Governor Phil Bryant should immediately rescind the invite he extended for President Trump to attend the opening of the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum.
Why is this important?
Imagine you have worked tirelessly for the creation of a Mississippi Civil Rights Museum for decades and it's finally opening. Imagine you are being honored for your decades of civil rights work, an honor that is long overdue. Imagine that the governor has the audacity to suggest you sit onstage with a President who believes Nazi protesters are "very fine people." Imagine being forced to sit through his bungled speech full of lies and racist language. Close your eyes and picture Medgar Evers, Fannie Lou Hamer or Dr. Martin Luther King sitting on stage with Donald Trump. Can you imagine their innermost thoughts? Their level of gut twisting anguish?
We can not allow this to happen.
Inviting the President to the opening of Mississippi Civil Rights Museum is an insult and affront to those being honored. These heroes fought against hate and for justice and equity in our state. Their families and friends gave their lives in dedication to their belief in equality.
Within the walls of the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum, the heroes of a generation are being honored. Heroes who gave their all to further racial progress in Mississippi and our country at large. Fannie Lou Hamer, Hollis Watkins, Jimmie Travis, and many more were beaten and jailed. Many more, men like Vernon Dahmer, Medgar Evers, and Wharlest Jackson lost their lives. Hundreds of everyday people were a part of the historic work that lives on today. They deserve to be honored. The next generation must have a place to preserve this history.
To invite a man like Donald Trump to speak, when these icons and forgotten everyday heroes are being honored can only be seen as a classic white supremacy power move akin to raising confederate statues in the city square after reconstruction. Allowing this President to overshadow those who fight for equity and justice screams "Yes, you can have this museum but men like us will always control things."
Time and time again, Donald Trump has failed to respect and honor people of color, exhibiting a special disrespect for black people. His political career was built on disrespecting and insulting our first African American President, Barack Obama. From his tone deaf visit to the National African American History Museum to engaging in racist rhetoric while honoring Native American veterans he has repeatedly proven he can not be trusted in people of color centered spaces. Donald Trump demands the attention be on him, distracting from the sacred spaces he has the privilege of occupying.
He is supported by many racist groups including the KKK, neo-nazis and white nationalists. All of which show up to support him when he makes appearances. They have no place here.
Why would Mississippians want to encourage this bigotry by inviting this man to such a momentous occasion?
President Trump's record on human rights, racial justice and equity should, most definitely, exclude him from being included in this opening.
Donald Trump should not be who Mississippi wants to be. His ideas are vestiges of the past. He isn't representative of where those of us united for a better Mississippi want to go.
Governor Phil Bryant needs to make this right and rescind the invitation he made to President Trump immediately.
How it will be delivered