Inside the Protests Against Trump's Civil Rights Museum Visit
The president's Saturday visit to a new museum in Mississippi sparked anger, protests, and memories of past struggles.
In 2011, when former Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour announced his support for the first state-sponsored Civil Rights museum in the US, movement veterans worried that the truth would be whitewashed. But Reuben Anderson, the first black justice on the Mississippi Supreme Court, and William Winter, a former governor noted for his work with racial reconciliation, convinced Myrlie Evers-Williams—the widow of NAACP field secretary Medgar Evers, who was assassinated by a klansman in his driveway—that they wouldn’t let that happen. So Evers-Williams donated her late husband’s papers to the Mississippi Department of Archives and History, which instilled the museum with legitimacy, and the $90 million project was slated to open on Saturday, in time for the state’s bicentennial celebration.
Then, five days before the opening came the announcement that President Donald Trump would accept Governor Phil Bryant’s invitation to attend—an invitation that surprised both lawmakers and museum staff.