White House Criticizes a Top Civil Rights Leader for Not ‘Honoring Incredible Sacrifice Civil Rights Leaders Made’


Rep. John Lewis Refuses to Stand on Same Stage as President Trump

Democratic U.S. Congressman John Lewis of Georgia is one of this nation's top and most-recognized civil rights leaders. He was the chairman of one of the primary civil rights organizations that organized Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, during which King delivered his famous "I Have a Dream" speech. Lewis also delivered a speech at that historic event and was the youngest man to do so. He has been beaten, arrested, and jailed in his fight for civil rights.

Rep. Lewis has decided he cannot stand on the same stage as President Donald Trump this Saturday, when Trump will visit the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum. Trump is believed by many to be a white nationalist or even a white supremacist, has called for the death penalty for five young Black men were were later proven innocent of rape via DNA, has called white nationalists, white supremacists, and neo-Nazis "very fine people."

New York Times opinion writer Charles M. Blow in September concluded, "Either Trump is himself a white supremacist or he is a fan and defender of white supremacists, and I quite honestly am unable to separate the two designations."

Lewis, and fellow Democratic Congressman Bennie Thompson of Mississippi, have announced they will not attend Saturday's event. 

The White House saw fit to denounce them for it.

"We think it's unfortunate that these members of Congress wouldn't join the President in honoring the incredible sacrifice civil rights leaders made to right the injustices in our history," Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a statement to reporters. "The President hopes others will join him in recognizing that the movement was about removing barriers and unifying Americans of all backgrounds."

In other words, the White House is criticizing one of the nation's top civil rights leaders for not honoring his own sacrifices.

"President Trump's attendance and his hurtful policies are an insult to the people portrayed in this civil rights museum," Lewis and Thompson said in a joint statement said. "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."

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