John Lewis refuses to attend opening of civil rights museum because the president of the United States will be there

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Published by: Dan Calabrese on Friday December 08th, 2017


Let me see if I have this straight: If Donald Trump was invited to attend the opening of a civil rights museum and he refused, surely that would be racist. But if he does attend, that's an outrage because he's Donald Trump.

So it is in the twisted mind of John Lewis.

It can't be easy being Lewis, who like John Conyers holds "icon" status among politicians who were long-ago marchers in the civil rights movement. Today Lewis is mainly a standard-issue Democrat congressman who is typically treated as beyond criticism because he endured brutal violence during the demonstrations of the 1960s - no matter how awful his voting record or his treatment of others.

Lewis is also the sort of guy who seems to think it's beneath him to be in the presence of people with whom he has differences of opinions. He refused to attend Trump's inauguration in January, and as we told you at the time, it wasn't the first time Lewis had pulled a stunt like that. He refused to attend George W. Bush's inauguration too. If you're not Lewis's kind of guy, he won't be seen with you and won't be in the same place with you. You're beneath him, even if you're the president of the United States.

In fact, especially then.

But as much as Lewis is associated with the civil rights movement - in fact, he pretty much owes his entire political career to it - you'd think he would surely not skip something like the opening of a civil rights museum just because a president he disagrees with politically is going to attend.

You'd think that. But you'd be wrong:

U.S. Rep John Lewis says he won't speak at the opening of Mississippi civil rights and history museums, calling it intolerable that President Donald Trump will attend.

Lewis made the announcement Thursday. The Georgia Democrat and civil rights icon helped organize the 1964 Freedom Summer targeting segregation in Mississippi.

The Saturday ceremony marks Mississippi's bicentennial of admission into the union. But what was intended as a moment of racial unity and atonement in the state with the largest share of African-Americans is descending into racial and partisan strife after Republican Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant invited fellow Republican Trump to attend.

The NAACP has said Trump should cancel his planned appearance because of his divisive record on civil rights issues.

Several prominent Mississippi Democrats say they won't attend. Some plan protests.

So you're having an event to honor civil rights, and the president you insist is a racist wants to show up and join you in that celebration. And you object, even to the point that you won't show up if he's there. Why? Because if Trump also honors civil rights leaders it might give the lie to the idea that he's a racist? An idea you desperately need to keep alive because he's the modern-day villian that gives meaning to your increasingly anachronistic movement?

By the way, what exactly is Trump's "divisive record on civil rights issues"? What positions has he taken on civil rights issues, and what policies has he implemented or advocated on civil rights issues, that could be called "divisive" or even contrary to the positions of the civil rights movement?

Apart from advocating the enforcement of existing immigration laws, I'm hard-pressed to come up with a single policy position that could even be described as in that category. Trump hasn't called for any change in affirmative action laws, in minority set-asides in federal contracting, in funding for urban cities . . . anything. 

GDP growth for Obama's final year? A measly 1.6 percent

Liberals have manufactured a caricature of Trump the racist, but there is nothing in his business record or in his actions as president that give even the slightest credence to this notion.

It's generally considered an honor when a president attends your event, whether he's from your party or not, and it used to be that the civil rights movement sought bipartisan support and had considerable success achieving it. Apparently today the civil rights movement is little more than a partisan division of the Democratic Party, and doesn't want support from the White House.

And John Lewis long ago became nothing but a mindless partisan who bears no resemblance to the brave civil rights hero we are always told he used to be. Too bad. I bet that from this point forward, Donald Trump will do much more to improve the lives of black Americans than John Lewis will.

Dan's new novel, BACKSTOP, is a story of spiritual warfare and baseball. Download it from Amazon here!