963, will be on display at the museum.
There are people who believe that Trump’s job title means that it would be more disrespectful for him not to attend the museum opening; Lumumba is not one of those people, calling Trump’s presence “ill-considered” in light of his demonstrably racist, anti-black administration.
“I think that if President Trump is sincere about recognition of civil rights—though one could imagine that being at a museum could demonstrate that—the policies you implement each and every day, your continuing commitment to advancing civil rights, is a greater salute to a sincere effort to support a civil rights movement,” Lumumba said on CNN. “And I think he fails to accomplish that on a consistent basis.”