12 Dec 2017 Black “Leaders” Squander Opportunity for Truce with Trump at Mississippi Civil Rights Event
As Project 21 member Jerome Danner sees it, those who claim to lead the black community failed to be leaders when they shunned President Donald Trump last weekend during the opening of the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum.
For example, U.S. Representatives John Lewis (D-GA) and Bennie Thompson (D-MS) pulled out of the official opening ceremony in Jackson because of the President’s participation. In a joint statement explaining why they couldn’t be in the same room with the man to celebrate bringing our population together under a single set of laws and morals, they said: “President Trump’s attendance and his hurtful policies are an insult to the people portrayed in this civil rights museum… 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.”
It was an act Sarah Huckabee Sanders called “unfortunate,” saying, “The President hopes others will join him in recognizing that the movement was about removing barriers and unifying Americans of all backgrounds.”
In his remarks at the opening, President Trump said: “We want our country to be a place where every child, from every background, can grow up free from fear, innocent of hatred, and surrounded by love, opportunity and hope.”
Lewis, Thompson and others can’t agree with him on this?
In a piece published on the popular Medium website, Jerome focused on Representative Lewis’s boycott and how his politics seems to be clouding his judgement. Lewis, who appears to epitomize the left’s uniform disdain for President Trump, squandered an opportunity to forge friendship across party lines and perhaps dispel false allegations and beliefs about the President and his agenda.
Of course, intentionally dodging any opportunity to be shown they share common ground may be exactly why Lewis wouldn’t be seen with the President.
Besides all of the rhetoric saying Trump is a bigot, whether or not Lewis really believes that Trump is an actual racist is impossible to know for sure, but it still feels like politics. Remember, this is the same politician that feels Trump’s presidency is illegitimate and was a major supporter of Secretary Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign run in 2016 (after dropping support for her during 2008 when a young Senator Barack Obama was on the rise), while dismissing Senator Bernie Sanders’ civil rights activist record.
Suggesting what might have been if Lewis was truly a leader of the black community and seeking solutions, Jerome added:
As much as the respected organization and the civil-rights-activist-turned-politician have the real influence and power to make things happen politically and socially, they should have and should be spending more time negotiating a discussion between themselves and Trump…
If Lewis and others really hold to the idea that Trump is for some brand of white supremacy, then at what better place and at what better time than at this museum, in Mississippi (with its record of racial disharmony), could they have spoken about their beliefs and how they could move forward in accepting his leadership of this country. Unfortunately, Lewis let pride get in the way of a wonderful opportunity to “educate” Trump in any number of things.
To read Jerome’s complete Medium article, click here.