Trump Spoke at the Opening of the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum in What Was Essentially a Photo Op

President Donald Trump listens as Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant shows him the Hinds County Jail on display at the newly opened Mississippi Civil Rights Museum in Jackson on Dec. 9, 2017. (Susan WalshAP Images)

President Donald Trump has made it pretty clear how he feels about black people. He has refused to condemn white nationalists and routinely calls out black pro football players for protesting police brutality. So why would the hater in chief accept an invitation to speak at the opening of the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum in Jackson on Saturday?

Because he likes taking pictures with important black people. He’d rather do that than do anything for regular black people.


Speaking at a private event—no word on why the president didn’t hold the speech at the public ceremony, but it likely had something to do with the protests outside—Trump stuck mostly to his prepared script, paying tribute to the civil right icons who lost their lives in Mississippi, like Medgar Evers, who was murdered by a Klansman in 1963. Trump also acknowledged Evers’ widow, Myrlie Evers-Williams, who was in attendance, along with Evers’ brother, Charles, who is a Trump supporter. Trump’s favorite black dude, Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson, and his wife, Candy, were also present.

Not in attendance for Trump’s speech were several prominent black leaders, including civil rights icon Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.) and Jackson, Miss., Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba. At a press conference held by the NAACP earlier Saturday, Lumumba evoked the history of protest that’s enshrined in the civil rights museum.


“We asked people to come both near and far to this museum. Today what we are doing is standing on principle,” said Lumumba. “We’re standing in accord with what the ideals of this civil right movement means. And that is why we choose not to share a stage with Donald Trump.”


Protesters also greeted the president as he arrived to tour both the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum and the Museum of Mississippi History, which was also opening today.



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Genetta M. Adams

Genetta M. Adams is Managing Editor of The Root.